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One thing we have started to have with some frequency at the bar is to invite participants at the bar an occasion to show themselves at the bar, today it’s time for Bryan Ens, who blog from quest4peas.wordpress.com. For every one that has read Bryan’s poetry you know that here you have a poet who is comfortable both with writing various forms and whose poems always touch with it’s rhythm and gentleness mingled with humor. Please welcome Bryan Ens.

A while back, Bjorn approached me and asked if I might be interested in doing a prompt for Meeting the Bar because of my interest in form poetry.

When I was younger, I wrote the occasional poem, but avoided rhythm and rhyme at all costs, because I was sure that I couldn’t maintain the form and still have anything to say. When I started writing poetry again, I decided to try my hand at form, more to see if I could actually do it.

When Bjorn asked me to write, though, I began to consider why form poetry? Can you say something in a sonnet or a rondeau that you can’t say in free verse? Or vice versa? Why?

This led me to do a bit of research into prosody…or how the sound of poetry affects the meaning.

The Shakespearean, or Elizabethan sonnet contains 14 lines of iambic pentameter (10 syllables per line, with even numbered syllables receiving the stronger beat). The first 12 lines have a rhyme scheme of ABAB,CDCD,EFEF and then a concluding couplet that rhymes GG. The first three quatrains, with the rhymes alternating between lines, serve to build up an argument, and then the final couplet, because of two consecutive rhyming lines, alerts the ear “something is different here”, and therefore this couplet acts as a perfect conclusion or punch-line.

A limerick, on the other hand, has a more sing-song rhythm, making it suitable for more humourous pieces. Have you ever seen a limerick devoted to a serious topic?

Haiku, in their minimalism, often say more in what they do not say.

Free verse has the advantage of being more conversational in sound.

Of course, each of these forms could be discussed in much greater depth, and there are countless other forms that could be discussed…and I think that every poet has their own reasons for choosing the form that they choose. So today, my prompt is less about the type of poem you write as to why. Write a poem in any form that you choose (and yes, I will accept free verse as a form) – but after your poem, include a brief note on your form, and why you chose that form for your piece. How does meter and rhyme (or lack thereof) affect the meaning of your piece? If you used alliteration, onomatopoeia, or some other poetic device, why?

There are a few excellent articles that have been written on dVerse that go into much greater detail on things like metrical feet, poetic forms, and numerous poetical devices (such as alliteration, personification, and simile. For some far better descriptions that I could possibly give myself, check out these posts by Gay Reiser Cannon https://dversepoets.com/2013/08/08/formforall-prosody-line-and-meter/ or https://dversepoets.com/2013/02/14/5463/ (poetic tools)

So with that now it’s your turn:

  • Enter a link directly to your poem and your name by clicking Mr Linky below
  • Enter a comment below, and participate in the discussion, it’s part of the fun
  • There you will find links to other poets, and more will join during the next 33 hours
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