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Image: Kenney Myers

When I first began blogging poetry, I participated in a critique group hosted by English poet, Luke Prater. Eventually he dissolved the Facebook Group, yet now and again, I run into one or another of those participants here at dVerse. In fact, that is where I first met Claudia and Brian and Luke was one of the original pub-tenders here at dVerse.

In December of 2010, Luke invented a form called the Octain, full name Octain Refrain. I recall enjoying working with the rhyme and meter and the results it gave me.
Here’s how it works.

It comprises eight lines:
two tercets and a couplet,
eight syllables per line or iambic tetrameter, your choice,
first line is a refrain, repeated as the last (some variation acceptable).



A = refrain line.
c/c refers to line five having internal rhyme which is different to the a- and b-rhymes. The midline rhyme does not have to fall exactly in the middle of the line

The High Octain is simply a double Octain

I’ve chosen two of my poems for a sample:

The Call of Spring
An Octain

Outside my window, should I look,
a hummingbird has taken wing
while nightingale begins to sing.

A quail emerges from her nook
for her dirt bath beside the path
that moseys down along the brook.

Attending to the call of spring
to go outside, I close my book.

Untitled Octain

How many lives are spent in vain,
too conscious of the voice of fear,
thoughts muddled so that sight’s unclear.

They creep through days avoiding pain
or, warped by hate, they learn too late
to trust that love should ever deign

to visit them and draw them near.
Too many lives are spent in vain.

If you would like to see an example of a High Octain, I’ve posted one just last week here.

To participate:

  • Write your poem and post it on your blog or website;
  • Access Mr. Linky at the bottom of this post and add your name and the direct URL to your submission;
  • We love to have you leave a comment and join in the discussion;
  • Spend time enjoying and commenting on the work of your fellow pubsters, especially those who have taken the time to do so for you.
  • Enjoy your time writing and reading poetry.