This month we are featuring the poetic forms of “lai” and “lai nouveau”. So the challenge today is to write a new lai or lai nouveau or revise a former entry. The Mister Linky points to Grace’s original Poetic Forms link.

I wrote my first lai a few days ago. Now I will write a lai nouveau to illustrate the form. For other examples of the lai and lai nouveau, see Grace’s post.

First I make sure I know what the requirements are. This is how I see them. Let me know in the comments if I got this wrong.

  1. Stanzas contain eight lines.
  2. The first two lines of the first stanza are repeated in reverse order as the last two lines in the remaining stanzas.
  3. The third and sixth lines rhyme in each stanza and have only two syllables. This rhyme sound for the two-syllable lines may vary from stanza to stanza.
  4. The first, second, fourth, fifth, seventh and eighth lines rhyme and have five syllables. The rhyme sound for the five-syllable lines is fixed throughout the poem.

The requirements are the dance floor. As long as the floor is reasonably level creativity can dance with intuition.

I will plan on two stanzas, but because of that repeating couplet that begins and ends the poem, I should first commit to it. That couplet is what the poem is about. All the other lines point back to it,

With only five-syllable lines I could opt for two or three accented syllables per line for the meter. I’ll try two accented syllables mainly because I would normally pick three. Change may be good.

Here are my first two lines both forward and reverse: In the forward version I capitalized the accented syllables and split the syllables with hyphens

my-STER-i-ous THINGS
that SOFT, cool light BRINGS

That soft, cool light brings
Mysterious things

To finish I had to fill in the remaining lines. This took some time. I revised, forgot and revised again. Here is the result.

Mysterious things
That soft, cool light brings –
Be true.
With silent, sure wings
My memory swings.
Take care. Poison flings
With doubt as it springs.

Dark fear creeps and clings.
The shrill discord rings.
Be kind.
Forgive. There joy kings
The lovebird who sings
To find
That soft, cool light brings
Mysterious things.

The revisions were preparation for the ball and the dance can now proceed.


Now it is your turn. Let’s bring our poems to the dance.

To participate write a lai or lai nouveau poem, or modify one already written, and post your poem. Copy the link to your post and insert it into the Mister Linky below. Read how others are meeting the challenge.