dVerse Poets Pub, French Literature, January, life and beyond, New Year 2022, Rimas Dissolutas, Sanaa Rizvi, Sylvia Plath, Writing through life
Picture courtesy: Sliced cake on a ceramic plate by Lisa, Unsplash
Sanaa here (aka adashofsunny) once again to stir your muses. The winter trees are iced as thickly as cake frosting, yesterday they were rough twigs, their elegance having fallen to the ground in autumn. However, today they capture the eye of every onlooker that passes by, they are living art, nothing short of inspiration under the sun.
French Literature began when writers started using dialects that had evolved from Latin spoken in parts of the Roman Empire that would soon become France. Eventually, the dialect gained supremacy over others and by the 10th century began vying with Latin for prestige.
The 11th century witnessed the emergence of Literature in French language in the form of several Epic poems known as “Chansons de Geste,” which recounted heroic tales of knights fighting with or against Charlemagne.
The Chansons were then followed in the second half of the 12th century by “Romans Courtois,” i.e. tales of courtly love which were written in verse and were intended to be read aloud before aristocratic audiences.
On the other hand a very different type of Literature flourished outside of aristocratic circles. The “Fabliaux,” were short narratives in verse, simple,
earthy and bantering in tone. Fables, which were allegorical stories, portrayed animals used to satirize human characteristics or to point to a moral; they were equally popular, the most celebrated of this type being “Reynard, the fox.”
Traditional forms and genres:
Medieval French lyric poetry was indebted to the poetic and cultural traditions in Southern France and Provence including Toulouse Poitiers and the Aquitaine region.
The Provencal Poets were greatly influenced by poetic traditions from the Hispano-Arab world and were called “Trobadours,” derived from the word “trobar,” which means to find and to invent.
Today we will delve deep into the French poetic form “Rima Dissolutas.” Popular with 12th and 13th century French poets, rimas dissolutas is a poem that rhymes and doesn’t rhyme.
For instance, each stanza contains no end rhymes, but each line in each stanza rhymes with the corresponding line in the next stanza–sometimes employing an envoi at the end.
Here’s how the end rhymes would work in a Rimas Dissolutas with three five-line stanzas:
(1-a, 2-b, 3-c, 4-d, 5-e) (6-a, 7-b, 8-c, 9-d, 10-e) (11-a, 12-b, 13-c, 14-d, 15-e)
(If the poem has an envoi, it might be 2-3 lines long using the c, d, and/or e rhymes.)
Please click on the link below for more in-depth understanding of the form:
The Music in it: Adele Kenny’s Poetry Blog: Rimas Dissolutas
There are no rules for meter, line length, or syllables–except that it should be consistent from stanza to stanza.
Black Rook in Rainy Weather
by Sylvia Plath
On the stiff twig up there
Hunches a wet black rook
Arranging and rearranging its feathers in the rain.
I do not expect a miracle
Or an accident
To see the sight on fire
In my eye, nor seek
Any more in the desultory weather some design,
But let spotted leaves fall as they fall,
Without ceremony, or portent.
Although, I admit, I desire,
Occasionally, some backtalk
From the mute sky, I can’t honestly complain:
A certain minor light may still
Out of kitchen table or chair
As if a celestial burning took
Possession of the most obtuse objects now and then—
Thus hallowing an interval
By bestowing largesse, honor,
One might say love. At any rate, I now walk
Wary (for it could happen
Even in this dull, ruinous landscape); skeptical,
Yet politic; ignorant
Of whatever angel may choose to flare
Suddenly at my elbow. I only know that a rook
Ordering its black feathers can so shine
As to seize my senses, haul
My eyelids up, and grant
A brief respite from fear
Of total neutrality. With luck,
Trekking stubborn through this season
Of fatigue, I shall
Patch together a content
Of sorts. Miracles occur,
If you care to call those spasmodic
Tricks of radiance miracles. The wait’s begun again,
The long wait for the angel,
For that rare, random descent.
By the end of the late 13th century, the poetic tradition in France had begun to develop in ways that differed greatly from the troubadour poets.
The new poetic as well as some of the earliest medieval music has lyrics composed in Old French (by composers known by name) tendencies are apparent in the “Roman de Fauvel,” in 1310 and 1314, a satire on abuses in the medieval church filled with motets, lais, rondeaux and other new secular forms of poetry and music.
It mocks the sins of humanity by making the Seven Deadly Sins appear in the personification of a horse.
Although the European prominence of French Literature was eclipsed in part by vernacular literature in Italy in the 14th century, it underwent a major creative evolution in the 16th century and through political and artistic programs came to dominate the European letters in the 17th century.
Picture courtesy: Concrete houses and Green trees by Pierre Blache
Under the aristocratic ideals of the “Ancien Regime,” the nationalist spirit of post revolutionary France and the mass educational ideals of the Third Republic and modern France, the French have come to have a profound cultural attachment to their literary heritage.
Today, French schools emphasize on the study of novels, theater and poetry. The literary arts are heavily sponsored by the state and prizes are major news.
In 1964 Jean-Paul Sartre was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature but he declined it stating; “A writer must refuse to allow himself to be transformed into an institution, even if it takes place in the most honorable form.”
Sources: Introduction to French Literature, its origin and development and Writer’s Digest: Poetic form “Rimas Dissolutas,” write better poetry.
For today’s Poetics, I want you to write keeping in mind the following two options.
- Write a poem that’s loosely based on French ideals and culture. You may opt to share your experience of visiting France and many of its lovely cities if you have done so. OR
- Write a poem using the poetic form “Rimas Dissolutas.” The choice of topic is entirely up to you.
New to dVerse? Here’s how to join in:
- Write a poem in response to the challenge.
- Enter a link directly to your poem and your name by clicking Mr. Linky below
- You will find links to other poets and more will join so please do check
back later in order to read their poems.
- Read and comment on other poets’ work– we all come here to have our poems read.
Björn Rudberg (brudberg) said:
Hello Saana, i tried my hand at the form… jast a short one, but with a little bit of fable weaved in … hope it works.
I am sure it’s exquisite 🙂 thank you so much for writing, Bjorn! Heading over to read you 💝
Happy New Year! 😀 Welcome to Poetics, everyone! On the menu we have Salade Lyonnaise with Gamay, Sauvignon Blanc and Soft cheese, I am adding Rotisserie chicken to the list – I hear it goes splendidly with white Châteauneuf du Pape – or if you prefer we also have Sweetheart strawberry scones with coffee/tea of your choice.
See you on the poetry trail! 💝💝
Yummy menu – I love the strawberry scones with tea please. Thanks for hosting.
Strawberry scones with tea coming right up! Thank you so much for joining in, Grace! 💝💝
Salade Lyonnaise sounds fantastic! I really enjoyed trying out this form and remembering France, Sanaa, thank you 🙂
Salade Lyonnaise with Gamay for you, Ingrid 😀 I am so pleased you enjoyed the form! 💝💝
Tricia Sankey said:
Snagging a scone and sending my muse to France! Thanks for hosting, Sanaa! 💓
Thank you for joining in, Tricia 😀 Happy Tuesday! 💝💝
Tricia Sankey said:
Thank you for hosting and introducing us to this poetry form. My first to try this French inspired poery form. I also enjoyed the reading of Plath’s poem. This post was like attending a class on French literature – thanks!
Thank you! I am so pleased you liked it, Grace 😀 I wanted to try something different in spirit of the New Year. Looking forward to reading all the responses tonight! 💝💝
Linda Lee Lyberg said:
Hello Sanaa And thank you for hosting! I tried my hand at the form; hoping it worked out. I’ll have a glass of the white Châteauneuf du Pape. I’ve enjoyed a glass or two of that wine before and it is heavenly.
White Châteauneuf du Pape for the lovely lady 🙂 Heading over to read you, Linda! Happy Tuesday 💝💝
Linda Lee Lyberg said:
i have read the prompt three times and due to being over tired it is just not going in. i will heading for bed soon. and intend to read everyone elses poem in the morning. have fun scribbling i the french style.
See you tomorrow, Roger! 💝💝 Hopefully it will inspire your muse in the morning 🙂
Ron Rowland said:
Thanks for hosting and introducing the form Sanaa. I think I got the form correct, but the words I used leave a lot to be desired.
I am sure you did wonderfully, Ron 🙂 Heading over to read you. Happy Tuesday! 💝💝
Now that’s a bit of a challenge. I’ll see what I can do…
Thank you so much for joining in, Masa 💝💝
J’adore les poèmes français! Merci beaucoup, Sanaa! 🙂 ❤
Thank you so much, Jenna 😀 I am so pleased you liked it 💝💝
Jewish Young Professional "JYP" said:
Both of us can't look good...it's either me or the house said:
Grateful for the testing my grey matter this afternoon. Again a great prompt. One more step along the road. https://benitakape.wordpress.com/2022/01/05/tui-bird-of-adaption-and-wit/
Thank you so much 🙂 heading over to read you! Happy Wednesday 💝💝
Christine Bolton, Poetry for Healing said:
Happy New Year Sanaa! ☺️❤️ Your wonderful prompt brought back wonderful memories of Marseille for me. Thank you my friend. Hope you are well.
Happy New Year, mon amour! 😀 I just came from reading your poem and absolutely loved it! Thank you for writing! 💝💝
Sanaa – what a mighty challenge.
And a fantastic response to the challenge! Thank you, Paul 💝💝
Thank you so much 🙂
You’re most welcome 🙂
Hi, Sanaa and All. Thank you for hosting!
( I had some trouble understanding the form because of the way Plath plays with it, but I looked up other examples.)
You gave us quite a gorgeous poem, Merril! Thank you! 💝💝
Thank you! And thank you for the prompt that got me thinking. ❤️
Hi Sanaa and all,
Happy New Year,
Thank you for introducing a new form. Hopefully I did justice to it.
Happy New Year to you too, Kitty 🙂 I am so pleased you liked it. Thank you for the beautiful poem 💝💝
I loved this form, Sanaa. Thanks so much for introducing it to us.
Thank you so much, Hedgewitch 🙂 I am so pleased you liked it. Happy Wednesday. Loved your poem! 💝💝
Hi Sanaa! Thanks for a fantastic masterclass on this French form of poetry.
Thank you so much, Punam! I so glad you enjoyed it. Heading over to read you! 💝💝
Rob Kistner said:
Gonna give this form a try Sanaa! Thank you for hosting!
Thank you, Rob! Could you please link your poem again? I can’t seem to find it. 💝💝
Thanks for such an interesting prompt, and such kindness from dverse. I am always stunned at the high standard of poetry I read, and am SO lucky as someone just enjoying dverse without aspirations, because if I thought more I would be almost terrified to compete! Really, I think dverse is special..
Thank you so much, Ain 🙂 always a pleasure to have you with us here at dVerse 💝💝
Jewish Young Professional "JYP" said:
Sauvignon blanc and brie please, if the dVerse pub is still open!
Sauvignon blanc and brie coming right up 🙂 Happy Thursday! 💝💝
This was an excellent prompt and a lot of fun to try.
Thank you so much 🙂 I am so pleased you enjoyed it. 💝💝