Bordeaux Bay

Bordeaux Bay
Watercolour by Tony Taylor http://www.paintingbreaksguernsey.com

Friday, 10 October 2014

THE ODD COUPLE

At a writers’ workshop a few years ago I encountered a couple of amusing poetic forms that challenge the brain. 
One was the Univocalic and the other the Tetractys: I’m still trying to work out how to pronounce that second one.
They operate like this. The univocalic poem uses a single vowel throughout and avoids all others, while the tetractys is a poem with five accumulating lines. Line 1 is one syllable, line 2 has two syllables and so on to a maximum of five syllables. A Double Tetractys is two such poems back-t0-back.
I like to play with rhyme and form and once challenged myself to combine the two: a univocalic poem in the form of a double tetractys. Rather an odd couple.
It didn’t quite come off because I needed to add a couple of extra five-syllable lines to complete it, but the univocalic element, avoiding a,i,o and u, was spot-on.
The result was Wren, of which I’m rather proud.


WREN

See
the wren,
resplendent:
her clever eye,
her sweet essence. Deep, 
let her sleep be deep;
there, let the green hedge
be her perfect bed;
the rye, the reed,
be her screen;
shelter
her.

4 comments:

  1. Very clever, I like the concept and I love the result. Well done.

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  2. Thank you, John. As a writer yourself, I'm sure you'll appreciate how much fun an exercise like this can be.

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  3. Phew, I could never do that- very clever and it makes sense too!

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  4. A real challenge, and great fun too!

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