story

The Poet’s Debate

I previously wrote a little about form poetry: the Shakespearean sonnet and the Petrarchan or Italian sonnet.

A third type is the Spenserian sonnet named for the poet Edmund Spenser. A Spenserian sonnet has three interlocked quatrains and a final couplet.

The rhyme scheme is ABAB BCBC CDCD EE, and the measure should be iambic pentameter. Another characteristic is a turn or change of meaning at the ninth line.

Here goes. I use archaic words, made-up words, and bad grammar to force rhymes.

The Poet’s Debate

As a reader I found all the well-known stories

that were kept in the public library shelved;

such adventures I found on these paper journeys,

to places imagined with maps to lands unknowed.

In towns and cities the library is more than storied,

plainly found on Main Street or on a side-street hidden;

in its own stand-alone house or inside one tucked,

bricked-up by bricks or with siding linden.

Beowulf, Shakespeare, Dickinson, and the Wordsworths,

must have great conversations after close’n,

no doubt interrupted by the contemporaries

who’ve turned their backs on formal verses form’en.

Who can say if free verse or form is better poetry,

for one requires much skill while the other a pen only.

I write mainly free verse contemporary poetry which comes easily to me, but I like to play around with form on occasion. It is much more difficult, but I like to challenge myself from time to time.

If you’re tired of plodding along altogether too seriously, perhaps try your hand at form poetry. You may enjoy it.

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