William’s prompt last Sunday (Invitation to the Dance) inspired me to choose the Saraband for our October 9th’s In-form Poet. Why?
Per Terry Clitheroe’s The Poets Garret, this septet (7-lined stanza) form is taken from a musical dance form, and what could be more fitting than having a poem derived from dance. The original Saraband was a dance of Asian origin, introduced into Spain in the 16th century and later to the courts of France and Italy.
The form follows the dance, with a 3-lined stanza (Tercet) followed by a 4-lined stanza (Quatrain).
The rhyme scheme is:
a. x. a.
b. c. b. c.
In the Tercet, all three lines may rhyme. Or you may choose to rhyme only lines one and three, as in the French version.
The Quatrain can vary from the Spanish (shown in the example); French; b. b. c. c. or Italian; b. c. c. b., and it is not uncommon to mix Quatrains, i.e. Spanish with French or Italian when writing long poems.
For the purist each line comprises of eight (8) syllables, but there are examples of Iambic and Trochaic pentameter also.
Here are some samples by yours truly:
Six Kinds of Impossible
“It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.” ~Walt Disney
“Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.” ~Lewis Carroll
Let us do impossible things -
yes, six of them before breakfast.
And really, it’s kindness with wings
since after all, we need to fly;
we need to make our spirits high.
From this world…it’s you and I…
Let’s laugh; let’s love; let’s not ask why.
Serendipity is putting a quarter in the gumball machine and having three pieces come rattling out instead of one—all red. -Peter H. Reynolds
I remember when I was small
I would ask my mom for a coin
to get a cherry red gumball.
Purple was okay in my book
but red was the one that I sought.
Now and then I cheated and shook
the machine. Kid magic, I thought.
You never know what will come out
the gumball machine’s metal spout.
Chance is what it is all about.
Luck may not decide to convene.
You might get yellow or a green.
But sometimes, you’re the conferee:
a red gumball – or two… or three.
A Sarab& for the Ampers&
When you write a lot of words, oft times in a list,
you’ll probably need an ampers&
or two for an assist,
because, the punctuation mark called ampers& can show
conjunction, which can come between two words or more, although
you could simply write the word ‘and’ – & then you’d see
it takes up much more sentence space. No practicality.
Economy of words, they say, is what’s in great dem&
so choosing symbols carefully
can make books fall or st&.
I could yak on & on & on – & then perhaps exp&
the theme of this one grammar note, ’til it gets out of h&.
In truth, I think I’ve made my point, exactly as I’d pl&.
I’ll end this chat by saying that the ampers&’s just gr&!
So, got your dancin’ shoes on? Pencils ready? A five six seven eight…poem on!
MARIE ELENA’S ATTEMPT
She reads the chart ahead of her
That does not lead her to his heart -
Her path remains an aimless blur.
Yet she recalls the fairy tales
Where prince proposed, and love prevailed.
She’ll pick and choose from Brothers Grimm,
And forge a path that leads to him.
© copyright 2013, Marie Elena Good
If you wish, write an “If you________” poem, and post it at Robert Lee Brewer’s Poetic Asides. Heck, you could even write an “If you” Saraband!