NaPoWriMo day 28 ~


Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt was totally new to me: Skeltonic verse. Never heard of it. Never wrote it. Don’t even remember dipodic verse (which is what Skeltonic verse is written in: two heavy stresses per line). And you’re talking about someone who read pretty much the entire Princeton Encyclopædia of Poetry…

I ADORE finding new poetic strategies & forms. They don’t all work for me (for anyone), but they’re like windows into other ways of being. Kind of like reading poetry from other countries & cultures, they offer this writer, at least, new tools. Who knew I could write a poem I’m not horrifically embarrassed to share that had six or fewer words in a line?? Not a tanka (which friends know is a form I love dearly), but a Western form I never knew before tonight.

What I also learned is that I seem congenitally unable to write funny poems. This is supposed to be a ‘fun’ poem. Sigh… This is, apparently, about as fun as I get. I apologise in advance!

Here’s the prompt:

Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem using Skeltonic verse. Don’t worry, there are no skeletons involved. Rather, Skeltonic verse gets its name from John Skelton, a fifteenth-century English poet who pioneered the use of short stanzas with irregular meter, but two strong stresses per line (otherwise know as “dipodic” or “two-footed” verse). The lines rhyme, but there’s not a rhyme scheme per se. The poet simply rhymes against one word until he or she gets bored and moves on to another.

And here’s what I ended up with:

A broken heart

May be the start
Of the good part
Of life, where art
(At least if you’re smart)
Is more than hobby
Food we should lobby
For, knobby
With gristle & bone
We eat. Alone
We turn from the stone
Of grieving
Behind us deceiving
Tears, years of weaving
Hope to thieving
Lovers, friends
Whose ends
Are bends
In a road wending
Away from us
So write it down
Words a crown
Of thorns, redbrown
On a paper gown
And we ride away
(That first day)
In disarray ~
Afraid that life
Is a blade, a knife
Not rife
With possibility

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