A Classic Hit...
I have been freshly inspired by several poems linked to our Imaginary Garden which have recalled the classics of poetry and literature. For our Sunday challenge, I have selected the Emily Dickinson ballad stanza.
Emily Dickinson preferred the structure to be found in ballads, returning to this ancient traditional verse form of the Middle Ages for much of her poetry.
Each stanza or quatrain alternates lines of iambic tetrameter (8 syllables) and iambic trimeter (six syllables), with an ABCB rhyme scheme. Dickinson's stanzas were not always in strict iambs, though she retained the syllable count, so do not feel daunted about checking to see if every second syllable is stressed.
She often used slant rhyme on lines 2 and 4, rather than full rhyme, which is consistent in the consonants rather than the vowels. This can be seen in poem # 339 below.
Dickinson's poems might consist of between one and six stanzas and her use of punctuation was idiosyncratic.
"Faith" is a fine invention
For Gentlemen who see!
But Microscopes are prudent
In an Emergency!
I like a look of Agony,
Because I know it's true -
Men do not sham Convulsion,
Nor simulate a Throe -
The eyes glaze once - and that is Death -
Impossible to feign
The Beads upon the Forehead
By homely Anguish strung.
I died for Beauty - but was scarce
Adjusted to the Tomb
When One who died for Truth, was lain
In an adjoining Room -
He questioned softly 'Why I failed'?
'For Beauty', I replied -
'And I - for Truth - Themself are One -
We Bretheren, are', He said -
And so, as Kinsmen, met at Night -
We talked between the Rooms -
Until the Moss had reached our lips -
And covered up - our names -
Emily Dickinson was in a class of her own; she defied convention and reinvented this form to such an extent that it has become recognizably her style. Is it possible to emulate her style without turning it into a parody? Let's give it a try today.
The link below will not expire, so poems may be linked up later in the week.