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Sunday, December 18, 2011

A Mini-Challenge for Sunday

To A Mouse...



Robert Burns (25 January 1759 – 21 July 1796) (also known as Rabbie Burns, Scotland's favourite son, the Ploughman Poet, Robden of Solway Firth, the Bard of Ayrshire and in Scotland as simply The Bard) was a Scottish poet and a lyricist. He is widely regarded as the national poet of Scotland, and is celebrated worldwide. He is the best known of the poets who have written in the Scots language, although much of his writing is also in English and a "light" Scots dialect, accessible to an audience beyond Scotland. He also wrote in standard English, and in these his political or civil commentary is often at its most blunt. (wikipedia)

Burns Stanza, or Standard Habbie


In this form Burns makes the first three lines rhyme with the fifth. The fourth and sixth lines become the second rhyming pair.
The pattern is thus:

x x x x x x x a
x x x x x x x a
x x x x x x x a
x x x x x b
x x x x x x x a
x x x x x b

This form is seen in his famous poem dedicated To a Mouse on Turning up her Nest With a Plough.

Wee sleekit, cow'rin, tim'rous beastie,
O, what a panic's in thy breastie!
Thou need na start awa sae hasty,
Wi bickering brattle!
I wad be laith to rin an chase thee,
Wi murdering pattle!

I'm truly sorry man's dominion
Has broken Nature's social union,
An justifies that ill opinion,
Which makes thee startle
At me, thy poor, earth-born companion.
An fellow mortal!

(Full text of poem HERE)

I would not dictate the content of your own poem, but I would like to share an idea I came across while researching the Epistle Challenge. I discovered poetry of Rhina P. Espaillat entitled "Undelivered Mail". I thought it was perfect for a mini-challenge and especially at this time of year, where a certain reckoning takes place within many relationships.

16 comments:

Heaven said...

Kerry, please delete my linky post - it's my fault. Thanks ~

Kerry O'Connor said...

Sorry, Grace, I don't have the know-how to delete it, but really no harm done.

Fireblossom said...

You know how I get about form, so I have written a new poem using a Eugenio Recuenco image, as I did for Kerry's challenge. Anyone interested may find it here:

http://fireblossom-wordgarden.blogspot.com/2011/12/lets-dialogue.html

However, for this, I am going to link to a Robert Burns parody I wrote some time ago. I hope that will be okay. And if not, well, kiss my Irish ass, lol.

Kerry O'Connor said...

@ Grace - Your poem is most apposite to the wee sleekit beastie

@ Fireblossom - anything goes ;)

Heaven said...

Kerry - huh???

Thanks for introducing us to poetry forms but it takes me time to compose. Happy sunday ~

hedgewitch said...

Let me see what I can turn up in my vast semi-unoccupied mental cellar, Kerry--I like the 'Undelivered Mail' concept too. Fun challenge.

Marian said...

yes, kerry, loved that poem by Rhina P. Espaillat, thank you for that. and this one was fun to write. sometimes they just fly out of my brain, and other times, they get stuck there :)

Ella said...

This took some morning reflection, but I enjoyed it~ Thanks Kerry for pushing the boundaries. The garden really does challenge us and makes us grow ;D

Laurie Kolp said...

I'm writing poetry while waiting for the pear pie to get done.

Peter Goulding said...

And there was me thinking Bob Dylan invented that form on The times are a-changing...

Mary said...

Well, I finally came up with something Burns-ish. An enjoyable challenge.

Kay L. Davies said...

I love Espaillat's "Undelivered Mail", Kerry, and wish I could remember where and when I read it the first time. And I have always loved Burns, due to a preponderance of Scottish grandparents.
I'm not at my best today, suffering an outbreak of over-all unfittedness, but would love to try combining his poetic form with her wit, if I can.
K

Mary Ann Potter said...

Over the last few weeks I've discovered that I've been relying too long on relatively unstructured poetry, that I need to work more with forms. This little creative exercise is helping my image-soaked brain to establish some order! So thanks. I'm not crazy about what I've written, but my mind liked the work! 8-)

vivinfrance said...

I've greedily linked two poems - one an old one, kind of epistolary, and the other a brand spanking new Burns stanza.

zongrik said...

what happens in the brain when we reason logically? that's what i wrote about.

Heaven said...

Well my post is up ~