Definition

One must make a distinction however: when dragged into prominence by half poets, the result is not poetry, nor till the autocrats among us can be “literalists of the imagination”—above insolence and triviality and can present for inspection, imaginary gardens with real toads in them, shall we have it.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

The Sunday Mini-Challenge

© Kenia Cris

A fortnight ago, we tried our hands at a stanza form devised by Paul Laurence Dunbar, and today I would like to turn attention to a stanza form employed by Louis Macneice, in his poem The Sunlight on the Garden.

The stanzas are written in six lines and set out as follows:
xxxxxxa  (7 syllables ~ double rhyme, feminine)
xaxxb      (5 syllables ~ single rhyme, masculine
                     and double rhyme feminine on syllables 1-2, a rhyme)
xxxxxxc  (7 syllables ~ double rhyme, feminine)
xcxxxb    (6 syllables ~ single rhyme, masculine
                     and double rhyme feminine on syllables 1-2, c rhyme)
xxxb        (4 syllables ~ single rhyme, masculine)
xxxxxxa  (7 syllables ~ double rhyme, feminine)

The opening stanza of Macneice's poem:

The sunlight on the garden
Hardens and grows cold,
We cannot cage the minute
Within its net of gold,           (Here the c rhyme falls on syllables 2-3)
When all is told
We cannot beg for pardon.



© Ellen Wilson

The form may seem tricky, but the end result is a stanza with elegant balance between the various rhymes and line lengths.  However, feel free to adapt this basic layout to suit your own taste and style.  Alternatively, you may choose to use one of the photos kindly shared by our Real Toad members as inspiration for a poem written in Free Verse.

© Susie Clevenger


The Sunday Challenge is posted on Saturday at noon CST to allow extra time for the form challenge.  Please provide a link on your blog back to Real Toads.  We stipulate that only poems written for this challenge may be added to the Mr Linky.  Management reserves the right to remove unrelated links, but invites you to share a poem of your choice on Open Link Monday.





26 comments:

Margaret said...

How fun and I can't wait to put my creative cap on. The photograph is OUTSTANDING!!! But first, I must enjoy this beautiful sunny, fresh fall like 70 degree day here in North Carolina.

Janie said...

Love the photography!

hedgewitch said...

I can already feel my fingernails being gnawed to the quick over this one, Kerry. Looks wonderful.

Ella said...

Wow, wow, and wow...
gorgeous...
Margaret...I'm waving to you! I'm in NC, too :D
Love the banner and the pretty photos!

Ella said...

We lost the internet around 3pm and didn't get it back till 10:30am...
I officially know I'm addicted!

Peggy said...

These form challenges really seem monumental to me and kudos to those who can do them! I will honestly give it a try. I assume the masculine and feminine apply to languages, like French, where nouns have gender? At least in English I do not have to deal with that! Onward, Toads.

aprille said...

Fiendish!
But a nice way to take a bit of a break from my Nano novel writing.
[I've lost the plot.]
Thank you Kerry, for the comic relief. Only one stanza so far, but I'll sleep on a few more.

Margaret said...

Good Grief this was hard... and I see Aprille's remark ... I certainly HOPE one stanza is OK.

Susan said...

Couldn't sleep more than 4 hours. 3:22AM. I blame the Obama campaign for taking my NaNo steam, Ha ha-- Or maybe it is pattern and habit and reading so much daily poetry. Here I am again with a poem about simile and metaphor, dear sisters.
Isn't it embarrassing when people say goodbye but only half leave? And I do like the challenge of form as much as I used to like the Sunday NY Times' crossword puzzle.

Robyn Greenhouse said...

I used a picture for my poem. Hats off to those that can work the poem pattern!!

Marian said...

love it, kerry. i'm here nursing a head cold and half-delirious. but maybe that will make for some interesting verse :)

Mary said...

Now THAT was a tricky form. Smiles. I won't be making visits until late afternoon today, but will 'get around.'

Fireblossom said...

Nope Difficult.

I'm kidding!

Kerry O'Connor said...

@Peggy, the masculine an feminine rhymes are explained if you follow the links at the end of the layout - line 1 and line 2.

@FB... Thanks for visiting the format challenge.. now back to doing your own thing!

Fireblossom said...

Not at all, Kerry. I did the form.

Kerry O'Connor said...

WOW!!
And I've just had the chance to change something about it.. In the middle of the night, I realized I had missed a rhyme in line 2, got up to fox it and blogger was down. I see Aprille picked it up!

You'll all just have to have a second go at it... Just kidding!

Kerry O'Connor said...

*fix* those foxes get into everything.

Fireblossom said...

wily foxes!

Kerry O'Connor said...

Little bloggers!

hedgewitch said...

I see Fireblossom's name in the form challenge *faints*

With some trepidation, (and an hour and a half of double-checking,) I am up, but this one was a hair-puller, even before reading whatever Shay has done. Off to see what everyone has done.

Emma Major said...

I tried to get the stanza to work but couldn't, however while trying I created a poem of thanks which is really more of a prayer. Thanks for inspiring it
Emma at llm calling

Hannah said...

Well, my gut sinks in disappointment of my lack of brain-power tonight for this form challenge...I know if I don't offer something now though my whole week will get away from me and I'll have missed it altogether. All thatI have is a haiku for you, Toads. :)

Susie Clevenger said...

I gave it a shot Kerry. My head is so blocked when it comes to rhyme. Sigh, I so admire those who can do it.

kkkkaty said...

My attempt at the form was a challenge for sure...was going to post it to dverse.com also but time ran out ;0

manicddaily said...

As noted on Monday OLN - couldn't resist! Crazy form. k.

Mary Mansfield said...

I ended up going the free verse route with this one but will keep working on the form...just hope I have some hair left at the end of the process!