© Ellen Wilson
A while ago, several of us tried the Sevenling form of poetry, but it has never been offered as a challenge on Real Toads. The Sevenling is a poem in seven lines, invented about a decade ago by Roddy Lumsden, who accredits this poem by Anna Akhmatova as his inspiration:
He loved three things alone:
White peacocks, evensong,
Old maps of America.
He hated children crying,
And raspberry jam with his tea,
And womanish hysteria.
… And he married me.
The American Poetry Journal features the following article written by Lumsden, with a few "rules" of the form and examples of the end product. I have extracted the basics for the purposes of our challenge today.
© Margaret Bednar
- This form is all about content, rather than syllable count and rhyme scheme, and the rule of three is strongly applied.
- The first three lines contain three connecting or contrasting statements, list of items, names or abstract elements.
- These can be contained anywhere within the stanza structure.
- This approach is then repeated in the second stanza as either a continuation of the previous idea, or to introduce new elements into the poem.
- The final line should create impact through juxtaposition, punch-line, or plot summary techniques.
- The layout is two stanzas of three lines each and a final stanza of one line.
- The tone should be somewhat mysterious, giving the sense that only part of the story is being told.
- There is conformity in the way a Sevenling is titled: Sevenling (First few words of line 1)
Lumsden is quoted (on APJ) as saying: "the rules are to be freely adapted to suit the poet - it's not a strict form."
|© Mama Zen|
I wrote a Sevenling in response to one of our previous Sunday Photo Challenges, which may be read HERE, and you are welcome to use any of the photos featured here today as inspiration for your Sevenling. Alternatively, you may use one of the images as inspiration for a free verse poem. Please remember to give credit to the Real Toad members who have kindly shared their work with us.
The Sunday Challenge is posted on Saturday at 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.