Saturday, January 19, 2013

Sunday Mini-Challenge: Chained Rhyme, Part One

Chained, by smoorenburg ,flick'r Creative Commons License

Greetings and salutations, fellow toads, toadettes and toadlings, and all who follow the goings on at the pond. This is hedgewitch here. Since I abstained from our annual collaborative poetry endeavor, I felt the least I could do was to make a post or two of some kind to contribute to the fun; Kerry graciously suggested that I might want to try my hand at a form prompt for the Sunday Mini-Challenge. 

As those who follow this Sunday feature know, Kerry's are some large poetic form shoes to fill. (I mean that in the best possible way, Kerry, definitely not Crocs or anything!) While I love the stuff--the more complex and tortuous the better--I knew I would never be able to be as lucid as Kerry always is in laying out complicated form structures. So I immediately started looking for a compromise. I believe I've found one which I will present in two posts, of which this is the first. 

Chained, or linked rhyme is the play-pretty we're going to explore, and it has several definitions and many permutations. The concept of chaining a rhyme, or a chain rhyme scheme is very basic in poetry, and is used in many traditional poetic forms, such as the terza rima, and the Rubaiyat, and that type is defined by wikipedia simply as "the linking together of stanzas by carrying a rhyme over from one stanza to the next." We'll be dealing with that in the next chain rhyme prompt. For now let's explore the simpler and to me, more unusual type, also known as 'interlocking rhyme.'

In his classic Book of Forms, Lewis Turco defines it thus: 

"Linked rhyme (or chained rhyme) chimes the last syllable or syllables of a line with the first syllable or syllables of the next line…"

Here's an excerpt from an example Turco gives of a medieval Irish poem, The Charm of Eire, which shows how it goes:

" Charmed be this, the land of Eire
Fair isle of the fruitful sea
Trees be laden on the green hill
Filled with fruit be the rainy wood;
Moody with rain be the cascade
Made of falls be the lake of tarns…"

[above quoted material appears in The Book of Forms, by Lewis Turco, © 2000 by University Press of New England]

See?  Very simple and open-ended. No counting, no real stipulated meter (though this example has a definite four-beat cadence) and very easy to adapt to a more 'free verse' flow. Really, besides that linking rhyme of last word to first of next, the structure and direction of the form is loose and completely open-ended. 

Here are two short examples I scratched up that show two different styles (of many) that the form can take. 

First, merely rhyming the last syllable of one line to the first syllable of the next:

Love in a teapot
Hot and sweet
Beaten to gold light
Night poured away
Daylong through your fingers.



Then, you could also shake it up by working with end and/or internal, even indirect rhyme:

Open your eyes of umber
slumbering in my yesterday's head
Ready as always to go; stay instead
till after the threaded thunder.



(For a longer example, see the poem I've linked for this prompt.)

So the challenge, Toads, should you choose to accept it, is to write a poem using interlocking rhyme, where the last syllable or syllables on one line rhyme with the first syllable or syllables of the next. It can be short or long, formal or informal, on any topic and in any arrangement you fancy. As in the Irish verse above, and my examples, it can be one syllable only that rhymes(cascade/made), or it can be any form of the rhyming element (hills/filled, umber/slumbering) rather than an exact duplication. I hope you'll play around with various ways of using the repetition, get crazy and have some fun with it. Rules are made to be broken, or at least bent in a good cause, I always say.

Finally, I hope no one will find this form too tangled up, but rather as challenging and enjoyable as I did.  For those who like a visual starting point, I've included a few of my amateur photos. Please feel free to use them, with attribution.

If the form just doesn't appeal to you, you can write at will to any of these pics, or to the theme of the one below, 'Tangle.'  Remember to provide a link to the Garden with your post.


The Sunday Challenge is posted on Saturday at noon CST to allow extra time for the creative process, so please link something new not an unrelated or previously written piece.  This is in the spirit of our Real Toads project to create opportunities for poets to be newly inspired.  Management reserves the right to remove unrelated links but invites you to share a poem of your choice on Open Link Monday.


Manicddaily said...

A very inspiring post - Joy (just as Kerry's are.) You guys really are so wonderful at coming up with these different forms - it is terrific. (This is why I was first - checking to see what Kerry might have in store.)

I've never consciously heard of chain rhyme. It is really lovely in your hands, and Turco's both. (It has a very Irish feel in his.) And both of your examples from your own work are just lovely - beautiful short poems; in some ways like the day and night/golden and silver apples of a similar theme.

Anyway, I look forward to trying something along these lines. I've got a strong sense that mine will not be so lyrical==(ha!) Thanks again. k.

Marian said...

yay! okay!
good for today!

hedgewitch said...

@Karin: the Turco example actually is from a medieval Irish poem, which is why it may feel Irish. ;_) Thanks for the kind words and look forward to seeing what you come up with.

@marian--you're a natural! and first!

Thanks to Kerry for letting me come and play, and will be back after chores to see what everyone does with this. Please remember to have fun. ;_)

Kerry O'Connor said...

I can't tell you how excited I get at seeing a wonderfully challenging form (and one I have never tried before) demonstrated so effortlessly. I feel the compulsion to roll up my sleeves and get stuck in!
Thank you for this, Joy, and for sharing your beautiful photos with us.

Maude Lynn said...

I love chain rhyme! Gorgeous pictures, Hedge!

Kay L. Davies said...

Oh, I think I'm gonna have fun with this one, Hedge. A lovely rhyme form! Thanks!

hedgewitch said...

Thanks everyone--hope you do have fun. Just in case you read mine and think you have to rhyme the end words also, you certainly don't, but you can if you'd like. The only rule is that the last syllable(s) of one line have to rhyme with first syllable(s) of the next.

Gail said...

Tangled is my web of life
Like a vine chokes a tree
Free to choose my path
Death calls to me.

Did I do it correctly? I sadly have no style but simply just write.

Thanks for the fun.

Grace said...

Thanks for the challenge and picture Joy ~ Will post mine up tomorrow ~

Happy weekend ~

LLM Calling said...

I love to be challenged and this isn't something I've tried before so thanks, makes for a fun Saturday evening

Ella said...

Thank you Joy! I'm off to untangle my thoughts, ;D

hedgewitch said...

@Gail: Yes, certainly. You used indirect rhyme (life/like, and path/death) but that was within the guidelines I suggested.You even picked up the optional free verse subject.

Looking forward to seeing what everyone else comes up with.

Fireblossom said...

Beautifully presented, Joy, and I look forward to trying to tackle this.

Marian said...

wayyyyy more difficult than i imagined! whoosh, thank you, Joy! xo

Hannah said...

Sweet!! Thank you, Hedge! I love this form and your pictures are wonderful. A very inspiring challenge! :)'s to all in the garden!

Maude Lynn said...

I'm with Marian; this was much more difficult than I thought it would be.

Unknown said...

One of my favorite challenges ever, Joy! Thank you. And your piece is just enough complicated to make me slow down and ponder, yet not the least bit cumbersome.

GoddessChhavi said...

First time posting on withrealtoads and voila! This was so much fun!! :D

hedgewitch said...

Thanks to everyone who participated. I can honestly say there wasn't a single poem I didn't find interesting, or a single person who wasn't creative with the form or optional free verse topic. I especially enjoyed the way every single take was different in sound, feel and approach. Thanks again for playing my silly game. ;_)

Susan said...

Late again! I'm the white rabbit in more ways than one. This was so much harder than I expected! I sat with my poem for hours, scapping ideas and starting over until Rapunzel tapped me on the shoulder and said "You are talking about my situation." Hmm. Thank you, Amy, for this challenge.

Other Mary said...

I would have been here on time, but I was late! This form is cool, but proved to be very challenging for me. The form really took over in steering the direction of the poem. It's really a good challenge!

hedgewitch said...

@Susan, better late than never, and I appreciate that these take a bit of work. BTW, who is Amy? This is not the first time you've called me by her name, so just wondered. ;_) I'm very glad if you enjoyed the challenge.

@Other Mary--That's the best excuse I ever heard for being late--the truth. ;_) I think this is a great form for doing what you say--changing the thrust of a poem, and in it's way, much more so than many more complicated ones. Glad you enjoyed.

Once again thanks to all of you--I hope you take the time to go check out each others' work, because as I said above, every poem was a little different take, and many were truly exceptional.I will be back in a month to torture you with a more complex example of chaining. Bwahhahahaha..

Mary said...

Well, better late than never. I enjoyed the form, Joy. Now I am going to enjoy reading some other poems.

Anonymous said...

super ce cliché avec ces fruits et théière

Kathy Reed said...

I didn't think time would permit but am up to the challenge least I can use the trying the different forms and seeing familiar faces ;)

vivinfrance said...

Too late for the linky, I'll put it in Open Link Monday!

Anonymous said...

Same as Viv; too, late for Linky-Winky but here's mine if anyone is gagging for something to read.