POETRY. IN THE NEXT WEEKS WE SHALL LEARN VARIOUS STYLES AND FORMS OF POETRY. WE WILL ALSO DISCUSS RHYTHM, RHYME, AND METER. THE COUPLET. THERE WAS A LITTLE BOY A HE HAD HIS FAVORITE TOY A. I WISH I COULD PLAY B BUT HE DIED TODAY B .
IN THE NEXT WEEKS WE SHALL LEARN VARIOUS
STYLES AND FORMS OF POETRY.
WE WILL ALSO DISCUSS RHYTHM, RHYME, AND METER.
THERE WAS A LITTLE BOY A
HE HAD HIS FAVORITE TOY A
I WISH I COULD PLAY B
BUT HE DIED TODAY B
A STANZA OR POEM CONSISTING OF 2 RHYMING
Naked I came, naked I leave the scene,
And naked was my pastime in between.
AND LO I SAW THERE A
THAT MAN UPON THE HILL B
SPEAK TO ME THAT I C
MIGHT FALL BACK D
UNRHYMED LINES OF ANY METER
Night sweat: my temperature spikes to 102
At 5 A.M.--a classic symptom--and,
Awake and shaken by an ague, I
Peep out a western window at the worn
Half-dollar of the moon, couched in the rose
And purple medium of air above
The little, distant mountains, a black line
Of gentle ox humps, flanked by greeny lights
Where a still empty highway goes. In Christmas week,
The stars flash ornamentally with the
Pure come-on of a possibility
Of peace beyond all reason, of the spheres
Engaged in an adagio saraband
Of perfect mathematic to set an
Example for the earthly, who abide
In vales of breakdown out of warranty,
The unrepairable complaint that rattles us
To death. Tonight, though, it is almost worth the price--
High stakes, and the veiled dealer vends bad cards--
To see the moon so silver going west,
So ladily serene because so dead,
So closely tailed by her consort of stars,
So far above the feverish, shivering
Nightwatchman pressed against the falling glass
I WALK TO YOU NOW (5)
AS VULNERABLE AS EVER (7)
DADDY I’M SORRY (5)
A JAPANESE FORM CONSISTING OF UNRHYMED LINES OF 5,7, AND 5 SYLLABLES.
Easter guard tower
Glints in sunset; convicts rest
Like lizards on rocks.
The piano man
Is stingy at 3 am
His songs drop like plum.
Morning sun slants cell.
Drunks stagger like cripple flies
On Jailhouse floor.
To write a clues song
is to regiment riots
and pluck gems from graves.
A bare pecan tree
Slips a pencil shadow down
A moonlit snow slope.
The falling snow flakes
Can not blunt the hard aches nor
Match the steel stillness.
Under moon shadows
A tall boy flashes knife and
Slices star bright ice.
In the August grass
Struck by the last rays of sun
The cracked teacup screams.
Making jazz swing in
Seventeen syllables AIN’T
No square poet’s job.
YOUR SUCH A LITTLE TOAD (A)
LITTLE BROTHER OF MINE (B)
I’LL SEE YOU IN HEAVEN SOMEDAY (C)
WHERE WE BOTH SHALL DINE (B)
A QUATRAIN STANZA RHYMING ABCB
She lies by the man her husband
in the high white bed,
their breathing through the dry dark farm,
his head near her head.
But far from the farm in the hills,
under the moon’s strange stare,
the wolves in hardest December
cry out through the frozen air.
The farm sleeps dark on its slope,
the woman lies by the man,
buy she is not with him there,
not under his breath or his hand
but out in the far clear cold
hills where he may not go,
where she and her glistening lover race
over a murderous snow.
GENERALLY A 14 LINE POEM OF VARIOUS RHYMING
I DON’T LIKE YOU A
SO I REFUSE TO PLAY B
I’LL GO HOME AND LOCK MYSELF AWAY B
I DON’T LIKE YOU A
YOU DON’T LOOK LIKE I DO A
FROM ME AND MINE I WON’T STRAY B
WON’T CHANGE WHAT I DO DAY-TO-DAY B
BUT YOU- I DON’T LIKE YOU A
YOUR NOT LIKE ME C
SO I WON’T BE YOUR FRIEND D
I REFUSE TO GO ALONG E
WHAT’S GOOD ABOUT YOU I CAN’T SEE C
IT WILL BE THIS WAY UNTIL THE END D
SAME TUNE, SAME RHYTHM, SAME SONG E
A 14 LINE POEM WITH THE RHYME PATTERN:
There are, perhaps, who passion gives a grace,
Who fuse and part as dancers on the stage,
But that is not for me, not at my age,
Not with my bony shoulders and fat face.
Yet in my clumsiness I found a place
And use for passion: With it I ignore
My gaucheries and yours, and feel no more
The awkwardness of the absurd embrace.
It is a pact men make, and seal in flesh,
To be so busy with their own desires
Their loves may be as busy with their own,
And not in union. Though the two enmesh
Like gears in motion, each with each conspires
To be at once together and alone.
Greasy. Oily. Brownish, yellow skin A
Two days old on a picnic table B
Do I dare? Is it a sin? A
I wouldn’t even think of it if I were able B
To find my own food. I can’t though. C
The flies will leave; if I rush in D
Don’t look at me. Don’t judge me so. C
It’s a rat race, a mouse can’t win. D
I’ll take it away, into the trees E
My first meal in over three days F
I hide my hunger where no one sees E
I’ll be where your conscience won’t pay F
I’ll eat your fried chicken-what you won’t G
Do you ever think about me-I’ll bet you don’tG
A 14 LINE POEM WITH THE RHYME SCHEME:
ABAB CDCD EFEF GG
We saw anchored worlds in a shallow stream.
The current tugged at clouds, the sun, our face.
And while we stared, as though into a dream,
The stream moved on; the anchors kept their place.
Even the white rose thorned into your hair
Stayed there, though its refracted, scattered aura
Circled your abstract face, like snow in air;
Then the rose fell onto that gentle water,
Shattering our faces with their mirror. But sun
And clouds, and all their height and depth of light,
Could not feel so involved, nor watch when one
Bloom touched that current and waltzed it out of sight.
Though rising, we saw how all things float in space:
The stars and clouds, ourselves, each other’s face.
LOOK AT ME--LOOK, LOOK, LOOK- A
AREN’T I PRETTY? AREN’T I CUTE? B
DON’T I MAKE YOU WANT TO PUKE? B
PRETTY AS A PICTURE, SMART AS A BOOK A
EVERY BOY DREAMS OF ME AT NIGHT C
EVERY GIRL WANTS MY HAIR D
I’M PERFECT, WITHOUT A CARE D
TO NOT BE ME--WHAT A TERRIBLE PLIGHT! C
LOOK AT ME. LOOK-LOOK--PLEASE E
I’LL DO ANYTHING SO YOU WILL F
EVERYTHING I HAVE-YOU’VE SEEN IT G
TELL ME I’M PRETTY--PUT ME AT EASE E
I SWEAR IF YOU DON’T I’LL KILL F
MYSELF--I MEAN IT. G
A 14 LINE POEM WITH THE RHYME SCHEME:
Lord God, I saw the son-of-a-bitch uncoil
In the road ahead of me, uncoil and squirm
For the ditch, squirm a hell of a long time.
Missed him with the car. When I got back to him, he was All
But gone, nothing left on the road but the tip-end
Of his tail, and that disappearing into Johnson grass.
I leaned over the ditch and saw him, balled up now, hiss.
I aimed for the mouth and shot him. And shot him again.
The I got a good strong stick and dragged him out.
He was long and evil, thick as the top of my arm.
There are things in this world a man can’t look at without
Wanting to kill. Don’t ask me why. I was clam
Enough, I thought. But I felt my spine
Squirm suddenly. I admit it. It was mine.
I ADORE YOUR DARK, SMOOTH SKIN (A)
YOU ARE THE BEST LOVER BY FAR (B)
THEY NEED NOT POINT OUT MY SIN (A)
I CAN BARELY FIT IN MY OWN CAR (B)
BUT YOU ARE MY JULIET, MY HERSHEY BAR (B)
A FIVE LINE STANZA OR POEM RHYMING
If, in an odd angle of the hutment,
A puppy laps the water from a can
Of flowers, and the drunk sergeant shaving
Whistles O Paradiso!--Shall I say that man
Is not as men have said: a wolf to man?
The other murderers troop in yawning;
Three of them play Pitch, one sleeps, and one
Lies counting missions, lies there sweating
Till even his heart beats: One; One; One.
O murderers! …Still, this is how it’s done:
This is a war….But since these play, before they die,
Like puppies with their puppy; since, a man,
I did as these have done, but did not die--
I will content the people as I can
And give up these to them: Behold the man!
I have suffered, in a dream, because of him,
Many things; for this last saviour, man,
I have lied as I lie now. But what is lying?
Men wash their hands, in blood as best they can:
I find no fault in his just man.
LITTLE BOYS ON THE PLAYGROUND
PUSHING EACH OTHER
SPITTING AT THE GIRLS
THEY’D SPIT BACK
FIVE LINE STANZAS OF VARIABLE RHYME SCHEMES
Lie back, daughter, let your head
Be tipped back in the cup of my hand.
Gently, and I will hold you. Spread
Your arms wide, lie out on the stream
And look high at the gulls. A dead-
Man’s float is face down. You will dive
and swim soon enough where this tidewater
ebbs to the sea. Daughter, believe
me, when you tire on the long thrash
to your island, lie up, and survive.
As you float now, where I held you
And let go, remember when fear
cramps your hear heart what I told you:
lie gently and wide to the light-year
stars, lie back, and the sea will hold you.
EVERY DAY I DRINK (A)
WATER TO QUENCH MY THIRST (B)
REALLY I THINK (A)
I SHOULD START WITH BLOOD FIRST (B)
THEN I COULD FEEL (C)
SOMEONE ELSE FLOWING THROUGH ME (D)
THEN WOULD I TRULY BE (D)
A POEM OF 2 RHYMING QUATRAINS RHYMING:
If you wander far enough
you will come to it
and when you get there
they will give you a place to sit
for yourself only, in a nice chair,
and all your friends will be there
with miles on their faces
and they will likewise all have places.
We started planting the wheat A
Today. It’s early in the season, B
But the plow easily slits the ground. C
Dad watches with pride D
As I drive for the first time, E
Following in his footsteps. F
Dew gathers on our legs as we step F
Out amongst the sprouting wheat. A
It’ll grow above my knee in time, E
If the conditions are right this season. B
I stand over my work; pride D
Invested in the dark, cold ground. C
Dad says there’s not enough in the ground C
To take the crop to the final step, F
But I have too much pride. D
My grandfather and father planted wheat A
Long before this season, B
Long before my time E
But we all run out of time, E
And today we laid Grandpa in the ground, C
After too short a season. B
With whiskey bottle in hand I step F
Out in my field of wheat, A
Not crying, for foolish pride. D
Dad’s eyes burn with that pride D
When the banker comes. “We need more time. E
We need higher prices for the wheat.” A
He comes to take our sacred ground. C
“I must take the final steps” F
He says “you have one more season.” B
But it didn’t rain this season. B
The sun’s scorched my crop, my pride, D
Burned the imprint of my footsteps F
Forever in time E
in the ground, C
along side my dying wheat. A
The winter season will come, and time will pass. (BE)
I’ll walk with swallowed pride on concrete ground, (DC)
Where once my steps fell among the wheat. (FA)
A FRENCH POEM OF SIX SESTETS AND FINAL THREE LINE ENVOI. THE TERMINAL PATTERN IS:
ABCDEF FAEBDC CFDABE ECBFAD DEACFB BDFECA
ENVOI PATTERN: BE DC FA
September rain falls on the house.
in the failing light, the old grandmother
sits in the kitchen with the child
beside the Little Marvel Stove,
reading the jokes from the almanac,
laughing and talking to hide her tears.
She thinks that her equinoctial tears
and the rain that beats on the roof of the house
were both foretold by the almanac,
but only know to a grandmother.
The iron kettle sings on the stove.
She cuts some bread and says to the child,
It’s time for tea now; but the child
is watching the teakettle’s small hard tears
dance like mad on the hot black stove,
the way the rain must dance on the house.
Tidying up, the old grandmother
hangs up the clever almanac
on its string. Birdlike, the almanac
hovers half open above the child,
hovers above the old grandmother
and her teacup full of dark brown tears.
She shivers and says she thinks the house
Feels chilly, and puts more wood in the stove.
It was to be, says the Marvel Stove.
I know what I know, says the almanac.
With crayons the child draws a rigid house
and a winding pathway. Then the child
puts in a man with buttons like tears
and shows it proudly to the grandmother.
But secretly, while the grandmother
busies herself about the stove,
the little moons fall down like tears
from between the pages of the almanac
into the flower bed the child
has carefully placed in the front of the house.
Time to plant tears, says the almanac.
The grandmother sings to the marvelous stove
and the child draws another inscrutable house.