Need an opinion on the older poetic forms
#1
So, I'm writing this story and posting it to the site, and I realized I made a lazy choice in the latest installment. I think I need to rework something into a poem. The language can be modern not archaic. I need something that was probably used no later than 13th century that has an older feel to it despite content. So, would it be a ballad?

Any ideas as to a good form?

Thanks,

Todd
The secret of poetry is cruelty.--Jon Anderson
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#2
Rhyme royal
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#3
Is that like Casino Royale?
The secret of poetry is cruelty.--Jon Anderson
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#4
i wouldn't bet on it Wink
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#5
(12-03-2013, 10:43 AM)trueenigma Wrote:  Of course Lord Byron wrote his cantos sometime in the 17 or 1800's I think. but it still has an old fashioned kind of feel.
I'll check it out. I'd like a shorter form if possible. I probably wouldn't be lucky enough to get to use a Troilet--probably too modern.
The secret of poetry is cruelty.--Jon Anderson
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#6
his was a little different actually (maybe not rhyme royal), but the old fashioned royal:
a-b-a-b-b-c-c

7 line stanza, repeat as desired.
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#7
(12-03-2013, 10:28 AM)Todd Wrote:  So, I'm writing this story and posting it to the site, and I realized I made a lazy choice in the latest installment. I think I need to rework something into a poem. The language can be modern not archaic. I need something that was probably used no later than 13th century that has an older feel to it despite content. So, would it be a ballad?

Any ideas as to a good form?

Thanks,

Todd

It is tough to know without the content, but the standard habbie is great for that archaic feel, it's easy to write and the length of the total is anything divisible by six.

Brothers Who When the Sirens Roar . . .

Brothers, who when the sirens roar
From office, shop and factory pour
’Neath evening sky;
By cops directed to the fug
Of talkie-houses for a drug,
Or down canals to find a hug
Until you die:

We know, remember, what it is
That keeps you celebrating this
Sad ceremonial;
We know the terrifying brink
From which in dreams you nightly shrink.
‘I shall be sacked without’, you think,
‘A testimonial.’

We cannot put on airs with you
The fears that hurt you hurt us too
Only we say
That like all nightmares these are fake
If you would help us we could make
Our eyes to open, and awake
Shall find night day.

On you our interests are set
Your sorrow we shall not forget
While we consider
Those who in every county town
For centuries have done you brown,
But you shall see them tumble down
Both horse and rider.

O splendid person, you who stand
In spotless flannels or with hand
Expert on trigger;
Whose lovely hair and shapely limb
Year after year are kept in trim
Till buffers envy as you swim
Your Grecian figure:

You are not jealous yet, we know,
But we must warn you, even so
So pray be seated:
It isn’t cricket, but it’s true
The lady who admires us, you
Have thought you’re getting off with too,
For you’re conceited.

Your beauty’s a completed thing.
The future kissed you, called you king,
Did she? Deceiver!
She’s not in love with you at all
No feat of yours can make her fall,
She will not answer to your call
Like your retriever.

Dare-devil mystic who bear the scars
Of many spiritual wars
And smoothly tell
The starving that their one salvation
Is personal regeneration
By fasting, prayer and contemplation;
Is it? Well,

Others have tried it, all delight
Sustained in that ecstatic flight
Could not console
When through exhausting hours they’d flown
From the alone to the Alone,
Nothing remained but the dry-as-bone
Night of the soul.

Coward; for all your goodness game
Your dream of Heaven is the same
As any bounder’s;
You hope to corner as reward
All that the rich can here afford:
Love and music and bed and board
While the world flounders.

And you, the wise man, full of humour
To whom our misery’s a rumour
And slightly funny;
Proud of your nicely balanced view
You say as if it were something new
The fuss we make is mostly due
To lack of money.

Ah, what a little squirt is there
When of your aren’t-I-charming air
You stand denuded.
Behind your subtle sense of humour
You hide the boss’s simple stuma,
Among the foes which we enumer
You are included.

Because you saw but were not indignant
The invasion of the great malignant
Cambridge ulcer
That army intellectual
Of every kind of liberal
Smarmy with friendship but of all
There are none falser.

A host of columbines and pathics
Who show the poor by mathematics
In their defence
That wealth and poverty are merely
Mental pictures, so that clearly
Every tramp’s a landlord really
In mind-events.

Let fever sweat them till they tremble
Cramp rack their limbs till they resemble
Cartoons by Goya:
Their daughters sterile be in rut,
May cancer rot their herring gut,
The circular madness on them shut,
Or paranoia.

Their splendid people, their wiseacres,
Professors, agents, magic-makers,
Their poets and apostles,
Their bankers and their brokers too,
And ironmasters shall turn blue
Shall fade away like morning dew
With club-room fossils.

W. H. Auden
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#8
That might work milo. Thanks for the suggestion.
The secret of poetry is cruelty.--Jon Anderson
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#9
(12-03-2013, 10:56 AM)Todd Wrote:  That might work milo. Thanks for the suggestion.

because of the metric change, it has a kind of archaic feel. It was good to be reminded of that great old Auden poem anyway, but Burns probably used it to better effect - he wrote about 1000 of them.
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#10
Do you think I can get by with only one or two stanzas? Is there a restriction?
The secret of poetry is cruelty.--Jon Anderson
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#11
(12-03-2013, 11:01 AM)Todd Wrote:  Do you think I can get by with only one or two stanzas? Is there a restriction?

there is no restriction at all. i have banged out a stanza or a two stanza version at a clip when the tone seems to suit. I, personally love the feel of them.
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#12
I saw online the rhyme scheme as AAABAB though Auden does it a bit differently. Is there some flexibility there?
The secret of poetry is cruelty.--Jon Anderson
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#13
(12-03-2013, 11:04 AM)Todd Wrote:  I saw online the rhyme scheme as AAABAB though Auden does it a bit differently. Is there some flexibility there?

yah, Auden took some liberties, i should have posted a burnsie, hold on a sec, see if i can find one of my faves quick . . .

Address To A Haggis

Fair fa' your honest, sonsie face,
Great chieftain o' the puddin-race!
Aboon them a' ye tak your place,
Painch, tripe, or thairm:
Weel are ye wordy of a grace
As lang's my arm.

The groaning trencher there ye fill,
Your hurdies like a distant hill,
Your pin wad help to mend a mill
In time o' need,
While thro' your pores the dews distil
Like amber bead.

His knife see rustic Labour dight,
An' cut ye up wi' ready slight,
Trenching your gushing entrails bright
Like onie ditch;
And then, O what a glorious sight,
Warm-reekin, rich!

Then, horn for horn, they strech an' strive:
Deil tak the hindmost! on they drive,
Till a' their weel-swall'd kytes belyve,
Are bent like drums;
Then auld Guidman, maist like to rive,
'Bethankit!' hums.

Is there that owre his French ragout
Or olio that wad staw a sow,
Or fricassee wad mak her spew
Wi' perfect sconner,
Looks down wi' sneering, scornfu' view
On sic a dinner?

Poor devil! see him owre his trash,
As feckless as a wither'd rash,
His spindle shank, a guid whip-lash,
His nieve a nit;
Thro' bluidy flood or field to dash,
O how unfit!

But mark the Rustic, haggis-fed,
The trembling earth resounds his tread.
Clap in his walie nieve a blade,
He'll make it whissle;
An' legs, an' arms, an' heads will sned,
Like taps o' thrissle.

Ye Pow'rs wha mak mankind your care,
And dish them out their bill o 'fare,
Auld Scotland wants nae skinking ware
That jaups in luggies;
But, if ye wish her gratefu' prayer,
Gie her a Haggis!
Robert Burns
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#14
from chaucer's Troilus and Criseyde

Book V

The morwen com, and gostly for to speke,
This Diomede is come un-to Criseyde;
And shortly, lest that ye my tale breke,
So wel he for hym-selven spak and seyde,
That alle hire sikes soore adown he leyde.
And finaly, the sothe for to seyne,
He refte hir of the grete of al hire peyne.

And after this the storie telleth us
That she hym yaf the fair e baye stede,
The which he ones wan of Troilus;
And ek a broche (and that was litel nede)
That Troilus was, she yaf this Diomede.
And ek, the bet from sorwe him to releve,
She made hym were a pencel of hire sleve.

I fynde ek in the stories ell es-where,
Whan thorugh the body hurt was Diomede
Of Troilus, tho wepte she many a teer e,
Whan that she saugh his wyde wowndes blede;
And that she took, to kepen hym, good hede;
And for to hele hym of his sorwes smerte,
Men seyn, I not, that she yaf hym hire herte.

But trew ely, the storie telleth us,
Ther made nevere woman moore wo
Than she, whan that she falsed Troilus.
She seyde, "Allas! for now is clene a-go
My name of trouthe in love, for evere-mo!
For I have falsed oon the gentileste
That ever e was, and oon the worthieste!

"Allas, of me, un-to the world es ende,
Shal neyther been y-writen nor y-songe
No good word, for thise bok es wol me shende.
O, rolled shal I ben on many a tonge!
Thorugh-out the world my belle shal be ronge;
And wommen moost wol haten me of alle.
Allas, that swich a cas me sholde falle!

"Thei wol seyn, in as muche as in me is,
I have hem don dishonour, weylawey!
Al be I nat the firste that dide amys,
What helpeth that to don my blame awey?
But syn I see ther is no bettr e way,
And that to late is now for me to rewe,
To Diomede algate I wol be trewe.

"But, Troilus, syn I no bettr e may,
And syn that thus departen ye and I,
Yet prey I God, so yeve yow right good day,
As for the gentileste, trewely,
That evere I say, to serven feythfully,
And best kan ay his lady honour kepe;"—
And with that word she brast anon to wepe.

"And certes, yow ne haten shal I never e;
And frendes love, that shal ye han of me,
And my good word, al sholde I lyven evere.
And, trewely, I wolde sory be
For to seen yow in adversitee.
And giltelees, I woot wel, I yow leve;
But al shal passe; and thus take I my leve."

There are plenty of old ones that use just one stanza divided into a tercet and two couplets, or a quatrain and a tercet, but i can't seem to find any right now.
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#15
Good things guys, I may try something with quatrains and tercets.

I realize not a critique forum, and I realize I took some liberties for content. Does this possibly work:

The blood upon the ground will speak
of deed and Mark and thus critique
the ember that ignites in pique,
by redcap’s teeth,
by vampire’s thirst, and banshee’s shriek:
a knife unsheathed.
The secret of poetry is cruelty.--Jon Anderson
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#16
Chaucer indulged in a little pre-habbie rhym' doggerel his'elf:

Sir Thopas was a doughty swain,
White was his face as paindemain,
His lippes red as rose.
His rode is like scarlet in grain,
And I you tell in good certain
He had a seemly nose.

His hair, his beard, was like saffroun,
That to his girdle reach'd adown,
His shoes of cordewane:
Of Bruges were his hosen brown;
His robe was of ciclatoun,
That coste many a jane.[2]
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#17
His lippes red as rose. Why did we ever change the spelling? That was much cooler.
The secret of poetry is cruelty.--Jon Anderson
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#18
(12-03-2013, 11:27 AM)Todd Wrote:  Good things guys, I may try something with quatrains and tercets.

I realize not a critique forum, and I realize I took some liberties for content. Does this possibly work:

The blood upon the ground will speak
of deed and Mark and thus critique
the ember that ignites in pique,
by redcap’s teeth,
by vampire’s thirst, and banshee’s shriek:
a knife unsheathed.

critique doesn't work, maybe:

The blood upon the ground, a streak
of deed and Mark the ancient speak
the ember that ignites in pique,
by redcap’s teeth,
by vampire’s thirst, and banshee’s shriek:
a knife unsheathed.
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#19
I like your changes but I need speak in the first line, How about:

The blood upon the ground will speak
of deed and Mark, death of the meek,
the ember that ignites in pique,
by redcap’s teeth,
by vampire’s thirst, and banshee’s shriek:
a knife unsheathed.

(did I screw up line 2?)
The secret of poetry is cruelty.--Jon Anderson
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#20
yeah the habbie is good too, but the rhyme royal always reminds me of Canterbury Tales...
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