Poetic Forms Winner: Two Week Special


Hi everyone, if you haven’t discovered our latest two forms of poetry, don’t forget you can read up on them now!

Over the last fortnight, there were two challenges available to attempt and that clearly scared many people away! But not to be perturbed, Niteowl provided us with a wonderful Rubaiyat. One of the things I love about this form is how many ways there are to make it your own, from changing the meter of the poem, to choosing between a stricter or looser rhyme scheme, and Niteowl’s decision to echo Frost’s use of tetrameter really pays off! Let’s take a closer look:

I Could Not Save You


Truly, did you forget my name
when you gulped down that poisoned fame?
You cared not that I love you so
for screaming fans all look the same.

Were we not lovers, you and I
When your first songs made flowers sigh?
You said you’d take us to the top
But only alone can men fly.

These suits, they take you for a fool.
My love, can’t you see how they rule?
They’ll give you all the nicest things
But drown you in your mansion’s pool

I’ll save you before it’s too late
Sneak by the guards at half past eight
But soon I hold your lifeless form,
I could not circumvent your fate.

So now I give this eulogy
As if you never forgot me.
It is not for the star I weep,
but for the boy you used to be.

What’s great about this piece is the strength of the persona and their emotional turmoil over this lost relationship, their bitterness toward the world of fame which took their once lover from them. Niteowl expresses the story well with increasing detail of the lovers’ lives and their tragic separation. There are a few parts of the rhythm which might be tweaked and some of the word choice is a little at ends with the almost archaic use of ‘truly did you’ versus the more modern ‘gulped down’. I’d suggest a fix for those first two lines of:

In truth did you forget my name,

when once you sipped the poisoned fame?

There’s not much polishing needed though and there are some really strong lines, particularly the last which slides in so effortlessly, yet has so much to say. There’s lots to be proud of here – great entry Niteowl!

Now the second challenge I set went unanswered, but I promised you two featured poems and two you shall have! The rondelet can be a difficult form with its tight structure and the need to get everything you can out of just a few words. The hardest part is often choosing that repeated phrase, but I decided to give it a go:

The Rain is Lost


The rain is lost,
the white sands stretch like diamond dust.
The rain is lost,
no more do flowers thrift with frost,
there are no greens, there is not rust
and I have not the lands I must.
The rain is lost.

I’m still uncertain about the choice of ‘thrift’ in the fourth line which has a great sound behind it but doesn’t quite make sense. The wording is also somewhat awkward, especially in line six where the rhyme feels like it’s being knocked into place with a sledgehammer. There’s a nice overall sentiment behind it though and while the rhymes are sometimes clumsy, they do build a solid pace.

Keep working on those poems and expect to hear from me again on Wednesday!

** Image owned by Enokson at Flickr.


Heather, who goes by Rydia on YWS, has long been an aspiring author. In the early days of her life she attached herself to poetry and would curl up on the playground bench to scrawl down lines of forgotten virtue. Or, more likely, little virtue at all. At the very old age of 11, she joined The Young Writers Club and progressed into the realms of roleplay. Here she constructed characters to fight off dragons or rally to their allies' aid with healing spells; a joint love of gaming heavily influenced this fondness of adventure storybooks. A few more years went by before Heather became a serious novelist and she still considers poetry to be her favourite media for getting those thoughts down on paper. Outside of writing her loves include puzzle books, strategy/ fantasy games, movies, swimming, skiing (when she actually has money), crafty things, baking, food in general, fun pranks and anything involving snow.

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