Friday, 28 April 2017

poetry 2017 / 086

Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem using Skeltonic verse. Don’t worry, there are no skeletons involved. Rather, Skeltonic verse gets its name from John Skelton, a fifteenth-century English poet who pioneered the use of short stanzas with irregular meter, but two strong stresses per line (otherwise know as “dipodic” or “two-footed” verse). The lines rhyme, but there’s not a rhyme scheme per se. The poet simply rhymes against one word until he or she gets bored and moves on to another. Here is a good explainer of the form, from which I have borrowed this excellent example:

Existential Guinea-pig

Existential Guinea-pig
in a cage, not too big
waiting for a music gig
that never comes. Fig.
Not that he can play a note
but what he wrote
would float your boat
arranged for quote
string and voice unquote
contents devote,
beloved sounds
in squeaks and bounds.
Beloved clowns
in rainbow gowns
surround the towns
and charge a measly forty pounds
to watch them jig
to Existential Guinea Pig.

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