Definition

One must make a distinction however: when dragged into prominence by half poets, the result is not poetry, nor till the autocrats among us can be “literalists of the imagination”—above insolence and triviality and can present for inspection, imaginary gardens with real toads in them, shall we have it.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

A Mini-Challenge for Sunday ~ A Monk's Tale

The Huitain form poem, also known as The Monk's Stanza, is the object of our challenge this weekend.

Detail of the monk from Canterbury Tales ~ Geoffrey Chaucer

The Ballade is the dominant Old French form of the 14th and 15th centuries.  It was brought to England by Geoffrey Chaucer, who used it as the basis of his Monk's Tale, consequently the Ballade stanza is also called The Monk's Tale stanza:




Lo ADAM, in the field of Damascene  (a)
With Godde's owen finger wrought was he, (b)
And not begotten of man's sperm unclean; (a)
And welt all Paradise saving one tree: (b)
Had never worldly man so high degree (b)
As Adam, till he for misgovernance (c)
Was driven out of his prosperity (b)
To labour, and to hell, and to mischance. (c)



Our focus, however, is on the Huitain, a poem in 8 lines. It is made up of a single Ballade stanza. The verse form was most popular in the 16th century and was often used for epigrams in the 18th century. One source suggests the Huitain may have begun in Spain with the simple 8 syllable by 8 line frame which is typical of early Spanish verse. Which came first and who influenced whom, no one knows. 


The basic layout is as follows:


Line length: 8 (French) or 10 (English) syllables 
Rhyme scheme: ababbcbc
Number of lines: 8


The complete poem consists of these 8 lines.  Read more about the background and other uses of the Ballade form HERE.




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For those who prefer the free verse option, your topic is: 


The Monk's Tale  





21 comments:

Kerry O'Connor said...

I may come back tomorrow with a Monk's Tale too. If any one else would like to try both, please feel free to do so.

Kerry O'Connor said...

Sorry about the "sperm unclean". Perhaps I should have chosen a different verse..Haha!

Mary said...

I gave it a try! Have a good weekend, everyone.

hedgewitch said...

Looks like fun, Kerry,(despite the sperm.;_))Off to see what my brain can come up with.

Helen said...

My brain came up with a poem about lunch! Go figure, it's lunch time here right now!!!

Fireblossom said...

Omg! Kerry posted p*rn! :-P

Ella said...

I think mine is more time out for a monk, no not that ;D
I think I might give this another try...I would like to try the form, but my brain is fried.

Fireblossom said...

Mine is about an Abbess, instead. Because...

rules.

me.

bad match!

Hannah said...

Thank you, Kerry!! It's always a good challenge when trying something new!! :)'s

Kerry O'Connor said...

I had to tell a monk's tale too!

Margaret said...

... blood, sweat, and tears... TWO form poems in two days! I'm going bald and cross-eyed! I will be back later tonight to read everyones! (I have to go recover now :)

hedgewitch said...

I'm in, but not feeling too great atm, so it may be a bit before I can read and return visits--but I couldn't pass this one up.

Peggy said...

These form prompts are very challenging for me. I may give it a try or perhaps just the monk. I am just returning from our week's camping trip in Big Sur, California. Had not stopped there in many years and it must really be one of the most beautiful places. We camped by a clear rocky river near redwood trees. I will try to link some of my poems as the prompts seem to fit or on open day.

Marian said...

hi, everyone! i managed to write one... and now am scurrying around packing for a 3-day work conference, ack! with apologies, i don't think i'll be able to read everyone else's until i get back. but i will, on a few days' delay. have a good week, friends!

flipside records said...

I just read the entire Monk's Tale. My eyes are burning, and I'm not sure I can write eight words of poetry let alone eight lines. But I get the point. Do not trust anything or anyone, least of all Fortune; at some point, we all shall fall.

Mary Ann Potter said...

I finally got my comment in the right place! Kerry, if it's possible, I need my link under the Friday the 13th challenge removed. Now for this huitain prompt, I really liked it! Nice to be offered the restriction (!!!) of a specified structure.

Mary Mansfield said...

This was a fun form to work with, thankfully my brain tends to work in eight syllables!

Gemma Wiseman said...

Finally managed to create something and complete it! I have had a few goes at this one!

Karishma Shetty said...

Phew!! Ditto @ Gemma! Great probe (yet again).

Sara McNulty said...

My Monk's Tale is up. Can't seem to link.
http://purplepeninportland.wordpress.com/big-brother

Sara McNulty said...

I can't link up to this site, it seems, but I have done A Monk's Tale. http://purplepeninportland.wordpress.com/Big Brother