So, your challenge for the week is to write a poem in the form of ottava rima. Leave me a note about your work and I'll post the results here later this week.
Sailing to Byzantium
by William Butler Yeats
That is no country for old men. The young
In one another's arms, birds in the trees
- Those dying generations - at their song,
The salmon-falls, the mackerel-crowded seas,
Fish, flesh, or fowl, commend all summer long
Whatever is begotten, born, and dies.
Caught in that sensual music all neglect
Monuments of unageing intellect.
An aged man is but a paltry thing,
A tattered coat upon a stick, unless
Soul clap its hands and sing, and louder sing
For every tatter in its mortal dress,
Nor is there singing school but studying
Monuments of its own magnificence;
And therefore I have sailed the seas and come
To the holy city of Byzantium.
Monday, May 31, 2010
Monday Poetry Stretch - Ottava Rima
I keep going back to form when I need some structure for my writing. It actually helps me when I have constraints to work within. Ottava rima is an Italian form that consists of a stanza of eight lines with the rhyme scheme abababcc. In English, the lines are usually written in iambic pentameter. Ottava rima is generally associated with epic poems (like Don Juan), but can be used for shorter poems.
An example of ottava rima can be found in the poem Sailing to Byzantium. Here are the first two stanzas of the poem.