Friday, May 23, 2008

Poetry Friday - Ottava Rima

This week's poetry stretch was to write an ottava rima. This is an Italian form that consists of eight line stanzas with the rhyme scheme abababcc. When written in English the lines are usually in iambic pentameter. Since no one took me up on the challenge this week, I'm debuting my (very rough draft) poem here.
Giza's Beast
Twice buried, twice unearthed from shifting sand,
four thousand years or more it's held this ground.
Colossus carved in limestone ever grand,
recumbent lion with a body crowned
by battered visage that surveys the land.
A monolith that guards the tombs renowned,
three pyramids from massive blocks of stone,
he keeps his secrets silent and alone.
The round up this week is being hosted by Becky over at Becky's Book Reviews. Be sure to stop by and take in all the great poetry being shared. Happy poetry Friday, all!

**Updated - If you're interested in my thoughts about the writing process and where I'm going with this, I have shared them.


  1. Anne-with-an-e and I give it a thumbs up!

  2. Thanks, Karen! It's great to get feedback from a member of the intended audience! I'm glad she was able to figure out it was the Sphinx. I did want the poem to be a bit of riddle.

  3. Great poem. Words like "colossus," "grand," and "massive," really do paint a magnificent picture. Love "recumbent" best of all, and the last line. What a fabulous project!

  4. You did a really great jog with this! As soon as I saw the title on the round up I guessed what the subject was.

    I have tried the poetry stretch every week for the past month but haven't come up with anything worth sharing. It's partly the end of the year stress that is taking me away from writing time. Maybe I over did it during April poetry month or something...

    For the record I am saving these challenges to work on this summer. Maybe I'll be able to post something when we least expect it!

  5. Tricia, this is wonderful!

    And I did try this form...and completely failed. I think I chose the wrong topic (family incident) and was trying to get tiny details, but couldn't do that within the rhyme scheme and form. I actually tried (briefly) two days in a row and just failed miserably. I'm so glad you shared yours!

  6. Thanks, All!

    Andi - I was reluctant to title this one. I wanted the poem to be a riddle of sorts, but when you put Giza in there, followed by beast, anyone with a bit of background knowledge will figure it out. I need to rethink this. Perhaps I can come up with something more clever.

    Laura - I desperately wanted to write a math poem, and that's what I worked on for days, but it just wasn't working. Since my head has been so full of Egypt poems, I decided to try it instead. It took a while, but finally worked. I now have a lot of leftover lines of iambic pentameter about the Sphinx. Who knows, maybe there's a sonnet in there!

  7. OOH! I just had a title thought. What about Giza's Guardian?