Friday, December 01, 2017

Poetry Sisters Write Lai

Another year of writing poetry with my sisters is coming to a close. The challenge this month was to write poems about hope, light or peace in the form of the Lai.

The Lai is a French syllabic verse form consisting of one or more stanza of nine lines with two rhymes, though the rhyme can vary from stanza to stanza. Here are features of the form.
  • 9 lines.
  • Rhyme scheme is a-a-b-a-a-b-a-a-b.
  • Lines ending with rhyme a are five syllables in length.
  • Lines ending with rhyme b are two syllables in length.
I wrote a few poems about hope and peace and they were all really depressing. I gave up and stopped writing for a while. Last night I brainstormed a bunch of light topics and came up with stars, the Northern lights, fire, and daylight savings time. After this, I wrote several lists of rhyming words and then just tried to make something work. Here's what I came up with.

The Perseids
They wait on midnight
close round the campsite
no sound
the sky in their sight
no bright city light
to drown
the meteors bright
hot streaks glowing white
fall down

Crowning a Fairy
Orange embers glow bright
root fae to the site
Warmed by heat and light
Earth’s cold losing bite
The queen of the night
the flames her birthright
is crowned

Poems ©Tricia Stohr-Hunt, 2017. All rights reserved.

You can read the poems written by my poetry sisters at the links below. 
I do hope you'll take some time to check out all the wonderful poetic things being shared and collected today by Mary Lee at A Year of Reading. Happy poetry Friday friends.


  1. I'm glad you brainstormed about light, Tricia. Both of these are beautiful, but I'm especially fond of "Warmed by heat and light
    Earth’s cold losing bite" which I will recall when winter is gnawing at me! You are light in my life, friend.

  2. Appreciations for this introduction to Lai.

    If I get brave I may work with it after enjoying the weekend's Supermoon.

    More sparks, beams & light to you thru December.

  3. Tricia, your comments made me realize that I should have written about the Northern Lights! Seeing them was one of my favorite things so far in my life, and I can't believe it didn't even occur to me. These are lovely, but I especially love the immediacy and intensity of the fairy one.

  4. These are really beautiful, Tricia. The form looks complicated for a novice poet like me, but I'll have to give it a try!

  5. Tricia -- there is something so wonderful about seeing both of these next to each other -- both ethereal but so different! I especially love the last three lines of the perseid piece....

  6. wrote a few poems about hope and peace and they were all really depressing - I laughed out loud. I know you didn't mean it to be funny, but sometimes when we AIM at these lofty heights, the result is just SO bad! I know mine were!

    I love both of yours, you really make the short syllable pair work - I always feel like mine are very obviously working too hard, but yours feel natural. And something so whimsical as a fairy crowning is lovely!

  7. I love love love this form--it sounds so musically familiar to me that I'm going to look it up, but wouldn't this be the form of the troubadour's "lay" that we read about? As in lullay? Maybe that's obvious to everyone else...

    Both of these are lovely, and your chosen themes work really well with the form. "The Perseids" is just perfection.

  8. Lovely! I like yours, but I think the ones with multiple stanzas are my favorites. I want to try this form!