Ottava rima…


Poem number eight for this the eighth day of NaPoWriMo and I conclude that yes, these prompts are getting harder! There I foolishly thought they would just say, write about ‘this’ one day and ‘that’ the next… I really didn’t predict the exercises in form and theory! But it’s all good practice, although I hope I’m not putting people off with this poetic deluge – it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. But, in the words of a certain sitcom actress…’bear with’ – there’s only, er, 22 days to go!

Anyway, I have some exciting events looming, which I intend to report back on (besides the poetry), including a trip to the BBC Blackstaff Studios on Wednesday and a possible return visit to the Verbal Arts Centre to hear from a poet/playwright. All will be revealed…

So, to today’s poem: written in the ottava rima style, helpfully explained by my NaPoWriMo prompters as being ‘an Italian form that, in English, usually takes the form of an eight-line stanza of iambic pentameter, with a rhyme scheme of a-b-a-b-a-b-c-c-.’ Ok then!



Now, as the moonlight flickered onto brick and pane of glass

empty headless shadows swirled and whirled and twirled so fast,

As wounded weeping clouds so deftly, quickly, moved their mass

and dewy milk of tears brought down sweet sustenance at last,

To parched and darkened dust and bones and skin as thin as grass

the scatterings of the present and the persistence of the past

Locked solidly in jigsaw shapes, their muscles intertwined,

Elementals and credentials upon which that pale moon dined.


[pic by Etan J Tal]


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