from BARDO

The stars are in our belly; the Milky Way our umbilicus.

Is it a consolation that the stuff of which we’re made

is star-stuff too?

– That wherever you go you can never fully disappear –

dispersal only: carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen.

Tree, rain, coal, glow-worm, horse, gnat, rock.

Roselle Angwin

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

(poem) walker between the worlds

For a variation, and because I'm too tired tonight to be original from scratch, I've been through my poetry files to see what I can find you. And here's a little triolet of mine in the style of the British shamanic tradition – really just because the form's a neat container. If you don't know it and would like to give it a go, there are some notes below it.

Walker Between The Worlds

I am the god who fills the head with fire.
My blood is ancient as the blood of stone.
I walk the cusp where darkness turns to light.
I am the god who fills the head with fire.
My tongue’s the language given by the nine.
I speak the wildest waters, the song of bone.
I am the god. Who fills the head with fire?
My blood is ancient; is the blood of stone.

Roselle Angwin

Triolet: AbaAabAB

13th century French form that emphasises rhyme and repetition. 8 lines with only two rhyme schemes, notated as A and B: AbaAabAB. Where the letters are capitalised, this is a repetition of the entire line. Where they’re lower case, you are repeating the end-rhyme but using a different line.

To be effective, the refrain needs to sound natural rather than contrived, of course. This means that you need to choose a strong line for the refrain (rather as you do in a villanelle), which is repeated in its entirety three times. You also need to find a way to slightly alter it, primarily by altering the punctuation, in its final repeat in the penultimate line.

In mine, I’ve also altered the last line, which is also repeated in its entirety.

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