Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Thursday Poetry Forms (Poetry for Dummies) Week 1

First of all, welcome to The Gooseberry Garden!

I am CC Champagne of A Glass of Bubbly and it is my great, but humble, pleasure to present the very first post in the Garden where 'Poets share and get inspired'. I hope you will all join in to make this a place to spend many sun-filled afternoons, magic sunsets, gorgeous sunrises and mysterious moon-lit nights of poetic beauty! My thanks, as I am sure those of so many others, go out to Jingle for arranging this meeting-place for us.

When asked to host these Thursday Poetry Forms I felt myself shrink in size from my usual magnum bottle to a paltry single drop of bubbly. I am not at all the right person to speak of poetic forms and freely admit that I cannot compose a haiku to save my life! Having previously read some of the form posts on Jingle Poetry I have been amazed by everyone's intimate knowledge in counting syllables, using stanzas and sounding very adept in the intellectual culture lingo that is the basis of poetry forms. I cannot promise you any of that.

However, I do love playing with words and thought that I cannot be the only one who would like to learn about these things? Nor can I be the only one who shrinks at the mere words 'poetry forms'! There are also many, many great poets out there who, I am sure, won't mind pitching in to help 'dummies' like myself get things right when and if needed... This is why I have added (Poetry for Dummies) to the title of these posts, and I hope you are as excited as I am (I really do hope!).

Before we can start talking about various poetry forms I was curious to get a definition on what a poetry form really is. A quick visit to my dear friend wikipedia revealed the following:

Poetic form refers to various sets of "rules" followed by poems of certain types. The rules may describe such aspects as the rhythm or meter of the poem, its rhyme scheme, or its use of alliteration.
We are talking about how to organize the words we put down on paper (or screen as the case may be)! It is about the structure to all the beautiful, creative things we have to say, giving us forms to fit (or not) our words into. This was an eye-opener! Rather than looking at various poetic forms as restricting or, honestly scary, we can use them as tools and make them work for us! Many of us may have been using rather intricate poetry forms without even being aware!
So, without more ado (and I promise my next Poetry for Dummies post will be less verbose), let me introduce you to Gooseberry Garden's very first poetic form, the Anacreontic Verse:

Named after the Greek poet Anacreon, an anacreontic verse is, simply put, a poem dealing with love and wine, based on a seven syllable line.

Now, why would we need to know about this, you may ask? Who has ever heard of an anacreontic verse?

What if I was to tell you that in the 18th Century there was a very popular Gentlemen's Club in London, UK, called the Anacreontic Society, dedicated to wit, harmony and the God of Wine, and that their official song, The Anacreontic Song (for an excerpt see below) went on to become probably the best known piece of music in the USA ever?

The Anacreontic Song, composed by John Stafford Smith was later used to set music to a poem written by Francis Scott Key, 'Defense of Fort McHenry', a combination that has become known as 'The Star Spangled Banner' and was adopted as the national anthem of the United States of America in 1931.

Be glad you do not get to hear me sing this for you:

The Anacreontic Song (excerpt only stanza 6)

Ye Sons of ANACREON, then, join Hand in Hand;

Preserve Unanimity, Friendship, and Love!
'Tis your's to support what's so happily plann'd;
You've the Sanction of Gods, and the FIAT of JOVE.
While thus we agree
Our Toast let it be.
May our Club flourish happy, united and free!
And long may the Sons of ANACREON intwine
The Myrtle of VENUS with BACCHUS'S Vine

So, are you ready to try your hand at an anacreontic verse now?

Have a lovely week and see you, hopefully, again next Thursday! *cheers*


Jingle Poetry At Olive Garden said...

beautiful job!


Anonymous said...

Thank you! *smile*

Anonymous said...

No Rally? Sad... but thanks for the info, of course.

Unknown said...

celebrating a year, poets rally week 50 is August 24, 2011,

thanks for the inquiry.

Unknown said...

lovely beginning, keep it up.

kaykuala said...

Help! Trying to locate Mr Linky to make a link. Someone please tell me!

Anonymous said...

no, too many words. and I don't know what FIAT of JOVE means. I'll need a dictionary

Anonymous said...

Thank you CC that was full of interesting and useful information. Great hosting!

Jingle Poetry At Olive Garden said...

no prompt for poetry form here.


Anonymous said...

Very interesting article, and a "new-to-me" form. Thank you!

Eclipse said...

Lovely interesting (and never-heared form :))
but let's try...

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the comments. This is all new to me, and I'll do my best to take your input on board in upcoming weeks.

@anachorage: The language is archaic, absolutely and I could have provided more examples. Criticism duly noted! Thank you! *smile*

Anonymous said...

i like to be frank- u did a great job and u deserve an applause for your effort. i am a novice who would surely run away if i am asked to chip in haha! but i know throughout that there are a few who truly know their stuffs like lukeprater for instance and uma.. both very excellent poets..
keep it up and let the sun shine in for you! glad to be of acquaintance..

Anonymous said...

@fiveloaf: I know very well that I have no mastery in this. I'm reading beautiful, structured poems all the time and lukeprater is one of the ones I admire. However, I am a dummy when it comes to poetry forms and I make no secret of that! *smile* The point is to try to learn... And to not be intimidated by the ones who throw out things like 'iambic pentameter' and 'haiku' as if it was something everyone should know... I'm taking it slowly (or trying to) and I welcome input in any form.

Thank you for reading and commenting!