Thursday, April 12, 2012

Something worth saving (the Octain Refrain)




Before you start to save my soul
from hell, it’s hardly worth it yet.
There so much life I want to get

to, if you’d spare the time. My goal
is this: to take a week to break
the rules. And laugh. I want to roll

back here, sky-high on being whole,
before you start to save my soul.

. . . . .

Sometime last year, I ran into the poetic work of Luke Prater.  He writes a great blog under the title WordSalad.  Well worth your time checking him out.  The Octain Refrain is one of Luke's creations, and I find it a fascinating form within which to write. 

It has eight lines, arranged as two tercets followed by a couplet.  Each line has eight syllables, normally in iambic or trochaic meter (but it's also OK just to count syllables if you prefer).  The last line is a repeat of the first line, as much as possible.

The rhyme scheme is as follows:
A-b-b
a-c/c-a  [note the middle line here has a mid-line rhyme:c-c]
b-A

 or, alternatively

A
b-b-A
c/c-a-b
A

A bit confusing just to read the rubric.  Probably easier to read a couple of examples to see how it works in practice.  The poem I started this post with is an Octain Refrain.  Here's a link to another, by poet Beth Winter.  Why not try an Octain Refrain yourself?  And drop me, or Luke, a note to say how you get on!








2 comments:

Mary Mansfield said...

A solid poem. The form looks interesting, definitely going to have to play with it a little bit. Thanks for sharing it, Andrew!

Jinnifer richard said...

very nice poem.good luck