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Haiku

¬ Another brief fixed poetic form, borrowed from the Japanese, is the haiku. A haiku is usually described as a consisting of seventeen syllables organized into three unrhymed lines of five, seven and fine syllables. Owing to language difference, however English translations of haiku are often only approximated, because a Japanese haiku exists in time (Japanese syllables have duration). The number of syllables in our sense is not as significant as the duration. These poems typically present an intense emotion or vivid image of nature, which, in the Japanese, are also designed to lead to spiritual insight. (exert from An Invitation to poetry)

 

OCEAN SANCTUARY by Jane Reichhold

SMOOTHED BY SEAS
A NEARLY ROUND ROCK
POINTS HOMEWARD

SUNDAY MORNING
ALL THE WAVES IN WHITE
KNEELING ON THE BEACH

A WALL OF WATER
CURVES AND CRASHES
A WHALE

SURF ROLLS
POWER IN THE SAND
LOW-FLYING BIRDS

WHITE SURF
WANTING TO KEEP THE OCEAN FREE
OF OIL WELLS

AS PEOPLE CRY
THE OCEAN ROARS
"NO OIL WELLS!"

IN AND OUT
OF THE RIVER'S MOUTH
A TONGUE OF SEA

 

Limericks

A limerick is a five-lined poem written with one couplet and one triplet. If a couplet is two-line rhymed poem, then a triplet would be a three-line rhymed poem. The rhyme pattern is a a a b b a with lines 1, 2 and 5 containing 3 beats and rhyming, and lines 3 and 4 having two beats and rhyming. Some people say that the limerick was invented by soldier returning from France to the Irish town of Limerick in the 1700‚??s.

 

unknown

There was a young man from Dundee,
Got stung on the leg with a wasp
When asked if it hurt
He said no not a bit
It can do it again if it likes!

By unknown

 

Ode

¬ An ode is characterized by a serious topic and formal tone, but no prescribed formal pattern describes all odes in some odes the pattern of each stanza is repeated throughout, while in other each stanza introduces a new pattern. Odes are lengthy lyrics that often included often emotions conveyed by a dignified style. Typical topics included truth, art freedom justice. (exert from An Invitation to poetry)

 

 

Ode on a Grecian Urn by John keats

  

 

THOU still unravish'd bride of quietness,

 

  Thou foster-child of Silence and slow Time,

 

Sylvan historian, who canst thus express

 

  A flowery tale more sweetly than our rhyme:

 

What leaf-fringed legend haunts about thy shape

         5

  Of deities or mortals, or of both,

 

    In Tempe or the dales of Arcady?

 

  What men or gods are these? What maidens loth?

 

What mad pursuit? What struggle to escape?

 

    What pipes and timbrels? What wild ecstasy?

  10

 

 

Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard

 

  Are sweeter; therefore, ye soft pipes, play on;

 

Not to the sensual ear, but, more endear'd,

 

  Pipe to the spirit ditties of no tone:

 

Fair youth, beneath the trees, thou canst not leave

  15

  Thy song, nor ever can those trees be bare;

 

    Bold Lover, never, never canst thou kiss,

 

Though winning near the goal‚??yet, do not grieve;

 

    She cannot fade, though thou hast not thy bliss,

 

  For ever wilt thou love, and she be fair!

  20

 

 

Ah, happy, happy boughs! that cannot shed

 

  Your leaves, nor ever bid the Spring adieu;

 

And, happy melodist, unwearièd,

 

  For ever piping songs for ever new;

 

More happy love! more happy, happy love!

  25

  For ever warm and still to be enjoy'd,

 

    For ever panting, and for ever young;

 

All breathing human passion far above,

 

  That leaves a heart high-sorrowful and cloy'd,

 

    A burning forehead, and a parching tongue.

  30

 

 

Who are these coming to the sacrifice?

 

  To what green altar, O mysterious priest,

 

Lead'st thou that heifer lowing at the skies,

 

  And all her silken flanks with garlands drest?

 

What little town by river or sea-shore,

  35

  Or mountain-built with peaceful citadel,

 

    Is emptied of its folk, this pious morn?

 

And, little town, thy streets for evermore

 

  Will silent be; and not a soul, to tell

 

    Why thou art desolate, can e'er return.

  40

 

 

O Attic shape! fair attitude! with brede

 

  Of marble men and maidens overwrought,

 

With forest branches and the trodden weed;

 

  Thou, silent form! dost tease us out of thought

 

As doth eternity: Cold Pastoral!

  45

  When old age shall this generation waste,

 

    Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe

 

  Than ours, a friend to man, to whom thou say'st,

 

'Beauty is truth, truth beauty,‚??that is all

 

    Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.'

  50

 

 

Epigrams

¬ The word epigram, which comes from a term meaning ‚??inscription,‚?Ě was used by the Greeks to refer to almost any brief poem. For many centuries, the epigram was popular literary form. Often elegantly expressed, these lines were frequently used in inscriptions on monuments or tombs. (exert from Greek Lyric Poetry)

 

Unhappy Dionysius

(anonymous)

 

Here lie I, Dionysius of Tarsus,

Who lived for sixty years and never married

Would that my father hadn‚??t

 

 

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