Dennis Hammes
                        a SHAREBOOK
                    Scrawlmark Publishing
                     1016 South 3rd Street
                   Moorhead, MN  56560-3355
           The forms and terms that follow are in the public 
      domain.  The formulae for the forms, their statement, what 
      explanation there is, and the poems that illustrate them 
      are all Copyright 1970-(C)1995 by FISHHOOK and Dennis M. 
           The file DMHPROSO.ZIP may be downloaded, copied to 
      disk or diskette and distributed thereon, or uploaded, 
      /only in its entirety/ and provided no charge is made for 
      distribution beyond materials and handling.
           I am disinclined to charge for this book.  However, 
      money is the sincerest form of flattery, and if $5 would 
      ease your conscience, mail it to the address above.
           Thank you.
           This book is an ebook, and is intended to be called 
      into the window or overlay of your wordprocessor 
      whether to read and think about or as immediate 
      reference.  It is not at present formatted to be printed 
      as the usual ScrawlMark 6x9" handbook, though that is 
      not far away, and there is no cover art though an 
      original piece has been commissioned from my resident 
      artist.  /Feedback/ indicating sufficient interest will 
      create the printer files.
                               Moorhead, 27 May 1996
                    A KIND OF DEDICATION
                  Kind lovers, love on,
                  Lest the world be undone,
                And mankind be lost by degrees:
                  For if all from their loves
                  Should go wander in groves,
                There soon would be nothing but trees.
                                    -- John Crowne
                     John Crowned
                  We returned from the groves
                  In our driblets and droves
                All repenting of scribbling squibs,
                  And as lovers loved on.
                  Now the world is undone
                For the trees are all cut to make cribs.
                                    -- dmh
           This book results from 25 years of attention to a 
      single question:  What makes some poetry last 400 years 
      while other stuff is gone in 40 seconds?  What follows are 
      some of the answers.
           A.E. Housman defined poetry as "the best words in 
      the best order."  He and countless others were also great 
      practitioners of the best /sounds/ in the best order.  
      There are a thousand ways to say the same thing.  Many 
      of them sound good in a particular instance, so why use 
      any of the rest?
           The urge to create music is innate in man.  It is 
      one of my irks, that the meadowlark produces the same 
      seven notes from dawn to dusk, birth to death, no matter 
      the circumstance; one expects so much more of such a 
      voice.  The same of poetry.  There is a "movement," 
      recently, to excuse the poetaster of the effort of prosody 
      by saying that it is "artificial."  One "Resident Poet" took 
      over one of my amateur classes, saying, "These days, the 
      budding young poet does not have to be able to write a 
      sonnet."  Well, the official "grammar" text at his college 
      had, as the thesis of its Introduction, the statement, 
      "There is no such thing as correct grammar."  It takes a 
      whole quarter to learn /this/?
           Language itself is artificial in every particular, 
      however that it makes use, as it must, of natural sounds.  
      The scream, bawling, laughter are "natural," and even the 
      circumstances of laughter must be learned; and when we 
      look, we find that not only has not the poetaster learned 
      the fundamentals of prosody, he has not learned the 
      fundamentals of language, either, for language is also, 
      and in every element, a /convention/ agreed upon among 
      two or more persons, and the poetaster writes of totally 
      private "meanings" and "associations" through formulae 
      whose sole authority seems to be something he finds in 
      his navel.
           The objection that prosody is "merely decoration" is 
      made by those who know nothing about it, reading those 
      who, like, say, Shelley, know nothing about it, either.  
      Prosody properly used /directs/ the voice in how to say 
      the piece, and this /manner/ of the saying goes far in 
      reporting the poet's mood and reaction to the mere data 
      without his having to interlard a perfectly good poem 
      with psychological dissertation or the dialogue from soap 
      opera -- as too many nonprosodic "poets" do.  Indeed, 
      this lyricism usually goes /farther/ in that report, 
      recreating it in the reader as psychological jargon 
      cannot.  For the reader, too, is inclined to sing.

           I take part of the idea for this book from Babette 
      Deutsch, whose /Poetry Handbook/ I read 25 years ago 
      and which, alas, is no longer in print:  it was over 30 
      years old at the time.  This book has both more and less 
      than hers; I think she beats me on kinds of stanzas.  As 
      I remember it, I beat her on techniques and in using my 
      own poems to illustrate the stanza forms.  (I didn't feel 
      like keeping track of other people's royalties.)
           I took other information from other old books full 
      of poems and explanations, and made it all my own.  I am 
      saying that I am solely responsible for the content of this 
      book, for all it does is to describe my own practice.  That 
      information is so ready to mind that I wrote this book in 
      about three days, however it took 41 years to gather.
           Often, I try not to, but then I capitulate and read 
      what passes for poetry these days, published by people 
      who should know better but, to be kind, probably don't 
      receive the material they'd /like/ to publish.
           I took Creative Writing.  Twice.  In neither instance 
      did I learn a thing:  I was already a better poet out of 
      my own studies than the materials available to the course 
      /could/ teach.  /Or cared to/.  In short, much has gone 
      missing from the teaching, and therefore the craft, of 
      poetry.  This book is a small attempt to put at least some 
      of that knowledge where the people who count -- the 
      people who so want to write poetry they'll put their lives 
      to writing without pay -- can get at it.
                      THE PROTAGONIST
           "A poet," writes Auden, "is one who is, before he is 
      anything else, passionately in love with language.  
      Whether this love is the gift itself or but the outward 
      manifestation of the gift, it is the sign by which one 
      recognises whether a young man [his specification] is 
      potentially a poet or not."  The New Testament agrees.  
      The Greek /philosophios/, that lover of wisdom, began his 
      education as a poet, a lover of language, for the latter is 
      necessary to the former.
           A poet will go without food (though not usually 
      without coffee), without friends, even without a cat 
      (again, not usually), in the pursuit of the way twenty 
      syllables, their meanings and their sounds, fit together.  
      He will scribble himself into poverty and consumption in 
      pursuit of his love.  When he is an old man [my 
      specification] people will finally figure out what he has 
      done -- and ignore it.  No matter.  Like the song says, 
      he has his love to keep him warm.
           If he is writing for fame and fortune in addition to 
      love, he must be willing to put eight hours a day into the 
      process of writing, which includes a great deal of 
      thinking, and is done alone in a room with the door 
      closed.  He may cut a hole in the door to admit the cat, 
      but he may roam the house only if he lives alone.
           If he is writing for fame and fortune alone, he 
      should seek psychiatric help.  Not only can one not sell 
      poetry for cash, one can't even give it away for the time 
      it takes to read it.
           You may have noticed by now that I am Politically 
      Incorrect.  If you are not willing to be politically 
      incorrect you are not willing to be a poet, for political 
      correctness is not permitted to say anything of meaning 
      in the few subjects of which it is permitted to say 
      anything at all.  However, if you wish to write solely to 
      be politically or socially /incorrect/, forget it; we had 
      enough of that in the 'Fifties, and the stuff has all gone 
      to lunch already.
                        THE SUBJECT
           A poem is, before it is anything else, an act of  
      communication.  As such, it is subject to cybernetic rules, 
      ignored at your own peril:  the time you wasted on what 
      might have been a communication, and could have been a 
      good one.  It does not admit of random grammar, random 
      syntax, or random juxtaposition of events to see what 
      they produce (you're supposed to do that by thinking, 
      and to idendify what they have done before you begin to 
           A communication in a human tongue is a series of 
      sounds made with the voice.  Poetry is a communication 
      that has organised these sounds with perhaps as much 
      attention as it gives their meanings.
           To this end, a poem is a communication that /makes 
      use of/ the line.  It is not a prose communication or 
      incommunication hacked at random into short segments.  
      If you cut up a string of drool with scissors, it's not 
      only still drool, but mere proximity of the pieces causes 
      them to flow back together.  And while this is extended 
      metaphor, it is not poetry.
           The line in poetry is delineated in itself and 
      referred to other lines to create /more-or-less-regular 
      periods/, not found in prose, by a particular use of 
      sounds.  This treatise deals primarily with that use of 
      sound; thus, you will find only a small discussion here of 
      the rhetorical figures, which are common to poetry and 
           In poetry, sound establishes and enhances the line 
      (not the converse).  The line, theoretically of any length, 
      even to that 87-page sentence of Joyce's, is found in 
      English to establish a period that /feels good/ with 
      three-, but especially four- and five-beat lines, seldom 
      six, with seven broken into four-three, and with little 
      departure from these.  They carry as much sense as the 
      average reader can sing, or digest in one byte, while 
      providing the bricks of larger structures -- and that is 
      what it is all about:  communication.
           Poetry lasts a long time by speaking of things, 
      their relationships, and ideas, that last a long time, in 
      language that doesn't go out of style.  It doesn't go out 
      of style because it /sets/ style, and other manners imitate 
      it.  Some think that /departing from style/ is setting 
      style.  This is not the case, nor any method of poetry 
      however it might be a result.  /Poetry might have been 
      spoken by the average man, but wasn't/.  Today's 
      interpretation of that early Romantic dictum is to sound 
      like the average man -- and get lost in the general noise 
      because of it.  This "poetry" /begins/ by apologising for 
      itself, and should not gripe that it is instantly dismissed 
      for doing so.  Poetry may consist in the /words/ of the 
      average man -- to include the average professional man 
      -- but in the mouth of the poet they are words that have 
      been taught to sing.
           Today's reader doesn't read much and doesn't have 
      time to.  Don't waste his time with tripe and padding, or 
      he will waste yours by throwing your poem away, not 
      only from hand but from mind.
           Poetry does not assert to discover fire because the 
      poet managed to strike his first spark.  After three 
      million years of fire and at least 40,000 of language and 
      art, there is not a single new thing for him to write 
      about:  his only possible novelty is in statement and 
      manner.  One method of treating the event is to translate 
      the experience into that of the first man to make fire.  A 
      better method is to relate it to /any/ man's striking a 
      fire -- by any method including the thermostat.
           Nor does poetry invent the wheel, though it may 
      find a new use for one (rare).
           Poetry sings of the things that were, the things 
      that are, and the things that /could be/.  If it only sings 
      of things the way it wants them to be, it wastes its time, 
      because the reader wants them to be some other way, and 
      poetry is not a particularly convincing platform for 
                        THE PURPOSE
           Over the seven millenia of written language and the 
      40,000 years of song, one of the highest functions of 
      poetry has been to be exemplary.  Homer and Keats 
      understood this; Pope (except in the "Essay on Criticism") 
      and Dryden did not.  It is so much easier to harangue 
      the reader /about/ virtue than it is to exemplify virtue, 
      that the ratio of preachers to poets has remained at 
      about 1000:1 througout history.  (It is an interesting 
      comment on the state of the listener that preachers have 
      been about that much more popular -- and richer -- than 
      poets throughout history, too, especially since preachers 
      steal /all/ their material from a very few poets.)
           The examples that follow are my own.  I consider 
      them exemplary, because I worked hard at them and 
      because I know no other reason to write.  Besides, I 
      didn't want to mess about getting permissions and paying 
      royalties.  You will judge the real reason for yourselves, 
      and that, too is part of writing, /i.e./, being read -- and 
      being judged for what you said and how you said it.
           This book says nothing of what to say.  "Poetic 
      license" no longer refers to quirks of grammar and 
      useage:  a poet is expected to sing in the common tongue, 
      which is fine.  It is easily done.  Poetic license today 
      exists solely in respect of subject matter, which ranges in 
      this Land of the Free from the most esoteric philosophy 
      to the most routine contents of the sewer -- with the 
      latter all too often outnumbering the former.  But the 
      only /sounds/ that win this battle are those that follow.  
      They prove it with centuries of survival.
                        THE FIGURES
           In merely alphabetical order.
      /address/  Address is always in the second person 
      singular; all else is description, whether it is of yourself, 
      another, or a thing.  Anything, but usually the theoretical 
      reader, can be addressed as "you" (as I am doing here).  
      Sometimes, a descriptive poem without kick can be 
      salvaged by address.  If you address the /subject/ of 
      the poem, it is one form of /personification/.  Usually, to 
      address the reader directly is the best way to get his 
      attention, but be certain before you do this that you 
      mean /him/, at least potentially, as "love poems" assert 
      usually to mean to address the addressee.  In any case, 
      it is useless to wait around for an actual person to 
      address; they never fit the requirements of the poem, 
      either already knowing too much, or knowing too little 
      and not caring to learn any more.  Nobody can write 
      poems actually to a specific individual:  his circumstances 
      and understanding are always too cramping, and a verse 
      letter as a result is not really a poem, though real poems 
      occasionally make use of the pretense of the verse letter.  
      Make up a reader.  Talk to him as you would /wish/ to 
      talk to somebody.  And get his opinions (as you made him 
      up, you have to listen /hard/, or you'll only be talking to 

      /antinomy/  Contradiction of a statement by and on its 
      own terms.  Unless used as an illustration of its error, it 
      is always merely an error.
      /amphibole/  A figure to be avoided unless you are 
      seeking an irony or other pun, or illustrating the error 
      in a voice other than your own.  It is the use of the 
      same word twice in a figure, the second or further use 
      having a different meaning from the first.  It is 
      ordinarily an error.  Amphibole differs from the pun in 
      that the pun has two or more /correct/ meanings in a 
      /single/ use.
      /amphigory/  A figure faulty in definition, grammar, or 
      syntax that, as a result of the fault, means nothing.  Lear 
      and Guest made extensive use of amphigory in their 
      humorous verse, but only children and scholars, who 
      experiment a lot with pure noise, are interested.
      /chiasmus/  A rhetorical construction of the form abba.  
      The Italian quatrain, but especially the ordering of image, 
      clause, syntax, or argument in this form.
      /circumlocution/  Literally, "talking around" a subject.  
      There are two uses of circumlocution.  The first is to talk 
      on publicly or privately "forbidden" subjects anyway, and 
      poetry does a lot of this.  The second sort results when 
      the poet simply doesn't know what he's talking about.  It 
      can occur in conjunction with the first.
      /clich‚/  The term means a printing plate, and refers to a 
      metaphor used so often it has lost its zap, and possibly 
      even its illustration.  Most of the words in any language 
      are clich‚s; once a novel coinage, their meaning was so 
      good they were absorbed into common useage.  But poetry 
      should not be plainsong, else there might be no reason to 
      read it.
      /epithet/ is calling a thing or act by another name 
      entirely, one that has, unlike metaphor, simile, and 
      symbol, nothing to do with the meaning of the thing or 
      the movement of the poem.  It is sometimes, but not 
      usually, used in place of Certain Words, forbidden among 
      a particular readership (no words are "forbidden" to the 
      poet, but this doesn't mean he should necessarily use 
      them).  To be sure, epithet can spice up what may 
      otherwise be flat language, and flat poets use it to 
      "rescue" flat subject matter because of this.  But because 
      it is like biting into a peppercorn, it is neither 
      nourishing in itself, and usually makes you forget the 
      rest of the meal.
           To write, "the fleecy clouds" is metaphor:  fleece is 
      wool, and the clouds are suggested to be sheep.  It is 
      also completely hackneyed, unless you extend the 
      metaphor and continue to treat the clouds as sheep in 
      some sense.  But to call clouds "Phoebus' sheep" is 
      epithet, and makes the reader so struggle for the gist of 
      what Phoebus has to do with the poem that he neglects 
      even what he has got out of the piece so far.  In short, 
      epithet definitely announces itself, but like a hammered 
      /extended metaphor/  Opposed to simple or single 
      metaphor, this extends description of the tenor by 
      further use of the vehicle within the meaning of both.  
      See /metaphor/.
      /hyperbole/  The exaggeration of action, classification or 
      quality to the point of ridiculousness.  It finds use in 
      humor and satire.  To say "Bill is an ox" is both 
      metaphor and hyperbole.
      /irony/  A figure in which two meanings of a word, 
      object, syntax, or situation contradict each other, usually 
      with bad consequences for one of them.  In /tragic 
      irony/, the meaning that caused the tragedy is false, 
      even if the other was true.  See /pun/.
      /metaphor/  A figure always consisting in the /tenor/ or 
      thing meant but not stated, and the /vehicle/ or thing 
      indicated, the thing actually said.  The two must 
      necessarily have both a causal and a linguistic 
      connection, or the result is a mere /epithet/.
      /meter/ is what /results/ when mostly-like feet (q.v.) are 
      strung in rows of two (dimeter) to seven (heptameter) 
      (meters outside these parameters are quite rare) and 
      spoken aloud.  The effect approaches chant, but isn't.  
      Meter is strictly subordinate to meaning and the words 
      that achieve it.  Words -- and grammar -- chosen to make 
      the meter come out are not poetry, but doggerel (even 
      when the Masters do it).  Meter is a framework on which 
      to hang the sound of the line; if the sound is too taken 
      with itself to notice the framework, neither will anyone 
      else.  If the framework is used as a straitjacket, to force 
      accent where it doesn't belong, nobody will notice the 
      meaning, if indeed there was any, because the /words/ so 
      distorted will have acquired a foreign pronunciation to 
      which the reader will give all his attention.  The accents 
      of poetry are the accents of human speech, not drum 
      cadence, but this doesn't mean that anything that comes 
      out of the mouth is poetry because it has the accents of 
      speech.  Mostly, it isn't.  Poetry approches music in 
      having rhythm without pitch; the closer, the better.  Note 
      however that most music -- even marches -- is not a 
      stream of unrelieved monotony of rhythm.
           Western poetry has used two bases for its rhythms:  
      /quantity/ and /stress/.  Which is used depends on which 
      the language itself uses.  The quantities (durations of the 
      syllable) in Greek and Classical Latin (but not Vulgar 
      Latin) are quite regular, and form the basis of Classical 
      Meter.  The quantities of modern western tongues, while 
      they exist, are utterly irregular, and cannot form the 
      /basis/ of meter, though they are most cleverly used to 
      /vary/ its otherwise monotony; most western languages 
      use the regular variation of /stress or relaxation/ of the 
      syllable.  Oriental poetry does not have regular rhythm, 
      for it has neither regular quantity nor regular stress, 
      though it sometimes /counts/ the syllables in the line.
      /objective correlative/  The naming of an emotion by 
      describing the conditions under which it obtains.  These 
      conditions cannot be wholly private, but must be available 
      to the reader, and usually to his immediate memory.
      /oxymoron/  Contradiction of the noun by its adjective or 
      the verb by its adverb.  Unless used as an illustration of 
      the error, or in /hyperbole/, it is always merely an error.  
      /E.g./, "supernatural" is an oxymoron, for universe 
      bounds itself, and has no "outside."
      /parody/  The mimicking of the form, style, or content of 
      a (well-known) piece of literature, to say something else 
      entirely, or merely to make fun of the original.  Carroll's 
      "Father William" is better-remembered than Wordsworth's 
      "Resolution and Independence," which it parodies.
      /pun/  A figure in which a sound, word, grammar, syntax, 
      or situation has two or more meanings, both of which are 
      correct in the milieu of the figure, and which ultimately 
      support each other.  Opposite of /irony/.
      /quantity/  The amount of /time/ it takes to say a 
      syllable, e.g., "couple" has nowhere near the quantity of 
      "occlude."  Crucial to Greek and Latin meter, it is simply 
      not scanned in English verse, which is structured by 
      /stress/, though it does much, when controlled, to hurry 
      or retard the line.
      /sarcasm/  A figure that makes a point by the /manner/ 
      of stating its opposite.  The use is rather restricted in 
      poetry (written language generally) for that few 
      mannerisms can be coded in written language, being 
      rather more stance, grimace, tone, and gesture.
      /simile/  Usually defined as a comparison using "like" or 
      "as," actually a /metaphor/ in which tenor and vehicle 
      are alike in only one particular.
      /substitution/ is the replacing of one (or more) of the 
      regular metrical feet (q.v.) with another, usually a two-
      beat foot for two-beat foot, a three-beat for a three, 
      though substitution of an anapest (3) for an iamb (2) is 
      also common.  There are particular feet that are most 
      amenable to substitution, namely the first and the penult, 
      though it is the rhythm of the /phrase/ that determines 
      even this, as well as substitution elsewhere.  Substitution 
      /must/ not destroy the period, and should not destroy 
      the movement of the line.  Only your ears know if 
      substitution has succeeded or not.  Generally, if the line 
      is difficult to recite in a natural tone, the substitution 
      does not belong.
      /symbol/  A vehicle whose tenor is never stated (though 
      it may be referred to obliquely), but which, in the public 
      milieu or that of the poem, is made to stand for the 
      tenor.  Unlike metaphor, the connection between tenor 
      and vehicle of a symbol is often first developed by the 
      poem in which it is asserted.

      /synecdoche/  A comparison or emotion understated to the 
      point of being ridiculous.  This can be very effective in 
      dealing with the otherwise overwhelming.
      /vagary/  Any vehicle that fails accurately or 
      unambiguously to indicate its tenor.  Also, any word or 
      syntax that fails to indicate its meaning.
                         THE SOUNDS
           Euterpe holds the lyre.  On that foundation the 
      Greeks begot lyric poetry.  We have been trying to 
      emulate them ever since, usually without the least notion 
      of what they were about.  They were about /sound/.
           Before it remembers words, the ear remembers 
      sounds.  As poets, we must rediscover that state we knew 
      at two and three, when we remembered and used words 
      solely for their noises, not yet having attached an 
      othersensory reference to them.  Use of sound more than 
      anything else will induce the reader to remember what we 
      have said -- because his ear will remember /for/ him, 
      even without proper attention on his part.
           Toward this end we name only two kinds of sounds 
      in English, but poetry can make use of both.  Oriental 
      languages add /tone/ and many Mediterranean languages 
      add /quantity/, but in English these do not contribute to 
      the grammar, and affect the prosody only marginally.  
      English has 29 useable vowels (Shaw claimed 41, but I 
      can't find them; maybe he referred particularly to 
      /British/ vowels, of which there are more) and 48 distinct 
      consonants.  My Electric Rhyming Dictionary, under 
      construction for 26 years, makes use of these numbers; it 
      is in fact where I got them.  If you try to use the 
      numbers you learned in fourth grade -- five and 21 -- 
      your poems will fail of melody and the resulting clangor 
      will be discarded.
           Here are the only tricks we have to achieve sound 
      and period in any form of poetry.  The existence of these 
      sonic relations means that you subvocalise the act of 
      creation with every word, to accept or reject it on 
      introducing it to its would-be fellows.  It means that you 
      do it many times per line and stanza.  It means that you 
      must be able to hear not only what you have said but 
      how you have said it.  Since even a "tin ear" can do 
      this, it can be done -- and must be done for every poem.  
      Eventually, it becomes easy.
      /assonance/ is an identity or similarity in the sound of 
      the principal vowels of different words.  It is used within 
      the line to give it sonic weight, and across lines to link 
      parts of ideas.  Identity of sound establishes groups of 
      words.  Similarity of sound links them.  Thus, a group of 
      a's will be linked to a group of o's if the sense gives the 
      sound the least chance to do so.
      /consonance/ is an identity (no similarities permitted) of 
      consonants /within/ two or more words.  Linkage by 
      consonance must be accompanied by linkage of sense.
      /alliteration/ is the identity of the /initial/ consonants of 
      two or more words.  Again, this link should reinforce a 
      link in sense or period.  It is so powerful a sound that it 
      can sound ridiculous; be careful unless you are writing 
      satire or parody.  The attempt to write the alliterative 
      Anglo-Saxon prosody (four beats, the first three 
      alliterated on the stress), fails generally in that modern 
      English grammar has too many syllables for an inflective 
      technique.  Old High Anglo-Saxon poetry got itself said in 
      about nine syllables to the four-beat line; the same line 
      in modern English requires as many as 16 syllables, and 
      merely dilutes the alliteration and the period.  A sad loss 
      to the art, for that old poetry can rattle wine bottles.
      /meter/ is an identity or similarity in the rhythm of a 
      series of words or a sequence of lines.  The art of meter 
      is called /scansion/, and it is very formal.  However, the 
      final analysis is what it /sounds/ like, /not/ what it 
      /looks/ like or how it /counts/.  Meter can establish, 
      reinforce, or destroy period.  It can enhance the sense -- 
      or ridicule it.  It can read and speak like common speech 
      despite being completely regular -- or it can break your 
      idea into a ridiculous trot that hares off on its own.  As 
      in all aspects of prosody, /your ears/ are the judge.
      /period/ is that feeling had when speaking or singing, of 
      starting here and ending there.  It ordinarily coincides 
      with the taking and recitation of a breath, an act usually 
      called a phrase.  Period in language and song coincides 
      with the phrase.  A longer and stronger period takes a 
      sequence of phrases as a sentence.  A still longer period, 
      that must be supported with the sound tools available, is 
      the paragraph or argument, in poetry the /stanza/.  It 
      has a definite beginning, an indeterminate length subject 
      to choice based on need, and a definite ending.  The four 
      techniques above can all, often singlehandedly, establish 
      or destroy period.  
      /(masculine) rhyme/ is an identity, between two or more 
      words, in the /sound/ of the principal vowel (regardless 
      of spelling) and all consonants that follow it (regardless 
      of spelling), as well as a difference in all material that 
      precedes the identity.  Rhyme that occurs at the ends of 
      lines is called, strangely enough, "end rhyme."  It is the 
      single most powerful instigator or destroyer of period in 
           /N.B./  The use of a rhyming dictionary is actually 
      mandatory to writing rhymed poetry, because you can't 
      think of rhymes while you're thinking of meaning.  You 
      can switch rapidly back and forth, however, provided you 
      have something to switch /to/.  You have on one hand 
      the poem; on the other hand must be a list of words that 
      can be used, among which you select.  This dictionary 
      may begin in your own list of words (you run through 
      the alphabet, trying to make rhymes) scribbled in the 
      margin of the stanza.  When you get tired of this, you 
      buy or write a permanent rhyming dictionary, either 
      paper or electronic, and continue to add to it as you use 
      it.  Eventually, you will come to think in rhymes; all it 
      requires is knowing a lot of words and what they sound 
      /double rhyme/ is that in which the final stresses of two 
      ending words meet the criteria for rhyme, above, /and/ 
      are followed by one or more identical unstressed 
      syllables.  The effect, if not cared for, can be comic.  Not 
      to be confused with feminine rhyme.
      /feminine rhyme/ is that in which the final stresses of 
      two words do /not/ meet the criteria for rhyme, above, 
      but are followed by one or more identical unstressed 
      /linked rhyme/ is that in which the secondary rhyme of a 
      stanza provides the primary rhyme of the following 
      stanza, as in /terza rima/ and the /virelay/, /q.v./
      /slant rhyme/ is that in which the final vowels of two 
      ending-words differ, usually not markedly, while the final 
      consonant is identical between them.  This is more 
      effective within the line than it is at the end, though 
      experiment continues.  It is sufficently weak that it 
      cannot establish period by itself, though it has a pleasing 
      effect of "natural speech" when coupled with regular 
      phrasing to establish it.
      /comic rhyme/ is always masculine or double, and bends 
      the pronunciation of the final vowel and/or consonant in 
      one or more ending-words to suit the pronunciation of a 
      previous word.  The technique has seen wide, if sparse, 
      use; /cf./ Byron's /Don Juan/, in which "Juan" itself is 
      an example, while the tecnnique recurs throughout.
      /stanza/ should be established by period in both formal 
      and free verse.  Rhyme, if used, should distinguish a 
      period and its parts, including the stanza and its parts.  
      Thus, it is extremely difficult practice to start with a 
      stanza and see what ideas it can come up with, though it 
      can be done; for some stanzas, it /must/ be done.  
      Rather, let an idea establish a few periods, and see what 
      stanzas might fit them.  This trial period disappears with 
      a little practice.
      /compensation/ is the dropping of the initial unstressed 
      syllable of a line (catalexis) if the final foot of the 
      preceding iambic or anapestic line has added an 
      unstressed syllable in a double or feminine rhyme.  The 
      catalexis prevents a hiccup in the rhythm; however, to 
      leave the extra syllable in the second line can establish 
      the beginning (never the end) of a period.  The choice is 
      /doggerel/ is the use of these tactics without a purpose 
      beyond stringing noises together, that is, without much 
      or any meaning.  Carloads of doggerel were written in 
      every generation.  So what.  More recently, carloads of 
      noises are being strung together /without/ these 
      techniques.  Again, if you don't do it yourself, so what?  
      History, beginning with you, will ignore the stuff.
                       THE SYLLABLES
      ca = '   Catalect, the empty syllable, a pause, unsounded,
                     a substitute beat for a sounded 
                It takes the metrics that it substitutes.
      ar = -   Arsis, anacruse, or breve;
                In modern European meter, the unaccented 
                In Latin, but especially in Greek meter, the 
                     short syllable.
                In English, one beat; in Greek, one beat.
      th = /   Thesis, ictus, or macron;
                In modern European meter, the accented 
                In Latin, but especially in Greek meter, the 
                     long syllable.
                In English, one beat; in Greek, two beats.  It 
                     is for this reason that the Classical 
                     meters do not translate into English, 
                     but must translate as prose or be 
                     rewritten into English verse.
      h = "    No formal name;
                In modern European meter, the half-stressed 
                     syllable; it can be scanned as an arsis 
                     or thesis at need.
                It has no counterpart in Latin or Greek 
                In English, one beat.
      /N.B./  I said above that quantity in English is not 
      important to its prosody.  This is because quantity is 
      /almost/ completely overwhelmed by stress, and because 
      there is no necessary relation between the two.  
      Nevertheless, the syllables of English /do/ have quantity, 
      and it is not the simple one-beat-two-beat quantity of the 
      Greek:  it is variable.  Listen for quantity, and learn 
      which words have which quantities, for /short/ syllables 
      speed up the foot and line, and /long/ ones can make it 
      anywhere from laid-back to downright belabored.
                          THE FEET
               py = --   pyrrhee, an accidental
               ia = -/   iamb
               tr = /-   trochee
               sp = //   spondee, in English a two-beat 
                          accidental, in Greek a four-beat, 
                          very-regular foot
               tb = ---  tribrach, an accidental
               an = --/  anapest
               ab = -/-  amphibrach
               da = /--  dactyl
               cr = /-/  crete, amphimacer (macron)
               1p = /--- first paeon
               2p = -/-- second paeon
               3p = --/- third paeon
               4p = ---/ fourth paeon
               li = --// lesser ione
               ch = /--/ choriamb
               di = /-/- ditrochee (see trochee)
               gi = //-- greater ione
           In Greek the rather common choriamb has six beats; 
      in English it has but four.  The only feet whose meter 
      translates from Greek to English are the pyrhee and the 
      tribrach, which are substitute feet in both tongues, never 
      regular, and seldom found in either.
           The iamb and trochee, so common to both, have in 
      Greek three beats and in English two.  Thus, even the 
      large number of words that have been taken directly from 
      Greek to English forbid the translation of Greek 
      /prosody/ into English /prosody/ for that they do not 
      under any circumstances translate the same number of 
      /beats/ from Greek to English.
      /Substitution/ or /accident/ is the replacing of one foot 
      by another in an otherwise regular line.  
           In Greek, substitution, if it exists at all, /retains 
      the number of beats in the foot/, thus the number of 
      beats in the line (this poetry was much danced to, and 
      without instrumental support to speak of).  Thus, a paeon 
      (five beats) may substitute or be substitutied by only 
      another paeon or the amphimacer, while the spondee 
      (though only two syllables, four beats), may substitute or 
      be substituted by the anapest, the amphibrach, or dactyl 
      (each of three syllables but four beats).
           In English, substition is quite a complicated affair 
      that must be /listened for/ quite as much as it is looked 
      at, for any single-stressed foot may substitute any other 
      single-stressed foot, while, /at the same time/, any two-
      syllable foot may substitute any other two-syllable foot, 
      so that the two-stress spondee often substitutes the one-
      stress iamb, while in the same line the three-syllable, but 
      one-stress, anapest is substituting another iamb.  What 
      makes this complicated is that English exhibits stresses, 
      half-stresses, and partial stresses, as well as unaccounted 
      long and short syllables, and each of these contribute to 
      the overall timing of the /phrase/, which some preach to 
      be the true root of English prosody; it is not.  The 
      phrase is what /results/ from prosody; it does not 
      /cause/ it.
           The Greek prosody that we have was known to be 
      in existence for some 5000 years as a strictly oral/aural 
      tradition by the time we have it recorded in Homer; by 
      contrast, our own "Classical" Period is only 200 years old, 
      and was preceded by a shakedown period of less than 400 
      years between the currency of /Beowulf/ and the /Eddas/ 
      (of High Anglo-Saxon prosody, having absolutely nothing 
      in common with the invading European prosodic forms) 
      and the rise and circulation of Chaucer, who (first?) 
      established English prosody.  By this, I mean that our 
      very /language/ is still in the process of shaking down, 
      and this fact, for better or worse, carries our rules of 
      prosody with it:  we are still /finding out/ what we can 
      do, which means, "what we can get away with."

                     SOME CLASSIC LINES
           It must be noted immediately that in Greek it is the 
      /line/ that is regular, and not, as in English, the 
      repetition of a given foot.  Note in any of the following 
      the power developed by the /rhythm/ of the /line/ (the 
      macron always takes two beats!).  Note, /e.g./, the 
      founding of the elegiac couplet on a six-beat line with a 
      caesura at the end of each and the middle of the second; 
      both are hexameters.  That the macron takes only one 
      beat in English gives a wholly different effect if the same 
      lines are are transplanted into it, and, in short, they 
      simply don't "work."
           Classical hexameter        
           The line is composed of unlike feet each having 
      four beats.  This bears /no/ relation to the routine iambic 
      (12-beat) hexameters of Pope, which need no caesura at 
      all, nor the routine-if-often-caesuraed dactylic (17-
      syllable, 18-beat) hexameters of Longfellow, which 
      sometimes get away without caesura:  the extreme length 
      of the 24-beat Greek line /always/ has the caesura, and it 
      is part of the grammar of the line.
           elegiac          /-/--//--//--/-/
           elegiac couplet  /--/--/--/--/--/-
           hendecasyllabic  /-/--/-/-/-
           (The effect is totally different from Frost's 
      "hendecasyllables" that make a sonnet about a hen; 
      indeed, the sonnet is quite impossible to Greek, and was 
      invented with modern Italian, which, while it retains quite 
      a bit of quantity, has become a language of stressed 
           sapphics         3(/-/// --/-//), /--//

                        THE STANZAS
      Notes on the stanza codes:
           The numbers heading a line of description indicate 
      only the hierarchy of the outline; their sequence does not 
      indicate any preference in authority or art of one form 
      over another.
           Small letters code the rhyming of lines; this may be 
      masculine, feminine, slant, assonant, or alliterative.  An 
      "x" indicates that the line doesn't rhyme with another; a 
      type of rhyme, once chosen, should be continued and not 
           The numbers associated with the code for a metric 
      foot give the number of feet in the line.  Where numbers 
      appear with the line rhyme codes within a stanza 
      definition, that line and those following have the indicated 
      number of feet, until changed by another number.
           Capital letters in the French forms code the /exact 
      repetition of whole lines/, which must rhyme with lines 
      coded by the corresponding small letter or primed capital.  
      A variance perhaps not original to the forms may be had 
      by altering the grammar of the repeated lines; a like 
      variance may be had by using exact homonyms.
      1.  A single line, ia 6, closing any stanza written in 
      iambic pentameter, and substituting its last line.  Popular 
      in the Greek, it is rather unwieldy in English, but does, 
      because of the rhythmic stretch, put a period to the end 
      of a stanza.
      1.  tr+da+1p irregularly admixed 4, alliterated aaax.

           The only fitting example we have of this is 
      /Beowulf/.  It cannot be read by a reader of modern 
      English, save only unless he has studied Old High Anglo-
      Saxon, which he learns almost solely to read this poem (I 
      understand it's worth it).  Because its grammar is 
      /inflective/, it packs a lot of meaning into a few words:  
      in the common case, twenty words of English are needed 
      to translate eight or ten powerful substansives strung 
      together by the poem's sentences.  Because A.S. grammar 
      is inflective, the vowels so important to rhyme cannot be 
      subordinated to the sound without destroying the 
      grammar, and A.S. prosody does not use rhyme.  Instead, 
      it uses consonance, particularly  the triple alliteration 
      that is the most immediate hallmark of A.S. prosody, and 
      four strong beats, to establish a line.  (It must have been 
      quite the party music.)  There is more to it than that; 
      quantity and period enter the equation, but these are not 
      evident save in the original tongue.
           Because A.S grammar is inflective, the position of a 
      word in the line does not matter, the alliteratives can be 
      moved to the first three beats of the line to suit the 
      prosody.  This form is difficult in English, whose grammar 
      is /distributive/, such that the order of words is the 
      most important thing about the line, and any departure 
      from that order is recognised immediately as subliterate.
           The form, so strong in A.S., is weakened in English 
      primarily because our stressed words do not usually have 
      the strong meanings found in A.S., do not have the 
      quantity, and their emphasis dissipates in the double to 
      triple number of words needed to express the same 
      meaning in English.
           Ultimately, that A.S. is primarily a chanting 
      language says nothing against the fact that English is 
      primarily a singing language.  For myself, I prefer it that 
      1.  abab cdcd efef ... ia 4343.
           I Got to Walk

      I closed the office at half past five
        (My day's work being done),
      And caught a snowfluff kitten
        Rolling away the sun.
      I had no car to carry me
        Through this witch-kitten's brew,
      So I settled my muffler closer
        And set shoe ahead of shoe.
      And as I walked, I wandered back
        Past yesterdays I'd known
      And found this snow like all the rest
        The wind had ever thrown :
      Sometimes light, or else so thick
        The road can't be discerned;
      But whether wet or dry, once dropped
        It couldn't be returned.
      But this was fair-to-middling snow
        On a fair-to-middling day,
      That only would be thought of as
        The first that came to stay :
      2.  xaxa xbxb xcxc ... ia 4343
           See "Common Meter."
           The ballad is one of several forms most excellent 
      for long poems provided the meter is not allowed to 
      gallop.  If it is necessary to slow the movement, include 
      spondees for iambs or substitute the half-stress for the 
      arsis in as many feet as possible.  Should you wish to 
      speed the line, substitute anapests or pyrhees for iambs.
      1.  3(ababbccdcD), l'envoi: ccdcD; ia 5(4).
      2.  3(abaBbcbC), l'envoi: bBcC; ia 5, (an 4).

           Night Train
      When the ice is released on the river to crush
        And the river released on the land
      Comes the crooked express in a waver and rush
        And no one to raise them a hand.
      And they dawdle with little but dottle and strand
        Between the horizon and me,
      For the geese are returned to the promise of land
        That promises not to agree.
      Low over the stoop and the stubble they stutter
        Strung out in a long allemande,
      Amassed in a gaggle to cast for their butter,
        And no one to raise them a hand
      For the calendar, clock, and a stick and a string
        Have fathered a foolish decree
      That gathers the geese to fly south in a spring
        That promises not to agree.
      Allow that the love of the fool is more clever
        Than faith of its mountains of sand
      And the lot that they leave to the love of the lever
        With no one to raise them a hand,
      For the river lets go of both garbage and brand
        And the seasonal still referee
      Whatever shed feathers as season command
        That promises not to agree,
      But out on the heather the feathers will be
        With no one to raise them a hand,
      For faith and the feather will father a land
        That promises not to agree.
           The essentially-French ballade, not ever to be 
      confused with the English ballad (see the prosody of 
      each), is always of fixed length and format.  It is most 
      lyrical in anapestic meter, but this is a meter /much/ 
      easier done in French than in English.  The required 
      repitition of whole lines is hard to work around, but 
      yields an effect that can't be got any other way.  If 
      these lines will not submit to variance of grammar, try 
      varying their reference.
           BLANK VERSE
      1.  ia 5, unrhymed.
      I am the Sundays; package of eight decades
      Sticky with the sauces of the sword,
      Being read to by a little girl
      Armed from church.
      She has no language in her any look,
      But reads to me what she has often learned
      In the order she has often learned it.
      In her the word unsaid will never speak,
      Commit no age.
      Her friends, her fashions, chosen by her friends,
      The one because they think that they have heard her;
      The one because she thinks that she has heard it;
      Having no face.  Her memory of face
      Fades with her resentment that face
      Should make design what she presumes in fits,
      As fast forgets.
      Her eyes are guiltless
                                  /how should she have guile
                who never sought the sticks beside the path
                      the /punji/ advertised unfit for travel/
      And she intones her news sincerely; baths
      Have washed off all the gook she found revolting
      To avoid monotony, periods other than the line must be 
      established through alliteration, assonance, consonance, 
      and grammatical and syntactical structure.  In the 
      example, longer periods are terminated by two-beat lines, 
      making this something other than "pure" blank verse.  
      Extended metaphor establishes still longer periods and 
      may encompass the whole poem.
           For one kind of master use of blank verse, see the 
      plays of Marlowe and Shakespeare (the histories in 
      particular are full of high sentence); for a rather 
      different master use, see Milton.
           CHANT ROYAL
      1.  5(ababccddedE), l'envoi: ddedE; ia 5(4)
      1.  See "Rime Royal," cf. /Troilus and Cressidye/.
      2.  ababcc ... ia 5, cf. /Canterbury Tales/.
           Please see Chaucer for master variations of these 
      1.  Five lines in 24682 /syllables/,`unrhymed.
           Cf. Haiku; but the form has far too many syllables 
      for haiku subject or manner.
           The only one to use this form much is "H.D.," who 
      invented it.  Please see her work.
           COMMON METER
      1.  xaxa ... ia 4343
           "Fourteener" /q.v./, printed in four lines.
       b.  See also "Ballad."
      1.  Any two lines rhymed aa.
      2.  a.  Heroic couplet:  aa, ia 5, closed, as most of Pope's.  
      In these the sense, grammar, period, and rhyme coincide.  
      Thus, longer poems in this stanza can easily become 
      monotonous unless rescued by the sense.  See Pope.
      How odd that we should know that you have died
      Who, when you said you thought you lived, but lied.
          b. aa, ia 5, open or run-on, in which the sense and 
      grammar are often made to avoid the rhyme, carrying the 
      period over several stanzas.  This form is far more 
      suitable for the long poem, as the closed couplet is still 
      available for emphasis within it.  The best examples of the 
      type are to be found in Dryden.
                Night Watch
      Three o'clock.  My keys.  My beeper.  Rounds
      Allow their sleep to occupants and grounds.
      Now cave of basement : pillar, pulse, and core.
      The salty breath of gypsum from the floor.
      New pipes and water heaters.  Hods.  The tracks
      Of plaster surgeons.
                             In a footing, cracks.
      I feel a heartbeat stutter into shale
      To apprehend the rending of the veil :
      Three stories settling in the strata's mouth,
      Slowly following the sabre-tooth.
      Why should the time-pressed sediment erase
      That close on midwatch, suddenly your face
      Appears above your sandwich-cutting board,
      Meticulously settling this hoard
      Of care for my least tastebud into place
      About the corners of my writing case?
          c. Final or closing couplets are found at the ends of 
      the Spenserian, Shakespearian, and Fishhook sonnets 
      (q.v.), where they ordinarily sum or rebut the argument 
      given by the body of the sonnet.
           CYCLA RIMA
      1.  abc bcd cde (...) dea eab, ia 5.
           CYCLA SONETTA
      1.  abc bcd cde dea ea, ia 5.
      2.  (See "Sonnet" below.)
      Why when I pick at those sweet songs of clout
      Does sense retreat from sedatives of sound
      And every soup-and-amble afternoon
      Demand a twelvemonth that our sense be found?
      If every word obliterate the moon,
      A god cannot forget but only dance
      The perfect figure to a perfect tune,
      But perfect figure is a circumstance
      That danced your scents until your sighing sylph
      Became the wind with but a backward glance.
      And that become a bloom that swayed at Alph,
      Your apple hit my head and knocked me out,
      Left my howl animal to name itself
      And wake me to the calculus of doubt.
      1.  aabccb ... ia 442442, 553553, 552552
           I put the name of my Academy to these forms, 
      despite that some others have used them before me 
      (especially Auden, who didn't invent them, either), 
      because they have no names otherwise, and need one.
           /En Apxh/
      "Things fall apart, and what rough dream
      Now slouches toward its Bethlehem?"
           The poet quoth,
      Who pray the lord his soul to keep
      Two million years of stony sleep --
           But here are both.
      What shudder in the soothing loam
      Pop forth this child so far from Rome
           With other wrongs?
      Here from the breccia there pokes
      Another of our daddy's jokes,
           Who speaks in Taungs.
      Old fogey.  Prodding at the dense,
      But who, for all your eloquence
           Despises phones:
      The eons come, the eons go,
      And still, what you want us to know
           You write on stones.
      For thou art rock and fortress, art
      In stone the stone that dangled Dart
           Across the rand
      To come wherever you had drawn
      And made your face to shine upon
           Your servant's hand.
      2.  aaabab ... ia 444242, 555353, 555252
      3.  aaabcccb ... ia 44424442 55535553
           Bittern Complaint
      Blessings on thee, little fellow,
      Sooty bird in sky of yellow:
      You sit in dying trees and bellow
           About our gases;
      Insecticides have done quite well
      With oil slicks and industrial smell
      At sending Robins straight to hell
           In wholesale masses.

      Sulfur plumes invade the space
      And freeways field a daily race
      Where the Heron once fished with grace
           At Lake Calhoun;
      From paper mills' mercuric grime
      And DDT's residual crime
      This world will be, in little time,
           A plaster moon.
           The repetition of rhyme in couplets and triplets can 
      approach or exceed harangue, which is followed by the 
      truncated line whose grammar, syntax, and rhyme can 
      give the reader whiplash.  The form is best suited to 
      political, social, practical, or personal satire.
      1.  aa ... ia 7
           Properly, fourteen syllables per line.
       b.  See "Common Meter."
       c.  See "Ballad."
           FREE VERSE
      1.  As established by Pound and Eliot, free verse has
       a.  A regular metric line with standard variations, but 
      the metrics of a line are not necessarily those of its 
       b.  Irregular use of true and slant rhyme, these 
      appearing not at random but so as to coincide with the 
      period of the argument;
       c.  Irregular use of stanza, such that a formal or 
      informal stanza is usually unlike its neighbors;
       d.  Extensive use of assonance, consonance, and 
      alliteration to support period.
      A gray wedge stutters at the edge of sight
      Beyond two windows only known by quiet.
      A metered sip of gasoline
      Engages in the tubes of my machine
      The hurricane : one to fifteen,
      Second after second in proportion;
      Hour on hour, rolling out our question.
      Night-stunted sight strains after changing shadows
      Event has traced behind prescription windows :
      And I must guess; and I must guess
      The shape and source of each caress,
      The thickness of the glass, and its distortion.
      Behind my eyes the ions come and go
      Recalculating /chiaroscuro/.
           The couplet is, yes, a blatant allusion to Eliot, and 
      appears again later in the poem (see "refrain").  Another 
      line that appears severally is
      "The road is longer than a six-volt highbeam.",
      which is used sufficiently to acquire the power of symbol.
           Unfortunately, their myriad followers are aware only 
      of what Pound and Eliot did /not/ use (/i.e./, regular 
      stanzas), and consequently use essentially nothing.  The 
      resulting prose, cut at random into short or long lines, 
      does not constitute poetry and is usually pretty poor 
      prose.  Since this condition has been true throughout 
      history, and good poetry has always survived it, it 
      doesn't bother me however it used to.  And I have played 
      with it myself, ordinarily to meet the submission deadlines 
      of Creative Writing courses, but I have nothing I can 
      consider exemplary out of the process.
           N.B.  Pound wrote, in 1952, that the /vers libre/ 
      "movement" had run its course in only fifteen years from 
      its inception (in 1915), and that its modern "followers" 
      were practicing none of its principles.  To see those 
      principles exampled, read the /Collected Poems/ of both 
      Pound and Eliot -- their methods differ markedly, 
      however their purposes do not.  Nobody since has come 
      up to them.
           As an example of "free verse" in the modern style, 
      go ahead and talk about
      artists who refuse to speak to you
      they know exactly what you want
      no matter what you say
      this is the year of the spider
      don't try to convince anyone
      that this was the dress rehearsal
           Please.  The /only/ interesting thing about this 
      poem is that it was "written" /by my computer/, fulfilling 
      a prophesy I made 25 years ago.
      1.  Three lines of 5,7,&5 /syllables/ not feet
        a.  unrhymed xxx,
        b.  rhymed axa.
      goose had a notion
       now under wide whistling wings
        pacific ocean
      2.  In English, three lines of /less/ than 5,7,&5 syllables 
      (see discussion).
        a.  unrhymed xxx,
        b.  rhymed axa.

      the spider too
       circles these papers
        finding no meat
           This second or English form results of the fact that 
      17 syllables of English contain more words than 17 
      syllables of Japanese.  Therefore the poem contains more 
      things, activity, and/or ideas than the form is supposed 
      to.  For a really workable exposition, see Henderson, 
      Harold G.  /An Introduction to Haiku/.  Garden City, NY:  
      Doubleday Anchor Books; 1958.
           DON JUAN
      1.  abababcc, ia 5.
           A stanza possibly coined by Spenser, but certainly 
      popularized by George Gordon (Byron) in his epic "Don 
      Juan."  The having to rhyme each word three times, 
      followed by the couplet, is especially conducive to 
      running a rhyme into the ground, and when coupled with 
      Byron's propensity to double, triple, and bent rhyme 
      (q.v.), the stanza is particularly good for making light of 
      a heavy subject, or, as in "Don Juan," keeping light a 
      poem that otherwise runs on interminably (12 Cantos of 
      over 1000 lines each!).
      1.  aabba, an 33223.
           In its most common form, the last word of the first 
      line is a person or place name.  Possibly invented, but 
      certainly popularised, by Edward Lear, his useage is 
      usually doggerel when the form deserves (and lately gets) 
      better than that.  It is the closest thing English has to a 
      spoken song, so that the syllable and stress count must 
      be as exact as possible; quantity impedes both the 
      anapest and the lyric, and should be avoided.  The first 
      foot of the line is often an iamb, and should always be if 
      the preceding word has a feminine ending (unstressed 
           Six and the Single Girl
      In a huff sat a great horny owl
      Who harrumphed as he ruffled his jowl,
           "A bird who stands neuter
           Is not worth a hooter,
      I swear by my mutter most fowl."
      "Your sinuous snake in Your grass,"
      Accused Eve, but the Snake called it sass:
           He denied, with a giggle,
           "No way, could I wiggle
      Like that, when I haven't an ass!"
      Said a scallop who thought it too cruel
      That the grating of sand grow a jewel :
           "I'll keep it all out
           By withdrawing my snout,"
      And the pressure reduced her to drool.
           Odes, whatever their form, exhibit a /strophe/, 
      stating an argument or observation, a matching 
      /antistrophe/, stating its antithesis, and an /epode/ which 
      is usually longer or shorter than the strophe, which 
      resolves or chooses between the two.
           It is not possible to imitate the /form/ of the Greek 
      ode in English because of the marked difference between 
      quantitative and stressed meter.  However, the ode in 
      English does imitate the intent and style of the Greek 
      (and Latin) ode.
      1.  Pindaric
       a.  Spenserian.
        1.  strophe      a5babc4cd5d4efefg5g6
            antistrophe  a5babc4cd5d4efefg5g6
            epode        a5b3c5ba3c5 de4ed fgfg5 hhijji4 k5k6
              The strophe and antistrophe are metrical variants 
                of the Shakespearean sonnet.  
              The form exhibits Spenser's habituation to the 
       b.  Gray.  In Gray's /The Progress of Poesy/, Woods II:53 
           ff., there are examples of the Pindaric Ode.  They 
           are asserted "closely imitative" in structure and 
           manner to the originals.
      2.  Modern
       a.  Keats.  These assume the mood of the lyric ode 
           without attempting the quantitative meter, periods, 
           or stanzas of the Greek forms, and usually ignoring
           the strictly-tripartite exposition.
        1.  ababcdecde ... ia 5
              a.  These vary, 1,2,3,4,4,5,6,8 stanzas per ode.
           It is perhaps noteworthy that the stanza is the 
           same as the last ten lines of an Italian sonnet,
           at which Keats was also a marvel.
        2.  ababcdecdde ... ia 5 ("To Autumn," only)
      How comes this wonder with the icegriped night
       From mummied thumbs in Andalusian bars,
      Or urgency this adamant make light
       The same sham theme at which our ice land spars?
      When wailing water strides in shatter shod
       And squalls itself to shards from shrilling threats
        In petulance its anarch splinters spall,
      What southron hails, or sunmulled cordial treats
       That unalive, malevolent dark fraud
        Whose lurch seems come to ram one cracking wall?
      None who confound a friend may linger here
       Where ice can creep the boottops to the will
      That some succumb the midnight of their year
       To weight our memory with winterkill:
      What can that Andalusia know, this dread,
       Whose chords must cozen and whose hands adore
        Terpsychore, lean solarheated miss
      Whose thunder in the heel, the bull, the blood
       Turns, quivering to frost the one guitar
        And it alone, has loved enough to kiss?
      One man alone can midnight so engage
       He cries the dawn, and only he let spit
      At nights so cold their lotion sears his rage
       Who knows the shot will snap before it hit;
      And he alone imagines overmuch,
       And he alone will whistle up a tune
        That will outwalk the fellow firelight
      And in the midnight of the desert touch
       The core of chill in fire, that afternoon
        Ring with what deserts also know of night.
           OTTAVA RIMA
      1.  ababbcbc ... ia 5
      Cats sleep to dream, for dreaming lets them chase
      What's tasty or forever wants to play
      Despite the blood from all the claws that grace
      Exuberance and mar the cringing clay.
      In dreams, the blood is red but does not sway
      The playmate from his life, or life from laugh
      (Ms. Macbeth could've dreamed the stain away):
      And so the kitten dreams to save a gaffe.
      1.  ABA'B', BCB'C', CDC'D', ... NAN'A'.
           The form comes from the Malayan, where polyag-
      glutination favors repetition in the ordinary speech, into 
      the French, where only the French do.
           The clanging repetition favors shorter lines and 
      lighter feet.

      1.  aa ... ia 67
           Properly, lines of 12 and 14 syllables.
           Cf. "Poulter's dozen," maybe 12, maybe 14.
       b.  See "Short Meter."
      1.  Any 14-line lyric stanza.
      2.  See "Sonnet."
           Actually any of a number of 14-line, often irregular, 
      stanzas in iambic pentameter that developed into any of a 
      number of English sonnets.  Also the earliest name for a 
      sonnet.  Sidney, in /Astrophel and Stella/, experiments 
      with several, including those usually called "Spenserian" 
      and "Shakespearian."
      1.  Loosely, any logical, grammatical, or sonic grouping of 
      four lines rhyming abab or abba.
      I should by trees' furs oozing into green
        Learn blooming spring and so learn love,
      But all my sauces shudder like the lean
           And treading dove.
      I should by lilacs ringing from the clay
        Their royal robes prove summer loves,
      But my brown brain will rabbit out of May
           To strip the groves.
      The acorn's autumn should have taught all things
        Their travels as the red oak roves,
      But all my raving chatter only sings
           The squirrel too loves,
      And only winter and the ringing wood
        Within the tree and ticking stove
      That hold but hints of generation could
           Teach me to love.
      2.  But especially:
           a.  abba, ia (4),5; the closed or envelope quatrain.
           b.  abab, ia (4),5; the open quatrain.
      Quatrains are used like completed bricks to build larger 
      poems, but see especially the varieties of sonnet.  The 
      regularity of period afforded by the quatrain may be 
      varied by making the grammar halt within the quatrain or 
      run on into the next.  See SONNET for examples of both.
      3.  The stanzas of the ballad are not usually referred to 
      as quatrains because of the different meters in the lines, 
      but see 1., above.
           Word's Worth
      There are no English words for woods
        That plane to thick and even curls
      Whose shape and color are the goods
        Of pinafores and happy girls.
      There are no English words for snow
        Whose thirty flavors all instruct
      The lecture of the Eskimo
        To keep his children tightly tucked.
      There are no English words for thought
        That every student knew by heart
      When Zeno and his cronies sought
        To pick the lexicon apart,
      And so no man can hope to fix
        The English words for politics.
           c.  abab bcbc cdcd ..., ia (4),5; linked quatrains
                see Virelay.
           In His Image
      There is so little this computer does
      But ones and zeros on a billion gates:
      It is their pattern gives it its because,
      And wherefore to the gear it animates.
      The data dances in its ones and eights
      To flip fleet input to eternal fact,
      And tells the people that its action baits
      That this was always how the cooky cracked:
      A bit of color or a random act
      Turns one to art, another to the dance,
      Until men had what man himself had lacked
      As sticks and stones were tinkered to advance.
      The stones computers are weren't made by chance
      As were ourselves in that grand grope of motes,
      But grown in vats around the circumstance
      Of dreams that sought to put themselves in quotes
      And clone eternal life, that it connotes
      Some permanance amid this madcap whirl,
      But that is not the point:  a program bloats
      With unrestricted words just like a girl,
      Exhibits growth, then parentage, then pearl,
      Is rounded out with all that it accrues,
      Acquires worth and value by referral,
      And gets the game on empty CPUs.
           RIME ROYAL
      1.  ababbcc, ia 5.
                Incident In Da Nang
      The day the four-year-old with the grenade
      Blew herself upon my once-best friend
      A place five kinds of racist all had made
      Unfit for any conscript you could send
      You wiped the counter right down to the end
       Where I sat with a slowly-warming Miller,
       Said, "What do you hear these days from the baby-killer?"
      1.  aabba, aabR, aabbaR; ia 4.
      2.  abbaabR, abbaR; ia 4.
           R is truncated, may be A/2, need not rhyme, and is 
      often a pun.
      1.  ABA'B', babA, abaB, babA', abaB', babaR; ia 5(4).
           R is truncated A, as above.
      1.  ABba, baAB, abbaA(B); ia 5(4).
      2.  ABab, abAB, abaA(B); ia 5(4).
      3.  ABab, abAB, abbaA(B); ia 5(4).
           The Wild Goose Goes
      The gray geese fly above the hunters' guns :
      They've summer in their heads, though it is autumn.
      When feet begin to chill on familiar runs,
      The yellowed reeds crack
                       where mere growth has caught them,
      And white bears embrace air, to gaze like nuns
      Awaiting nones on knees, as though they sought them,
      The gray geese fly above the hunters' guns :
      They've summer in their heads, though it is autumn.
      Though lemmings sleep the tundra's missing suns,
      And gulls debate the dole the Humboldt brought them,
      Some dare cold tears to watch these southbound duns,
      The gray geese, fly above the hunters' guns.

           Another form whose length and form are fixed 
      absolutely.  The repeated lines may vary grammatically, 
      syntactically, or in reference.
      1.  AbaR, baba, abaR; ia (an) 5(4).
           R is truncated A, and rhymes b.
                          a /--/--
                          b /--/-
                          a 2(/--/--)
                          b /--/-
           The bit is given in the "Song of the Seirenes,"
      /The Odyssey/.  However, it is the scansion of the 
      English as translated by Robert Fitzgerald, and is 
      admixed with quatrains (the lines abab).
      1.   abcdef faebdc cfdabe ecbfad deacfb
                bdfeca ab,cd,ef; 39 lines, ia(5)(4).
           Unrhymed (except accidentally), letters refer to 
      /whole words/ that end each line:  exact word (including 
      grammatical pun), homonym, or composite homonym.
           N.B.:  Each stanza's set of terminals takes the 
      previous set in the pattern faebdc (cf 2nd stanza).  Last 
      stanza is three lines; first of each pair may be first word 
      of line, usually second accent of line, less often third.
           Odysseus in Ithaca
      More rare than fingers fashioned by the sword
      Or callused by the cursing of their tools
      Is love that chafes to bursting on its words
      To supple at itself, its own salt jewel
      Make fit like leather form it never felt
      Though that smooth skin wear but the primal fault.
      The having none with whom to share the fault
      Has had more singers fall upon the sword
      Than on the lyre to say what beauty felt
      In breathing man; then do not fault the tools
      For having made a sandbox of a jewel
      When wandering wonders trickle out of words.
      You do not know me.  Twenty years of words
      Callused to cursive pattern for the fault
      Of wasting twenty years on that fouled jewel
      And all my men who thought to take the sword
      Was but to take up residence as tools
      Have robbed my voice and rubbed my curls to felt,
      And what Victory recall what the stone felt
      Before it rubbed the alphabet and words
      Of prig Pygmalion's cocky box of tools?
      To make our dwelling on an ancient fault
      Of being none until the careful sword
      Found and defended here and there a jewel
      Was in itself enough to wreak a jewel,
      But fast forgot what its creation felt
      As boys are left forgotten by the sword.
      This is why we leave the sharpened words,
      But is it theirs, the lawyers', or your fault
      That you confound the product and the tools?
      You knew the fitting out, unbeaten tools,
      While these are tired of Greece, nor wear the jewel
      By which we loved us, but these boys' same fault
      Is dumb of how our Menelaus felt
      When fit forgot him for some fitting words;
      Nothing I bring, but the unbeaten sword.
      The sword is the most general of tools
      And not my words unfaced our wedding jewel,
      But not since Aulis have I felt such fault.
           In this example, six words were chosen in slant-
      rhymed pairs to fit an idea already in existence, put in 
      their order on the page, and the rest of the poem 
      composed in between them.  Frost is vituperative of the 
      method, however it is the /only/ way to write a sestina...
           SHORT METER
      1.  xaxa ... ia 3343
           "Poulter's Measure," printed in four lines.
       b.  See also "Ballad," which this often replaces.
       c.  See also "Common Meter."
      2.  aaxa ... ia 3343
      3.  aaba bbcb ... nnan, ia 3343, a linked version which 
           may defeat the purpose of having an unrhymed 
           line, but which certainly sounds off.
           Originally, any short English lyric; the listed forms 
      were then called "Quatorzain."
      1.  Petrarchan or Italian    
        a.  abbaabba,cdcdcd  ia 5.
      A lone mosquito, desperate for a drink
      Got in my face, and so between my hands;
      A marvelous small feat of wings and glands
      Became a smear of stuff within a blink.
      If gods there are, then even gods will wink
      At that dear stroke whose meter but remands
      The stuff of being to other allemandes:
      You, only you, will ever raise a stink
        For leaving but a beauty that can blind
      But quickly slips the memories of men
      As even taste is once more redesigned,
      And you are taken up without your ken
      Nor let alone consent, while all your mind
      But dissipates to molecules again.

       b.  abbaabba,cdecde  ia 5.
      To any who'd appoint a child to place,
      Your Furies mewl submission, will not cross
      The pusillanimous who pule your loss,
      And you stay hid among what you should grace.
      The tape slips by the pickup heads; a trace
      Repeats the tunes we threw against the joss
      And overcalls the monument you moss,
      For this had none beyond our ears' embrace.
        But tape pops splash the same transmission hash
      That stunted the old concert, and the frost,
      Compounded of a common tracery,
      Compiles from every minute worry trash
      A glacial weight behind my pentecost
      Where our new measures of that joy should be.
       c.  abbaabba,cdcdee  ia 5.
      Your heavens had had the earth, and turned it wrong :
      The plum's long argument in sunlight found
      Her explanation spiked on cooling ground;
      The swallow fled your elm, whose limbs were strong
      With stellar ice, for austral billabong;
      The chipmunk chewed the seed, and left a mound
      Of pinecone flakes, and your whole garden browned.
      Then into that /pastiche/ I strode my song.
        But you would have me more than god, a nerd
      To keep the autumn at eternal bay
      So that your love would never know a word
      For dying, and your love, eternal May.
      Now all you feared has come, a little sting,
      And you do little but to curse the spring.
       d.  abbaabba,cddcee  ia 5.

      There is still wonder in an early chant;
      And what though my guitar have lost a string
      That make to play a strain?  To this I cling
      For every tatter in its mortal want
      As far it wean me from the primer slant.
      And what, years add such water to the thing
      That no child practice at this parrying
      For that it's insufficiently /avant/?
        These shapes,
          though all the arms of Thrace between us,
      Or we've no arms, perhaps no will, to do,
      Were still high model while the ages grew :
      All arms their age denied, one plaster Venus
      Beckons still to whom do not abhor
      To wear arms that a man has worn before.
       e.  abbaabba, other variants in sestet.
      I even see you in what you took out,
      And in this space you leave to occupy,
      There is but wood, and wax, and only I.
      Damn your totalitarian rag.  Now doubt
      Attempts at midnight its ear-hissing rout,
      And there's no bit of dirt for me to spy
      As worse than me, beneath the whole damned sky --
      Only my fear, as better than a pout.
        Well -- Hades will have fun, and you with it :
      How sweet it is, to be so scrubbed by you,
      And think of all the wiping there's to do! :
      Old Dante's brats, millenia of sin,
      And all can make a sizzle of your spit
      Before that generosity begin.
      2.  Spenserian                
        a.  ababbcbccdcdee   ia 5.
           See "Ottava Rima."

      The edges black before the spores are thrown,
      These mushrooms stand in bridal white gone sour,
      For they can go no farther than they've grown:
      To stand and die is all their only flower.
      To come to mind is not within their power;
      If eaten, they would only make us sick;
      They stand aloft for one day and one hour,
      Then some few spores repeat the tired /schtick/,
      And no mortician beetle gives a click
      That even the spores but slosh beneath the cap,
      And do not cast beyond the parent stick;
      This is where life and death but overlap.
        You have refused to be a bride of mind:
        See here what happens to your churlish kind.
      3.  Shakespearean             
        a.  ababcdcdefefgg   ia 5.
      Because I work at home, my family think
      It is not work, for work is what you /go to/.
      Try telling that to Mrs. Bobolink
      And she'll for sure tell you where /you/ should go to.
      Six to twelve hours a day I sit and sit
      And stare my screen to try to necromance
      The verb to verve, the syntax into wit:
      I sit, and slowly overflow my pants.
      I rise to smoke, again I sit to string
      Three words together like an acolyte:
      By sitting on that nest come anything
      The bobolink has taught me how to write
        By laying one small notion that might catch,
        Then sitting long enough to make it hatch.
      4.  Gray's                    
        a.  ababababcdcdcd   ia 5.    
      5. Fishhook                  
        a.  ababcbcdcdedee   ia 5.

      My loneliness must never haunt these lines
      As it embodied me while you were here;
      I have you now in thousands of designs.
      Each knows you somewhat; all have held you dear:
      This mushroom surely knows your brevity
      For it was of the first to commandeer
      Your little stuff, and so the last to see
      Your recent entry into polyglot,
      A hermit brought into community.
      The little stuff I wit the mushroom wot
      Is all its world, so little to appall;
      It sees so little, but, then, you saw not:
        Alone, I'm friended by a little gall:
        You made me lonely when I knew you all.
       b.  abababcdcdcdee   ia 5.
       c.  abcbcdcdedefaf   ia 5.
       d.  abcbcdcdedeaea   ia 5.
             Cycla Sonneta, q.v.      
             See also "Cycla Rima," "Terza Rima."
      6.  Irregular
           1.  Irregular line length
           2.  Irregular rhyme pattern
                These are "Quatorzain."
      1.  ababbcbc[c] ... ia 5[6]
           An Alexandrine added to Ottava Rima, /q.v./
           The Alexandrine closes each stanza from the next;
            see esp. /The Faerie Queen/.
      2.  abababcc ... ia 5
           But /cf/. esp. Byron's /Don Juan./
           Though Byron did not invent this stanza, it is his 
      /Don Juan/ we usually think of in connection with it.  
      The rhymes are sufficiently varied to admit of a long 
      poem, and there are enough of them to allow 
      superciliousness.  It should be noted that the rhymes are 
      often sprung, a comedy that gives the back of the hand 
      to what has just been punctuated by the rhyme.
           Burning the Norton at Both Ends
      Why do men with no noise left to eschew
      But taking a machine gun to the shoats,
      And wanting vehicle for billets-doux,
      At last write letters to the deader poets?
      Perhaps it beats Four Seasons on kazoo,
      And though it may not beat Pinot, it's
       Time-consuming, inexpensive, fun,
       A wondrous exercise, and overdone,
      Though reigning critics never called such games
      Since Babel gave a point of view to Genesis
      And Einstein did the same for other frames;
      Something there is that doesn't love the pen as is
      And men since Adam go on naming names,
      So now there is this epilogue of Dennis'
       That will not keep your children warm in classes
       Unless your School Board burns it in their faces.
      And it would lilt like Dvorƒk, much possessed
      By his New World and ours, and all its promise,
      But then I start to sing, and I am pressed
      For that I follow Anselm, Paul, or Thomas,
      And what infinity is perfectly regressed
      By which syllables in between what commas
       By those who, having ears, have never heard,
       No matter who first spoke their favorite word.
           TERZA RIMA
      1.  aba, bcb, cdc, ded, ... nan.  ia(5).
           /Cf/. "Cycla Rima" and "Virelay."
           Once More, With Feeling
      The eyes full-size already, that began
      In this subvermin, pseudoalien face:
      They look back at the human like the man.
      They see but light and shade in any case
      And track black spots the same as track their dad,
      But trump their troubles with a mother's ace.
      They make their errors not because they're bad
      Yet suffer of the ignorance they're in.
      And still they know they grow to Galahad
      With diligent attention.  Once again
      They set out on their course without a mind
      They've travelled it before, a harlequin
      Who stumbles through a role he's not defined
      With what aplomb they muster from the plan
      They gathered once before -- and left behind.
      1.  aBAB'CC' Bxbxyy Axaxyy B'xbxyy Cxcxyy C'xcxyy
           An invention of John Ciardi on the Provencal 
      structures.  In these, x rhymes with x and y with y 
      within the stanza, but not with any other stanza.  
      Introduced in "A Trenta-sei of the Pleasure We Take in 
      the Early Death of Keats," /Echoes,/ Fayetteville:  The 
      University of Arkansas Press, 1989.
      2.  ABA'B'CC' Bxbxyy Cxcxyy 
           A'xaxyy B'xbxyy C'xcxaA (-Aa)
      3.  aBAB'CC' Bxbxyy Cxcxyy Axaxyy B'xbxyy C'xcxaa (-yy)
      1.  ABaAabAB; ia (an) 4(3).
      2.  ABab abAB; ia 4.
      3.  ABabAbaBA; ia (an) 4(3).
      4.  ABababaBA; ia (an) 4(3).
           b is often feminine.
           Phoebus Appalled
      No sorer insult has the song
      Than singing what occur will not
      Deter the verse that prods the prong
      That concertises polyglot,
      But being what the baying long
      Is discipline the simple spot
      To like a lad of lesser wrong
      Than singing what a cur will not :
      No sorer insult has the song.
      1.  AbA' abA abA' abA abA' abAA'
      The four requirements for a vilanelle's refrains:  
           1.  It is a thesis, cothesis, or antithesis statement;
           2.  It is a first change;
           3.  It is a second change;
           4.  It is a conclusion, as half of a couplet.
           A good half-couplet had, the difficulty of continuing 
      a vilanelle, whether that first line is A or A', lies in 
      coming up with the /other/ refrain.  Thank the Muses 
      that the /other/ refrain must necessarily make a couplet 
      with the first line had, in the conclusion, and that is 
      usually how I cobble my second refrains:  first, the made 
      line must satisfy the mechanics of a good couplet with the 
      had line, /at the same time/ setting off or augmenting the 
      latter as thesis line; second, it should be capable of 
           Very few statements satisfy these requirements, let 
      alone make good poetry into the bargain.
      A word is just a little way
      Into wisdom, not enough
      To taste.  A time I put away
      The parables that I could stay
      Still shows the centuries how tough
      A word is : just a little way
      Past other noises of the day
      Returns a beating breath, a puff
      To taste, a time I put away
      As it went out, and you to play.
      Another penny on my cuff :
      A word is just.  A little way
      Beyond what people want to pray
      Is what was said : sufficient stuff
      To taste a timtime.  I put away
      The children's words in coming gray
      However, for the book to rough
      A word is just a little way
      To taste a time I put away.
           Note the variations in grammar of the repeated 
      lines.  The technique is not mandatory, but does provide 
      variety in what can easily stale.  Several superior 
      vilanelles, however, do not make use of variance, but 
      rather of refrain.
      2.  AbA' abA abA' abA babAA'
      1.  abab, bcbc, cdcd, ... nana; ia 5353, 4242, etc.
           The Way We Were
      You into my life strode stark and sleek
           And jumped my timid bones:
      You were so much of girl but never meek
           You struck me into tones.
      Ours were not the days of tea and scones
           But full of flesh and flesh;
      I swam about in my testosterones
           And grew a man afresh.
      The news was full of crime and Bangladesh
           But our bright days were not;
      We put our thoughts to ways that we could mesh,
           Enjoy what we had got.
      Biscuits in the can, beans in the pot
           Were all our worries then
      You seemed quite bent on keeping me besot,
           And I, to push the pen.
      The squirrels hailed our presence with a Sten
           When we took beds of grass;
      The lake baptized our antics with amen
           Whatever came to pass.
      Now we are old, and antics seem a sass,
           Youth nothing but a cheek
      That we once had against the common mass
           For one whole week.
           This may give you an idea of how form can order 
      thought, give it progression, and keep it from running 
      off at the mouth.  It began in a single line a couple 
      weeks old, and continued in the fact that I needed a 
      virelay for this book.
                     EMOTION AND POETRY
           For far too many decades, Wordsworth is "quoted" 
      in Literature and Creative Writing "courses" as "excuse" 
      for the fact that the undisciplined poetaster slobbers all 
      over the page, or cries to the skies, or screeches, and 
      indeed does anything but produce a lyric.  The offending 
      passage is this:  
                "Poetry is the spontaneous overflowing of 
           powerful emotion."
           What he said (in the Preface to Lyrical Ballads, 
      coauthored with Coleridge) is quite its opposite:

                "Poetry is the spontaneous overflowing of 
           powerful emotions, reflected in tranquillity.  And no 
           one can be said to have had a powerful emotion, 
           save that he had also thought long and deeply."
           /Verb. sap./
           Young poets seem to be, instead of "passionately in 
      love with language," rather passionately in love with their 
      /statement/.  I wonder if there is any way to convince 
      them that the High Trvth they have just discovered, and 
      are so eager to broadcast that they forget the /manner/, 
      are High Trvths precisely because they have been 
      discovered and broadcast millions of times before their 
      own happy accidents.  There being no novelty in the 
      thought, there had better be novelty in the statement.  
      Prosody is the bag of tools, the only available bag, by 
      which to achieve that novelty -- or even only a cleaning 
      up or dusting off of what has gone before.
           It should never be forgotton that the forms of 
      stanzas and the relating of sounds arise initially out of 
      necessity or experiment.  Those that work, we keep by 
      using again, whether it is the same poet or another that 
      uses them.  These are very far from all possible stanzas, 
      though these are probably all the sound relationships 
      readily available to English.  The stanzas are merely most 
      of those that poets in one language or another have 
      found useful, in some cases so useful they have stolen 
      them from other languages, and made them their own.
           If these do not work for you, it is possible you 
      need to cobble up a new form.  It is more probable that 
      you need more work, for learning these is sweat of the 
      worst kind; on occasion it has made me long for the Army 
      again as being easier, and certainly more immediately 
      rewarding.  If you persist, however, you will know why I 
      did, the first time one of your poems sings back at you.  
      And be of good cheer:  practice does bring the kind of 
      facility that can peel off line after line with little 
      grunting and few rewrites.  About four years should 
      allow facility with some dozen of these.
           Oh?  And how old will you be in four years if you 
      /don't/ practice?
           Yours truly,