Monday, November 15, 2010

Special square stanzas

My recent posting (November 14)  of a symmetric stanza by Lewis Carroll illustrates one variety of  "square" poem -- in which the number of words per line is the same as the number of lines.  My own square poems (for examples, see October 7 or June 9) are syllable-squares; that is, each stanza has the same number of syllables per line as there are lines. Lisa McCool's poem below is, like Carroll's, a word-square; in McCool's poem --  in addition to the 6x6 shape -- the first words of each line, when read down, match the first line of the poem, and the last words of each line, when read down, match the last line of the poem.

     The Farmer's Mother To His Wife

     What man fights a birth? Your
     man suckled hard at the breast.
     Fights saved for plows and more:
     a furrowed hope to be blessed.
     Birth like God's corn: sons for
     your breast, more blessed for harvest.

     McCool's poem also has a rhyme scheme, ababab.  
     Here is a link to a square by Marian Dunn -- a word-square like McCool's, but lacking a rhyme scheme.  Dunn's poem, however, has an additional feature -- one may find a poem by reading vertically as well as horizontally.  Wthin her layout, Dunn has created two slightly different poems while Carroll's symmetric square stanza from November 14 gave the same poem when read either vertically or horizontally.

No comments:

Post a Comment