A septet posted on W.O.M.

Hi everyone,

Here’s a poem posted under Adult Word of the Month that’s worth reading carefully. Meet Annalisa Hall.

I Wonder Where We Are
by Annalisa Hall, 2012

We stare at leafy branches that reach to nowhere;
Upward and outward gaping through clouds of naught.
We gawk at knotty tree trunks encircling time with care;
To entangle and intertwine the memories caught there.
We marvel at the forest splendor Nature before us brought.
Clasping limbs renewed a gentle stride together, we trot
In silence and awe through somewhere on a treetop prayer.

I like her poem and the almost dream-like vision she portrays. But what I want to point out is that Annalisa chose a septet for her framework and created an unusual rhyme scheme in the process.

There are a number of kinds of 7-line poems. The only one among them with this rhyme scheme (a/b/a/a/b/b/a) is the Sicilian Septet. However, other requirements of that form make this one different. In the Spanish Septet, the rhyme scheme is usually different from this poem (a/a/b/c/c/b/a) but the length of line is more similar to what Annalisa has chosen for her poem. The Spanish Septet often uses four (tetrameter) or five (pentameter) accented syllables per line whereas this poem relies mainly on pentameter and hexameter (six beats) lines and even one heptameter (seven beats) line.

The end result is a quiet, reflective poem whose long lines keep us engaged as we take our time to enjoy each new image as the narrative unfolds.

Annalisa, if you have thoughts to share with us, we will welcome your comments.



6 comments on “A septet posted on W.O.M.

  1. Pingback: Septet « By Annalisa Hall

  2. WONDER is a great word with many different meanings, uses, and perspectives…reading each posted poem brought something wonderful to mind and appreciate those willing to post their work. Great job!

    I chose the definition “to be amazed” with synonyms like marvel, gawk, gape, splendor, and awe. Inspired by a view outside my office window with a big skeleton tree, I wished for something different for it too…leaves. Thus, began the pause, stop, look, move forward feel of the work.

    Although septets usually have seven lines of iambic pentameter rhymed abababa and line meter: xX xX xX xX xX, I felt like this trip to/from somewhere needed a stumble feeling to it to capture the full effect of “Wonder” and therefore, its almost a traditional septet.

    Sound of words is wonderful to me (I’m a talker) which is why I couldn’t resist “naught” and “knotty” word play and why instead of using “clasping arms” I used “limbs” because trees and people have them. Oh, I only added the title after the poem was written (Does anyone else do that?) and that’s harder than writing the poem itself. Anyway! Thank you for the opportunity to write!

    …and Mr. Harrison, thank you for writing “The Book of Giant Stories” it happens to be my MOST favorite children’s book of all time! I share the book often and gift it whenever possible because so much can be learned from your work. We all have moments in life when someone bigger/better/giant/unexpected comes along and befriends/helps/carries us farther than we can go ourselves…I’m honored you enjoyed my septet.

    • Annalisa, I love your explanation of where you were, what inspired you, and how you made your decisions about how you would create this poem. You give a most thoughtful description and your readers will like that too.

      I am deeply flattered by your kind words and I’m delighted that you have loved The Book of Giant Stories. Thanks so much.


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