Recently Ariel O’Suilleabhain suggested that I post a specific poetic form as a challenge to anyone who wanted to try it and I said I liked the idea. If you’re interested, here is something you might consider. I’ll provide examples of other short poetic forms in Poetry Tip #7 coming up in a few weeks but today I thought I’d skip ahead and select the long ballad from that segment. Here’s how it works.
Long Ballad (4 lines per stanza)
Line lengths: 4/4/4/4 (4 accented syllables in each line = tetrameter)
Typical meter: iambic (da DA da DA da DA da DA)
Rhyme: abcb, aabb, or abab
My Treasure (abab)
It’s such a slender little book
Squeezed between a larger pair,
Unless you know just where to look
You could easily miss it there.
But it’s worth more than all the host
Of books on shelves beside my bed.
I’ll forever treasure most
This book – the first I ever read.
(c) 2003 David L. Harrison, all rights reserved
from THE ALLIGATOR IN THE CLOSET, Boyds Mills Press
Let me know if you have questions. If you decide to write a long ballad, post it here under comments to help us keep all the poems gathered in one place. I expect contributions to trickle in over time. Have fun and tell me if you’d like to do this again one of these days.