Here’s my December poem told in a Curtal sonnet.
Making it for Mom
Back in the 50s they called it junior high.
In 8th grade I took a class called shop.
I knew little about tools but I could draw.
I approached the coming experience with many a sigh,
Totally intimidated by the backdrop
Of machinery pounding, grinding, the shriek of saw.
First we had to imagine, visualize,
And draw what we hoped to make without a flaw.
Too bad I couldn’t draw it and then stop.
My glue-smeared ice bucket was no prize.
But mom said, “Awe.”
(c) David L. Harrison
BULLETIN: I finished the first draft at 9:50. I’ll be ready to post tomorrow.
Here’s the format I’ll work with today for the Curtal sonnet.
The rules will require me to include five stressed syllables in each line so I’ve indicated them here. I’m allowed as many unstressed syllables as needed so I have not included them in this schematic. The a rhyme will appear two times. The b rhyme will appear three times, the c rhyme four times, and the d rhyme twice. Feel free to join me with one of your own if you like.
Recently poet Steven Withrow shared a poem he’d written using a rather difficult formula devised by Gerard Manley Hopkins called a Curtal sonnet and featuring another favorite poetic devise of Hopkins, sprung rhythm. Here is the formula: abcabc dcbdc or abcabc dbcdc with the last line a tail, or half a line. Sprung rhythm requires a specific number of stressed syllables per line but leaves the number of unstressed syllables open. It has been described as a conversational form of poetry.
And here is “Pied Beauty,” one of Manley’s best known examples.
Glory be to God for dappled things—
For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings;
Landscape plotted and pieced—fold, fallow, and plough;
And áll trádes, their gear and tackle and trim.
All things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:
Gerard Manley Hopkins
I love a challenge so I’ve decided to write my November Word of the Month Poetry Challenge poem as a Curtal sonnet.
And so, my friend Steven, if I fail, this will be on your head! Monday I will begin.