Monday, October 19, 2015

Cinquain

So I had a whim in the last month. I decided I needed to learn a poem form. Why would I do that? Do I hate myself? Am I a sadomasochist?  Hardly. I actually wanted to learn poetry.

What piqued my interest was the open mic night at the Kirkwood Train Station this summer put on by St Louis Writers Guild. The enthusiasm, sadness, joy, adoration, and pure heart that came out of the mouths of those accomplished poets was an experience to hear.

I ended up browsing for poem forms in poets.org and found the cinquain, a five line form. I dabbled in the common ones, rhyming in the prescribed ways. Then I looked at what Adelaide Craspey did with the form focusing on the syllabic patterns.

She had a melodic pattern. I can't carry a tune in a bucket, semi-truck, or a Saturn V rocket, but I am familiar with math. So I chose the Fibonacci sequence. Yes, that sequence that give us that wonderful spiral that is on the cover of so many math text books. Now, now, puking is not the right response. Chin up!

Fibonacci is a beautiful visual sequence. That's the reason why I chose it. I was hoping its beauty would also come out in the poems. And as a self sadomasochist, I used the beginning of the sequence which starts with 1,1. You try to think of words with one syllable that can be used for a single line see how easy it is. Self defense aside, I think I actually pulled it off.

You can see my Fibonacci Syllabic Sequenced poems on my other blog here. They are indeed patterned after Craspey's poems except for the syllabic pattern.

Well, I might not be the greatest poet in the world, but for a novice I don't think they're half bad.

The fun part about creating these in such a constrained fashion, is that the experience was like solving a puzzle. You had a message to say and you only had thirteen syllables to say it with, counting the title. When you finally figured it all out, you had a sense of accomplishment.

Then the reciting is fun because you get to put on stresses on the different words and almost act out the message. So it's like theater in a way.

The whole experience was quite fun and enlightening. I recommend it.