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Thread: Haunted Heptasyllables

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    Has a few recurring issues kborsden's Avatar
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    Oct 2006
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    Haunted Heptasyllables

    Haunted Heptasyllables – yes this is a (Halloween game), but first some long-windedness:

    In Western (and European) poetry, when we refer to a verse written to ‘heptasyllabic measure’ (note: not meter), we are speaking of a single line that is commonly adapted from 2-beat footed trimeter (i.e. iambic/trochaic trimeter) by an additional syllable. This extra syllable is known as and ‘intrusion’ – in this case, a ‘heptasyllabic intrusion’. In order not to throw the meter of the verse it appears in or jar awkwardly as it leads into the following verse, there are methods to hide it, or use it to an almost invisible effect whilst still highlighting whatever focus was deemed important enough to be stretched so slightly beyond the regularity of the established meter.

    For example, if your trimetric verse is iambic then you would incorporate the intrusion either central to your line as an extra stress at the 4th syllable, resulting in iamb, bacchius, iamb:

    Below, | the {fat} man | slinks off |

    Or at the end of the verse as an extra soft accented syllable, resulting in an anapaest:

    Below, | the man | slinks {a}way |

    The same goes for trochaic meter, but the central intrusion creates an antibacchius and the end line intrusion results in a dactyl. There are other intrusion methods, but for the sake of simplicity, I’ll leave it as that.

    In any case, the idea for this thread is that using the last line of each poem posted as the first verse of the next, we write heptasyllabic poetry. To do this you can use any verse form you like, but you’ll probably have to adapt it to fit the heptasyllablic intrusion – there are several forms that use 7s lines as a point of structure, such as the Englyn to start but I’d like to see a few sonnets, triolets, or any other verse form (fused or revised) you can dream up and/or (re)configure to fit this thread. Go wild, don’t be afraid to experiment, and don’t worry too much about the meter, as long as your final verse is 7s.

    I go (Englyn Cyrch):

    Even when I rise to walk
    you can't stop your grating talk –
    I wish my senses were dulled
    as if my skull had been corked


    Your line:

    as if my skull had been corked
    Last edited by kborsden; 10-26-2011 at 05:59 AM.
    Kieran Borsden
    "to be born Welsh, is to be born--not with a silver spoon in your mouth, but with song in your heart, and poetry in your soul"

    -->Read Me

    Got to write an Englyn or 2

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