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Lillith1991
09-05-2015, 08:41 PM
I've been experiementing with traditional forms in addition to my normal fare and prose poetry, my chosen form for traditional stuff until November is the ballad. Which, you would think would make things easy as ballads are a simple form. But most of the places I could send my most likely to be mainly SFFH ballads don't want poems to exceed 40 lines. So my question is this, since the ballad is a form of narative poem has anyone here tried plotting them out? And if so, what was the method you used?

Ambrosia
09-07-2015, 02:23 AM
I've never written a ballad before. So I can't help you with your question. I hope someone else can. Good luck.

Lillith1991
09-07-2015, 02:38 AM
I've never written a ballad before. So I can't help you with your question. I hope someone else can. Good luck.

Thanks!

Something tells me that I should've gone for sonnets or some other form. Why is it the deceptively simple ones that always gives the most trouble?

Ambrosia
09-07-2015, 02:50 AM
I think there was a discussion not that long ago (but my memory is faulty so who knows?) about there not being any modern day ballads. I am not sure that it is as simple a form as it may appear, for modern day usage at least.

Errant Lobe
09-07-2015, 04:15 AM
I've been experiementing with traditional forms in addition to my normal fare and prose poetry, my chosen form for traditional stuff until November is the ballad. Which, you would think would make things easy as ballads are a simple form. But most of the places I could send my most likely to be mainly SFFH ballads don't want poems to exceed 40 lines. So my question is this, since the ballad is a form of narative poem has anyone here tried plotting them out? And if so, what was the method you used?

I do not write ballads for publication for the reason stated by Ambrosia. But, I plot every other form of poetry. I grew into the taste of treasuring poetry of any form that fulfills a clear purpose.
I take my cues from studying Robert F. Murray, a young poet with a streak of genius who died early before he could come into his own.
Download his work from Project Gutenberg, study him.
Even his throw away lines are brilliant.

Below is a sampling of his:

Loud he sang he song, Ta Phershon
For his personal diversion;
Sang the chorus U-pi-dee;
Sang about the Barley Bree.


In that hour when all is quiet
Sang he songs of noise and riot;
In a voice so loud and queer
That I wakened up to hear.


Songs that distantly resembled
Those one hears from men assembled
In the Old Cross Keys Hotel,
Only sung not half so well.


For the time of this ecstatic
Amateur was most erratic;
And he only hit the key
Once in every melody.


If "he wot prigs wot isn't his'n
Ven he's cotched is sent to prison,"
He who murders sleep might well
Adorn a solitary cell.


But if no obliging peeler
Will arrest this midnight squealer;
My own peculiar arm of might
Must undertake the job tonight!

Lillith1991
09-07-2015, 09:00 AM
I think there was a discussion not that long ago (but my memory is faulty so who knows?) about there not being any modern day ballads. I am not sure that it is as simple a form as it may appear, for modern day usage at least.

Maybe I can bring them back if I become well known for my use of them! Not likely to happen, but a girl can dream.

I think the issue with ballads is one of the meters used. Most of us seemed to have been forced to at least try to write in pentameter in highschool, but not trimeter or tetrameter. And since ballads alternate tetrameter and trimeter... well, that's a bit of a problem. Luckily however, the basics of the form are pretty easy when discounting the meter issue. It's just long line followed by a short line, with the short lines rhyming with each other. If someone can train themselves to do that, they can train themselves to work in tetra and trimeter. Annabel Lee by Poe is an example of this, following the visible form of long line followed by shorter line without being a true ballad. Which is what I'm doing with a different poem than the one in the OP, using 9 syllable lines followed by iambic trimeter lines. Hopefully a few of those will see me able to pair that down to iambic tetrameter.

Norman D Gutter
09-08-2015, 07:36 PM
Lilleth:

I've written poems in ballad meter, both long and short poems. In my book Daddy-Daughter Day is a 490 line ballad, in ballad meter with a slight twist.

We don't see ballad meter used as much in short poems, but there's really no reason why it couldn't be. Concerning ballad meter and rhyming schemes, the problem I've seen with most developing poets is trying to force an internal rhyme in the four-foot line, and it sounds clunky and, well, just plain awful. I didn't even attempt it with my ballad.

Best of luck,
NDG

Lillith1991
09-11-2015, 04:15 AM
Norman, I was thinking something similar. As long as the tertrameter line is the right length, makes sense with the trimeter line, and the last words of the trimeter in each stanza rhyme with each other. I don't really see much of a problem.

kuwisdelu
09-11-2015, 05:01 AM
I include a ballad ("Ballad for bitterness") in 21st Century Schizoid NDN (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?308096-21st-Century-Schizoid-NDN). It's only 54 lines (13 ballad stanzas and a ending couplet).

I didn't plot it out, and I can't say I've ever plotted out a poem. But then, I don't really plot out my fiction, either.


Maybe I can bring them back if I become well known for my use of them! Not likely to happen, but a girl can dream.

I think the issue with ballads is one of the meters used. Most of us seemed to have been forced to at least try to write in pentameter in highschool, but not trimeter or tetrameter. And since ballads alternate tetrameter and trimeter... well, that's a bit of a problem. Luckily however, the basics of the form are pretty easy when discounting the meter issue. It's just long line followed by a short line, with the short lines rhyming with each other. If someone can train themselves to do that, they can train themselves to work in tetra and trimeter. Annabel Lee by Poe is an example of this, following the visible form of long line followed by shorter line without being a true ballad. Which is what I'm doing with a different poem than the one in the OP, using 9 syllable lines followed by iambic trimeter lines. Hopefully a few of those will see me able to pair that down to iambic tetrameter.

Luckily for me, iambic tetrameter actually comes much more naturally to me than iambic pentameter.

Whenever I write iambic pentameter, I often can't but help feeling like there's one too many iambs.

(Once, I said fuck it, and wrote an inverted Petrarchan sonnet in iambic tetrameter. And another in iambic hexameter.)

CassandraW
09-11-2015, 05:07 AM
Luckily for me, iambic tetrameter actually comes much more naturally to me than iambic pentameter.

Whenever I write iambic pentameter, I often can't but help feeling like there's one too many iambs.



same here.