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Spenserian Stanza

Spenserian Stanza:  9 lines, 3 rhymes in strict sequence - ababbcbcc, iambic pentameter - ,/,/,/,/,/,  line 9 Alexandrine - ,/,/,/,/,/,/


Upon the Winds of Change

Upon the winds of change our courses flew

And us across the heaving seas did send.

It mattered not what dreams each would pursue

For Fate decreed what we could not portend:

That once again our raging hearts should blend

In Youth’s enduring spirit which does flow

Between us still, steel bond of lustful friend

Whose tortured knotting did our strengths bestow.

It did, and does, and will determine what we know.


Cynthia Buell Thomas

◄ Pandora's Box

Sapphic Stanza ►


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Dave Carr

Wed 23rd Jun 2010 00:18

Line 9 Alexandrine - Yes As in my bible 'The Ode Less Travelled.' I like that Cynthia. As in Keats - The Eve of St Agnes. Perfect

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Andy N

Mon 21st Jun 2010 13:31

nice to see you back and i enjoyed this.. certainly wouldn't liked to have attempted this myself however! lol x

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Cynthia Buell Thomas

Sun 20th Jun 2010 15:47

John, you are SO RIGHT! So it is NOT a Spenserian Stanza; that Alexandrine is essential; I revised this stanza so often I just lost the last line in the process. I will fix it (although the ending is actually good, too. Damn! Another foot. Oh, the pain!) OK. Done. What think you?

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John Coopey

Sat 19th Jun 2010 21:28

You've motivated me to look up Spencerian Stanza - I too like experimenting with different forms, although I'm never as successful as you've been with this.
I notice that you maintain a pentameter in the final line whereas Spencer uses an Alexandrine. I prefer your form. The Alexandrine is ponderously long ("snake-like").

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John Coopey

Sat 19th Jun 2010 21:16

Excellent. I agree with Dave - too few doing form. You do it well too, maintaing the iambic rhythm throughout. Do some more.

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Dave Carr

Sat 19th Jun 2010 17:22

Wonderful. I love form poetry. I'm glad there are people out there keeping it alive.

<Deleted User> (7164)

Sat 19th Jun 2010 15:00

I really enjoyed this Cynthia. Your explanation of the form made me want to try the style out for myself.
At the risk of showing my ignorance once again, the text you use here reminds me of the likes of Tennyson and Byron. They are still the greats even today in my opinion, they hold an element of nostalgia for me and when used with powerful words, doubles the emotional effects.
Love this,

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Anthony Emmerson

Sat 19th Jun 2010 13:39

Hi Cynthia,

I always find it very stimulating creatively to write to a strict form, in that it imposes a rigid discipline one's thoughts and a focus on one's purpose. You prove that beautifully here. We shouldn't lose these forms, they enrich the diversity of poetry and its history. I for one am really pleased to see you revive it in such a successful fashion.


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winston plowes

Fri 18th Jun 2010 23:58

Hi Cynthia. a worthwhile exercise I think. Never heard of this form. Really reminded me of the metaphysical poets. did you feel that the form made you write like that? well done witht this one. win

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Cynthia Buell Thomas

Fri 18th Jun 2010 20:58

I had a great holiday - studied up a storm 'just for fun' - and sweat buckets over two archaic but wonderful forms of poetry. This nearly rendered me bananas - but I persisted. Any comments very welcome.

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