Saturday, November 07, 2009

Reedmace - an englyn

The frail aged reedmace at the pool's edge




velvet heads, beards of lace,




keepers of a threshold place




offer winter parting grace.

~~~


(See here for definition of englyn.  As always, on closer research, there is more to it than one initially supposed.  Lovers of the syllable count, give it a go, the Japanese don't have a monopoly.)

8 comments:

Barrett Bonden said...

Did you know this word before you set out? I can't keep up. Photoshop doesn't have the same cachet.

Lucy said...

BB - thank you my dear for giving me the opportunity to elaborate. I came across the form a while back browsing in the Poets' Manual and Rhyming Dictionary, as you do. I thought it might offer possibilities for epigrammatic nature verse to go with pictures, perhaps a bit more original and developed than the ubiquitous haiku. As I understood from that, it consists of 4 lines, of 10,6,7 and 7 syllables, rhyming, but with the rhyme established in the 6th syllable of the first line, then end-rhymed thereafter.

However, on seeking a link for a definition, I discover there is a multiplicity of different variations on it, and since it was originally Welsh/Cornish (so possibly even Breton), it probably doesn't even work in English anyway. But I'll have to find out more. I don't quite feel I've got the drop of it; I keep wanting to scan it in ways that the syllable count resists, yet something about the idea still appeals...

Crafty Green Poet said...

Gorgeous combination of photos and words, I'll look into the englyn in more detail, thanks for the link

Barrett Bonden said...

My bailiwick is... so small. A Shakespearean sonnet tests me to destruction and the only Miltonian sonnet I tried took me to that borne... well, you know the rest of that. Plutarch recommended Brewer's "Art of versification and the technicalities of poetry" which I bought for its no-nonsense title. But it was like being handed a new textbook at school; nervously you scan the early pages which can be likened to the Chilterns of difficulty; then to terrify yourself you take a look at the last page where it's wall-to-wall Himalayas. The verse forms in Brewer got more and more repressive and I decided I'd make do with sonnets and, after that when my mind goes, limericks. Yet here you are coming up with something even Brewer was unaware of. I'm completely bouleversé by "but with the rhyme established in the 6th syllable of the first line, then end-rhymed thereafter."

Am a third the way through "The discovery of France" and that, at least, I can grapple with. Thanks and good luck.

Plutarch said...

Having produced a sestina I think I may draw the line at englyns, but thanks for the introduction. Yours is lovely to read and the mace to look at. I like the way you come across a poetic form and immediatley put it to the test.

Sheila said...

I'm just going to keep calling it cattail, as we always have over on this side of the ocean....These are great pictures!

Rouchswalwe said...

Black-a-vised hearty wort, aromatic
hops and roasted malts flirt
the bubbles sing in concert
with the brewster from Frankfurt.

Lucy said...

Thanks visitiors!

Cattail is good. What they aren't, of course, is bullrushes, and Moses wasn't found in them!

R - that's fabulous! And I love that you're a brewster, as women bakers were baxters...