Friday, February 20, 2004


Katey, at One Good Bumblebee has introduced me to a new poetic form: the Octologue. Katey, in turn, had picked it up elsewhere, but I leave it to you to follow that particular daisy chain.

The form is composed of eight (“octo”) very short lines, with the additional restriction that it be a monologue or dialogue. Most of my recent verse has been built on the short line, so that appeals to me — yet, the longest line is only five syllables long, which is radically short, even for me.

Naturally, I had to try it out. Here's a first draft. Sticklers for the rules, like Mike Snider, and others who have read the rules (see Katey's post), will quickly see the problem: too many syllables in line two. This is what I get for trying to compose a structured poem on the computer. Especially a structure which I have not previously attempted. Do take a moment to click through to that draft, though; it's in postcard format, and I'm rather proud of the image I created for it.

But I do want to try to obey the rules (really, I do!), so here's a second draft:
Driving south
On Classen, silver
Jag, license
Plate “INCA”,
Rolls down middle lane
Past white car,
Donut shop,
And points north.
Just FYI — one of the restrictions is that each line be "traditionally capped," as Katey puts it.

Well, it's a fun challenge, and I think I'll try it again soon.

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