photo by Miri Stebivka
NaPoWriMo introduces us today to a thing called the hay(na)ku). “Created by the poet Eileen Tabios and named by Vince Gotera, the hay(na)ku is a variant on the haiku. A hay(na)ku consists of a three-line stanza, where the first line has one word, the second line has two words, and the third line has three words. You can write just one, or chain several together into a longer poem,” and that’s what I did. The photo above is a couple of years old, but totally apropos, I think.
A Drinking Hay(na)ku on Day 10 of Napowrimo
You’ve no poem.
Do at all.
The 10th ball.
a poem today
For a martini.
The assignment for today’s poem from the NaPoWriMo website: write a poem using the ottava rima from Lord Byron’s Don Juan. It’s an Italian form consisting of an eight line stanza in iambic pentameter with this particular rhyme scheme: a-b-a-b-a-b-c-c. It’s groovy, and I wanted to try it, but the prompt comes with no subject matter suggestion, and I’m low on reader suggestions, so I took a look at Byron’s masterpiece. His poem begins with an epigraph from Shakespeare–and I don’t know which play it comes from and I don’t have time to look it up, but I loved it. And so I am appropriating it (stealing it) to begin my poem. I have no idea what will happen. How about a drinking poem?! Poem follows beer, I promise.
Ottava Rima Give Me Cake and Ale
Dost thou think, because you are virtuous,
there shall be no more Cake and Ale? You’re mad!
For cake and ale is stuff of which we must
partake, despite your crabby, prude, and sad
laments. You dare to drag us off the bus
of wonder, to dampen what makes us glad!
To rob us of our wine and cake and ale,
a task at which you must certainly fail!
Some notes: If you’ve ever tried to write a sonnet, say, and held yourself fast to the rigors of the form, perfect iambic pentameter, three rhyming quatrains closing with a rhyming couplet, you know it’s difficult. It boggles the mind to think about Byron’s project in Don Juan, to write an epic bad boy using the above ottava rima form in seventeen cantos! 16,000 lines! Unflipping believable! That thing up there took me an hour–and I stole the first two lines from Shakespeare! That bit is from Twelfth Night, by the way.