A new year and a new form. I was scanning through a glossary of poetic forms and came across this one, which I have never tried. So, as a way of getting out of the post-New Year slump, here's my first attempt.
I’ll try a new poetic form: terza
Rima, where the first line rhymes with the third
And the second line with the first
Line of the following verse, the word
Should not be too hard to rhyme or else
You’re stuck - and end up coping with absurd
Statements or sentiments which tell
A story quite unlike the one you had
In mind. You could, you see, end up in hell
Just because it rhymes! The rhythm adds
Another layer of fun: iambic pen-
Tameter’s what should be used. But it’s not bad
To vary it. In fact, I fancy when
I get the chance to make this line
Shorter. But this one will still add to ten.
I see why this form was used in past times
To tell long tales. It’s hard to stop;
But I will now. That’s quite enough. Yes. Fine.
I don’t know how it happens, but this form (compared to sonnets, for example) produces a different kind of pressure. Not stress, exactly, but certainly a demand on one’s brain different to that of writing freer verse. I tend to think this kind of pressure is positive. Things shouldn’t come too easily. Of course, as I’ve noted elsewhere, free verse can be very hard to get right: the freedom is sometimes harder to manage than a structure. But you don’t know what might suit you (or your subject matter) till you try.