IN-FORM POET WEDNESDAY WITH RJ CLARKEN – ODDQUAIN

Here’s an interesting form I found on the Shadow Poetry site. http://www.shadowpoetry.com/resources/wip/oddquain.html.

It’s called the Oddquain.  Odd?  Maybe.  Peculiar?  Undoubtedly.  But, per Shadow Poetry, here’s the story…

Oddquain is a short, usually unrhymed poem consisting of seventeen syllables distributed 1, 3, 5, 7, 1 in five lines, developed by Glenda L. Hand.

Oddquain variations:

oddquain sequences – poems made up of oddquain stanzas

crown oddquains – a five stanza oddquain sequence

reverse oddquains – a oddquain with a reverse syllable pattern of 1-7-5-3-1

mirror oddquains – a two stanza oddquain sequence of the pattern 1-3-5-7-1 1-7-5-3-1

oddquain butterflies – a “merged mirror oddquain” where the two stanzas of a mirror oddquain are merged together, one of the middle 1 syllable lines is dropped, resulting in one nine line stanza of the form 1-3-5-7-1-7-5-3-1. Please note that a oddquain butterfly is not a “oddquain” because it doesn’t have five lines, but it is “butterfly” made up of two oddquains that were merged together into one poem.

This form is kind of like the Pensee or (in all of its true – and also ‘faux’ – incarnations) the Tanka.

Here’s an attempt at an Oddquain, which I wrote about a year and a half ago:

It All Comes Out in the Wash

 “Normal is nothing more than a cycle on a washing machine.” ~Whoopi Goldberg

 What
constitutes
normal life cycles
are clean but damp (and mismatched)
socks.

© copyright RJ Clarken – 2013

###

…and a couple more recent ones:

In the Old House

“She lay for a long time listening to the mysterious sounds given forth by old houses at night, the undefinable creakings, rustlings, and sighings…” ~Edith Wharton, The Buccaneers

 Night.
Listening
to the creaking sounds.
Then, the old house and I both
sigh.

© copyright RJ Clarken – 2013

###

In Another Old House

“In an old house in Paris that was covered with vines/Lived twelve little girls in two straight lines…” ~Ludwig Bemelmans

Twelve
little girls
walked in two straight lines
unlike old bricks covered in
vines.

© copyright RJ Clarken – 2013

###

Ready, set…start poeming! ~RJ

MARIE ELENA’S ATTEMPT

“Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.”  ~ Aldous Huxley

SARCASM (Mirror Oddquain)

Say
What you want.
Believe what you must.
Why should you be concerned with
Truth?
Truth
Be (un)told,
It’s not a factor.
You will say what you want to
Say.

© copyright Marie Elena Good – 2013

(These epigraphs are quite contagious, RJ. 😉 )

275 thoughts on “IN-FORM POET WEDNESDAY WITH RJ CLARKEN – ODDQUAIN

  1. CRAPSEY, MINUS ONE

    Odd,
    isn’t it?
    Adelaide never
    tried, being a regular
    sort.

    copyright 2013, William Preston

  2. SOME CALL IT MARKETING

    Lies
    repeated
    frequently enough
    often can masquerade as
    truth.

    copyright 2013, William Preston

  3. Two Locations, Same Story

    Moved
    With her new
    Husband; still distance
    Won’t change her faith, or our friend-
    Ship.

    © Copyright Erin Kay Hope – 2013

    A good friend of mine just got married on Saturday and is moving with her husband to our sister church in Eureka, CA. I’m going to miss her, but I know we’ll still be friends, and I’m so thankful that our churches are preaching the same story.

  4. Random Acts (mirror oddquain)

    Odd
    or even
    determines who has
    first dib, second guess, last shot
    no
    dice
    hanging large and furry from
    the review mirror
    reflecting
    you

  5. September Showers

    Rain
    Falls, drenching
    The thick blackberry
    Bushes, dulling the heavy
    Scent;

    Rain
    Waters down
    The bright purple juice,
    Colors running and fading
    Now;

    Rain
    Drips off the
    Thorns, gathers pooling
    On the broad green leaves, turning
    Brown;

    Rain
    Sparkles clear
    Against the dark black
    Background of the shriveled ber-
    Ries;

    Rain
    Welcomes Fall,
    September, school, cold;
    Rain greets the new season with
    Glee.

    © Copyright Erin Kay Hope – 2013

  6. This is me reprimanding myself. 😉

    Just Learn To Love It (mirror oddquain)

    Don’t
    Moan and groan
    About the weather:
    Learn to jump joyfully in
    Leaves,

    Learn
    To relish the taste of snow
    Laugh at cold, learn to
    Dance in the
    Rain.

    © Copyright Erin Kay Hope

  7. Goodbye, Spring And Summer Wonders (a butterfly)

    The
    Butterflies
    Are leaving, they know
    When to get out: when it’s too
    Cold,
    When rain destroys their color
    And their delicate,
    Gossamer
    Wings.

    © Copyright Erin Kay Hope – 2013

  8. DRESS REHEARSAL

    Fresh
    goldenrod
    and purple asters:
    buttons in autumn’s yellow
    vest.

    copyright 2013, William Preston

  9. Pingback: Delicate Journey | Metaphors and Smiles

  10. Delicate Journey
    ~
    Strange
    isn’t it-
    that such fragile wings
    can carry beauty so far?
    Odd.
    Do you think about their flight,
    precarious plans-
    monarch’s miles-
    fate?
    ~
    Copyright © Hannah Gosselin 2013

  11. DOUBLE MIRROR ODDQUAINS

    Kneel
    In silence
    Allow God to speak
    Above life’s loud distractions
    Pray

    God
    takes special loving delight
    watching over us
    making lives
    Safe

    Joy
    unmeasured
    bursting in one’s soul
    can sprout wings lifting us to
    peace

    Love
    Is the sword that battles sin
    Take it up and strike
    Temptations
    Down

    #

  12. “What lies behind you and what lies in front of you, pales in comparison to what lies within you.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

    About Face (A reverse oddquain)

    One
    breathtaking glance in the glass
    you realize you
    like yourself
    now.

  13. “True friends stab you in the front.” – Oscar Wilde

    Frontal Assault (a butterfly oddquain)

    The
    truth has teeth
    sharpened on the bone
    and blood of our mistakes and
    a
    true friend will look you in the
    eye without flinching,
    laying it
    down.

  14. DEAR HEART

    When
    hope is gone
    and I can see no
    possibilities, color me
    black;

    when
    despair comes
    for the dearth of you
    and endearment fades, color me
    blue;

    when
    you call home
    from your wanderings
    and I hear your voice, color me
    green;

    when
    I have news
    of your returning,
    bouncing yellow surrounds me;
    and

    when
    you return,
    to leave my glad arms
    nevermore, then color me
    white.

    copyright 2013, William Preston

  15. Sarcasm

    Flakes
    of rusty
    red fall from your mouth
    in tired old cadences of
    trite.

    Flight
    reflex is gone. Hunker down
    endure, pray, roll eyes
    and wait, wait
    wait.

  16. Spread Your Wings (a butterfly)

    Lift
    Up your eyes
    To the new dawn that
    Brings new messages of love;
    Spread
    Your wings with the birds and soar
    Through the night watches,
    Bursting with
    Hope.

    © Copyright Erin Kay Hope – 2013

  17. I’d like to ask a question of more-experienced and more-knowledgeable folks in this forum. Is “cinquain” understood to mean the Crapsey form these days, or is it a generic term for a five-liner?

    • Interesting question William. I wouldn’t say it was a generic term for a five-liner at all. As of just a few years ago the Cinquain was still being taught in elementary schools here as a poetic form – combining the syllable count and the grammar variation as one form. Hope this helps. 🙂

      • I was just wondering. I’ve seen some sources that seem to treat it as a generic term (like quatrain, for example), and others that seem to mean the Crapsey 2-4-6-8-2 version only. In her introduction, RJ notes that the “oddquain butterfly is not an ‘oddquain’ because it doesn’t have five lines”; that implies, to my mind, that an oddquain is a cinquain (it clearly is a Crapsey form minus one syllable in each line). I know this is quibbling, but nonetheless I wonder.

    • If I think of Cinquain, I think the Crapsey form. Does that mean that there are no permutations and combinations out there? No, but perhaps those other versions are deserving of another name. Just my deux cents.

  18. Lord

    Lord
    Jesus Christ
    Our true Salvation
    No other can deliver
    Us

    We
    Must give Him of our love
    He will give it back
    Multiplied
    Love

    © 2013 Earl Parsons

  19. John 3:16

    For
    God so loved
    The world that He gave
    His One and Only beloved
    Son

    That
    Whoever
    Believes on His name
    Will be blessed with eternal
    Life

    © 2013 Earl Parsons

  20. Archaic Utterance

    “Odds
    Bodkins, man!”
    he cried, surprised that
    none could understood this phrase.
    Say
    what you will, archaic thoughts
    are best said amongst
    oddkins…like
    Bod.

  21. Wow! I can’t believe how many of you posted (and such great work!) I’ve been out and about today (when I wasn’t studying), so I haven’t had time yet to write comments. But I promise I will no later than Friday morning. Keep up the awesome poeming!

  22. Your Turn

    Oh,
    so it’s you.
    Remember we called
    it quits, your idea, my tears?
    Bye.

    Why
    would you stay
    silent for so long
    and decide now, you can come
    back?

    Wound
    stabs at heart
    when sides switch,
    and your little crooked finger
    fails.

    Times
    change, your turn
    to be a sad
    rejectee; saga’s
    end.

  23. HOTEL

    It’s
    old, seedy,
    but yet has some class:
    the bell captain still hollers,
    “Front!”

    copyright 2013, William Preston

  24. BEMELMANS ABOARD NORMANDIE

    Here,
    amidst gleaming Lalique glass
    and literati,
    “Madeline”
    glows,
    and
    Ludwig too,
    with a whole liner
    built for speed; grace; adventure;
    play.

    copyright 2013, William Preston

    NB: I noticed that RJ used a Ludwig Bemelmans quote as inspiration for one of her examples. To me, that name conjures up ocean liners, of which Bemelmans was fond. Normandie was a French liner of the late 1930s; Bemelmans sailed aboard that ship at least twice, calling it the “most female” liner he had known. Bemelmans’s “Madeline” character, like Bemelmans himself, was adventurous, hence the notion for this piece.

    The poem is either a reverse mirror oddquain or a mirror reverse oddquain; I’m not sure which.

    For those interested, a bit more about Normandie, and a Bemelmans anecdote, can be found here:

    http://www.fordham.edu/normandie/people/PS4%20Intellectual%20Enlightenment%20at%20Sea.html

  25. FINAL GOODBYES (my attempt at a Crown Oddquain)

    Life-
    time memories
    photo-filled albums
    years of history revised
    ~pain~

    Hurt-
    filled feelings
    wrapped round heartache
    and sorrow
    ~tears~

    Grudge
    grasped in fists
    held tight, squeezing
    out all else
    ~anger~

    Plead
    for a do-over
    when the clock’s run out
    ~regret~

    Forgive
    at the finish line
    between last words
    and last breaths
    ~peace~

    • This little piece has unassuming power, in my mind, because of the word, “nonchalant.” The word tends to have bland connotations, but not here. Wonderful.

    • This is awesome, but at the same time, I wish this poem didn’t have to be written – although it does need to be now. And you did it with an economy of words and the grace of eloquence. I am moved.

  26. LET THAT BE A LESSON

    Both
    trumpeters
    and pitchers soon learn:
    a high pitch tends to be well
    hit.

    copyright 2013, William Preston

    • Glad you’re back. We missed ya! (And hope your dad is all right.)

      Also, I’m sorry it took me until this morning to read and post, but with school just starting on Wednesday, my time is starting to craze up. But honestly – the work on this page astonishes (and it shouldn’t by now. But it does.)

  27. Pingback: Lingering Wisdom and Bad Thursdays | Gene's Musings

  28. Odd
    Excitement
    Reminiscent of
    First day of kindergarten
    Shuffle through security lines in socked feet
    Sift through tickets and passes
    Fuss with carry-ons
    Boarding plane
    Flight

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