Dear Poets:

Originally, I was planning on a different form for today.  However, considering today’s In-form Poet arrives on an unutterably terrible day filled with much sadness and pain, I felt the form I was going to use lacked the necessary gravitas and stillness.  So, instead, for today, our plan is to write the Goethe Stanza and next week, we’ll get to something which at least some of you might find a little lighter in spirit.

What gave me the idea for today’s form, as you will note, are the two columns lying [horizontally] in the middle of the stanza.  While not intentionally designed for that specific  purpose obviously, it can lend itself to work which is more able to contain sentiment and reminiscence for that particular day.  If you so choose.  As always, you are not being directed at In-form Poet to write to a particular theme.

If you visit Terry Clitheroe’s wonderful The Poets Garret, you will find a marvelous catalog of poetic forms.  For today, we are going to work on one of the forms found there: the Goethe Stanza.  Here’s the link for this particular form, if you want to see more examples of it:

As Mr. Clitheroe states:

Goethe Stanza … a very different poetry form than most poets are used to…  With this one, each stanza comprises a single line, a couplet and a single line.  Each single line rhymes with a line from the couplet: one starting and one completing the stanza.  Here is the suggested pattern (and yes, there is no set meter):

 x x x x x x x a

x x x x x x x b
x x x x x x x a

x x x x x x x b

Here’s an example of a Goethe Stanza I wrote a few years ago, which actually seems a bit apt right now:

The Phoenix Arises (by RJ Clarken)

There sits a dull grey pile of ash

created from a blazing fire
which sprung forth from a brilliant flash.

How many times can he expire

and then somehow be born again?

Still, we watch for his bright plumage.
The question is not how, but when

he’ll arise from cindered  tomb-age.

As you can tell from my poem, I still have hope within me.

That having been said, I’m really looking forward to seeing what you write today.

Ready…set…start poeming!  ~RJ



Concrete and steel may be reduced

Eternally to scrap and ash
By those whose souls would be seduced

To fashion madness, unabashed.

But hatred cannot silence love

Nor quell a hero’s bravery,
And would procure the freedom of

The heart ensnared in slavery.

© copyright Marie Elena Good – 2013

… and while we are poeming, Robert Lee Brewer’s Poetic Asides prompt for today is to write an appointment poem: