I found this week's poetic form tucked away in John Drury's The Poetry Dictionary (between the Fibonacci and paradelle). In it, he cites John Berryman as the inventor of the form. In fact, click here to read Berryman's "Homage to Mistress Bradstreet."
Here are the Mistress Bradstreet stanza guidelines:
- Eight-line stanza
- Beat count of 5-5-3-4-5-5-3-6 (or translated to syllables: 10-10-6-8-10-10-6-12)
- Rhyme scheme: abcbddba
No other rules for subject or length!
Play with poetic forms!
Poetic forms are fun poetic games, and this digital guide collects more than 100 poetic forms, including more established poetic forms (like sestinas and sonnets) and newer invented forms (like golden shovels and fibs).
Here’s my attempt at a Mistress Bradstreet stanza:
In Season, by Robert Lee Brewer
In the midnight void that covers us all,
I descend into hysterical joy,
for quite unknown reasons,
though perhaps because I'm a boy
who does not often think by normal rules
and in strict conformists sees only fools
who can't help but annoy
the romantics of winter, spring, summer, and fall...