Before you start to save my soul
from hell, it’s hardly worth it yet.
There so much life I want to get
to, if you’d spare the time. My goal
is this: to take a week to break
the rules. And laugh. I want to roll
back here sky-high on being whole,
before you start to save my soul.
Sometime last year, I ran into the poetic work of Luke Prater. He writes a great blog under the title WordSalad. Well worth your time checking him out. The Octain Refrain is one of Luke’s creations, and I find it a fascinating form within which to write.
It has eight lines, arranged as two tercets followed by a couplet. Each line has eight syllables, normally in iambic or trochaic meter (but it’s also OK just to count syllables if you prefer). The last line is a repeat of the first line, as much as possible.
The rhyme scheme is as follows:
a-c/c-a [note the middle line here has a mid-line rhyme:c-c]
A bit confusing just to read the rubric. Probably easier to read a couple of examples to see how it works in practice. The poem I started this post with is an Octain Refrain. Here’s a link to another, by poet Beth Winter. Why not try an Octain Refrain yourself? And drop me, or Luke, a note to say how you get on!
A solid poem. The form looks interesting, definitely going to have to play with it a little bit. Thanks for sharing it, Andrew!