My newest adventure is underway. It has lead me to take up residency in a new blog,
Like the Feathers of an Arrow (affectionately known as LFA).

...don't open...don't throw away... is not disappearing completely (not yet),
but postings here will be limited.

Nota

A couple of years ago if I had been asked I would without hesitation have classify myself as a Free-Verse Poet. Now, I'm not so sure.  I have spent quite some time now exploring different forms, both old and new.  I've probably explored about 35 different forms (barely scratched the surface really) and I have toyed with rhyme and meter more than I really care to have.  But every time I delve into something new, I open myself a little more to techniques that can enhance a free write.

Now while I have explored many forms, I have a bit of fondness for those that include repetition (villanelle, pantoum, triolet, etc.).  When I started to explore my own poetry, I found that I often have included some form of structure linking one stanza to the next.  One particular structure technique I have used is repetition of lines. (Occasionally initial words or ending words of a line.)  So it wasn't really surprising to me when I found myself building a new personal form that included repetition.



Nota
A Nota is composed of four stanzas, two four-line (quatrains) stanzas and two three-line (tercets) stanzas.  Each line of the stanza contains ten syllables; it does not have to be written in strict meter, but can be.  The fourteen lines of the poem consist of six lines that repeat once (totaling 12 lines) and two non-repeating lines.  The pattern for repetition and rhyming is as follows: 
A1-B1-C1-A2 / B2-d-B1 / C1-d-C2 / A2-B2-C2-A1

(letters denote ending rhyme, capitals denote repeating lines, numbers assist in identifying where line will repeat--minor variations on repeating lines allowed as long as the final word remains intact)

Variations on the Nota

Flip-Flop Nota
  • The placement of the repeating line within the middle two stanzas can be altered to meet the following pattern. (B1-d-B2 / C2-d-C1)
  • Write in iambic pentameter
  • Use a different number of syllables throughout the poem

Expanded Nota
  • An additional line is added to the center of the first stanza (un-rhyming with the others)
  • The additional line repeats twice, once in the middle of the poem and once in the middle of the final stanza
  • An additional tercet is placed in the middle utilizing the the additional line surrounded by two lines that maintain the rhyme scheme from the center of the adjacent stanzas.
  • The extended pattern follows as such:  A1-B1-E1-C1-A2 / B2-d-B1 / d-E1-d / C1-d-C2 / A2-B2-E1-C2-A1


Example #1

Infinitely Delayed


A1
B1
C1
A2

B2
d
B1

C1
d
C2

A2
B2
C2
A1
i can't afford to take this risky trip
deep within the recesses of my mind;
where sanity hangs on by just a thread
and the Fates' scissors do threaten to snip.

i can't contend with the fear that does bind--
paralyzing me from taking this flight
deep within the recesses of my mind.

my sanity hangs on by just a thread
and my tour guides are far from a delight.
how can i not fear what lay up ahead?

while the Fates' scissors threaten to snip,
how do i contend with the fears that bind--
when i do not know what lies up ahead?
i cannot chance taking this risky trip.




Example #2

The Music Man

his calloused fingers strum a gentle tune
weaving a spell of musical delight
while his raspy voice croons a sultry song
whispering promises to make her swoon

the words he crafted are meant to ignite
a burning passion deep within her soul
through a weaved spell of musical delight

while his raspy voice croons a sultry song
he pours out his heart so he might feel whole
knowing deep down this love cannot be wrong

he whispers promises to make her swoon
words he crafted so her heart would ignite
revealing a love that could not be wrong
his calloused fingers strum a loving tune



Example #3

Devil's Laugh (iambic pentameter)

he laughs the bitter taste out past his lips
then turns the remnants over on his tongue
to savor them as if a robust wine
this dance will take but one or two small sips

he'll spin you 'til your last full breath is wrung
and soak up every morsel you possess
then turn your essence over on his tongue

he'll savor you as if a robust wine
and drink you in with every coy caress
misguiding you to think him quite devine

this dance will take but one or two small sips
he'll spin you 'til your last full breath is wrung
misguiding you to think him quite devine
he laughs your luscious taste in through is lips



Example #4

Wise Old Trusted Friend (13-syllables)

i walk with indecision, an old trusted comrade.
he frowns at me constantly with his lopsided grin,
taunting me with options and choices i have to make.
his incessant back talking has yet to drive me mad.

i often find myself lost in a downward tailspin
uncertain of what fate holds for me at every turn,
while his lopsided frown mocks me with that twisted grin.

his taunting of options and choices i have to make
provide me with an opportunity to discern
the power of my decisions and what is at stake

his incessant back talk will certainly drive me mad,
but when i find myself in a downward tailspin,
i must find the power to decide what is at stake
for i walk with indecision, a wise old comrade.



Example #5

Sweet Sweet Silence

The taste of silence was never so sweet,
as the touch of your lips pressed against mine,
stealing away my words with breathless sighs.
Strangely words still pour forth with your retreat.

We both see the flaw in your plan's design;
Your foolish hope that shock will still my voice,
as the touch of your lips press against mine.

Stealing my words with breathless sighs...
but speechless? You leave me with but one choice;
knowing you'll employ my mouth otherwise.

Naturally words still pour forth with your retreat;
smiling with you at your plan's flawed design,
daring you -- engage my mouth otherwise.
The taste of silence was never so sweet.



Example #6
Your Open Heart (iambic pentameter)

If you have any hope of keeping me,
be on your guard should love begin to shape
for in my heart I'll be already packed.
So lock the door and throw away the key!

I have a tendency towards escape--
to throw up walls--for me to run and hide.
Be on your guard should love begin to shape;

for once within your heart I won't unpack.
when it comes down to sharing what's inside,
you need to realize this simple fact.
Just lock the door and throw away the key;
I have a tendency towards escape.
You need to realize this simple fact,
if you have any hope of keeping me.



Example #7
Embodying Her (Embracing Myself) [Expanded Nota]

she wades through my dreams just out of reach--
a dancer in the shadows of my grief.
I'm not sure how long she'll wait there for me
to realize the beauty I possess
while I struggle with a heart I can't breach.

Every once and again I catch a brief
glimpse of the person I'm supposed to be;
she dances in the shadows of my grief

bound to the darkness--longing to break free.
I wonder how long she'll wait there for me?
Full of pure love, she implores me to see

the amazing beauty that I possess--
dares me to embrace all that I should be
if I banish fear to love's sweet caress.

As I struggle with this heart I can't breach,
every once and again I feel a brief
ray of hope knowing she waits there for me.
Still I fear I'll never feel love's caress
for she wades through my dreams out of reach.