Friday, 26 April 2013

More complex poetry!

Here are two poems from my TMA04 assignment; without being too technical, the 'through-line' - not dissimilar to a 'theme', think of it like that - is Mother and Son.

Poem one looks at the impact of a newcomer into the family (my Mum-to-be) and the new dynamic her arrival causes, especially between the suspicious parent (my Father's Mother) and her son. It interweaves autobiographical content with fiction and is an example of blank verse (unrhyming iambic pentameter). I further complicated this complex form (and thereby, imho, making it a 'nonce' form stanza), by introducing a central 'aphorism' (Lines 3 to 5; a laconic comment from my Father), a 'volta' (Lines 6-10; a kind of 'tipping point' where the tone and 'tack' of the verse changes direction and takes the path to the finale in a different route to where the first half of the poem might suggest).

Educated by Rita

Her face, the tell-tale scowl, this would be tough;

such front, to tell her son his girl was ‘cheap’.

Oh, how I laughed, the irony not lost

amongst the chipped formica chairs, all bought

with stamps - Green Shields – she’d saved the whole year round.

Turned out the girl was sweet, polite … a nurse,

this soothed opinion, her tender touch

and gap-toothed smile disguising her resolve.                

She held her own and sooner than we’d planned

a ring would be on lovely Rita’s hand.


10 lines


Poem two is a complex form of Renaissance French poetry. Its structure is markedly different to the blank verse above, with repetition and deft use of rhyme needed. Originating from the French word 'rond' (meaning: round), you'll note that the final line mirrors the first, making the poem circular.  I wrote this in iambic tetrameter.

Climbing Etna

For one so young, I climbed so high

and watched as white cloud rolled on by.

Her moon rock spat, red rocks aglow,

the forking tongue, its feline flow

of lava trickling from the sky.


A wooden hut, its cross close by,

my thoughts were that he’d surely die?

Mum smiled and said ‘The things you know

for one so young.’


Our tracks were stopped: we’d reached her eye,

she steamed, she spat, did not know why?

Her yellow heat and rumbling roar,

Mum said ‘She’s angry, we must go

… remember her.’ I sure would try,

even for one so young.



15 lines

My assignment included a somewhat reckless commentary, where I (rather pompously) decided not to answer elements clearly requested but instead wax lyrical about the mechanics of my complex form poetry. Only to be politely reminded (and correctly so), that the tutor is capable of seeing such good work for herself. The slightly lower commentary grade did not overly affect the overall assignment grade, which was identical to the previous one: 78%.  Extremely pleased with that.

© Nigel Pamenter 2013
The right of Nigel Pamenter to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted by him in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. All rights reserved.