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.
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.
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.
© 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.