More fun with words: Luc Bat poetry

I’ve been sitting in a sunbeam with my notebook, a pen and a slumbering baby in my lap. A steaming cup of tea by my side, and a gentle breeze wafting by with delicious smells of lavender, wattle, simmering stock and tonight’s chicken and lentil casserole. Heaven.

I am writing poetry.

I’ve always enjoyed playing about with words and finding good combinations of words to express exactly what I am thinking, feeling, remembering, creating … and while (or perhaps, because) English is a bit of a silly language really, it is good to take a moment to have some fun with it.

For the past year or so I’ve been working my way through Stephen Fry’s book The Ode Less Travelled: Unlocking The Poet Within. It was actually my husband who introduced me to this book as he was part of a small and elite writing group who met fortnightly to try out the poetry forms in the book. Now, they had fun with words, but I’ll have to ask them if I can share some of their poems with you …

I know you are all aware that I don’t have any trouble writing down my thoughts! I do have trouble with economy of words, and that is one of my new goals in writing, but I don’t usually have much trouble putting little poems together. Today, however, I am at a loss. I am not sure if it is the form I’ve picked or the thought I want to express …

I am trying out a Luc Bat, which is a Vietnamese form of poetry. Stephen Fry reckons it is easy, but I’ve been battling with this poem for a couple of weeks now.  The lines of this poetry form follow a rhythm:

first line: 6 syllables

second line: 8 syllables,

however the 6th rhymes with the last syllable of the previous line,

and the 8th introduces a new rhyme

third line: 6 syllables,

with the 6th rhyming with the 8th of the line

fourth line: 8 syllables, as for second line

and so on …

This is  Stephen Fry’s example:

Luc Bat is rather cute

It keeps the mind astute and pert

It really doesn’t hurt

To keep the mind alertly keen …

You’ll know what I mean

When you have gone and been and done

Your own completed one

It’s really rather fun to do

Full of subtlety too,

I hope that yours earn you repute.

Hmm … it certainly does keep the mind astute and pert, and the one I am writing is so full of subtlety that even I am not sure what it is about now! And whether this interests you or not, I’ll keep you informed of my progress 🙂 For those who read my blog for the posts about birthing and babies then you’ll like this poem, once I have finished wrangling with the words and beats within it!

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