BJ’s Shadorma & Beyond – Robert Frost – March 7, 2015

Hello World!

Today I thought we’d look at rhyming and in particular the ABAB rhyme scheme. The ABAB rhyme scheme means that for every four lines, the first and third lines will rhyme with each other and the second and fourth lines will also rhyme with each other.

What better way to see how it’s done than to look at a master.  So let’s read Robert Frost!

A picture of the back of a person looking out across a calm sea

Neither Out Far Nor In Deep.’
by Robert Frost

‘The people along the sand
All turn and look one way.
They turn their back on the land.
They look at the sea all day.

As long as it takes to pass
A ship keeps raising its hull;
The wetter ground like glass
Reflects a standing gull.

The land may vary more;
But wherever the truth may be
The water comes ashore,
And the people look at the sea.

They cannot look out far.
They cannot look in deep.
But when was that ever a bar
To any watch they keep?’

There are four separate stanzas in the Robert Frost poem, but in each stanza the ABAB rhyme scheme applies. In each stanza though he has used a different set of rhyming words.  So that if you write out the scheme it would be … ABAB CDCD EFEF GHGH. However it is still called an ABAB rhyming scheme unless specifically stated otherwise.

The trick of writing a rhyming poem is not to have it sound like a jingle .. not always easy.  Here Frost, by the way has used mixed metre as he’s not writing in a specific form (sonnet, ode etc.), but having chosen to rhyme using the ABAB Scheme, this poem is not quite Free Verse either.  I’ve coloured the end rhymes to set them out for you.

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So what I’d like you to try to do today is write a poem following the ABAB rhyming scheme.  You can write as many stanzas as you like … you can go through your whole poem actually doing ABAB rhyme throughout, or like Frost, choose to have a new set of rhymes for each stanza.  And what shall you write about?

Well … what about a trip?

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You might not feel inspired to rhyme, so there’s an alternative as always here At BJ’s … you might like to write a shadorma (a non-rhyming six-line poem in 3/5/3/3/7/5).

rail road tracks
open destiny
down your path
I travel
a foretold destination
conclusion – unknown

© G.s.k. ‘15

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Feel free to write a shadorma and/or a rhyming poem.  The choice is yours! When you have written your poem(s), please TAG them BJ’s Shadorma & Beyond and MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie. Then add your link to the Mister Linky widget below.

Have a great week!  Ciao, Bastet

30 comments

  1. I am looking forward to writing this form poem over the weekend. If I write too much free verse I feel I am being starved of nutriment, sort of like not have having enough greens in your diet:) Thanks , I look forward to more poetry form in the future. It is a good idea having a model to work from.

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    • Hello Cressida:

      Happy to see what you come up with .. I love Free Verse but sometimes it’s nice to write a classical form or discover a new form, between Jen (the J of our weekly prompt post) and I we try to explore the world of poetry forms in its many forms … hope you have fun!

      Ciao, Bastet

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  2. What a great photo! And thanks for sharing the Robert Frost — yes, learning from the master 🙂

    More fun 🙂

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    • Thanks Jen … that’s a first edit of an older photo taken in Bolzano about 3 years ago. I’m glad you like the post … I do so like Robert Frost. And it’s cool how he liked haiku too!

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