Hello Poetry Lovers
I thought I’d keep to the food theme this week, though this one isn’t as seasonal as the lovely Trisha’s in the last post.
I recently took a course with the very talented and prolific Sharron Green on Short Forms in poetry, and thanks to her, I discovered the wonderful Strambotto – 8 lines, 11 syllables apiece, and it’s abababab.
This was not an easy one to do, but I struggled on. Do read the result….
I prepare for you a pasta spaghetti
Then I kneaded a delicious pizza pie
I would bring you only loved food for your belly
But your appetite is gone, you pass me by
I have prepared desserts with cream and jelly
And your hand absently strokes my thigh
Today I serve you garlic that is smelly
But tempted to serve poison so that you die
H Moulson 2021
Now please forgive the grim ending, PL’s, and I hope to God you’re not about to have your supper/breakfast/lunch/tea. But by that time, I was worn down by those 11 rhyming syllables and I could only think in a malevolent way.
Thanks for tuning in, Poetry Lovers, we’ll be back real soon……..
2 thoughts on “The Strambotto”
Just counting syllables is not enough; to make this sort of poem effective you also need to control the rhythm. In this case I reckon you get the effect you’d like (or at least that I’d like) with three stressed (louder) syllables per line and place them as every fourth syllable (so three unstressed, quieter syllables between successive stresses in the line. Thus I rewrite your strambotto thus:
I cooked for you a plate of vermicelli (rhymes better than spaghetti)
And then I made a luscious pizza pie.
I’d bring your best-loved dishes for your belly,
But your appetite is gone, you pass me by.
I’ve made a nice dessert with cream and jelly
But your hand has gone exploring up my thigh.
Today I gave you garlic that is smelly
But I’m tempted to serve poison so you die.
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Bless you, Connaire. Yes, I got blinded by that syllable count. Your version is much better. Thank you for doing that. X