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Czech : Fourteenth Century Traditional Couplet

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Explore the Craft of Writing Poetry
Slavic Verse

Czechoslovakia: was part of the Austo Hungarian Empire until it officially became an independent nation in 1919. However the poetry of the region goes back into the 12th century with most poetry of the day written in Latin and mostly addressed religious subjects and their patron saint from which we get the popular hymn, "Good King Wenceslaus". The Traditional Couplet dominated the middle ages. While in the early 1900's Czech poetry was known for its experimentation and many shape poems and other avant-garde verse forms.

The Fourteenth Century Traditional Couplet is rhyming couplets made up of 8 syllable trochaic lines. The earliest example of this form is a Czech wedding speech of the 14th century.

TheĀ elements of theĀ Fourteen Century Traditional Couplet are:

  1. stanzaic, written in any # of couplets.
  2. metered, trochaic tetrameter. DUM da / DUM da / DUM da / DUM da.
  3. rhymed aa bb cc etc. The lines should end in falling rhyme. (the last syllable should not be stressed.)

    Stressing Left by Judi Van Gorder

    Now assigned to write trochaic
    lines that look and sound archaic.
    Struggling to produce a case piece
    true without any expertise.
    Why is it so hard when writing
    words with forward accents, fighting
    instinct, stressing left instead of
    right? To end in rhyme ahead of
    running out of options ending
    lines on weakly beats. Poem pending. . .


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