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Tinker

Bagarthach Verse

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Tinker

Explore the Craft of Writing
Light Verse

Bagarthach verse was hatched in the science fiction novel The Reefs of Earth by American writer R. A Lafferty. In the novel, alien immigrants to earth occasionally speak in verse. They call it Bagarthach Verse and it has powers beyond the words. (Well, doesn't all good poetry?) In the book the mean spirited wishes of the verse often come true. The verse is similar to Ruthless Rhyme. In this world, when written by earthlings, the verse form would be categorized as Light Verse.

The elements of the Bagarthach are:

  1. funny or clever but mean spirited.
  2. short, one quatrain.
  3. syllabic 8-9-8-9 syllables per line, sometimes all lines are 8 syllables.
  4. rhymed abab.

    Here is the first Bagarthach verse in Lafferty's book, spoken during an argument between two aliens.

    "I'm turning livid in this bog,
    This wooly world that spooks and spites you.
    You'll find that picture's got a dog!
    I hope the blinking bugger bites you!"

    Consequently the alien to whom the verse is directed is found dead from a dog bite..... So be careful what you write..
    (Yes, I actually bought and read the book for this research.)


~~ © ~~ Poems by Judi Van Gorder ~~

For permission to use this work you can write to Tinker1111@icloud.com

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