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Frank Coffman

Terror at Twilight (a Seadhna Sonnet)

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Frank Coffman

Terror at Twilight

a Séadna* (pronounced: shay-na) Sonnet

by Frank Coffman

 

Doom! the blood-red sun is dying.

Clings it close on western rim.

Curséd Night is quickly nighing,

Thick clouds weep; day graying grim.

 

Grim the shape that in the shadows

Grows at ancient forest’s edge—

A Creature dread from Hell’s hollows

Made by spell of Yellow Mage

 

Magic dark has dragged it hither.

Earth is not it’s normal home.

And, now here, we know not whither

It will wend, nor rather roam.

 

Roam it shall! The Mage has bidden

Spell took from page of hidden tome.

 

 

“The Rules for the Irish SÉADNA

The basic requir4ements of the form:

1.     Quatrains of 8-7-8-7 syllables

2.     Lines 1 and 3 end on 2-syllable words

3.     Lines 2 and 4 end on 1-syllable words

4.     Lines 2 and 4 end-rhyme [I’ve used slant rhyme in section 2 << my variation]

The more difficult requirements  of the form:

5.     Every line has alliteration

6.     The final syllable of line 1 alliterates with A stressed word of line 2

7.     Line 3 rhymes [I’ve used slant rhymes << my variation] with the penultimate word of line 4

8.     There are TWO aicill rhymes [cross rhyming the final word of a line with either the first or an internal word in the next in the second couplet].

9.     Final word of line four alliterates with the preceding stressed word [Any preceding stressed word << my variation—also, section 2 fails in this, and only the ending couplet fully fulfills it]

10.  Each group concludes with dunadh [ending with the same sound (letter, syllable, or word) with which it began] OR it can mean [linking by chain rhyme one section with the next by using the last word of each section as the first word of the next  [<< I have used this latter option].

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tonyv

Very spooky, in the spirit of the season. My favorite line has got to be "Earth is not its normal home" :excl:

Tony


Here is a link to an index of my works on this site: tonyv's Member Archive topic

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Frank Coffman

Thanks Tony,

The Irish forms (and the Welsh) are pretty challenging in English. This one is especially tricky. In the Celtic languages, alliterations, assonances, and even rhymes (certainly slant rhymes) are not nearly as difficult to find. In Welsh, the bards at the eisteddfods have to do some of the 24 official Welsh meters impromptu!!!  Most of the stuff I've had published lately is in the weird, horrific, supernatural, speculative range.

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Tinker

I don't know how I missed this the first time around.  It was when I was going through radiation treatments and my participation here was spotty I guess.  Interesting fantasy piece.  I had not heard of a Séadna Sonnet which I will add to the reference section.  However the SéadnaSéadna Mor and Séadna mheadhanach are already documented here along with the Welsh meters.

The Sonnet appears to be 3 
Séadna quatrains linked by chain rhyme followed by a couplet of 8 syllable lines with the L1 end rhyming with the penultimate word of the L2.  Dunadh is a defining feature  of most Irish forms but often the first word of the poem is the last word of the poem bringing the poem full circle.   Any additional insight would be appreciated.

~~Tink 


~~ © ~~ Poems by Judi Van Gorder ~~

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

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Frank Coffman

Hi, Tinker, Thanks for your perusal of and comments upon my "Séadna Sonnet ." You are correct in the assessment that the normal Irish Séadna poem differs in some ways from my "squeezing it" into a sonnet form. I think of myself as, primarily, a sonneteer. My (up to this point, at least) magnum opus, The Coven's Hornbook & Other Poems was published in January of 2019 by Bold Venture Press. If anyone is interested, my writer's blog is at frankcoffman-writer.com with information on my and my published work. At the end of Coven's Hornbook, I put an extensive glossary which covers my use of Irish, Welsh, and other cross-cultural and cross-period forms used. The following are my notes regarding the Séadna Sonnet:

Séadna—the Séadna [shay-na] is a very intricate Irish syllabic form. Its difficult rules are as follows

• Quatrains of 8-7-8-7 syllables

• Lines 1 and 3 end on 2-syllable words

• Lines 2 and 4 end on 1-syllable words

• Lines 2 and 4 MUST end-rhyme

The TOUGHER aspects of the form:

·      Every line has alliteration

·      The final syllable of line 1 alliterates with ANY stressed word of line 2

·      Line 3 rhymes with the penultimate word of line 4

·      In the last two lines of each four-line group, there are TWO aicill rhymes [cross rhyming the final word of a line with either the first or an internal word in the next].

·      Final word of line four alliterates with THE preceding stressed

word [Any preceding stressed word<< my variation]

·      Each group of four concludes with dunadh [ending with the same sound (letter, syllable, or word) with which it began] OR it can mean [linking by chain rhyme one section with the next by using the last word of each section as the first word of the next] The latter is what is done in this poem.

Séadna Sonnet—my invented form, comprised of 3 quatrains in Séadna and a “last couplet” added, following the last couplet rules of the Séadna, but with each line at 8 syllables. AND dunadh. Lines 1 and 3 of each group CAN rhyme also—thus blending in the English sonnet scheme of the alternating Sicilian Quatrain: abab.

 

 

 

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dcmarti1
On 11/6/2017 at 6:55 PM, tonyv said:

Very spooky, in the spirit of the season. My favorite line has got to be "Earth is not its normal home" :excl:

Tony

Def agree with Tony.

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