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Tinker

Evensong-Nightsong-Vespers-Serena-Serenade

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Explore the Craft of Writing Poetry

Liturgical Verse

Latin Poetry

French Poetry

Poetic Genres of the Night are verse written to specifically welcome the evening.

  • Evensong or Vespers are all formal liturgical prayers sung or chanted in the evening most often connected to early evening or sunset. These liturgical forms date back to the early Christian church and were first written in Latin. They are the counterpart of Morningsong or Matins sung at dawn. Evensong is most often used in Christian Liturgy but can extend to secular love songs. The early evening themed genre has evolved and can also be found in secular poetry The frame is at the discretion of the poet.
    Day is Done by Judi Van Gorder

    Dear Lord, The tasks of day are done.
    Praise and thanksgiving for victories won.
    Forgive my failures, my lack of return
    Support my resolve as this day adjourns.                              

     

     

                                             

    Evensong (a secular song) by Phil Wood

    Time's pitter patter tapping stained glass,
    unthreading wedded bliss; relentless rain
    that trickles, snakes a rhythm, unclasps
    her eyes with a moist kiss. It frames her sin

    until prayers are a whisper in the clouds,
    a longing for the emptiness of light.
    Tonight she swims the swaying reeds,
    casting for sleepy lies, a stranger's lips.
     
  • Nightsong can be formal liturgical prayers or can be secular verse devoted to love, both specifically at midnight. The liturgical forms written in Latin date back to the early Christian church, the secular songs came about in the Middle Ages and the influence of the troubadours. Both are written with meter, rhyme, stanza length at the discretion of the poet.

    When from the Darkness by Brendan Lyons

    When from the darness comes no light,
    When from the weeping comes no laughter;
    When in the day we hope for night
    Nor any comfort coming after:
    Grant us your peace.

    When in our confidence our fears
    Clutch a the heart and make us tremble;
    When in our joy we weep cold tears,
    And in our frankness we dissemble:
    Grant us your light.

    When in our love there is not care,
    And in our yearning we are dullness;
    When what we know we cannot dare,
    And we are nothing that is fullness:
    Grant us your truth.

  • Serena has 2 definitions:
    • Serena(Occitan-serene song) is a song of the troubadours that appeared late in Provencal lyrical poetry and is the counterpart of the Alba. It builds around the theme of waiting for nightfall. Specifically a lover waiting to consummate his love, such circumstance would not communicate "serene" to me. The frame is at the discretion of the poet.
       
    • The Serena is also a modern day invented form created by Edith Thompson and found in Pathway for the Poet by Viola Berg. It uses head and tail rhyme. The invented Serena from Pathways ... is:
      1. is a poem in 11 lines.
      2. syllabic, L1,L9,L11 are 4 syllables each. L2 & L10 are 3 syllables each and L3 thru L8 are 7 sylables each.
      3. head and tail rhymed, the head rhyme is AAbbccddAAx and the tail rhyme is ABcxccddABb, x being unrhymed.
      4. composed with a refrain, L1 & L2 are repeated as L9 & L10.
         
  • Serenade is a secular Evensong, specifically a love song in the open air, as under a window of a lover, at evening. The frame is at the discretion of the poet.

    Romeo and Juliet Scene II Capultet's Garden by William Shakespeare
    Romeo...
    But, soft! what light through yonder window breaks?
    It is the east, and Juliet is the sun.
    Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon,
    Who is already sick and pale with grief,
    That thou her maid art far more fair than she:
    Be not her maid, since she is envious;
    Her vestal livery is but sick and green
    And none but fools do wear it; cast it off.
    It is my lady, O, it is my love!
    O, that she knew she were!
    She speaks yet she says nothing: what of that?
    Her eye discourses; I will answer it.
    I am too bold, 'tis not to me she speaks:
    Two of the fairest stars in all the heaven,
    Having some business, do entreat her eyes
    To twinkle in their spheres till they return.
    What if her eyes were there, they in her head?
    The brightness of her cheek would shame those stars,
    As daylight doth a lamp; her eyes in heaven
    Would through the airy region stream so bright
    That birds would sing and think it were not night.
    See, how she leans her cheek upon her hand!
    O, that I were a glove upon that hand,
    That I might touch that cheek!

Here is an example of a poem written using the Bina frame and following two thematic poetic genres, The Abaude and the Seranade."Ades" Stiilis Bina by DC Martinson

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