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French Poetic Genres and Verse Forms

Sometimes get bad rap. . France French Poetry Charles Baudelaire French

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#1 OFFLINE   Tinker

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Posted May 24, 2009 - 04:59 AM

Explore the Craft of Writing Poetry

French Poetry
Some of the earliest French poetry came from the Provencal Troubadours who developed distinct styles and forms of verse which set French versification on the path of a strict and narrow course for over 400 years. Although the sonnet was very probably inspired by the verse of the Troubadours, French poetry sometimes get a bad rap as difficult and lacking spontaneity because of its attention to structural detail. Yet the Lai, the Rondeau, and the Ballade family of forms have found their way through the centuries and are still used today.

The Albatross by Charles Baudelaire French Poet (1821-1867)

. Often, to amuse themselves, the crew of the ship
Would fell an albatross, the largest of sea birds,
Indolent companions of their trip
As they slide across the deep sea's bitters.

Scarcely had they dropped to the plank
Than these blue kings, maladroit and ashamed
Let their great white wings sink
Like an oar dragging under the water's plane.

The winged visitor, so awkward and weak!
So recently beautiful, now comic and ugly!
One sailor grinds a pipe into his beak,
Another, limping, mimics the infirm bird that once could fly.

The poet is like the prince of the clouds
Who haunts the storm and laughs at lightning.
He's exiled to the ground and its hooting crowds;
His giant wings prevent him from walking.

Alternating SonnetAlexandrine lineAlba or AubadeBalladeBallade GrandeBallade Royal
Ballade Supreme StanzaBaladaBallataBergeretteBlasonBref Double
Breton LayCansoChain VerseChanso or ChansonChante FableChant Royal Stanza
Chanson de GesteCinquain Courtly Compliment Dansa Débat
Descort Desdansa Double BalladeDouble Ballade Supreme Double Ballade
with Eight Line Stanza
Double Chant Royal
Double Refrain KyrielleDouble RondeauDizainEclogue DébatEnsenhamenEnuig
FabliauFatrasFree VerseFreie VerseFrench Heroic Line French Sonnet
GesteGrand BalladeHutainIambeKyrielleKyrielle SonnetLaisse
LaiLai Nouveau NoelPantoumPastorelaProse Poem
QuaternRetourneRevielleReverdieRime CouéeRhyme Royal
RondeauRondeau PrimeRondeau RedoubledRondelRondel PrimeRondelet
RondineRonsardian Ode SestinaSalut d' AmourSirvanteShort Rondel
TrineTrioletTrouveres SchoolViadeyraVignetteVillanelle
ViralaiVirelai Ancien

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