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Frank Coffman

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About Frank Coffman

  • Birthday 06/29/1948

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  • Gender
  • Location
    Elgin, Illinois
  • Interests
    Writing, Reading, Stereo and 2D Photography, Hickory Shaft Golf, Rugby Football, Sailing.
  1. Frank Coffman

    The Race

    Many thanks, eclipse.
  2. Frank Coffman


    I see the pastoral aspect also. Of course, the pasture invites that directly. Bucolic poetry is an ancient tradition. This one is nicely upbeat ("pride" "happy" "fearless joy" -- of course the joy is more poignant and the moments shared more precious because of the other element of ALL of our pastorals: ET IN ARCADIA EGO. Mechanically, I like the cadences and the use of the line breaks: especially after line one to make the pause before "look up" and after "dippers."
  3. Frank Coffman

    The Great Eisteddfod

    The Great Eisteddfod (an Acrostic *Quadrina Sonnet done in the intricate Welsh meter of **Englyn Lledfbroest, making use of ***Cynghanedd Sain in several lines and internal rhyme in most) by Frank Coffman The Welsh schools and rules of rhyme— Old treasured measures most proud— Under laws of clause they croon Grabbing words like birds deployed, Harvesting strong song from soils: Each mote a sweet note of chime. Seeking the peak, the bright jewel, That soon may croon them the crown. Each year they gather around— No choice voice devoid of ploys— Great bards providing hard proof; Lines from the mines of their minds: Youths, old sing gold as they glide, Now near perfection they toil. *The Quadrina Sonnet is my invented form, based upon the regular stanza changes of the Sestina. The rhymes (in this case ASSONANCES on the diphthongs long I, oy, oo, and ow—as close as we can come in English to the Welsh form) as 1234 4132 2431 in the first 12 lines and then using the diphthongs—two each in each of the last two lines—to make up for the final 1234 quatrain of the Quadrina proper. **Englyn Lledfbroest is, properly, a heptasyllabic quatrain on the diphthongs ae, oe, wy, ei (not precisely possible in English, but the diphthongs I’ve chosen are as close as we can come). The meter, as in most Celtic language poetics is syllabic, not measured in “feet.” *** Cynghanedd Sain is one of the standard Welsh “harmonies.” Two words in the line must rhyme with the second rhymed word alliterating with the final word of the line. I have used this in the lines that are underlined in the poem. ****Internal Rhyme is, of course, not specifically Welsh, although many of its meters require it. Englyn Lledfbroest does not, but I have added it in almost all of the lines. It’s required (as noted above) in Cynghanedd Sain.
  4. Frank Coffman

    The Race

    Ah yes, the dipthong one. It is #8 in Rolf Humphries excellent book GREEN ARMOR ON GREEN GROUND where he attempts all of the meters in English poems. Clearly his ancestry is partly Welsh based upon the last name. He's most famous for his translation of Ovid's METAMORPHOSIS and as a classical scholar. STILL (even though I haven't tried this one yet) I think the diphthongs: ae oe wy and ei can be closely approximated by long I "ay," long o. "ow" as in "bow, bough" and "oo" as in "you. I'll give it a shot. I'll have something before the end of today 8 Nov. 2017
  5. Frank Coffman

    The Race

    Number 7 on whose list. It's possible I've already done one. I've already covered more than half of the 24 official meters.
  6. Frank Coffman


    In this case, it did pass -- sorry to say. But there are always chances for new love to be encountered. In my case, it worked out--for the best. Thanks for the kind words re: the Shakespearean form. It is undoubtedly the most common form of the sonnet in English -- because it was designed by Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey, to be easier than the rhyme rich Italian/Petrarchan. Poor Surrey! A younger poet named William commandeered the name. It should likely be called the Surreyan Sonnet. Then Spenser has to re-complicate things by merging the quatrains.
  7. Frank Coffman

    Terror at Twilight (a Seadhna Sonnet)

    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.
  8. 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].
  9. Frank Coffman


    Moonshadows How quickly do the hours add up to days, The days to weeks, the weeks to months and years! Soon old Time in the old time-honored ways Has made mere memories of joys and tears. There was a time, my love, when each fleet minute Was greeted as a new log for Life's fire; And each new day with all Love's promise in it Dawned on the journey toward our hearts' desire. And I remember evenings around sunset, We two would walk until the summer stars Were spinning overhead, before the onset Of troubles and the wounds that left our scars. And, hand in hand, moonshadows on the grass, We walked in love we swore would never pass.
  10. Frank Coffman

    The Race

    Thanks for the kind comments, Tink and Tony. I see "Carpe Diem" as a double-edged theme. In Khayyam's RUBAIYAT (at least in the Fitzgerald trans.) it is hedonistic ('"Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die." or "Make hay while the sun shines." The more positive view is the DEAD POET'S SOCIETY one about making the most of your time and your life in the time provided. I'm working with the latter one, of course, here. The great majority of what I do is sonnet experimentation. I'm doing a sequence of them in the 24 Welsh meters (at least trying to).
  11. Frank Coffman

    The Race

    The Race (after Andrew Marvell) by Frank Coffman This final, fitful flurry falling down Will melt soon, and the April grass will green. And yet how quickly green will parch and brown— And summer fade to fall as all have seen. Lessons from Nature? There may be a couple: One in the wondrous cycle of rebirth; One in that Time, relentlessly, on supple Limbs, races against us for all we're worth. That some things last is clear each day at dawning. That most things don't is seen in every death. Let Time not pass us as we stand ayawning, But let us run 'til we are out of breath! And, stride for stride, beside him at the tape, Fly on beside him in a better shape.
  12. Frank Coffman

    These Leaves Falling

    Many thanks, Tony. Most of my work finds it's way into sonnets of some sort. I've been experimenting with the various ways the quatorzain can be written. I'm done severeal in the Welsh meters and other foreign-to-English forms. I use it as a narrative more often these days than as a lyric form.
  13. Frank Coffman

    These Leaves Falling

    Thanks, Tink This is actually a sort of "juvenilium" I wrote this many autumns ago when a student at Millikin University (Decatur, IL) I was 20. It's likely influenced by my love of Hopkins and Dylan Thomas. My more recent stuff has been in the weird, horrific, supernatural, and speculative genre realms -- I've found a market there.. Best Regards, Frank
  14. Frank Coffman

    Out of Sync

    Novel terza rima poem. The cadences vary from the strict iambic -- it seems syllabic on either 7 or 8? Nice use of the form for descriptive detail. With some narration and a clincher statement for theme.
  15. Frank Coffman

    silk worm

    Nicely done. You have the "cut" between lines 1 and 2 (it can be between 2 and 3, of course). Nice "zoom lens" effect from the wide shot of the bench to the minutia of silkworm and filament.

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