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Spenserian Quintilla


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American Verse

The Spenserian Quintilla is an American stanzaic form which was first recognized by Miller Williams in Patterns of Poetry when he notes a Spenserian variation framing The Second Best Bed by Howard Nemerov, he called it the Spenserian Quintilla.

The elements of the Spenserian Quintilla are:

  1. stanzaic, written in any number of cinquains.
  2. syllabic, L1-L4 are 8 syllables each, L5 is 12 syllables.
  3. rhymed, axabb cxcdd etc x being unrhymed.

    The Second-Best Bed by Howard Nemerov

    Consider now that Troy has burned
    ---Priam is dead, and Hector dead,
    And great Aeneas long since turned
    Away seaward with his gods
    To find, found or founder, against frightful odds.

    And figure to yourselves the clown
    Who comes with educated word
    To illustrate in mask and gown
    King Priam's most illustrious son
    And figure forth his figure with many another one

    Of that most cremented time
    In times have been or are to be
    Inhearsed in military rime;
    And will recite of royal fates
    Until, infamonized among those potentates

    By a messenger from nearer home,
    His comedy is compromised
    And he must leave both Greece and Rome
    Abuilding but not half begun,
    To play the honest Troyan to a girl far gone.

    The wench lived on, if the son died---
    All Denmark wounded in one bed
    Cried vengeance on the lusty bride,
    Who could not care that there would follow,
    After the words of Mercury, songs of Apollo.
    ------------ from The Collected Poems of Howard Nemerov 1977

~~ © ~~ Poems by Judi Van Gorder ~~

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

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