Defining Some Tag Terminolgy

Tags in this blog may seem a little technical for some readers who are not poetry geeks so let me define some of those terms.

A drabble is a short story consisting of exactly 100 words and up to fifteen words for a title.

Ghazal is a Middle Eastern poetic form in which the first two lines form a rhyming couplet. After the first couplet the remaining couplets do not need to rhyme but the final word or phrase of the first couplet must be repeated throughout the poem. Also the author is named in the final couplet of the piece. A ghazal has five or more couplets.

A haibun is one or more highly descriptive prose paragraphs followed by a haiku. In the future I will be working on haibun which consist of one drabble and one haiku, but this is a personal activity- it is not an accepted practice of many other poets.

Haiku is a very old poetic form from Japan. It dates back several hundred years. Most of us learned about this one in high school. It consists of only three lines. The first and third lines have five syllables each and the second line has seven making a total of seventeen syllables. They usually have nature themes and must have a word indicating the season and must NOT have any adjectives or adverbs.

A psalm is an ancient Hebrew poetic form. Psalms are a little hard to explain. They are formed by various means and employ a parallelism that is only found in Hebraic culture. You can write a line like “I went to breakfast.” Then the next line can simply be a rewording of the first line such as “I made the journey to the morning meal.” Or the next line can be the exact opposite like “Breakfast came to me.” OR another line could be added which adds some details, “A breakfast of cold oatmeal” and these lines will build to some climactic ending like “The nuclear bomb warmed the oatmeal.” Psalms are tough to explain but fairly easy to write.

A senryu uses the haiku form. However rather than focusing on nature the senryu discusses human weaknesses.

Finally the Stations of the Cross is a project that I hope to have finished by Easter. These are meditations on the Crucifixion and Resurrection of Jesus Christ written in the Ghazal form.

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