Octains of Hope and Despair

Victoria Slotto at dVerse reminds us of the Octain refrain form, invented by Luke Prater: a poem of eight lines – two tercets and a couplet with rhyme sceme Abb   a-c/c-a, b-A.  C is an internal rhyme in the 5th line.  

I struggled and limped to express the idea that was amorphous in my head.  Then, as I was making a fair copy, another one leapt on to the page!  I give you both, in the order they arrived.  I don’t do syllable counting, and these are written in (very) loose iambic tetrameter.


Octain I

A small space of words to enlarge the world,
I ask what makes a poem great,
demonstrate faith to change our fate

What gift is this that makes a poet
transform the humdrum. We become
wise as serpents to forego it,

gloss the boring, to create
a spate of words to brighten the world.

Octain II

We’re going to hell on a carousel.
Terror reigns and people die
for no valid reason that I

can imagine, save lunacy,
foul, vile malevolent evil
nursed in pseudo religious cradle

to purge the so-called infidel
the world is going to hell on a carousel


About https://vivinfrance.wordpress.com

All poetry, prose and pictures posted here, except where otherwise stated, is my own, and may only be used elsewhere with my expressed permission. Please don't be inhibited from correcting my bloopers and making suggestions: Most of what I post here is instant, ill-considered and off-the-cuff, in serious need of editing.
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19 Responses to Octains of Hope and Despair

  1. Sadly.. wherever
    a child does not
    receive Love.. human
    becomes ripe for all psychopathic
    leaning operations.. away from Love..:)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sanaa Rizvi says:

    Oh wow! This is absolutely incredible Viv 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  3. restlessjo says:

    To hell on a carousel may well seem right, and it does roll of the page, Viv, but I have just a little more hope. Happy Easter to you! Six words a-coming? Still no Cate for this week. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. whimsygizmo says:

    Double trouble! Love it, Viv.


  5. Timely topics, pretty much nailed it. Great grasp of form, too!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Both of these are quite stunning – filled with power.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Candy says:

    you’ve expressed hope and incomprehensible evil so weel in these

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Bodhirose says:

    A good balance with your two poems, Viv…well done!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Grace says:

    I specially admire the second one Viv as it is timely with all the terror and attack news ~

    I thought this part is really good:
    foul, vile malevolent evil
    nursed in pseudo religious cradle

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Waltermarks says:

    Those are both great Vivian. Your words do make the world a better place

    Liked by 1 person

  11. katechiconi says:

    You’ve done a great job on an uncomfortable form. It’s too ‘bumpy’ for my personal taste, but I like them both very much, and the second one has a very strong message.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. That second one marches across the page and demands to be noticed. Wow.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Very well done, Vivienne! I love the play on the vile/evil as your “rhyming” pair in line five!


  14. Two very powerful and well-written Octains, Viv. And weren’t you going to pass on it? Ha–fooled us all. This whole terror thing is so heartbreaking and if their goal is to instill fear, I’m so afraid they are succeeding.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. kim881 says:

    It looks to me as if you’ve gone high octain, Viv! I love the line ‘the world is going to hell on a carousel’ – it’s not only a play on a well-known saying, it also has internal rhyme. 😁

    Liked by 1 person

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