This piece is…well, I’m not exactly certain. I fully intended to write a couple of quatrains, then I got distracted by Chant Royals after looking at one of Tim’s pieces (distracted by reflecting on the sheer brilliance of it, and an epic piece it is). Then I got distracted again when I came across catalectic verse.
If I understand correctly, catalexis is achieved by dropping off a single syllable in a line. It appears this can occur at the beginning or end, and this is also called headless. I’m not certain. In my case, I went with iambic tetrameter and dropped a syllable in every other line up to the sixth line. The last two lines were in iambic trimeter and headless iambic trimeter (the last line has 5 syllables instead of six). The form follows as such:
a / 8, b / 7, a / 8, b / 7, c / 8, d / 7, e / 6, d / 5
Clearly, I took a lot of liberties here. So, here’s the piece. I’d be pleased to know what you all think. My honest opinion of it: iambic trimeter and headless iambic trimeter are awkward…but the number 6 is my least favorite number and doesn’t feel as if it meshes well with five. I’m not sure what kind of feeling it evokes, if any at all. What do you think?
Upon My Chest Turn Up Thy Brow: Headless Lines
Upon my chest turn up thy brow,
wilt me with thy soul this night.
If forever should be as now,
death itself shall serve no fright.
As breath resigns to pallid grays,
reflections, bones, grief and grains,
let us at time’s ways laugh
and from qualm abstain.
- “Smile W/ Sparks (of a shotgun shot)” by Jeremiah Walton (wedrinkbecausewerepoets.com)