I will be honest. I knew there’d be a challenge that would cause me to pause and make me think. It’s why we do challenges, right? To test ourselves and push our abilities to their limits, or at least stretch them a little. That’s why I decided to do two challenges, because I didn’t think just blogging using a letter of the alphabet each day (except Sundays) would be challenging enough. Plus, I think CJ really wanted me to do NaPoWriMo, and I must confess, I love challenges, especially poetry ones. What I didn’t expect was to come to a yellow light this soon, or to be stumped by both challenges at the same time.
Today’s challenge for NaPoWriMo was to write a fourteener, a multi-line poem requiring each line to contain 14 syllables and (traditionally) iambic heptameter (seven iambic feet-that’s an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable times seven). One of the more famous fourteeners (popular in England during the 16th & 17th centuries) is Casey at the Bat. I fondly remember the cartoon I watched as a child where Casey made a comeback, with his daughters. It, too, is a fourteener poem. (Video included below for your viewing pleasure-and it also starts with C, Blogging A to Z’s letter for today.)
And that is where I had to slow down and face palm. Iambic metre. Crapple.
I know that iambic metre is not that hard to learn…I really do. But, for some reason, my brain sees that word, iambic, and shuts down. There is nothing like seeing a river without a bridge that forces you to make a decision on how to proceed so you can get to the other side. Iambic metre is my missing bridge. So, ok…I took a deep breath and focused not on the metre, but on just writing the poem and getting the fourteen syllables. Crapple again. I need a C word for today’s A to Z Challenge. Frakk frakk frakk. Never mind, I’ll figure that out later.
Then, this amazing thing happened. The poem took over. (I love when that happens.)
I have my fourteener, and my C word(s) for the day. As for the iambic metre, well, someone else will have to figure out if I succeeded. As always, I hope you have a great day. And, it’s Easter here this weekend. Hope it’s a good one for everyone! Happy Spring!
P.S. The title for today’s post is from The Devil Went Down To Georgia by the Charlie Daniels Band (anyone growing up in the South must know this one from birth). And, information about the fourteener came from NaPoWriMo’s post for today.
The Crook and the Cards
By Jessica Scott
I came upon the grave buried among the dying leaves
Underneath the sycamore tree where I had gone to grieve.
A man stood there in front of that grave, hat clutched in his hand,
Face a somber mask of pain, the payment that death demands.
“She was the sweetest little thing that you could ever dream.
She always thought I could be saved, that I could be redeemed.”
He turned to me and held my gaze, his eyes a burning blue,
“No one wins the black-dealed cards, and the devil claims his due.
Be careful, son, when making bets that you may have to pay.
A losing hand and one bad bluff can cost you much dismay.
Never bet with Satan, my friend, no matter how he looks.
He always wins through back-door means, with words he is a crook.
Before you know what you have done he’ll take more than your life,
The only thing worth living for, the love of your sweet wife.
He’ll tell her what the darkness brings, her soul he’ll drive insane.
He’ll put the gun into her hand, the bullet in her brain.
Don’t ever play the devil, son, you’ll never win the bet.
He has an evil plan, that one, he wants you in his debt.
But should you choose to call his bluff, to play that game of sin,
Don’t ever hold the better cards, make sure the devil wins.”
VIDEO: CASEY BATS AGAIN (by RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.)