25. Ballade

Yes, dear readers, there is a difference between a ballad and a ballade (I certainly didn’t know that) — the difference being: One is harder, the other not. But then again, difficulty is subjective.

I shall discuss the ballad in a future post. In the meantime, a ballade is a French poetic form composed of three octaves and one envoy of four lines, and features a refrain. It follows a strict ababbcbC pattern (where C is the refrain) for the octaves, and a bcbC pattern for the quatrain at the end. Below, I wrote in iambic tetrameter (fully on preference), but it may also be in iambic pentameter.

On Language

It is so silly once you think:
The language we are forced to speak—
Or that which we write in ink—
For of what use a language meek,
If it remain but something bleak?
Do tell me now that I may know
Why I must drink of sour perinque,
Than thoughts and words I yearn to grow?

It is on armor grave a chink:
The language we ourselves force speak
(Or that which we force in ink),
For of what use would be to seek
Solace in a judging clique,
If it leaves us speaking narrow
Of the things we fail bethink
And thoughts and words we yearn to grow?

It far be silly now to think:
Of our language now grown weak—
Of our language at its brink—
For it be reason why, this week
(Though reasons be far so oblique),
We celebrate your Filipino
(And not my language, please bethink):
These thoughts and words we yearn to grow.

Before you would, I wish bespeak,
That you who’ve read and you who know:
Language loved—so write, so speak—
Like thoughts and words, we yearn to grow.


2 thoughts on “25. Ballade

  1. Pingback: 35. Ballad « Poeformology

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