42. Novelinee Sequence

It’s taken me some time, but I’ve finally found the perfect theme to make a novelinee sequence with.

If you’ll recall, I mentioned in the novelinee post that a sequence had a structural difference to a single-stanza novelinee. It isn’t much of a difference but it is significant enough that I thought I would allot a whole post to it.

The rhyme scheme of the novelinee is ABABCDCDD. In a novelinee sequence, the lead line of the next stanza must be a variation of the preceding stanza’s closing. We could illustrate the rhyme scheme as ABABCDCDD DEDEFGFGG GHGHIJIJJ, and so on.

Remember that the form is composed of ten-syllable lines. Remember also that Shakespeare himself only loosely followed the whole iambic pentameter rule to his sonnets.


He stands at the edge with naught but the void
That before him lies, wafting with cold heat.
He stands at the edge with naught to avoid—
Neither life nor death, both poised to take seat.
His limbs tremble; his lungs begin to quake.
He steps forth, as vermillion turns to rose,
To lands lie yon, where suns do not awake—
Not a single ditty nor hint of prose;
No winds through his hair nor life full of woes.

Not demon nor god lays claim to his woes;
Not a fragment of him; a trace of a soul.
No Heaven rescinded; no fiery close.
Mere piquant a stench from deep in a hole.
He smiles—much to the comfort of those who thrive.
His body and being defiled as they dance,
And sing, and pray, and forget, and survive—
Mere fallacy, these tales they perchance,
For the sake of comfort. Sights to bechance.

Droll things the dead do or do not bechance—
Even droller the things he knew before;
The drollest perhaps his faith in romance.
He lies in the ground, not a cloud there to soar,
No pain in his chest, all memories null;
Not god nor demon to judge—only the worms,
Verdict just as they feast on his skull.
He sleeps in our minds. Lives. Breathes. Thrives. He squirms.
Sits in the ground and succumbs to their terms.


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