51. Luc Bat

I can’t believe it’s been one whole year since I started this project. And in that one year a lot of things have gone down: Obviously, I’d spent most of the year bitching about how lousy I thought I was at this than I did experimenting with poetic forms.

Turns out I was freaked out that everyone else’s lives were headed somewhere, and I was still stuck as an unpublished writer and wannabe actor. Some of my writer friends have become authors, and I’m still here with a great book in a world where publishers do not have the balls to publish it.

I don’t feel like celebrating a blog that doesn’t get many readers, so no original form this week. Today, I wrote a Luc Bat.

It’s a Vietnamese form that translates to “six eight,” which refers to its metrical rules of alternating lines with trimeter and tetrameter feet. And that’s simple enough. It’s the rhyme scheme you ought to be worried about.

So, the last word of your six-syllable line rhymes with the sixth syllable of the eight-syllable line that comes after, and the last word of that eight-syllable line rhymes with the last syllable of the next six-syllable line, and repeats to the end, where the last eight-syllable line ends with a rhyme with the first end syllable.

I’m really depressed right now, so I know the above paragraph does not make things easier. Here’s a diagram instead:

…..A
…..A.B
…..B
…..B.C
…..C
…..C.D
…..D
…..D.A

This is an illustration of an eight-line Luc Bat, but you can repeat the pattern as many times as you want to create twelve-line Luc Bats or whatever.

T’was many years ago
That fate, on me, bestow this quest
To bear within my chest
Pleas to go my furthest in strife—
To breathe words into life;
Words as mere as a knife to wield
As I march ‘cross the field;
But soon, am forced to yield, crumble.
Boulders on me tumble;
Scars and wounds that humble; am lost.
Dreams to reach at all cost,
Now fragments in the frost to die,
Pieces scattered awry,
While motionless, I lie in snow
To breathe but dare not go
The trek set long ago, in fear—
The failure I see clear
As icicles that burn my flesh.
Then light through frosty mesh
Warm beating in succession grand;
Am forced up by the hand,
To go at one last stand in tow.

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