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A Rose by Any Other Name: FLORILEGIUM

by Suzette Richards

A rose by any other name would smell as sweet. ~ Romeo and Juliet, by William Shakespeare. (In case you needed reminding.) However, it is not necessary to acknowledge the author’s copyright where it is a well-known quote.

I have been toying with the idea of this poetic form for some time and first designed the © SUZETTE SONNET (9 April 2021) - see my earlier blog. As I have already written an example (which I favoured) incorporating white space between the stanzas, I decided to extend the above-mentioned sonnet form and created a brand new poetic form: © Florilegium 3 July 2021.

florilegium (Medieval Latin), literally a gathering of flowers, is a compilation of excerpts from other writings, usually by the same author/poet. The © Florilegium comprises various end rhymes and poetic devices (a bouquet of poetic techniques) and is written in 14 or more lines. THE STANZAS: triplets (when a tercet is in mono-rhyme, it is called a triplet), couplets, and a quatrain (in the basic design).

The design of the Florilegium

  • A stanzaic poem written in 14 or more (in increments of 7) lines. 
  • Rhyme scheme: aaa; (b1–b2)(b1–b2); ccc; (d1–d2)(d1–d2); dbac (as per my example below).
  • The triplets are iambic pentameter [*/|*/|*/|*/|*/].
  • The rhyming couplets are iambic and include leonine verse (‘jangling verse’) OR alexandrine. Metre: [*/|*/|*/ — */|*/|*/]. (I used alexandrines in my example.)*
  • A turn is at the prerogative of the poet. From the observed to introspection. OR the couplets may define pivots within the poem, ie a tilting or shifting in the mainline of thought.  When the latter is employed it needs to be uniform throughout the poem.
  • CONCLUDING with a quatrain that draws the poem together—in iambic pentameter in the rhyme scheme established by the triplets and couplets, for example, abcd/acbd/dcba/etc. The poem might be extended in sets of triplets & couplets, rendering the final stanza a sixain, octastich, or decastich, etc. The final stanza would then approach being Blank Verse
  • The poetic devices, auto antonyms (‘Janus words’), homonyms, homographs, heteronyms, and homophonic rhymes lend interest to the couplets. In my example here I have used 'Janus words' (lash, fast) and homonyms (ash, last).
  • White space: A poetic device as used, for example, in the Goethe Stana (see the schematic representation below), the Trois-par-Huit, etc, is used to set the different stanzas apart on the written page. Ideally, there would be no enjambment between the different stanzas.
  • The topics chosen are contemporary and often personal.


White space as a poetic device as used a Goethe Stanza: 

....................................................— a

                                                                      white space

....................................................— b

....................................................— a

                                                                      white space

....................................................— b

*Leonine verse is a form of internal rhyme in which the word preceding the caesura (or conjunction) rhymes with the final word in the line—these words might be stressed. Alexandrine on the other hand consists of a line of 12 syllables with major stresses on the 6th and 12th syllables.

See my poem, What are words?, for an example where Leonine verse is used.

My example (alexandrine in the couplets):


The root word for religion is not kind –

Latin verb that means to tie or to bind

as it tends to play tricks on anyone’s mind.


For some, the edicts lash – they mercilessly lash.

Inspiration in ash – never reached heights of ash.


As I am cocooned in my stoic den,

the soothing melodies of the small wren,

for the life of me, it’s beyond my ken.


Old habits holding fast – through my mind thoughts flash fast. 

Chance to shine at last – fame and fortune don’t last.


The display of arrogance in the past;

credibility was gone in a flash.

Always being right, I was left behind.

Like a Brocken spectre, I haunt the glen.

Copyright © Suzette Richards 3 July 2021


NB No part of my designed poetic forms may be copied/used in any manner, including the unique names of the poetic forms—it would constitute Paraphrasing plagiarism


UPDATED 17 January 2023

The couplets might be used as pivotal points in the poem, but it needs to be consistent throughout the poem if this is elected to replace the volta.

Volta: A rhetorical device used to create a dramatic shift in tone in a poem, meaning turn. It is used to show that the speaker is experiencing either a literal or metaphorical change. It is a definite demarcation, usually at L9. Tip: You can spot it when you look for words like ‘but’, ‘and’, ‘yet’ ‘O’ or ‘never’!

Pivot:  It is the shifting in and out of a particular frame of mind or reference during the same poem. The poem manoeuvres from subject to subject; it fashions multidimensional layers of thought, emotions and insight simultaneously.