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Sapphic Stanza with a JUX - craig cornish's Blog

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Sapphic Stanza with a JUX

Blog Posted:1/13/2019 12:36:00 PM




Hang with me here, it may be painful but then - the gain thingy. I'm gonna go to & fro here so stick around for a moment lest your eyes glaze too quickly but hit the road if you know you are hopeless at meter cuz you won't have a prayer with this. First, I'd like to introduce the winner of a Sapphic Stanza contest from 2013, you know her as the Queen of Seduction, so with no further ado, this is Eileen Manassion's correctly metered poem. (2 verses) This is a new contest!

Heavenly Splendor


Wounded, bleeding, dying in utter anguish
Downcast, burdened, constantly second guessing
Seraph’s heartbeat rhythmically wakens visions
Longing for heaven

Sunshine, laughter, beautiful running fountains
Nature, beaming, showing her outer garment
Children, lovers, cherubs and seraphs singing
Heavenly splendor

Eileen Manassian Ghali
(Eileen, bravo with not only the perfect meter - the easy part HAHA- but also a write worth its message - the most difficult aspect of this form, blending almost impossible meter with a worthy message.)

Now, one more Sapphic Stanza from a few years ago by someone. like Cher, who only need be announced by her first name, our Andrea; 1 verse


Listen! There's a melody wafting sweetly

Tempting blossoms liltingly watch enchantment!

Kokopelli's bringing the beauty nearer ~

Magical flautist!      (Special stuff, see what can be done by two fine poets!)

Copyright ©  | Year Posted 2015


The Sapphic stanza, named after Sappho, is a poetic form spanning four lines. The form is three hendecasyllabic lines of trochee, trochee, dactyl, trochee, trochee and a concluding line of dactyl, trochee, known as the Adonic or adonean line. 


The Sapphic stanza was imitated in English by Algernon Charles Swinburne in a poem he simply called Sapphics:

Saw the white implacable Aphrodite,
Saw the hair unbound and the feet unsandalled
Shine as fire of sunset on western waters;
Saw the reluctant. . .

Allen Ginsberg also experimented with the form:

Red cheeked boyfriends tenderly kiss me sweet mouthed

Under boulder coverlets winter springtime                                             hug me naked laughing & telling girl friends    (hug me starts line 3)

gossip til autumn


OKAY, trochee is nothing more than the opposite of iamb, the accented syllable is first so instead of xX it is Xx and dactyl is 3 syllables in a measure (beat) constructed of accented non non or Xxx. So, if I were to write Eileen's with the accented syllables in caps and un accented small
it would look like this.
WOUNDed, BLEEDing, DYing in UTter ANguish
DOWNcast, BURdened, CONstant ly SECond GUESsing
(same for line 3)
Line 4 though is Xxx Xx  LONGing for HEAven
I'm going to make this a little tougher though because if you look at this ancient Greek form it does have that Asian influence. So let's take that final line and make it sort of an AHA! Which Andrea actually does in hers - SEE!
Here's one I wrote as another example;
Harvest Moon
Harvest moon you welcome another season,
leaving dreams of summer to winter's wishes;
greens turn shades of orange and red and yellow ~
marshmallow campfires.
(See the twist, the jux, which adds a tad of fun)
Please Login to post a comment
Date: 1/16/2019 5:25:00 PM
Hmmm... interesting! Do you just want one stanza Craig, or are multiples acceptable?
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cornish Avatar
craig cornish
Date: 1/16/2019 6:45:00 PM
Nina, what is important if you know me is quality, which means the more you write the tougher it gets---one great write is better than two ordinary---but do not forget the JUX
Date: 1/13/2019 7:20:00 PM
Remember the Jux in the new versions
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Date: 1/13/2019 7:17:00 PM
deep and dreamy, whispering, calling softly falling teardrops, memories, sadly floating hearing mother murmuring from the garden talking to flowers
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cornish Avatar
craig cornish
Date: 1/14/2019 5:13:00 PM
Andrea, your example though I want new ones could work for a Jux for sure.
Dietrich Avatar
Andrea Dietrich
Date: 1/14/2019 3:01:00 PM
I see it here, Dear Heart. It is -really beautiful. thanks for finding it, Craig
Dietrich Avatar
Andrea Dietrich
Date: 1/14/2019 3:01:00 PM
and for including my poem on your blog.
Wiishkobe Ode Avatar
Dear Heart- Wiishkobe Ode
Date: 1/14/2019 9:25:00 AM
Yes, that's it, oh yes, I have always loved that poem you inspired me to pen, I recall now that you had left, I did once also, for almost a year, I had lost my muse , it ended up I was sick, then, I returned in the summer of 2012, with the poem, The Dream Lingers and here I am.
cornish Avatar
craig cornish
Date: 1/13/2019 7:18:00 PM
Please refer to the proper format on Dear Hearts history - it is an excellent example which won first in 2015 I think.
Date: 1/13/2019 7:09:00 PM
Dear Heart, Yes you did finish first in one of the contest and with a beautiful write, one of my favs. I will post it above--I don't have my old contests back that far but I found this through your lead
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Date: 1/13/2019 3:45:00 PM
Interesting, I think that I placed in that contest too, in first place to be specific, seeing as I have only written one of those in my entire life, I am confident in saying this. I will look for the title. Title is - springtime flowers
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cornish Avatar
craig cornish
Date: 1/13/2019 9:19:00 PM
Thank you, Constance, I had to go back3-5 years from memory because I had closed my account a couple years ago so all reference was gone. Yours was one of my favorites, perfectly done, from all 3 contests.

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