The form I’ve been using a lot recently is the cascade. Shadow Poetry explains how to do it, but it’s not difficult, no rhymes and a lot of repetition. Four stanzas of three lines where the first line becomes the last line of the second stanza, the second line becomes the last line of the third, and the third line becomes the last line of the fourth. It creates an attractive trickle-down effect.
The picture of a cascade I had in mind is entitled Silence so you can think of the title as a bonus prompt. Otherwise, you might like to use these words:
Cascade, tresses, eagle, abandon, rippling
This is another rather odd painting. Silence, next to a waterfall? What is the woman listening for? Her expression isn’t fearful, more interested than excited. And what is that deer doing behind her? See what you can get out of it and post the link to your poem in the comments. My poem is below.
Standing in the cascade’s spray,
Water tresses, sunlight glinting,
Watching the river run away,
I wonder is bright water rippling
On the bank where now you stand,
Standing in the cascade’s spray?
Does your heart lie dull, a dead weight,
The joy too sharp in night time dreaming,
Water tresses, sunlight glinting?
Or do you soar in wild abandon,
Eagle-free on pinions spread,
Watching the river run away?
68 thoughts on “Poetry challenge #33: Silent cascade”
I really like the art you have as the lead into this 🙂
I’m glad you like it. It’s a painting I’ve used before to illustrate a poem. I like the strangeness of it. The deer is artistically not exactly in perspective unless it’s a miniature variety and it looks as though it’s about to leap off a cliff, but it adds to the off-kilter atmosphere.
It’s a painting with so much going on.
Oh sure. I love this
This should be fun! 🙂
(I like the painting. It is a bit off-kilter.)
I hope it will be fun!
do you find that knowing so much about form enhances or inhibits …. I’m ignorant and just write I write regardless but I wonder if more technical tools would help or hinder?
I used to shy away from anything that looked like a formal pattern. It’s very easy to end up with dee der dee der dee der dee der stuff. Writing rhyme is like playing with fire—it might blow up in your face. It takes nerve and it makes you think about every image and the overall effect before you let it stand. Sometimes though a rhyme and a rhythm flow perfectly and can change a poem from being just pleasant wallpaper to hitting a deep resounding chord. I am such a pretentious git…
Pretentious? Nah – enlightening 🙂
If I say it often enough, I might start to believe I know what i’m talking about 🙂
Buddhists believe that if we repeat words ofen enough they cease to have meaning so have a care 😉
Buddhists might have a point.
I like this form (yours is excellent).
I’m glad you like it. It’s not too fiddly and it gives a satisfying result.
Hi Jane, I abandoned Silence…here’s my cascade
I like this form. I want to try it again, but for now, here’s mine.
An interesting form–reminds me of a Troiku where you use each line of an opening haiku as the first line in three more haiku–this of course uses the lines at the end of each stanza–a bit more challenging but will be worth a try 🙂
I think you’ll find it easier than you think.
I’ll definitely be participating in this one, Jane. A whole story flashed across my mind in the couple seconds it took to read your choice words. Now I’ll be trying to capture it all in the form you’ve given us. 🙂
If you want to use a different form, don’t try and force your idea in the one I suggested. Post it as it comes. You can always try out the cascade form on a different poem 🙂
Thank you for another intriguing challenge, Jane. Your poem is amazing=)
Thank you Louise! I’m glad you like it 🙂
over the edge again
This is my entry. Enjoy your weekend!
As always, I like to research the imagery in a painting first. My search led me to Celtic Mythology, the Faerie King (Stag), the ash (rowan) tree and the eagle that sits atop the tree. And my story features a young maiden trying to hear the twinkling bell sounds of Faerie voices carried by the wind. Here is my Cascade Poem then:
(I really like this poetry form! :))
I agree, the painting does seem to be full of symbolism. And I’m glad you like the form, it’s a good one 🙂
Just found this link about the painting: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:%27Silence,_Waterfall_and_Forest%27_by_Arthur_Bowen_Davies,_Dayton_Art_Institute.JPG
That’s where I got it from. I was just too lazy to go back and find it. I’ve used this picture as an illustration before.
Your tresses loosed, raven cascade
Our wild abandon in the shade
Watching an eagle soar on high
The rippling brook soft bubbled by
I wish we could have longer stayed
(now that’s pretentious.)
No it isn’t pretentious—it’s poetic and it’s allowed. Thees and thous are pretentious.
Oh I’ve written plenty with ‘thou’ and ‘thine’ too. Although to be fair, I was enamored of Keats! 🙂
If it’s a homage, I’d let it pass. And as long as you don’t mix up thee and thou 🙂 I’ve seen that in poetry quite often, as well as forgetting and sticking in the odd ‘you’ and ‘yours’ too. Looks silly.
Oh it was a full blown, late teenage phase! 😀
I’d only read Keats and Byron and the other Romantics… Apart from Yeats and Auden, I don’t think I’ve read much of anyone from the 20th century. Neruda et al just don’t strike a chord somehow. 🙂
I know what you mean. It’s like the difference between Beethoven and Pierre Boulez. Very worthy I’m sure, and cerebral, but Boulez just doesn’t set my heart singing.
Exactly! I feel I’m the last few of a dying race though…
I’m no expert, but I’d be willing to bet that Beethoven will last longer than Boulez and Keats will be remembered longer than Sylvia Plath.
I wonder. How many read Keats anymore? Or Plath too, for that matter. I love Urdu Poetry for example but people just stare at me disbelievingly when I quote a couplet. Let’s hope though! 😊
I don’t appreciate the finer points of French poetry either, so Urdu… School children are still taught ‘classic’ poetry though, the things with a rhythm and a rhyme. I’m sure that aspect of culture will remain even when fashions change.
Urdu is quite similar to Hindi, so you’d expect Indians (at those in the northern states) to appreciate it. French poetry, I’ve never read though I suspect some of the best sophisticated sarcasm must have been penned in that tongue. 🙂
It’s a very precise language and there’s absolutely no arguing with it 🙂
It’s a surprise this time!
Hi Jane – I’ve given this one a go as well. Really enjoying your poetry challenges 🙂 I did create a pingback but here is the link, just in case:
The pingback worked. But I agree, you can never be sure…Thanks for the poem 🙂
You’re welcome 🙂
Oh, and I forgot to say, I thought your poem was lovely! Especially the verse about the eagle 🙂
Thank you 🙂 I’m enjoying this form.
I hope I am not too late. I love this photo. Here is my contribution. 🙂
It’s never too late, Carole 🙂 I don’t do the weekly round up until Tuesday.
Another attempt by me, in a different direction:
I know this is late Jane but I wanted to try it anyway. I loved the painting!
I’m glad you gave it a go. I think it’s a great form to work with.