All entries for Sunday 07 October 2007

October 07, 2007

Poetic Discovery!

Hi, people who read my blog,

As part of the creative writing module, we were given the interesting task of creating a new writing style and defining the history of the style. Unfortunately, I'm limited in my creativity of new styles in my general ignorance of the older forms of poetry and personal preference towards modern poetry which does not focus on rhyming (although rhyming is good, I find it blocks some of my immediacy in on-the-spot writing).

So I started searching for examples of older poetry to aid the creative juices. That was when I stumbled upon pyrametric form, an old form that had gone out of practice but one that I thought was worth investigating.

If found this brief history of the pyrametric form on the internet. Notes and links to this page will be added later.

  The pyrametric form can be traced back to Egypt between 2nd and 1st BCE before its European migration. Initially, it resulted as a form of teaching aid. Similar to the building blocks with numbers and letters which are given to children to learn, those who were apprenticed as scribes would experiment with blocks inscribed with hieroglyphs. To help along the learning process, letters and words were assembled in sets of syllables sequentially increasing in size for each layer of blocks, creating a pyramid of words. As patterns emerged for teaching in this form, artistic expression also emerged in pyrametric. However, few examples remain of the authentic pyrametric.

The original pyrametric form can be described quite simply in this manner: the line number of a stanza determines the number of syllables within the line. Therefore the first line would have one, the second two, the third three, and so on.

Before it spread to Europe, pyrametric form was unrestricted in size: the stanzas would grow to unwieldy sizes, with 24 line stanzas stretching the limits of the form. This is where the sexism, or six line form, appeared. Why the current form is known as pyrametric sexism appears to be an amalgamation of several words, including ‘seis’, the Spanish for six, and sextet among others. Another reason for the name sexism may have arisen from the abuse of the sixth line trope. In practice, poets often used the sixth and longest line to express sentiments and build a doubling of images. However, many parodied this trend through base terms, degenerating into innuendo and double entendre of a sexual nature. Some believe that this lead to the ‘sexism’ moniker that has stuck until the present day.

The historian / critic was cited as being Harold Osmond Axmaker. I haven't found any of his previous work as of yet, but I am still searching.

I have included an example of my own experiment in pyrametric form. Although it is crude, I hope to achieve the greatness of the other pyrametric poets who came before.

Spring Powered Interrogation




Around the core.

The name is ‘daisy

And men give women one.


You are

The one in

Deepest trouble

For the crimes you have

Done before the cock rose.


How did

You feign the

Ignorance of

Spring within the fields

Where men water bushes.


You have

No answer.

I swear you shall

Be accounted for

Affairs of country maids.


Don’t you

Confine your

Mischief to the

Honey bees’ toil. For the

Queen they will work it.



Is passed on

You, criminal.

Before the dawn breaks,

The reaper cuts you short.

I hope you liked that poem. It's just a shame that I still have to find a style to invent for Wednesday. Any tips would be welcome.

Signing out.

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