I learned about a new form at Poetic Asides, Robert Lee Brewerâ€™s column for Writers Digest during the month of November. I attempted to write a glossa, but found it a beast I couldnâ€™t tame. So Iâ€™m hoping everyone here at Mindful Poetry will take a stabâ€”a strong oneâ€”and see if we can successfully mince this form into a teddy bear that weâ€™ll cuddle and fawn over.
Studying a number of sites, Iâ€™ve determined that there is not a uniform guideline for us to follow. But there are some commonalities throughout and so I will blend my own rules. You may follow them or find another authority, but do follow the form as best you can.
What is non-negotiable:
- The poem begins with a text/texto/epigram.
- WriteÂ at least twoÂ stanzas in addition to the textoÂ
- In yourÂ own stanzas, use one line of your texto as either the first or last line of your stanza
- or use the texto line as both the first and last line of the stanza.
- (A simple example soon follows.)
We are going to use rhyme. Because there are so many variations of how your stanzas will look, Iâ€™ll leave the rhyming pattern up to you. Just make sure you include rhyme with the ending words.
The last stanza will be a repeat of your first stanza, which is also the texto, but in reverse order. Hereâ€™s oneÂ I wroteÂ where I used the envelop rhyme pattern.
My teaching example:Â
And even the suggestion of one of the forms,
when a poet understands it well,
can haunt a good poem like a ghost.
When writing a glossa, other work informs
the first lines of your poem; alien work warms
your reader's palate. In front, those lines dwell.
And even the suggestion of one of the forms
enhance your verse, might so much as foretell
whether your words wilt or swell.
Allow your own verse to brag and boast
when a poet understands it well
Laden your own lines like a well-oiled roast
so that they honor the invited text the most.
Include each imported line, it transforms
and can haunt a good poem like a ghost.
(Italicized text at beginning from Patterns of Poetry, An Encyclopedia of Forms by Miller Williams, p. 12.)
Finally, I remind you to visit our Feature Page at Mindful Poetry where you will see some fine Fibonacci poetry, December's FOTM in 2012. It will remain in that position 'til the end of the week when it will move aside for your glossas.
Thanks for your recommendation on this post!
Further research has brought this bubbling to the top and it is what I am now considering the truest form of a glossa. All other submissions in adherence to above links and examples will be gladly accepted, but the following clarity is most prized. For your inspection, we have had some Mindful Poetry members already use these guidelines with spectacular results.
"Glosa Verse - The glosa is an early Renaissance form that was developed by poets of the Spanish court in the 14th and 15th centuries. In a glosa, tribute is paid to another poet. The opening quatrain, called a cabeza, is by another poet, and each of their four lines are imbedded elsewhere in the glosa.
The opening quatrain is followed by four stanzas, each of which is generally ten lines long, that elaborate or "glosses" on the cabeza chosen. Each ending line (10th line) of the four following stanzas is taken from the cabeza. The usual rhyme scheme of a glosa is final word rhyming of the 6th, 9th and the borrowed 10th lines."