At the mournful shore with swells
as whalebacks turning, tolling bells
of seachimes;

behind the cloud-veiled sky the sun,
a bashful orb spilled gold and spun
my sealight.

Inhaling this, my moment, mine
this scent of tear, of wind, of brine
and seaweed.

There, that day , I found my health
I sighed; I smiled and dressed myself
in seaskin

and if you find me by the beach
I will not listen to your speech
but seasongs.

Claude Monet

Today at dVerse Grace brings us a form called the Compound Word Verse which is a poetry form invented by Margaret R. Smith that consists of five 3-line stanzas, for a total of 15 lines. The last line of each stanza ends in a compound word and these compound words share a common stem word which is taken from the title. (In the first example below the stem word is “moon” from the title “Moonlighting”; the compound words related to the title are moondust, moonbeams, moonsongs, etc.)

The Compound Word Verse (3 lines) has a set rhyme scheme and meter as follows:

Rhyme Scheme: a,a,b
Syllable/Meter: 8, 8, 3

I tried my best, and I found it quite hard to make a meaning with this sparse form with so many restrictions.

October 21, 2021

23 responses to “Seascape

  1. Oh so beautifully conceived and executed mythopoesis …. The longing to leave a dying world for the health of a selkie in his native sea country. Loved this, Bjorn.

  2. The verses chime so well. How beautiful it is to find oneself, one’s health and listen to seasongs. Love the compound word pairing Bjorn.

  3. I love the idea of dressing yourself in a seaskin! Seasongs are some of my favourite music, so I like what you did with the form.

  4. I agree, it was difficult to find cohesion within the restrictions of the form. I liked your piece being called “rugged”, because it is a seafarer’s ballad, a muscular tale. I enjoyed it.

  5. Really like this Bjorn. I found turning to a lighter essence of mirth helped me stay dead solid to the form. Although I firmly agree, if one wants depth, form needs to be willing to flex.

  6. I think you got this, Bjorn. Iknow that feeling – there is healing in the sea. I like the fact that you constructed some of those compound words yourself, too.

  7. The meter and cadence here seem like a seasong themselves–each stanza is complete in itself in some ways, yet moves like waves do, one after the other, with a turn of the mirror that throws light on each end phrase. I especially like the idea of ‘seaskin…”

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