Poetry Challenge #24

The Ballad

Sometimes it’s fun to write a poem on a topic; sometimes it’s fun to try to use a form. I often use a form when I feel like my poem is wandering around or getting wordy. Forms force you to pay attention to the number of syllables you use or to a rhyme scheme.

A fairly easy form is the ballad. It usually has four lines in each verse with an ABAB rhyme scheme (every other line rhymes). It also has a strong rhythm. Lines alternate between four and three beats. If you aren’t good at hearing beats, use eight syllables on one line and six on the next.

Try writing a ballad of at least two verses. Remember you can always write a ballad (or haiku or acrostic

Ballads are great to set to music if you are musically inclined!

Here’s an example I wrote:

The red-winged blackbird sports a white
bar dully on his wing.
His epaulet is not so bright;
he’s not begun to sing.

A yellow bar will soon appear
and then a bright red line.
His red-winged name will be more clear,
and it will be springtime.

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