Greetings to emanilapoetry enthusiasts. From the success of the cinquain train, sijo ship and haiku helicopter (awaiting darkdatu’s conversion), I am inspired to introduce yet another poetry form, the sevenling, which is a poem of seven lines inspired by the form of this much translated short verse by Anna Akhmatova (1889 – 1966).
He loved three things alone:
White peacocks, evensong,
Old maps of America.
He hated children crying,
And raspberry jam with his tea,
And womanish hysteria.
… And he married me.
tr. D M Thomas From Selected Poems (Penguin)
Rules: The first three lines should contain an element of three – three connected or contrasting statements, or a list of three details, names or possibilities. This can take up all of the three lines or be contained anywhere within them. Then, lines four to six should similarly contain an element of three, connected directly or indirectly or not at all. The seventh line should act as a narrative summary or punchline or as an unusual juxtaposition. There are no set metrical rules but, being such a short form, some rhythm, meter or rhyme is desirable. To give the form a recognizable shape, it could be set out in two stanzas of three lines, with a solitary, seventh last line. Titles are not required. A sevenling is entitled “Sevenling” followed by a word or the first few words in parentheses. The tone of the Sevenling should be mysterious, offbeat or disturbing, giving a feeling that only part of the story is being told. The poem should have a certain ambiance which invites guesswork from the reader.
Here’s my take:
He loved to grin
and swill vats of gin
and make out with all kinds of queen.
Such was his numbness
to shame and heartlessness
he almost broke the record for duress.
Until Rome and Rasputin.
With your support, the Sevenling Ferry is all set to sail. All aboard?Latest posts by Abraham de la Torre