Treasure Island

Sidi J. Mahtrow


Reiterative Poetry


Reiterative poetry it seems proper to say
Has seen little sunlight in present day.
Yet it represents in all regard,
The beginning as English language broached forward.

Base on Anglo Saxon and Anglo Norman tongues
Reiterative poetry sloughed reluctantly along
Combining words in ways most proper
And in some case, crudely brought to halt, a stopper.

Meanings lost or lesser known,
Words and spellings made to fit the event reported on.
Such it is that Piers Plowman was written
By William Langland and others(?) too, in 1462.

Reiterative simply means repeat sounds; words or their beginnings
To occur at least twice in each line's soundings.
Thought to be borne on the method of basic speech
Slow and deliberate as the speaker sought to teach.

Imagine if you will the illusion the teller
Wished to instill in the entranced listener,
Pausing for effect on each word of the reiterative pair,
For emphasis that would be embedded there.

The Vision that Will viewed from his slumbers,
Was perhaps a dream of dreary numbers.
Cascading before his closed eyes,
Were temptations in their disguises.

Along the way the visions, as you will
Enticed the reader to revel,
In tales of harlots and their heady stews
Where pleasure was sought (and found) in their due.

The Church of Rome was ragged about in play,
With fat priest in habits placed on display
Their custom of taking what they may
From the serfs and sundry workers of the day.

Then there is the use of ‘fables' to instruct,
As example, 'Belling the Cat' is one of such.
The moral of the story is two fold and more,
As the men are told they cannot be as independent mice of lore.
But should bear allegiance to the King (the cat)
Who protects, administers and all that,
Taking only 'a little' from each one
So that they can live their life in freedom.
As example, seen in France, the death of the cat
Only brings on horrors (and yet another cat) .

Langland never was quite pleased with his poem
And rewrote it several times and some.
Sometimes using reiterative style
To make his point, but when the method failed
Used free verse to get the story told
That's the way it was in days of old.

So it is related with this Reiterative Poem
Hoping to provide humble examples to some,
Who might wish to try their hand
Writing poetry, as the method properly demands.

Submitted: Sunday, May 21, 2006

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  • Daniel Richerson (11/26/2013 2:38:00 PM)

    Repetition soon starts to sound like self-mockery; such as in Ancient Rome, when rhetoric was extremely important. Marcus Antony destroyed Brutus in a assembly after Caesar's assassination, and said how honorable Brutus was over and over and over again, until it lost it's effect on the audience, once Antony noticed this, he flung Caesar's bloody cloak down to the people, saying, You are no son of Rome to act so cowardly in your treachery. The Roman people forced him and the other assailants into exile where Brutus killed himself. He could of won the audience if Antony hadn't of repeatedly made remarks about how honorable Brutus to diminish the value of the word, and then using the bloody cloak as a visual aid to put the rhetorical, metaphorical nail in Brutus' coffin. Love your writing sytle (Report) Reply

  • Ivor Hogg (11/9/2010 9:31:00 AM)

    repetition can enhance if used properly but tends to become boring if misused (Report) Reply

  • Chris Mendros (4/20/2007 8:44:00 AM)

    And what in our world can be added to this?
    To attempt such a thing would evoke from me a hiss.
    But it is the best poem i've seen today
    i might imitate, but cannot create your way
    for when i get stuck, rather than force a rhyme,
    i'll just say 'nice work, ' you're an object trouve, a serendipitous find. (Report) Reply

  • Ivor Hogg (3/25/2007 7:29:00 AM)

    I can only reiterate I agree with your conclusions My pen namne is derived from piers ploughman (Report) Reply

  • David Harris (2/24/2007 10:21:00 AM)

    Sidi, what a mind of knowledge. They say you learn something everyday. I learnt a lot here with this one. Great write and thanks for sharing it.
    David (Report) Reply

  • Milly Hunter (1/1/2007 2:05:00 PM)

    Wow, this certainly sits me in the corner of limited knowledge. Some people have wondrous privileges beyond other's wildest dreams. And yet, I do so love the standard of beauty and elegance in its standard of perfection. Masterfully brilliant, learned Sir. This is wondrously methodical and most enlightening.

    Regards, ~Milly. (Report) Reply

  • Richard Jarboe (10/30/2006 9:25:00 AM)

    Sidi, Thank you for taking the time for all of us to rediscover your passion for this style of writing. Old school.... yeah!
    Richard (Report) Reply

  • Chandan Roy (8/16/2006 2:05:00 PM)

    How do you come up with such themes? This is truly amazing and educative. A student of poetry could cherish this forever. Sidi, you are quiet talented and have an excellent command over the language.

    The style of descriptions adapted here is flawless and the message is so well delivered to all poem lovers. (Report) Reply

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