Ch'i-Yen-Shih metre

This is, believe it or not, a Chinese verse form. Whether it's worth doing in English is debatable. Stanzas have four lines of seven syllables each, with lines 2 and 4 rhyming. Each line has a caesura, or break, after the fourth syllable; I have laid the example out to emphasise this. That's all there is to it, really, except that, to make it sound a little more Chinese, only words of one syllable should be used. 

Fenland
Long straight black road
far from home.
The moon hangs snagged
in the trees.
Foot down, I speed
through the night.
Rain falls in sheets,
starts to freeze.

The cats eyes pulse
like Morse code.
Far sparks speed close,
blaze then fade.
For hours on end
thereís no change:
Road, light, rain, wind,
screen and blade.

Iím tired and cold,
on my own.
How much of this
can I take?
I grit my teeth,
try to guess
How long Iíll last
till I brake.

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This page last updated 05/06/2010