Idyll Hands

Heroic couplets make great structures for epic and narrative poems. Last week we took a look into Chaucer’s world, and I composed a brief poem using this format as well. This week we’re going to discuss the narrative poem in general. What makes this format click? Tick? Tock? What are the kinds of narrative poems available to use when telling tales? Here’s a great site with wonderful examples:

So, click the link, take a look, and choose which style of narrative poem you like best!

Obviously I am partial to the epic. But the lay, the type of poem a minstrel in medieval days would sing to spread news, holds favor as well. However, the idyll will be my focus today. This style of poem idolizes someone or something. Use your imagination and run with it. Some idyll poems have sixteen lines, unless you stretch it into epic territory, where it is obviously much longer. For the most part, there is open debate on this particular literary element. If this one seems too vague, you could also tackle the ballad. It’s much more melodic with its repeating refrain. Ah, but we’ll save that one for next time. Here’s my idyll poem …

As ancient days have passed and gone
The bard has come to sing the tune
Exploiting other deeds unknown
Adventures underneath the moon
A hero born unto the lands
Unlike the realm of Midgard hailed
No other did with his bare hands
Amazing feats of strength assailed
The mighty Beowulf whose name
The bee-wolf youth whose proven might
Ignited fervor in his flame
A fearless manner in his fight
And more than Grendel or his kin
The warrior handled fist to face
The tales I tell will soon begin
So join me in my sacred place …

There you have it! Try one of your own! Comment in the space below. And as always, until next time, happy writing!


Author: JamesMatthewByers

James Matthew Byers resides in Odenville, Alabama. He has been published in poetry journals and through Jacksonville State University in Jacksonville, AL, where he received his Master's in 2010. His epic poem, Beowulf: The Midgard Epic, is out from by Stitched Smile Publications, LLC. Mr. Byers is published in numerous magazines, anthologies, and eZines. He has also won numerous poetry contests for the Alabama State Poetry Society.

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