The Bard Balloons The Ballad …

Narrative poetry continues his week with the ballad. Most of us associate the term “ballad” with the love anthem, or the “soft song,” on some heavy metal band’s latest album. It’s typically the one that helps push the album’s sells along into the mainstream world. Or at least that’s how it used to be. This type of ballad is different. This poetry format can be used in a song, as some have a repetitive refrain. But not always. They have been used in retelling folktales, and at one point were passed down orally. Here’s a link explaining what to look for in a ballad: https://m.poets.org/poetsorg/text/ballad-poetic-form

Here’s another great link for the ballad … https://www.poetryfoundation.org/resources/learning/glossary-terms/detail/ballad

Ballads tell stories, or at least most of them do. One of my all time favorites is by the late, great Samuel Taylor Coleridge. It’s called “Rime of the Ancient Mariner.” Definitely check it out. It’s worth the read.

That being said, it’s time to compose a ballad of my own. Then you try one in the space provided for comments. Here we go!

Beware the lashing tongue of wrath
The power to uncover
Amazed within her fervent zeal
The plight of Grendel’s mother

A hero took her son away
A man’s hand came to smother
Uncanny as he ripped an arm
Unleashing Grendel’s mother

The death of one, her only child
Released a fury’s pother
In hallowed halls of Hrothgar’s kin
So came she, Grendel’s mother

Ablaze and full of scornful hate
An anger like no other
Exploding trough the door in rage
Avenging, Grendel’s mother

Aeschere took the brunt of it,
The trusted kinsman; brother
As nothing but his head was found
Removed by Grendel’s mother

And down below the darkest deep
Awaiting to discover
The man who slew her precious son
He comes for Grendel’s mother …

Go on! Don’t be shy. Try one. And until next week, happy writing!

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Author: jamesmatthewbyers

James Matthew Byers resides in Wellington, Alabama with his wife, kids, a dog named after an elf, and two tortoises. He has been published in poetry journals and through Jacksonville State University in Jacksonville, AL, where he received his Master's in 2010. His next epic poem, Beowulf: The Midgard Epic, will be published by Stitched Smile Publications, LLC in late 2017.

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