Saturday, 31 July 2010

A New Verse Form: The Mope

Once, on a five hour train journey, I developed a brand new verse form. The rule was that every line had to be an anagram of my full name. The result, of course, made no sense but did fit together gramatically. It ran thus:


Ok, thrash my dwarf, or
Ask for a word rhythm
Worthy of Mark's hard
Harrows of dark myth.
Hark as my word-froth
Arks forward, myth-ho!
Oh dark swarthy form,
Martyr who had forks,
Ask for a word rhythm
Or thrash my dwarf, ok?

Any readers who have much too much time on their hands are invited to post their own in the comments. They don't have to be anagrams of your name, you could choose anything. But they do need to form full, or at least vague, sentences. They should also not contain the original word or phrase, which should be hinted at in the title, thus making the poem a puzzle.

I shall call this new form the Mope, because it is a poem, but anagrammatically so.

P.S. I've claimed to invent new verse forms before and been cruelly informed of my belatedness.


  1. I wrote such a poem for a friend many years ago. I remember the first few lines:

    List here, dance man!
    Share a clement din.
    And heel, miscreant!
    Isn't charm a needle?

    A Harlem insect den.
    Nestle me, arachnid,
    An emerald in chest,
    Then, discern a male.

    The last two lines were "The slender maniac / Can heed a minstrel", which was especially appropriate for the recipient.

  2. Never new, never new. I'm trying, Isohedral, to work out your friend's name. Unless he was called A.E. Stendhal and came from the Crimea I'm not making much progress.

  3. If Dogberry can't figure it out, there's no point in lesser mortals trying.

    When did you say you were free for dinner?

  4. FUN!! This one alternates anagrams of my name and my twin sister's.

    Alas the chalkline! We
    Slew northern ease, a
    Skeletal china whale,
    As another newsreel
    (An elite hell hacksaw)
    Shelters one wan era.
    Ah! Walk celestial hen,
    Eternal snare whose
    Swanlike lethal ache
    Wrote an eel harness.
    Shall hawk ale entice
    Her resonant weasel?
    Well I, a slack heathen,
    Hasten on: leer, swear,
    Hate, eschew, kill Alan,
    Who resents lean era.
    He, catlike, shall wane
    On ethereal answers.

  5. Isohedreal Charles E. Tideman? Or Charles Dementia?
    Deborah, I fear we live in different countries (also I'm immortal).
    Eleus, I love the celestial hen and the resonant weasel. In fact, there's a strange number of animals in there.

  6. I had newts and elk in the original schematic, but started feeling too hungry...

  7. I once went to Honolulu for dinner. Provence must be do-able for an evening.