Lawrence Hosken: Frivolity: Poetry: He Stepped

A Spenserian Stanza:

Wondering what a Spenserian stanza is? (al'ig zan'drin, -drèn, -zän'-), (often l.c.) Pros. -n. 1. a verse or line of poetry of twelve syllables. ...

Random House College Dictionary

"The Spenserian stanza is so called to distinguish it from other stanzas, because Spenser used it in his 'Faery Queene'; it consists of nine lines, the last of which is an Alexandrine. The ordinary verses are iambic lines of 5 accents and 10 (sometimes 11) syllables, as--

Oh, lóvely Spáin! renówned, romántic lánd;

while the Alexandrine has 6 accents and 12 (sometimes 13) syllables, as--

But sláve succeéd to sláve through yeárs of éndless toil;

the extra syllable is found where there is a double rhyme. The lines of the stanza which rhyme with one another are 1, 3; 2, 4, 5, 7; 6, 8, 9;"

-H. F. Tozer Introduction to Childe Harold, Oxford/Clarendon Press 1885

He stepped from bus, all fuming and exhaust-
Ed; Larry went to the grocer's lair.
Too grumpy to watch leftovers defrost,
He bought spaghetti sauce stored in a jar.
Ah fate! To kitchen then did he repair,
But could not twist o'en stubborn jar. Now cross,
Wished to fill sucky vacuum seal with air,
He gave the lid a whack! Showed it who's boss.
From the--oops--cracked jar to floor gurgled spatt'ring sauce.


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