Friday, February 10, 2012

Now for the Vagabond - (the French Ballade form)

I am trying this form of Poetry for the first time. It would be great to have some feedback as i wish to continue writing this form and see how we can reshape this old form of Poetry - the French Ballade. I am leaving the feedback to flow freely and would not make any changes but would continue changing (editing) this poem and the poem should take a good shape in coming days.

Cover to Banjo Paterson's seminal 1905
collection of bush ballads, entitled
The Old Bush Songs.
Now for the Vagabond

So call troth of the mutiny laden vagrant,
In the cycling moves in defense of his pondering
Somewhere from the aloofness of this unsung tyrant,
And the tearing and burning lumbago is domineering.
The colors one by one and slowly despairing
Bounded from the earth and timed by the sky;
Darkness is still haunting in the ageing blues,
What the world saw is mutiny and lie.

Do sometimes those heart tries and eyes lie?
Do you care for this unknown haggard looks?
Dilemma out of all the lost fortunes survive,
And he denies, sometime fabricates and sometime cooks
Some justice delayed and provided though out of books,
Perennial nights and no remorse from that eye;
When the thumping stops the elusive vagabond speaks,
What the world saw is mutiny and lie.

We for the Milky Way and many more,
Compassionate and affirmative for the life it holds;
Today’s Jingoism –My vagabond what you now bore,
Long journeys for you and sometimes you ascend
Hooligan out in the wild and circumstances pretend,
With them your life burst and you untie;
But what is for those critics premises left?
What the world saw is mutiny and lie.

Vagabond – Motivation is now over ruled and sold,
You never give up and always do try;
Only thing now to boast is story’s untold,
What the world saw is mutiny and lie.

Shamsud A
Thanks to Gay Raiser who helped me understand this form. Visit to know more

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  1. Its absolutely beautiful... thumbs up!! Attempting french b is not the easiest of jobs.. :)

  2. Thank you Rohini....Yes...i have been writing for a long time and thought of trying something will see more coming...

  3. Dear Shamsud - I had difficulty with this poem as to subject. There are many brilliant images sprinkled throughout and lots of words used in unusual ways.

    However, I am unsure where you wanted to go with it as it changes viewpoint throughout and has MANY messages. I am thinking they are all worthy messages and you may be wanting to combine them in a modernist way.

    Nevertheless I think even if you are trying for a deconstructionist way of making your point, your focus gets lost between you and the reader.
    You might try to hone it a little more.

    As to the form, you worked it a little too hard. It isn't as difficult as you have made it here. The form does call for only three stanzas and a four line envoie.Since you used an eight line stanza, it should be a regular ballade form. The rhymes should NOT change from stanza to stanza but continue the same; and you did not employ the refrain, that is the last line of all stanzas (3) and the last line of the envoi ( and therefore the poem) should repeat if not identically, then fairly close to it. I think that is one of the identifying features of the ballade.
    However, you took the form on with gusto and I must say I admire your attack and the broad spectrum of subjects you addressed here. Maybe just spend a little more time now in framing it to the form.
    Thank you so much for reading and linking. It is very much appreciated.

  4. Thank you so much for a detail feedback...Yes i found it difficult to keep with the form and it took me sometime to work on this one...however, as i have started now...i will get back with something which defines the essence of this form...Thank you so much

  5. I have to admit, I am not all that familiar with this type of poetry. I did find the subject to be a little confusing, but perhaps I'm just not understanding it. I also thought some words were misspelled (defence = defense).

    Still, I think you have talent as a poet. Keep writing!

  6. Yes...i have never tried this form before and i am working on this poem continuously and hence the typo. Thank you for your honest feedback


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