Saturday, April 7, 2012

What is a Hybridanelle?


  The hybridanelle (hi ‘brid an ,nell) is a 38 line poetic form that is a combination of the Italian villanelle and Lewis Turco’s terzanelle. It is created by interlacing the villanelle and terzanelle stanzaic structures together, kind of like shuffling cards, where the stanzas of each form are the individual cards. This means the villanelle and terzanelle refrains and end-line schemes leapfrog one another in the hybridanelle.

  Instead of the end-line rhyme used by the villanelle and terzanelle forms, the hybridanelle's end-line scheme may use other types of parallelism, phonemic or associative. As such, in the hybridanelle, the end-line scheme is exactly that, an "end-line scheme", not a "rhyme scheme". I have posted an article, "Some Alternatives to Rhyme", that discusses and exemplifies many phonological alternatives to rhyme. I intend for the hybridanelle to be very approachable as an English poetic form rather than being yet another hand-me-down from another language that does not share the linguistic characteristics of English. Rhyme is one of the most limiting strictures imposed upon English poetry from languages such as Latin, Greek, and French.

  There are two varieties of hybridanelle, Type A and Type B. The Type A hybridanelle begins with the villanelle's opening tercet and ends with the terzanelle's closing quatrain; the Type B hybridanelle, the inverse of the Type A, begins with the terzanelle's opening tercet and ends with the villanelle's closing quatrain.

  The most useful way I have found to clarify all the points of a poetic form is to enumerate them.

  First there are three points general to both the Type A and B hybridanelles:
  1. The hybridanelle is comprised of ten tercets and two closing quatrains, totaling twelve stanzas.

  2. Lines may be of any length or meter within reason.

  3. Hybridanelles may be written on any subject.
  The remaining points are different depending on whether you're writing a Type A or a Type B hybridanelle.

  First, Type A:









































A4. The first line from the opening tercet is used again as the third line of the third and seventh tercets and the penultimate quatrain. The third line from the opening tercet is used again as the third line of the fifth and ninth tercets and as the fourth line of the penultimate quatrain.
   
A5. The first line of the opening tercet begins the a end-line scheme, used by the first line of every odd numbered tercet along with the penultimate quatrain. The second line of the opening tercet begins the b end-line scheme, used by the second line of each odd numbered tercet along with the penultimate quatrain.
   
A6. The first and third lines of the second tercet are used again as the second and fourth lines of the closing quatrain, and they use the C end-line scheme between them.
   
A7. The even numbered tercets, starting with the fourth tercet, each refrains the second line form the preceding even numbered tercet as its third line. The first line of each of these tercets uses an end-line parallelism with its refrained line.
   
A8. The third line of the closing quatrain refrains the second line of the last tercet and uses end-line parallelism between its first line and that refrain.

  A shorthand notation can be used to clarify the above points. Like letters indicate the end-line scheme, and uppercase letters followed by a superscript numeric notation indicate the refrains: A1bA2, C1D1C2, abA1, cE1D1, abA2, eF1E1, abA1, fG1F1 abA2, gH1G1, abA1A2, hC1H1C2.

  Now, for Type B:









































B4. The first and third lines of the opening tercet are used again as the second and fourth lines of the penultimate quatrain and use the A end-line scheme between them.
   
B5. The odd numbered tercets, starting with the third tercet, each refrains the second line of the preceding odd numbered tercet as its third line. The first line of each of these tercets uses an end-line parallelism with its refrained line.
   
B6. The third line of the penultimate quatrain refrains the second line from the ninth tercet and uses an end-line parallelism between its first line and that refrain.
   
B7. The first line from the second tercet is used again as the third line of the fourth and eight tercets and the closing quatrain. The third line from the second tercet is used again as the third line of the sixth and tenth tercets and as the fourth line of the closing quatrain.
   
B8. The first line of the second tercet begins a c end-line scheme, used by the first line of every even numbered tercet along with the closing quatrain. The second line of the second tercet begins a d end-line scheme, used by the second line of each even numbered tercet along with the closing quatrain.

  The shorthand notation for the above points is as follows: A1B1A2, C1dC2, bE1B1, cdC1, eF1E1, cdC2, fG1F1 cdC1, gH1G1, cdC2, hA1H1A2, cdC1C2.

  This information may be difficult to visualize without examples, so both the Type A and Type B hybridanelles are exemplified below with the shorthand notation for each type expanded out across the lines.

  This first poem exemplifies the Type A hybridanelle:

























































































































































































































  Stormlight by Zahhar
  formlesspoet/2008/04/stormlight.html
   
A1 Frantic flashes illustrate my view,
b Random moments shot into the light;
A2 Thunder crushes every hope anew.
   
C1 I pass the night in a frail abandoned home,
D1 A weary vagrant teen deprived of will
C2 Awaiting the dawn within its quaking hold.
   
a Visions strobe throughout the empty room,
b Shadows briefly singed by every bolt;
A1 Frantic flashes illustrate my view.
   
d I curl within my bag against the wall;
E1 There’s nothing left for the winds to rip from me,
D1 A weary vagrant teen deprived of will.
   
a Etched amid the suffocating gloom,
b Monster clouds roll black against the night;
A2 Thunder crushes every hope anew.
   
e I’ve struggled to grasp what life could ever mean
F1 As memory and mind are stripped away;
E1 There’s nothing left for the winds to rip from me.
   
a Leafless limbs are drawn in sepia hues;
b Stark against the darkness of my thought,
A1 Frantic flashes illustrate my view.
   
f I watch and listen, numb and half-aware,
G1 My slumber but vivid streaks of fitful dream,
F1 As memory and mind are stripped away.
   
a Anxious waiting constantly resumes;
b Shocked repeatedly from fugue to doubt,
A2 Thunder crushes every hope anew.
   
g I try to manage what rest I can redeem,
H1 Protected from the storm by shifting frames,
G1 My slumber but vivid streaks of fitful dream.
   
a Desolation roars the whole night through;
b Forces seem to tear the world apart;
A1 Frantic flashes illustrate my view;
A2 Thunder crushes every hope anew.
   
h Uncertain shadows pose in countless forms;
C1 I pass the night in a frail abandoned home,
H1 Protected from the storm by shifting frames,
C2 Awaiting the dawn within its quaking hold.
   
  In this poem the end-line parallelisms used for the a and b schemes are assonance and consonance, respectively. The end-line parallelisms used for the remaining end-line schemes alternate between reverse rhyme (some of which is partial reverse rhyme) and frame rhyme.

  Although a fixed meter is not a requirement of this form, a consistent meter or set of meters contributes greatly to the way the hybridanelle flows. This is a form of poetry that is not very forgiving of clumsy phraseologies or word flow. In this poem, the villanelle "weave" uses catalectic trochaic pentameter while the terzanelle weave uses a combination of iambic pentameter and iambic-anapestic pentameter.

  This next poem exemplifies the Type B hybridanelle:





















































































































































































































  Inhumation by Zahhar
  formlesspoet/2008/03/inhumation.html
   
A1 locked wards cower in the distant gloom;
B1 grated windows pattern all my dreams;
A2 heavy haze distorts my heavy mood.
   
C1 my eyes are weary of watching faded lights;
d i wait throughout the dismal night to hear
C2 the call of a rooster just beyond my sight.
   
b silence is an ever-present drone;
E1 tempered springs betray my slightest move;
B1 grated windows pattern all my dreams.
   
c these cinderblocks enfold my spirit in lime;
d interred in tomblike walls of concrete halls,
C1 my eyes are weary of watching faded lights.
   
e thoughts amid this broken darkness brood;
F1 restless motions lurk within the shade;
E1 tempered springs betray my slightest move.
   
c this is the crypt where my rotting soul is set,
d thus laid to rest beyond that twilight hail,
C2 the call of a rooster just beyond my sight.
   
f time is fractured into mental shards,
G1 strewn against the darkness of my view;
F1 restless motions lurk within the shade.
   
c and the images betray my heart with lies
d that flash against my mind as crumbled hopes;
C1 my eyes are weary of watching faded lights.
   
g here i watch them phase in empty hues,
H1 omens of a future laid in brick
G1 strewn against the darkness of my view.
   
c this lucid static is comfort of a sort
d that’s lost with every sunrise when i hear
C2 the call of a rooster just beyond my sight.
   
h black within the slowly rising brume,
A1 locked wards cower in the distant gloom,
H1 omens of a future laid in brick;
A2 heavy haze distorts my heavy mood.
   
c i dread the sound that will end another night,
d a sound that seals my fate within this hell—
C1 my eyes are weary of watching faded lights—
C2 the call of a rooster just beyond my sight.

  In this poem the end-line parallelisms used for the c and d schemes, which is the villanelle weave, is a pattern of partial rhyme, reverse rhyme, and frame rhyme. The end-line parallelisms used for the remaining end-line schemes, which is the terzanelle weave, alternate between assonance and alliteration.

  These two hybridanelle examples use phonological parallelism for their end-line schemes. For an example of a hybridanelle that uses associative parallelism for its end-line scheme, see the poem "Legacy", which was written after this article was originally written. With associative parallelism, words relate to one another through meaning. In "Legacy", the parallelisms are synonymic (alike in meaning) and metonymic (related through attributes).

  What makes this form fascinating is the way elaborate end-line schemes can be used to create sound and word patterns—moods—that are unprecedented, or at very least uncommon, in English poetry.

  Because the villanelle and terzanelle refrains weave through alternating stanzas in the hybridanelle, there is more distance between the refrains in the hybridanelle than in the villanelle or terzanelle. This makes it much easier to setup new contexts for the refrained lines, which can give those lines a fresh feel every time they are repeated—I have had some people read my hybridanelles without even realizing there were refraining lines—Yet the power of the refrains is not at all lost. If anything their power is intensified because they do not overwhelm the reader or audience.

  Although the hybridanelle is inspired by the established villanelle and terzanelle forms, the fact that the hybridanelle uses an open end-line scheme, rather than the fixed end-line rhyme scheme used by its predecessors, makes it an entirely new form with an whole spectrum of new possibilities.

No comments:

Post a Comment