2012-05-04

Passion For Poetry

Utenzi

The Utenzi verse form is Swahili in origin and usually describes heroic deeds. The name is taken from the Swahili word utendi, meaning act or deed, which itself is derived from the verb ku-tenda, to do.

The Utenzi consists of four-line stanzas with eight syllables per line. The last syllable of each of the first three lines rhyme with each other while the last line has a separate rhyme. In subsequent verses the first three lines do not have to rhyme with the first stanza, just each other. The final line of each stanza maintains a consistent rhyme, tying the verses together.

Schematic:

XXXXXXXA
XXXXXXXA
XXXXXXXA
XXXXXXXB

XXXXXXXC
XXXXXXXC
XXXXXXXC
XXXXXXXB

XXXXXXXD
XXXXXXXD
XXXXXXXD
XXXXXXXB

. . . and so forth.

While I found the eight syllable lines easy enough to work with, as well as the first three lines, the connecting rhyme of the fourth line kept throwing me off.


Wolf Moon

The moon is high and full tonight
Bathes the world in ambient light
Illuminates a chilling sight
The lone wolf baying at the moon

The shadows ‘round him stretch their arms
As Mother Moon works out her charms
The hunter’s horn sounds its alarms
Eternal battle, all too soon

With no idea of who will win
This endless battle for his skin
The wolf, he howls for what has been
This night he’ll sing another tune

The wolf is not quite what he seems
Hand crafted in a witch’s dreams
His world exploding at the seams
Created by the witch’s croon

No more a man, he’s all beast now
At least until the witch’s vow
Fulfilled releases his soul’s tao
The one that’s held within the rune

Til then he can do naught but run
And humankind, he can but shun
Each month the same, it all is done
Beneath the pure white werewolf’s moon

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