One Stop Poetry – Monday form – Octains


Afghan National Army NCO Graduation

Image by isafmedia via Flickr

This has every element that I struggle with – meter, rhyme, the works. I really like the form when I read other people’s poems. I take on board Luke Prater’s, (the inventor of the Octain), words that it is challenging and leads to a great sense of achievement when one is successfully completed. So, I have had a go. I think the idea in my mind was too large for the form, but I persisted. As ever this is a first effort, and I intend to keep trying, so hopefully the results will improve. However, this, ‘Warriors’, inspired by a blog from the front line in Afghanistan about the successful training of a kandak (regiment) of Afghan National Army soldiers, this is my very first octain.

Warriors
We train them to be soldiers
Give them uniforms, a rifle
then expect them to be faithful.

We tell them they are warriors –
they swear a solemn vow and know
They are their country’s saviours,

We must be for ever mindful
We trained them to be soldiers.

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About SallyJ

I am a writer and a poet.
This entry was posted in Afghanistan, One Stop Poetry, poet, poetry, war, writer. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to One Stop Poetry – Monday form – Octains

  1. claudia says:

    just yesterday i said that all the octains i’ve written are love poems and that i should try to write a war octain…i’m glad you did..and this was not an easy task – i know how difficult it is to get a big idea into a form poem and you were doing a great job
    it still needs some work on the form – so here are a few suggestions:
    first and last line have only seven syllables except you pronounce it sol-di-ers. i personally would pronounce it sol-diers with only two syllables
    – line 2 and 3 should rhyme as they are both b rhymes
    – the middle rhyme in line 5 should be on the 4th syllable – you could make it “they swear a vow, solemnly know”
    but those are things you can easily fix – really like your poem sally and the refrain variation is fantastic

    • SallyJ says:

      Thank you Claudia – you make it look so easy. it’s great to have the benefit of such knowledgeable and helpful feedback. I did agonise over soldier – even watched myself say it in the mirror to work out how many syllables I use. the trouble is the more I prodded at it the less I knew for sure! Thank you for your advice – I will mend the poem now.

  2. Mama Zen says:

    I absolutely love this!

  3. Nice to see a bigger subject then love and form poetry takes time to use and write so its in the background

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