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I Have Dreamed a Dream of a New Poetic Form

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First, before I explain, I am coining and claiming three (3) terms: 1) Oneirostrophe, 2) Dream Stanza, and 3) Morphean Stanza.

In order to explain these terms, let me begin with a family tree (This is based somewhat on Ovid’s Metamorphosis, but does bear other influences, as well.):

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(Two main things to point out with which some people may disagree: 1) some say that Morpheus et al. are Hypnos’ brothers and 2) some say that Ikelos and Probetor are the same.  I know there is contention; this is how I’m showing it.)

The first term, oneirostrophe, comes from the Greek from Oneiro (dreams personified) and strophe (turn or twist), which in longer poems becomes synonymous with stanza, thus “Dream Stanza”.  I’m also offering a more colorful version of the name: Morphean Stanza, a hat tip to Morpheus, the most influential of his brothers.

I have always been fascinated by Coleridge’s claim to have dreamed the poem Kubla Khan and have often wished to have such an experience.  Recently, my wish was fulfilled when I awoke one morning with a completed stanza (a Morphean Stanza) in my memory.  I did not dream of composing a poem; I was not thinking of poetic things when I drifted off to sleep; nor did I doze off with the television on.  To my best and honest recollection there was no “process”; the stanza was just there, in my memory, when I awoke.

I spent a fair amount of time pondering over what to do with the bit of poem I’d been gifted with.  Now, I have decided to create a full story using the form given to me in my dream.  (I also aim to have each oneirostrophe illustrated and publish the complete work as soon as I’m able.)  To that end, I began an analysis of the linguistic features (prosody, rhyme, structure, etc.) of the Morphean Stanza.  I was sure that I would find a garbled mess with which I could do little without completely distorting the verse given to my by the Oneiroi.  What I discovered, though, was quite the contrary… and quite fascinating.

As for that, though, you’ll have to wait for the next post.

Written by Alex Kaulfuss

December 6th, 2013 at 12:33 am

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