It started fourteen years ago, my baby girl was born
I walked into her room today astounded she has worn
A dress to celebrate her birthday picture proof she’s grown
In beauty over years; the time I wish to keep postpone
NaPoWriMo Prompt – And now, for our optional prompt! Today I challenge you to write a fourteener. Fourteeners can be have any number of lines, but each line should have fourteen syllables. Traditionally, each line consisted of seven iambic feet (i.e., an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable, times seven), but non-iambic fourteeners also exist. The fourteener was popular in 16th and 17th century England, where it was particular common in ballads, but it also is the form in which “Casey at the Bat” is written. The form is versatile enough to encompass any subject matter, but as the example of “Casey at the Bat” shows us, it is particularly useful in narrative poetry, due to the long line and the step-like sense of progression created by the iambs.
Guess who will be a fourteener tomorrow? Yes, my baby girl. I know the picture on the right is not very good. I took it down the hallway after I saw she was dressed so lovely today. Later I asked if she would pose for a picture because she looks pretty, but of course she refused. The picture taken secretly may be the best we get.
As you can see, I’ve tried to keep the fourteener in iambic. I don’t do iambs well but the point to napowrimo is to write a poem a day not to stress over beauty or form.