Poetry Society of Tennessee

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Saturday, February 1, 2014


Thanks to Madelyn Eastlund of Florida State Poetry Association (FSPA) and National Federation of State Poetry Societies (NFSPS) for helping the Blogger with this form.

The lachesis, an 18-line structure, is broken into triplet and couplet stanzas in iambic tetrameter (4 beats) or pentameter (5). The rhyme scheme is aaa-bb-ccc-dd-eee-ff, ggg. Choice of subject matter is open.

The name comes from Greek mythology, Lachesis being the second of the three Greek Fates. (Information on the Fates is available on the Internet.) Ms. Eastland mentions that great examples of this challenging form are available in the publication of NFSPS winners (ENCORE) from about 1992 on.

A few examples are given below.


December is a time to ponder life,
For women who have come to be "the wife,"
whose days consist of mollifying strife.

What happened to the freckled girl, so free,
with flying curls and piercing shrieks of glee?

The men she's loved have given her a goal:
To extirpate her will, deny her soul.
Her pleasure must be found in their control.

What happened to the temperament so bold,
The sassing back and stares so icy cold?

Her father's love, withheld 'til she complied...
Her husband, trusted mate, until he lied...
Her son, adored, but always occupied...

The bending willow weeps, but doesn't break;
A heart continues beating, with an ache.

The expectation's gone of Christmas cheer,
Of family who gather year to year.
The distance now between them draws a tear.

Kathleen Cesaro


When names are lavender and kelly green,
when tone of voice and color wheel convene
so that the whiner's yellow voice is seen

as well as heard, my senses come to me
like sound and light shows. I get in for free.

I'd buy a ticket to the exit door
when trumpet tosses me an apple core,
when saxophone spills merlot on the floor.

Sometimes, the hues of music fade in haste.
My tongue will linger on a letter's taste

when R is orange, C is lemon-lime.
Ripe honeybells fall from the wall clock's chime
when lilac lull and serenade scent rhyme.

Skin tightens like a drumhead when the flute
of Jethro Tull warps in the key of jute.

My senses are like twins conjoined: My ear
and eye inseparable. I would pay dear
if I could only see the sights I hear.

Kay Lindgren

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