My Forest Friend


My Forest Friend

(A Retourne Poem)



What creatures hide betwixt the wood,

Doth lurk in hidden crooks of trees?

Strange looks make them misunderstood –

Their gentle personalities.

Doth lurk in hidden crooks of trees,

Too shy to make true presence known,

There’re few more bashful sprites than these.

Quite frequently they’re all alone.

Strange looks make them misunderstood.

‘Tis due to their misshapen head,

Whose eyes portray death’s likelihood,

And howling maw, cause fear and dread.

Their gentle personalities,

Beknown to me, I shall defend,

And offer friendly dignities,

When e’er  I spot my forest friend.


Author Notes:

I like to spot things that look strange and create a story poem about them. This is just a broken tree limb in the forest, but I see a spooky looking face of a howling forest spirit. So, it inspired this poem. It will become one of my Animated Stills Poetry collection. Animated stills are poems where inanimate objects take on human, animal, or spirit forms, traits, or articles. They are derived from Photographs I have taken, that have moved me to write a poem associated with it.

This poem is formatted as a Retourne.

I discovered this while reviewing Denhagan’s poem, My Troubled Heart. The Retourne poem is another French poem style. Like the Quatern, the Retourne poem has four quatrains (four-line stanzas), and each line has eight syllables. Also, like the Quatern, the Retourne poem does not have to rhyme.
The Retourne poem uses the second, third, and fourth lines of the first stanza as Refrain lines for the first line of the following three stanzas: line two of the first stanza becomes line one of the second stanza, line three becomes line one of the third stanza, and line four becomes line one of the fourth (and last) stanza.
Even though they do not have to rhyme or follow a specific meter, I have chosen to write this Retourne poem in iambic tetrameter with a rhyme scheme of:

a1,B1,A2,B2  B1,c,b,c  A2,d,a,d  B2,e,b,e

where the first and third lines of each stanza rhyme and where the second and fourth lines of each stanza rhyme, and B1,A2,and B2 represent the Refrains from the first lines in the poem. 

This photograph was taken by the author in the woods at Maplewood Preserve in St. Paul, Minnesota on a snowy day in February, 2011.

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Synergy of Poetry and Verse. Author, Poet, Photographer

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