Thursday, 16 March 2017

Writing - News in verse

In the time of Robin Hood, the 15th century, news was broadcast by minstrels who were also itinerant entertainers. In fact rhyming news is even older. One of the earliest records of the happenings of the Battle of Hastings was The Carmen de Hastingae (Song of the Battle of Hastings). It is in poetic style in 835 lines written in Latin.

Image result for battle of hastings arrow in eye
An arrow in the eye

The minstrels were in fact giving hints about Robin Hood as early as 1283.

Lytil Jhon and Robyne Hude
Wayth-men ware commendyd gude
In Yngil-wode and Barnysdale
Thai oysyd all this tyme thare trawale.

Image result for Robin Hood

It is interesting that there is also mention of his famous sidekick Little John. For the curious Barnysdale, is supposedly near Pontefract in Yorkshire. The importance is that these ballads giving information, sometimes celebrating or deriding, events of the day were passed down the years in song.

A ballad has poetic form ABABBCBC over 13 lines of couplets of rhymed verse, each of 14 syllables. It would be interesting to write the ballad of Sturgeon and May.


This collection of poetry is both varied in style as well as content. The author has provided the reader with informative explanations of the origin and design of the different types in which he has written. Some of the subject matter is quite dark but very thought provoking as a result, and other poems are as up-to-date as they could possibly be. Entering into the pages of this work will cause the reader to examine their own soul.

Within the shiny covers of this book you will find educational information about a variety of styles of poetry as I am continually frustrated by media descriptions of certain types such as haiku. Haiku is not simply a 17 syllable poem written in three lines of 5 - 7 - 5 construction. The Japanese masters who created this form added other conditions which can be read in this slim volume.

As with all poetry much of the content is personal and I ask that you read it with that fact in mind.

God Bless