Limited Shelf-Life

Glass blown unicorn
stored on dusty shelf,
grimy and forlorn.
Mocked by pewter elf,
steals its love of self.
Always within sight,
craving touch its plight.

Hear my cries, it warns.
Save me, save yourself.
Magic turns to mocking scorn,
powers drained from self
locked upon on a shelf.
Give me freedom’s light
for only then shall I have might.


Written for dVerse where Frank hosts today, asking us to write a Chaucerian Stanza / Rhyme Royal poem. 7 metrical lines per stanza with ababbcc rhyme scheme . . . can be up to 3 stanzas. I attempted Trochee Meter: first syllable accented, second syllable not, with 5 syllables per line (well, a couple lines have more than 5).  I am ALWAYS challenged by anything with rhyme and anything with meter. For me, it’s very hard to have the sense/meaning of the poem front and center when I’m consumed with trying to get the rhyme and rhythm right. Always learning at dVerse!  Muse here is a glass menagerie collection my mother used to have on a glassed-in knick-knack shelf.

15 thoughts on “Limited Shelf-Life

  1. Björn Rudberg (brudberg) October 12, 2017 / 2:58 pm

    I think this is sweet… love the little unicorn, and just maybe we need to take care of it for the sake of self.


  2. Glenn Buttkus October 12, 2017 / 3:18 pm

    Your two stanzas are great fun; dig the message. I gave up and we bought a glass curio case (hard to find these days), and now most of our dusty knick knacks shine in a dust free zone.


  3. kim881 October 12, 2017 / 3:28 pm

    A magical glass unicorn, no less, Lillian! I think you need to polish it and put on a clean shelf where everyone can see it and it can work its magic!


  4. Frank Hubeny October 12, 2017 / 3:35 pm

    A glass object probably wants light. You make a good point about being distracted by the meter and rhyme when the sense and meaning are more important. I agree: The meaning of the poem is most important. My first drafts focus on meaning. The later drafts focus on the rhyme and meter as constraints to fine-tune the meaning by looking for some way to meet those constraints and say what I wanted to say something better.


  5. paul scribbles October 12, 2017 / 4:37 pm

    Meter and rhyme when they are required to fit a form are a challenge for me too. I liked the unicorn imagery and content.


  6. jillys2016 October 12, 2017 / 5:00 pm

    The form works well here. The shorter lines join hands with the diminutive creature’s voice.


  7. Misky October 12, 2017 / 5:15 pm

    Gosh, well done with this sweet little poem. I am so impressed with your success with this form.



  8. Vivian Zems October 12, 2017 / 5:30 pm

    Love the story of the unicorn and I certainly appreciate the metre.


  9. Frank J. Tassone October 12, 2017 / 8:44 pm

    There’s something almost “Toy Story” about this! I share your challenge with meter and rhyme! Great, creative effort here!


  10. adda October 12, 2017 / 8:50 pm

    :/ hmmmm. beautiful unicorn. i googled many of the words in the description of the poem type, i am unfamiliar with any of this .. very complex and challenging. Well done! 🙂 Thank you for continuing to teach me!


  11. nosaintaugustine October 12, 2017 / 9:28 pm

    I love this- we are seeing the unicorn and that naughty elf through your eyes as a little girl looking at your mother’s nicknacks. Awesome how you tapped into that perspective!


  12. Kathy Reed October 13, 2017 / 1:44 am

    I remember having a tiny unicorn like that one! Magical….the urge to hold it caused me to breakit… It never held the same magic after that.


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