Hello, there. It’s Day 25 of NaPoWriMo!

Our featured link for the day is to LitBridge, where you’ll find a variety of resources, including links to poetry contests, poetry journals, publishers and conferences, and a blog full of tips on how to get your writing out into the world.

Our featured participant’s blog for the day is The Big Horse. The triolet for Day 23 has a rather neat turn on impatience/impatiens, and the personal ad for Day 19 gave me a chuckle.

And now, our (optional) prompt. I already asked you to write a sea chanty. Today, let’s try another musical form — the ballad. Traditionally, ballads were rhymed poems that told a story of some kind, and were often set to music. They were sometimes set in four-line verses, with an ABAB rhyme pattern, employing alternating 8 and 6 syllable, iambic lines. This 8/6 iambic pattern is sometimes referred to as ballad meter. The use of this type of pattern was not universal, however, and old ballads often involve different syllable counts, as well as refrains that break up the verses.

The form has generated many sub-genres over the years, including the sentimental ballad (think “Danny Boy“), the gruesome murder ballad, and of course, the power ballad. The form’s come a long way from the folk songs with which it began, but the narrative aspect of the ballad remains intact.

Your ballad could be sad, or funny. It could tell a tale of love, or murder, or just something silly. If you have any musical talent, it might be fun to try and actually make a tune for your ballad! Happy writing.

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