Saturday, April 10, 2010


More an ending to a verse, a tail, than an actual form, the bob and wheel can be one accented syllable or a couple metrical feet in length. The bob may work as an enjambment on the last line of the verse or enjamb into the wheel. The wheel is four lines, three metrical feet long. The rhyme scheme is “a baba” and may start to sound repetitious, a chorus of sorts.

The bob and wheel form is related to Adonics and the Sapphic stanza. Adonics is a line that consists of two metrical feet, another device usually used as a tagline. It’s Greek in origin, used in groups of five, so five lines of two feet, plus any verse other than the Adonics tagline.

The Sapphic stanza is similar, also Greek, and made up of three Sapphics and one Adonic line. Spondees can set off trochees in lines 1 and 2. The schematic looks like this:
Xx Xx Xxx Xx Xx
Xx Xx Xxx Xx Xx
Xx Xx Xxx Xx Xx
Xxx Xx

So that’s as clear as mud, I’m sure. This poetry stuff sure gets sticky, doesn’t it?