Very interesting form I must say. Learned of it searching around for various poetic forms and came across this. It’s almost like a form to honor not only a poet, but a piece of their work as well. Here is one I came across and thoroughly enjoyed myself.
Irish Pride and Prejudice
(Glosa verse by Darren Anderson)
In the deserts of the heart
Let the healing fountain start,
In the prison of his days
Teach the free man how to praise.
In memory of W.B. Yeats
A putrid scene of civil conflict
returns without regret,
festering in dead hearts,
lacking the fortitude to forgive.
Waiting, we long for a successor
to match Yeats’ intuitive art.
A Celtic hero able
to play with hostile minds
and brave the poisoned part
in the deserts of the heart.
His whirling intellect sliced
through disaster and distress.
Fervor enough to bend reality,
and imagination to create it.
Yet, now he lives within his page
Unable to take part
in the drama unfolding
on that great Irish stage.
We need an actor with his heart.
Let the healing fountain start.
Sectarian riots grow
a blistering boil of religious identity.
Deep scars riddle
faces of Catholic and Protestant alike.
“Unity of Being”, an Irish serenity,
forgotten nationalist ways
buried by bludgeoning stones,
thrown by the hands of hatred.
A feat that would not amaze,
In the prison of his days.
The tall, young man
with lanky cloak and hat,
no longer strolls the streets of Dublin.
His stunning tone no longer heard,
only imagined by the reader.
Ireland must revive his ways,
for brutality never pays.
Let Oisin and Patrick speak his words,
inspire beyond the grave
teach the free man how to praise.
The form arose in the early Renaissance period by a number of poets in the Spanish court. It was their way of paying tribute to fellow poets, more commonly those who had since passed, and building upon their work.
The Glosa is comprised of 1 quatrain followed by 4 stanzas of 10 lines each. The poem begins with a quatrain (4 line stanza) that has been borrowed from another poet’s poem. This is also called the Cabeza. At the end of the Cabeza, you cite the poet and the title of their work and begin work on your 4 stanzas. Choose your Cabeza wisely, for these 4 lines become the 10th line of each stanza in the order they appear in the borrowed poet’s work. It is also common to italicize the borrowed lines at the end of the poem, making it appear a bit separate from the poem. There is no real syllable structure, but to stay true to the forms original construction, the lines 6, 9, and 10 should rhyme. It isn’t required in modern construction though. Also make note that aside from the 6th, 9th, and 10th lines, the poem does not need to rhyme. In fact, it’s more like a structured free verse.
Putting what we know together, the skeleton of the Glosa looks like this:
Line 1 of borrowed quatrain
Line 2 of borrowed quatrain
Line 3 of borrowed quatrain
Line 4 of borrowed quatrain
Origional Poet’s Name
Title of Origional Poem
F (Line 1 of borrowed quatrain)
F (Line 2 of borrowed quatrain)
F (Line 3 of borrowed quatrain)
F (Line 4 of borrowed quatrain)
There really is no easy way to do this. My advice is to be very familiar with the poet and poem you are borrowing from. Take note of the concept, tone, feel, and flow of that poem, especially the borrowed lines, and let that fuel your writing. Another piece of advice when choosing your borrowed lines is have an idea of how you want the piece to end. The lines you choose should really tie the whole piece together in powerful way.
And that is that. Try it out! I would love to see what you come up as well so link back and let me know where to go. Ciao!