Poetic Forms: 3. Ballad

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3. Ballad

By paraniodangel

Ballads are very rhythmic, like the backing beat of a song.

They are written in stanzas of four lines each in iambic beats, where lines 1 and 3 have four beats (da-DUM, da-DUM, da-DUM, da-DUM) and lines 2 and 4 have three beats (da-DUM, da-DUM, da-DUM). Lines 2 and 4 also rhyme.

Generally they're used for gruesome or funny stories, so a funny example is from Alice in Wonderland, the poem called 'You are Old Father William:

'You are old, Father William', the young man said,
'And your hair has become very white;
And yet you incessantly stand on your head --
Do you think, at your age, it is right?'

You can play around with the form a bit and rhyme in other places, and go for stanzas of six lines. Here's possibly the best known verse from The Walrus and the Carpenter, from Through the Looking Glass:

"The time has come," the Walrus said,
"To talk of many things:
Of shoes--and ships--and sealing-wax--
Of cabbages--and kings--
And why the sea is boiling hot--
And whether pigs have wings."

This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.

Story Information

Author: fileg

Status: General

Completion: Work in Progress

Era: Other

Genre: Research Article

Rating: General

Last Updated: 02/01/04

Original Post: 06/12/03

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