A Rictameter is a fixed-syllabic poetry form, similar to the Haiku and the Cinquain ( Click here See my own cinquain in an earlier blog. ). The rictameter starts with a two-syllable word as the first line. Then the line length in syllables is consecutively increased by two, i.e. 2, 4, 6, 8, 10. Then down again, from 8, 6, 4, 2. The final of the 9 lines is required to be the same two syllable word as in the opening line.
The format was created in the early 1990s by two cousins, Jason Wilkins and Richard Lunsford, for a poetry contest that was held as a weekly practice of their self-invented order, ‘The Brotherhood of the Amarantos Mystery’, which was apparently inspired by the Robin Williams film ‘Dead Poet’s Society’.
I have attempted three versions of this format below . . .
The human race
Release them from their sins
Forgive them their indiscretions
Instead torment me on that cruel cross
That I might thus remind them all
That God our father loves
And all our sins
It burns the soul
From lust to jealousy
It does not let up from that pain
So put alongside with its times of bliss
The memories of anguished dread
When all seemed to be dead
All reason says
Keep a straight bat
All that they throw at you
Face up to it with fortitude
Don’t be average be an all-rounder
And when it’s time to pull up stumps
Try to carry your bat
Don’t declare, that’s