Little did I know how obsessed I would become by the form and how, as with all obsessions, it would have to run its course. And little did I know what hazards lie ahead.
– PK Page in the Foreword to her book Hologram: A Book of Glosas
WHAT IS A GLOSA POEM?
The Glosa was used by poets of the Spanish court and dates back to the late 14th and early 15th century. For some reason, it has not been particularly popular in English. A search of the Internet search will uncovered a meager number of brief references to the form. From the limited information it is learned that the traditional structure has two parts. The first part is called the texte or cabeza. It consists of the first few lines (usually four) or the first stanza (usually a quatrain) from a well-known poem or poet. It has become permissible to use lines from a less well-known poet, or even from ones own verse.
The second part is the glose or glosa proper. This is a “gloss on,” an expansion, interpretation or explanation of the texte. The formal rule describes the glosa as consisting of four ten-line stanzas, with the consecutive lines of the texte being used as the tenth line (called the glossing) of each stanza. Furthermore, lines six and nine must rhyme with the borrowed tenth. Internal features such as length of lines, meter and rhyme are at the discretion of the poet. Examples of this will be found in this chapbook collection.
As with most poetic forms, unless dictated by strict contest requirements, poets have taken the liberty to vary the format. In addition to the glosa’s traditional ten-line stanzas, one will find 4-, 5- and 8-liners. They will be found written in free verse, with meter, and with rhyme. In the shorter variations. You will find variations in which the first line of each stanza (taken from the original texte) repeated again as the last line – added as a refrain. When the first line is repeated as the refrain at the end of a poem the stanza form is referred to as an Envelope.
Another variation of a short glosa poem has to do with the location of the borrowed line. It can be the first line, the last line, or one inserted into the body of the stanza. Yet another variation is the use of the first four lines of a prose piece as the texte.
NOT TO THE LETTER OF THE LAW contains glosa poems in the traditional format. However, you will also find examples of each of the variations.
The price of this chapbook is $6.95 plus Priority Mail postage.
You will find a printable order form /a>.
Poetry Books Limerick Books
Humor Books Limerick Stories
Reading and Writing Limericks: Tutorial and a Collection of Original Verse
Ballads The Villanelle A Collection of Sonnets The little-known Glosa Poetry Form
Erotic Poetry Humorous Rhymes
A word challenge
Remembering beat poet Richard Brautigan
Erotic Poems of Guest Poet Sylverhawk
Erotic Poem by Guest Poet
Poetry Associations Poetry Links
All of Birch's Books
A Short Erotic Story
ADD AN EROTIC CARD TO YOUR THOUGHTFUL POETRY BOOK GIFT
Back Issues - YELLOW SILK: Journal of Erotic Arts
© 2004 - 2007 The poems and limericks on this site are copyrighted by
Robert W. Birch or the guest author cited, and may not be copied or reproduced in any manner without the permission of the author.