It is a poem of four six-line stanzas in which the first and second lines, as well as the third and fourth lines of the first three stanzas, must be identical. The fifth and sixth lines, which traditionally resolve these stanzas, must use all the words from the preceding lines and only those words. Similarly, the final stanza must use every word from all the preceding stanzas and only those words.
Is it just me or do some poets have far too much time on their hands? --K (on re-reading that sounds very harsh and I would like to point out I am referring to the people who invented the rules, not the ones who write to them)
Fascinating. I liked the "Two Years" example on that page. I would think the best ones would take advantage of the flexibility of English words and have some proper progression, a building in the first few stanzas towards a resolution in the final, questions asked gradually which are answered when suddenly all the familiar words are rearranged and *take on new meaning* from the new arrangement. It would be much harder to do that in Latin, for example, because words have unique endings fixing them to one part of speech, conjugation and declension: to do the kind of paradelle I'm envisaging takes advantage of the ambiguity of English. It would still be quite a challenge. --AlexChurchill NoLongerWordOfTheDay