Today I would like to share with you an invented poetry form that I created to honor “BeSpoken”, a delightful open poetry reading that is held on the last Wednesday night of every month at the Starlite Bar & Art Gallery in Southbridge, Massachusetts. The bespokennet is a fourteen line poem in which every other line shares the same end rhyme (thus the rhyme scheme can be expressed as abcbdbebfbgbhb). What makes the form quite unique and rather unusual is that each alternating line (the 2nd, 4th, 6th, 8th, 10th, 12th, & 14th) also starts with either the word or prefix “Be”. If you decide to write one, please keep in mind as the name suggests, the bespokennet is intended to be recited out loud.
As you can imagine, because of the peculiar rules, writing a bespokennet tends to be a challenge. But I hope that won’t discourage you from attempting one. For inspiration, here is the original bespokennet I wrote (and far as I know the only one in existence, but with your help, maybe there will soon be more…):
An Invocation (For the Poets at BeSpoken)
We all gather together tonight to hear and
Behold poets, and their clever musings, soulful outbursts.
Some won’t get it, others will get it so bad, they themselves will
Begin to obsess with rhyme, start to think only in verse.
Poetry’s strange, over-praised yet maligned, off-putting but
Bewitching, a weird art form that can either seduce or coerce.
It’s power surges through the room, burrows into your ears.
Before there was the poem, there was the prayer and the curse,
Hexes, incantations, invocations, conjuring spells,
Belief that just speaking words could make things better or worse,
Alter our existence, change the world in a real way. I
Believe that is still true with poets who recite and rehearse
What’s in their hearts for all to hear. It’s time to let your own words
Be spoken, release the magic of your poems into the universe.