How to Write a "Cascade Poem"? - NbliK- India's Best Community App
Travis Howard

How to Write a "Cascade Poem"?

What is a "Cascade Poem"?

Cascade poetic form was initially introduced by Udit Bhatia. In a cascade poem, you will find refrains arranged in a particualr order. You may or may not follow rhythm and rhyming, because in this poetic form there is no restriction about the rhyming pattern and meter. You can choose any numbers of lines in your stanzas. If you want to write couplet or tercet or quatrain stanzas, that will be perfectly fine. Suppose the first verse or stanza of your poem contains two lines (couplet). The first line of this initial stanza will become the last line of the next stanza. The second line of the initial stanza will be the last line of the third stanza. This is the basic order of refrains that you have to follow through out your cascade poem. If you want to write a cascade poem with tercet verse, then also you have to follow the above-mentioned order. The first line of the initial verse will become the third line of the second verse. The second line of the initial verse will be repeated on the last line of the third verse. Finally, the last line of the first verse will be become the last line of the final verse. Let's understand this waterfall-like cascade structure in detail with the help of examples. 

Refrains: A refrain is either a single or a group of phrases/lines that appear repeatedly throughout the poem within a certain interval. The interval depends upon the poetic forms. You can find such instances of refrains in ancient oral poetry. As the villanelle was an ancient and oral form of poetry, you can see the use of refrains more frequently in this version. 

How to write a Cascade Poem?

Let us consider two poems and understand how to write a cascade poem.

Example #1 A Cascade poem written by Udit Bhatia:

In the above poem, as you can see all the verse are in the form of tercet. Let's mark the lines of first verse as A, B, C respectively. "A" is the last line of the second verse. "B" is the last line of the third verse and "C" is the last line of the last verse. You can follow the same pattern for more lengthy cascade poems.

Example #2: A "Cascade Poem" Written by me:

This poem ("If I could tell you...") was originally written by me as my first Villanelle poem. Now, I have done few modifications and shuffling to that poem and made it a cascade poem. Isn't this fun? So, let proceed to write our first Cascade poem.

 

If I could tell you, how much I love you

Hold my hands and stay with me forever

Would you have loved me too?

 

Just like the bright shining drops of dew

You consumed all my darkness and made me better

If I could tell you, how much I love you

 

If I could tell, each time with you I feel something new

So complete I feel, when we are together

Hold my hands and stay with me forever

 

If I could heal all your wounds, mend your heart as soulmates do

Just like bestfriends support each other

Would you have loved me too?

 

If you want to read that Villanelle poem, Check this link out

https://nblik.com/article/87992/4675?title=How-to-Write-a-%22Villanelle%22?--A-Complete-Explanation

Playing with different poetic forms is fun. I started exploring few poetic forms to learn about poetry. But after that, I can't stop myself from playing with it more and more. So, why are you waiting? Grab a piece of paper and pen and start diving into this magical world of poetry. Stay connected to read more interesting posts. 

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