12 Bar Poem

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I like the blues. I like poetry. I think I will combine them.

The 12 bar blues is a standard blues form. The twelve bar blues has a certain format for the chords used. It is made up of 12 four beat bars. The first four bars are all in the same chord: the one chord. The middle four start with bars 5 and 6 in the four chord. And then bars 7 and 8 are back to the one chord. The final four bars have three different chords. The five chord for a bar to the four chord for a bar to one chord for the last two bars. The diagram below explains it best. Here’s a link the to an explanation.

The goal of the 12-bar blues is to build tension and then relieve it. I think that would be perfect for a poem. It could be possible to adapt the 12-bar blues to a poem form. So here are my rules for the 12-bar poem form:

  1. Three four line stanzas
    • This is in line with the 3 parts of four bars
  2. Trochaic Octameter
    • This is the hard part. But it goes along with the rhythm of the blues.
  3. Rhyme scheme mirrors the chords of a 12-bar blues

Rhyme Scheme:

A
A
A
A

B
B
A
A

C
B
A
A

There are variants to the 12-bar blues. And the rhyme scheme might need tweeking. I’m particularly concerned about that C line. Sometimes, the 12-bar blues ends with the last two beats on the five chords. So it might make sense to have the last line split into first 4 syllables ends with an A rhyme. And then have the last line end with a C rhyme. It’s something to consider….

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