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Narratieve poëzie

Het is vandaag gedichtendag in Nederland. Om die reden lijkt het mij leuk om iets te vertellen over narratieve poëzie.

Het is poëzie die een verhaal vertelt. Narratieve poëzie is een relatief lange vorm van poëzie die alle benodigde elementen bevat voor een verhaal, inclusief plot, karakters, instelling, thema en dialoog.

Ze kunnen rijmen, gebruik maken van een regelmatige meter, of spelen met geluid door herhaling, assonantie en alliteratie. Zoals andere vormen van poëzie gebruiken narratieve gedichten ook figuratieve taal, zintuiglijke beelden en zorgvuldig geselecteerde woorden. Het oudste overgeleverd verhalend gedicht is het Babylonishce epos van Gilgamesj dat dateert uit het 2e millenium v. Chr.

Vandaag wil ik graag een narratief gedicht van een van mijn favoriete dichters delen.

Out, out van Robert Frost

The buzz saw snarled and rattled in the yard

And made dust and dropped stove-length sticks of wood,

Sweet-scented stuff when the breeze drew across it.

And from there those that lifted eyes could count

Five mountain ranges one behind the other

Under the sunset far into Vermont.

And the saw snarled and rattled, snarled and rattled,

As it ran light, or had to bear a load.

And nothing happened: day was all but done.

Call it a day, I wish they might have said

To please the boy by giving him the half hour

That a boy counts so much when saved from work.

His sister stood beside him in her apron

To tell them ‘Supper.’ At the word, the saw,

As if to prove saws knew what supper meant,

Leaped out at the boy’s hand, or seemed to leap—

He must have given the hand. However it was,

Neither refused the meeting. But the hand!

The boy’s first outcry was a rueful laugh,

As he swung toward them holding up the hand

Half in appeal, but half as if to keep

The life from spilling. Then the boy saw all—

Since he was old enough to know, big boy

Doing a man’s work, though a child at heart—

He saw all spoiled. ‘Don’t let him cut my hand off—

The doctor, when he comes. Don’t let him, sister!’

So. But the hand was gone already.

The doctor put him in the dark of ether.

He lay and puffed his lips out with his breath.

And then—the watcher at his pulse took fright.

No one believed. They listened at his heart.

Little—less—nothing!—and that ended it.

No more to build on there. And they, since they

Were not the one dead, turned to their affairs.