Z for Zeno #NaPoWriMo2021


Zeno is a recently invented form created by J. Patrick Lewis, and is inspired by the mathematical “hailstone sequence”. It is a 10-line verse form with a varying syllable count of 8,4,2,1,4,2,1,4,2,1. The rhyme scheme followed here is xxxaxxaxxa, x being unrhymed lines. So, only Line 4, Line 7 and Line 10 (the one syllable lines) rhyme.

When I discovered this form I was wondering why it was named ‘Zeno’ and not simply a ‘Hailstone’. Here’s Patrick’s own explaination on this :-
“I’ve invented what I had called a “hailstone,” after the mathematical “hailstone sequence.” It has nothing to do with Mary O’Neill’s Hailstones and Halibut Bones, but it would no doubt instantly be confused with it. Hence, “hailstone” is problematic. So I call the form a “zeno,” so named for Zeno, the philosopher of paradoxes, especially the dichotomy paradox, according to which getting anywhere involves first getting half way there and then again halfway there, and so on ad infinitum. I’m dividing each line in half of the previous one.”

Read more about the Hailstorm sequence here – Collatz conjecture and the Hailstorm sequence

Here’s a Zeno I wrote :-

Sound of the sun peeping over
Her graceful smile
Her eyes
bright
will you walk with
me my
light
unload the gloom
of this
night.

And with this we have reached the end of #napowrimo2021
Here’s the link to all my prompts for this year- NaPoWriMo2021

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