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Sunday Scribblings #56: The Story of One Power Cut

So today, I am going to try to tell the story of one power cut – one power cut that lasted, well, almost the whole of a day (not the 24 hours, but the working part). That is later in the post actually; for now, let us get right to Poetics Sunday.

Sunday Scribblings

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Poetic Sundays


Today’s featured poetic form is another invented one called the Tyburn; as I researched the origin of its name, I learned many things. What was surprising was that some of the things I learned, I realized I already knew!! I am sure you understand that feeling…

So what is the Tyburn?

It is a deceptively simple six-line format starting with four short rhyming lines each made up of a two-syllable descriptive word followed by two longer rhyming nine-syllable lines. In addition, the 5th through 8th syllables of the last two lines reuse the 1st through 4th lines. What we need for writing this is a good list of descriptive words!!

The Tyburn’s Characteristics

So the Tyburn’s elements are that it is:

  • a hexastich: 6 line poem
  • syllabic: 2-2-2-2-9-9 syllables by line
  • rhymed: aaaabb
  • repetitive: reuses words/syllables/lines from earlier in later lines (L5 uses L1 and L2 as its 5th through 8th syllables while L6 uses L3 and L4 similarly)

And this is how it looks:

  • L1 – descriptive word of two syllables A xa
  • L2 – descriptive word of two syllables A xa
  • L3 – descriptive word of two syllables A xa
  • L4 – descriptive word of two syllables A xa
  • L5 – a nine syllable line incorporating L1 and L2 B yyyyL1L2b
  • L6 – a nine syllable line incorporating L3 and L4 B yyyyL3L4b

h/t:  ShadowPoetry

Play With the Form

Using descriptive rhyming words for the first four lines lends itself to many options. For example:

  • you could use words like I have done in my attempt below (which are perfect rhymes – that is – the whole word rhymes) like snappy and yappy;
  • or you could use words where the ending rhymes (like bashful, playful, skillful, doubtful….or blackest, coldest, hardest and so on);
  • maybe you could decide to shift the syllable use in the last two lines elsewhere in the nine syllable line (if you really need to or want to!)

Write, rewrite, revise, and more importantly have fun doing so.

My Example

Simple enough, it seemed, until I started attempting to write it 🙂

this and that
Contradictions – snappy, yappy logues!
Some more of that – happy, sappy rogues!
-vidya tiru @ladyinreadwrites

One Last Note

And returning to that research on the origins I mentioned earlier,

“For many centuries, the name Tyburn was synonymous with capital punishment, it having been the principal place for execution of London criminals and convicted traitors, including many religious martyrs.” –Wikipedia

You can read some more in this interesting article as well.

And one thread in suggests that this poem takes the look of a hanging noose (??) Maybe, since there is no other thing I found so far. But dear reader, if you know of anything about this, let me know!


On My Blog

I managed posting a few posts this past week! And here they are (since my last Scribblings)

And the Home Front

The Story of One Power Cut – Prologue

When you are used to something, or rather unused to the absence of something, then ‘the story of one power cut’ title starts making sense 🙂

You see, it all began back in December. PG&E, our local electricity company, helpfully and courteously sent us a letter informing of a planned power outage for some upgrades. We were going to be without power for two full working days!

It was panic mode for a minute. How would we work without power? Our laptops needed charging every few hours; and we would not have wi-fi. Then I realized we still had almost two weeks; I researched online for options, enquired at Home Depot; and then started relaxing.

Soon, the power cut was two days away! Panic mode again! Zero-prep after all. I ordered a portable generator online and chatted with service reps at midnight to ensure it arrived on time; and it did! Charged overnight, and ready to use the next day.

The Day Of

Day one of the power cut – it came and went – and there was no power cut! Day two of the power cut – it came and went – and there was no power cut!

We waited, on tenterhooks the next few days, thinking it could be unplanned (it had been mentioned in the letter in case it didn’t happen on the scheduled days). The power cut never happened through the end of the year. And the brand new, unused generator stayed just that — brand new, unused. We decided we would take the risk, and return this. It had great reviews and am sure we would have loved using it if we really had needed to. But we did not see ourselves using it too often; and moreover, we could not transport it via plane (lithium batteries). Note that this will be a great product for anyone who camps out a lot.

So we returned it, dropped it off at an Amazon drop-off center downtown; and as a side-benefit, got to watch beautiful holiday lights…

the story of one power cut
The Story of One Power Cut – And Now

The week before, another letter arrived notifying us of a power cut on the 14th. We decided to wing it. Use our mobile hotspots for work and school; and if laptops ran out of charge, then attend class via our phones. Luckily, we had a couple of portable cellphone chargers (thanks to visits to theme parks); and I ensured they were always at full charge.

Cooking and hot water was not going to be a problem; they both were gas-powered and that was going to be on. However, it was a festival day (for us); and I ended up cooking festive treats with torchlight in our kitchen that darkened by 4 pm despite windows as the sun hid behind clouds and then set soon, as per usual for winter days.

the story of one power cut

But we managed; and survived the power cut. Side-benefit (second one): I spent more time outside than other days (despite the additional cooking I had to do); for it was my laptop that ran out of juice first!!

Lesson learned: We can do it..

And while the kids cheered (literally!) when the power came back on after 10 whole hours around 6 pm, I somehow missed the candle-lit atmosphere of a few minutes before that moment.


On My Blog and Home Front

I will continue working on those Cybils nominations reviews, as well as reviews for more recent reads this week. Life at home is going to be, more of the same…

This Week’s Celebrations

For this week, here are a few I wanted to mention…

The Days
The Week
  • It makes sense that January includes National Healthy Weight Week as well as National Fresh Squeezed Juice Week right about now. Resolutions, people!! I know I need to keep working on my goals towards exercising regularly
  • And I did want to mention this – No-Name Calling Week is celebrated this year from January 18th through the 22nd (it changes annually). You can check out ideas for activities and more about this effort here. There is tons of information everyone will definitely benefit from.

Wrapping up my Sunday Scribblings

So dear reader, this was it for my Sunday Scribblings. I would love to hear your comments on my post(s), poetic Sunday section, and anything else. And which of these days do you plan to celebrate (or any other)? Also, I do look forward to reading your poems (if you have attempted one or the other forms so far?!) 

Linking this to the Sunday Post over at the Caffeinated Reviewer and the Sunday Salon

18 thoughts on “Sunday Scribblings #56: The Story of One Power Cut

  1. The Tyburn is completely new to me. I wonder whether any poets from the past have explored its use. I don’t remember seeing any poems using that format. It’s always fun to try a new format. The creativity plus the structure, I think.

    I’ve never heard of a scheduled power outage. We’ve suffered many unscheduled outages, living here along the Texas Gulf Coast. The longest was a seven-day outage after a hurricane roared through. It was late summer and hot and sticky. We had no phone, no computer, no air conditioning. Some people had generators, but we suffered through, eating cold food from cans and drinking bottled water. The restaurants and stores had no power either, so there was no going to those places for help. It was a happy day when our power resumed.

    Now I’m off to see your review for All Thirteen. I’m eager to see what you thought about it.

    1. thanks Bri .. Deb was seven days without power; for me, it was just the one day.. Though I grew up with frequent power cuts in my town in India. 🙂
      and glad to inspire you to write some poetry

  2. I’ve never heard about the Tyburn before, thanks for sharing ! The story of the power outtage is something that is probably tense to actually live but fun to talk about afterwards. I can remember a power outtage one summer night when I was a kid (last century…), I lighted candles and told my family some Celtic ghost stories featuring the Ankou (Death), it was fun. I never imagined there would be so many National days about food – the “pie” day made me think about Dean in Supernatural. Anyway, have a great week 😉

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