Jolene Jaleen

Back in 1973, Dolly Parton released a single with the title Jolene. Though I don’t recall listening to much country music in those days, I do remember this song.


Written by Parton, the lyrics chronicle the singer appealing to another woman (whose beauty was “beyond compare” and had “flaming locks of auburn hair“) not to “take her man.” Apparently, Parton has admitted the song is somewhat autobiographical. The song was subsequently recorded by multiple other vocalists through the years and sits at number 219 on Rolling Stone magazine’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. (If you click over to the link, be prepared to scroll down a good bit, from 300 to 219!)

When I posted yesterday’s Jaleen (the poem), I couldn’t help but think about Jolene (the song). The lyrics floating in my head changed from Jolene, Jolene, please don’t take my man and morphed into Jaleen, Jaleen, keep the form to eight lines if you can. Having a song from the 70s rolling repeatedly around in one’s brain can be enjoyable or disconcerting. In this case, it was the latter. Jolene was not one of my favorite tunes. Continue reading “Jolene Jaleen”

Father’s Joy

Throughout the years I’ve written poetry, I’ve always enjoyed experimenting with different forms. I came across a little book my younger daughter had given me for Christmas one year. The blank book isn’t really a good size for a journal but is just the perfect size for short, one-page poems!2014-09-15 21.03.15

Sure enough! I opened the small book and therein were several short poems I’d written (and forgotten about). They were all written using the same form. When the poems were originally written, this form was unfamiliar to me, but I made a notation in my Rhyming Dictionary/Poet’s Craft Book where I keep a record of forms not mentioned within the text. The information in my note is sadly incomplete. It says simply:  Jaleen (6,4,4,6 … 6,4,4,6) two stanzas, rhyme scheme abbc, addc, iambic.

No information about who originated the form, nor even a hint about the unusual name. So I decided to do a Google search today to see if additional information was available. There wasn’t much … Continue reading “Father’s Joy”