Cascade + Pride and Prejudice
As forms go, the Cascade is a pretty easy-going guy. No counting syllables. No rhymes. Your lines can be any length you like. It’s not jangly with repetition, either—there’s plenty of room between a line’s first appearance and its second.
I couldn’t explain it more clearly than the folks at Shadow Poetry.
Cascade, a form created by Udit Bhatia
, is all about receptiveness, but in a smooth cascading way like a waterfall. The poem does not have any rhyme scheme; therefore, the layout is simple. Say the first verse has three lines. Line one of verse one becomes the last line of verse two. To follow in suit, the second line of verse one becomes the last line of verse three. The third line of verse one now becomes the last line of verse four, the last stanza of the poem. See the structure example below:a/b/c, d/e/A, f/g/B, h/i/C
To make the Cascade an even longer poem, use more lines in verse one. For example, if verse one has 6 lines, the poem must have seven stanzas so that each line of verse one is reused as a refrain in each following stanza (a cascading effect).
I can offer you a trick, if you have trouble with the obvious way of composing this poem. Forget about Stanza #1 for a while, and write a poem with three three-line stanzas. Take the final line of each stanza and build Stanza 1. You can work back and forth, tinkering, to make the transitions neat.
Just so you don’t have to come up with something entirely out of the blue, think about Pride and Prejudice. You can use the characters, the situation, anything. Even only one of the three words in the title.