Zanze Poetry Challenge: Perhaps

I stepped up to another of Cubby’s challenges. This one is a Zanze Challenge. Anybody who completes one of these deserves to be lauded. Yay for me! She posted this last week. I’m way behind on all my blog stuff.

Zanze poems were invented by Federico Zanze in Italy, in 1312. He was a pizza maker by trade. He had a little shop on a little corner in a little town named Vogogna. It was called Pizza Zanze. He had three sizes, the four-slice, the six-slice, and the eight-slice. Federico would often make up little rhymes that he would sing to himself to break up the monotony of the day. He would make up four-syllable, six-syllable, and eight-syllable rhymes to coincide with the pizza he was cutting. Over time, his rhymes evolved, as things tend to do, into complex, multilayered poems. In fact, the first Zanze challenge was printed on one of his menus.

That is a true story, except for the fact that none of it is true. I made it up because I couldn’t find anything on the history of Zanze Poems. I don’t even think it’s Italian. As far as I can tell, Zanze is an African name. It’s not common. Zanze just reminded me of pizza. Maybe I’m hungry. Federico popped into my head. He said, “Hey, I’m Federico.” Though, there is a Federico’s Pizza in New Jersey. There’s some random free advertising. I live on the opposite side of the country, so I don’t know anything about it. Pizza as we know it wasn’t even invented until the 1800s. Though, the word pizza dates back to the 10th century. Foods similar to the modern pizza had been around for centuries before that.

This was a lot harder than I expected it. I described it to Cubby as a Russian nesting doll. There’s a rhyme within a rhyme as it keeps getting smaller. I had to rewrite this multiple times as I kept breaking the rules. I almost scrapped it and started over. I’m still not happy with it. I inadvertently boxed myself in with a repeated long E rhyme. I would have liked more variety in the rhymes. I don’t like it. The first line’s clumsy and awkward, and I have to bring it back at the end. It took me two days to write it, so here it is. I want to try again. Now, that I’ve done it, I want to write a good one.

Instructions on writing a Zanze:
There are a total of 16 lines:
The 1st and 16th lines repeat.
The rhyme scheme is Abab cdcd efef gagA.
The capital A represents the repeating 1st and 16th lines.
There are four quatrains (four-line stanzas). Syllables per line are as follows:
Line 5 is the first 6 syllables of line 1.
Line 9 is the first 4 syllables of line 1.
Line 13 is the first 2 syllables of line 1.


Maybe you’re made for me and we
Maybe I’m a fool to have hope
Maybe you will love me only
Maybe pretending helps me cope

Maybe you’re made for me
Maybe it’s in my mind
Maybe we’re meant to be
Maybe you won’t be mine

Maybe you’re made
to break my heart
Maybe I’ve played
for you no part

I’ll live lonely
Maybe we’ll be happy
Maybe you’re made for me and we

Maybe next time I’ll come up with a new topic.

I made this kind of Gollum. “Master loves us, Precious.” “We will smash the Hobbitses.” “But Master’s good to us.” “Master has the Precious, Precious.” “The Precious is based on a novel by Sapphire.” “The Hobbitses bootlegged that movie, Precious.” Those probably aren’t exact quotes from the book or the movie.

That doesn’t even touch on the arrogance of the thought that one could be made specifically for someone. Like Prometheus is sitting at his potter’s wheel looking at us thinking, “You need someone. She should be this tall. She will be dark and lovely but will have only four toes on her right foot. There’s a story there.”

Yes, sometimes I look at the things that my mind produces and think, “What the hell is wrong with me?”

Update: I wrote a good one. Go read that one.

9 thoughts on “Zanze Poetry Challenge: Perhaps

Add yours

  1. Nice zanze! As you have realized, the first line is the most important line in the entire poem as it sets up the rest of the structure. Your zanze has a really nice lyrical quality to it. It might actually make for a good song. Really well done! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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