Medieval Verse: The Formefaux? Not Likely!

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April 7, 2014 by phicks2012

ctree2Let me make it clear from the onset that “Formefaux” is NOT an actual Medieval verse form. I’ve been writing these little articles (and composing verses in the respective forms to go along with them) for a while now, for publication in our SCA Shire’s monthly newsletter, The Equinox, and we have a long tradition of making the April issue of The Equinox a Humor/Joke issue not generally to be taken at all seriously. As a result, and in keeping with the tradition of April Foolery, I created a bogus verse form to present in an article, and then composed a verse to go along with that.

So here it is, and I hope you enjoy it!

Medieval Verse: The Formefaux

From Wonkipedia at
The formefaux (Catalan: [forma false], Occitan: [forma fasse]; also spelled formafesse) was a lyric genre of Catalan and Occitan literature invented by really bad and lascivious troubadours. Subject matter varied, but often involved a lament by the poet on the poor judgment of the Ladies who have refused his amorous advances. Generally composed in Octaves, the stanzas usually had very simplistic rhyme schemes congruent with the skill level of the authors.

This is a simple form, of course, to write, and while the traditional author was male, any female who ever has ever dealt with a narcissistic would-be pick-up artist has the background to compose a one of these. My own first attempt at this form, in Octaves with an ABABCBCB rhyme scheme, is found below.

Formefaux No.1: How Foolish Are You, Lady Fair

How foolish are you, Lady fair
That you can shrug and walk away
From such as I, with flowing hair
And manly form? What? Are you Gay?
I am a great and wondrous prize,
With manly parts, so tell me, pray,
How is it you are so unwise
That you can smirk and say me, nay?

My bulging thews and handsome face
Should well draw any Lady’s eye!
She should be moved to shed her lace,
To win a lover such as I!
My silver tongue, and skill to woo
Is such that none should so deny
My smooth advances, how can you?
Oh Lady fair, I ask you, WHY?

How can you not be moved to lust?
You shall have reason to despair
Before you fade away to dust,
That you resisted one so rare!!
My mighty chest and studly thigh
Should well inspire! Can you forswear
The pleasure brought by such as I?
How foolish ARE you, Lady Fair????

[12 January, 2014]

[The fictional author may or may not have been an SCA Squire]



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