What is the stanza form of the poem "An Abandoned Bundle" by Oswald Mbuyiseni Mtshali?

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In poems written in stanzaic form, stanzas typically maintain some consistency with meter and rhyme scheme as well as number of lines. Therefore, we often see poems that have four or five four-line stanzas, with the first and third lines possessing end rhyme and the second and fourth lines possessing end rhyme (this means that the last words—the words at the ends of the lines—rhyme). There is a regularity to these poems. "An Abandoned Bundle" does not exhibit this type of regularity, and thus it cannot be said to be written in stanzaic form.

There is another form, however, called continuous form, where the lines do not have any kind of formal or regular grouping and do not possess any consistent pattern of rhyme. In poems using continuous form, line breaks (blank lines) are used to signal the end of one idea and the beginning of the next—almost like one would start a new paragraph when writing prose to signal that one has completed an idea and is moving on. "An Abandoned Bundle" is written in continuous form; its first stanza consists of six lines, the second of two, the third of three, the fourth of nine, and the fifth of four lines. Line lengths are irregular and unrhymed as are stanza lengths.

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A stanza's form is denoted by the number of lines within each stanza. In regards to Mbuyiseni Oswald Mtshali's poem "An Abandoned Bundle," there are five stanzas which each contain a different number of lines.

The first stanza contains six lines. This set of six lines in poetry has many different names: sexain, sixain, sextet, and sestet.

The second stanza is composed of two lines. This coupling of lines is called a couplet. In regards to this poem, the couplet does not rhyme and it is called an unrhymed couplet.

The third stanza is composed of four lines. A four line stanza is called a quatrain.

The fourth stanza contains nine lines. A nine line stanza in poetry is typically referred to as a Spenserian Stanza (although the poem's rhyme does not follow the typical rhyme scheme of the Spenserian Stanza: ababbcbcc).

The final stanza contains four lines. Again, this is called a quatrain.

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