Experimental Poetry Form: Indention

This experimental poetry form is based on indentions.  The idea of the form is to see how different indention patterns can affect a poem.  The poetry form looks as follows.  The number of indention spaces for each line is noted in parenthesis.

      Line A (6)
      Line B (6)

      Line C (6)
     Line D (5)
    Line E (4)

                                                  Line F (50)

          Line G (10)
          Line H (10)
          Line I (10)
          Line J (10)

   Line K (3)
     Line L (5)
             Line M (13)
       Line N (7)
             Line O (13)


The first stanza has lines that are indented six spaces.  The purpose of this is to see how a poem is affected by having the first lines indented a significant amount.

The second stanza has lines that progressively decrease in their indention.  It may be more traditional to see lines increase in their indention, and so the purpose of the indention pattern in this stanza is to see the effect of the opposite pattern.  The first line of the stanza has the same indention as the last line of the stanza before it, to make the transition between the two easier.

The third stanza is one line and is indented fifty spaces.  The point of this indention is to see how a large single indention can affect a poem.  The effect may be more dramatic because of the decreasing indentions of the previous stanza.

The fourth stanza has four lines, that are each indented ten spaces.  The purpose of the indention is to see how an indented block of lines affects a poem.

The fifth stanza has a random indention pattern.  This pattern was formed by selecting the top five playing cards in a shuffled deck and indenting the lines to match the values of the cards (13 was for kings).  The point of this stanza was to see how a random indention pattern in a stanza affects a poem.

Other than the stanza and indention pattern, there are no other restrictions on the form such as meter or rhyming.  Other restrictions though, such as line length, could have an additional impact on how an indention pattern affects a poem.  For example, indenting one word or the last word in a sentence may have an additional affect.

As a note, there will be no blog posts posted to M. Sakran’s blog of and about poetry and poetry related things on Thursday November 27, 2014 – Sunday November 30, 2014.

Poetry topic idea: Illness

The poetry topic idea for this post is illness.  Illness can be an interesting poetry topic idea in some sense because of the dichotomy contained within it.

For example, an illness can either be personal, in the sense that it happens to the person writing the poem, or impersonal, in the sense that it happens to someone other than the poet.

Additionally, an illness can either be mild or serve.  How a poet writes about a cold, will be different than how a poet writes about cancer.

Thirdly, an illness can either be cured or not.  An illness that is not cured might be a chronic condition or it could be an illness that ends in death.

Illness can be an interesting poetry topic idea because of these dichotomies contained within it.

Poem with an explanation: Silent rain

behind a gray piece of glass,
with drops of water falling,
 and collecting,
  and speeding up,
into trails that twine,
 and run into a small stream at the bottom.

This poem is about watching the rain from behind a piece of glass while sitting in a silent still place.  The poem is meant to emphasize the observation.  The idea is that while in a silent still place, a person may look for things to focus on, such as rain falling on glass.

Poem with an explanation: Height

looking up,
the words are at a height,
and cannot come down,
for there is no ladder,
that can reach

This poem is about inexpression.  Often a poet experiences something that they want to write about, but they cannot find the appropriate words to express it.  All words and phrases they use, in some way feel lacking to themselves.  This poem expresses that idea using height as a metaphor.

The poet in the poem is looking up at words.  The words are at some height, and they would be otherwise able to come down to the poet, but they cannot, because there is not a ladder that can reach where they are.

The poem emphasizes the inexpression, by the ideas that the poet can see the words, the words exist, the words cannot come to the poet and the idea that the words cannot come to the poet not because there is not a ladder for them, but because there is not a ladder that can reach.  The poet is in some sense standing there, looking at the words at some height, and also looking at potentially many ladders, but none of them can reach.  The feeling of almost being able to connect with the words, is expressed in the poem, and emphasizes the feeling of inexpression.

Poetry topic idea: Photographs

The poetry topic idea for today’s post is photographs.  Photographs can inspire a number of poetry ideas.  Ideas can obviously come from whatever the photograph is of.  This has been illustrated through many blog posts on this blog.  Additionally, though, photographs in general can lead to ideas for poetry.

For example, a photograph shows a depiction of a certain time, which is necessarily in the past.  The idea of a moment in the past could be the basis of a poem.  A poet could either imagine or see a real photograph of a past time and write a poem about what is depicted.  Also, a poet could contrast that past time, with the present or an imagined future.  Additionally, a poet could be inspired to write more generally about the past.

Another idea that can come from photographs is the idea of context.  A photograph shows a single image, but does not necessarily provide context for the image.  It does not show what proceeded or followed the image, neither does it give an explanation of what is happening.  This idea could be used in poetry.  For example, a poet could start a poem with a scene that seems to fit into a certain context, but then end with some information that makes things seem different.

Another idea that can come from photographs, is the idea of staging.  Some photographs are of naturally occurring moments.  Other photographs, such portraits, are set up.  What is in the photograph is staged.  The idea of staging can be used in poetry.  There are many instances in life when a person may arrange a situation to give a certain impression.  In these situations, what is natural, is in some way altered.  For example, a person may change how they dress for a certain situation.  Ideas about changing what is natural to give a certain impression could be used in poetry.

A Poem: The little dog

The little dog he ran and jumped,
and barked and romped and played,
and he had fun in the cool air,
as a big mess he made.

He dug the ground and kicked the leaves,
and ran around the trees,
he pulled up flowers by their roots,
and scared off all the bees.

He ran into some small bushes,
and dug them out the ground,
and then he ran through the raked leaves,
because he liked the sound.

But then the dog he ran right to,
the side of the wood fence,
and got into the thorn filled vines,
which grew so wide and dense.

The thorn filled vines they wrapped around,
the little playing dog,
and got into his thick brown fur,
and there they seemed to clog.

The thorn filled vines wrapped more and more,
and tangled they became,
the little dog then cried and whelped,
with fear he did exclaim.

From in the house some ears did hear,
the sound of the poor dog,
yet what was wrong with him out there,
did seem unclear like fog.

Then she got up and got a coat,
and put on some warm gloves,
and went outside to find the sound,
and help him that she loves.

She saw the dog caught in the vine,
when she walked to the fence,
and she did cry at what she saw,
and it made her feel tense.

She held the dog who looked at her,
with tears in his brown eyes,
and said to him that she would help,
and he thought she was wise.

With her gloved hands she pulled the vines,
as thorns stuck in the cloth,
and made small holes right into them,
like those made by a moth.

She felt the thorns go in her hands,
but this caused her no pains,
the only grief that she did feel,
was for the dog in chains.

After some time more vines were pulled,
and they took out some fur,
but the poor dog just sat there still,
and looked with hope at her.

The last of the long vines with thorns,
was finally pulled away,
the little dog did seem so glad,
as there he did so stay.

The little dog did look at her,
who pulled out all the vines,
and licked her face with a smile,
for she pulled out the bines.

Then she who helped, did pet the dog,
and said he was okay,
he looked at her with sudden glee,
and then he ran to play.

Artwork to inspire poetry: Minimalistic Flower

Minimalistic Flower

The above artwork is entitled Minimalistic Flower.  It is a drawing of a flower done in a very simple style.

This artwork can inspire poetry in a number of ways.  One way is by inspiring a poet to write a poem using a minimal style.  In the same way that this flower was depicted in a minimal way, a poet could write a poem in a minimal way. This artwork uses simple lines, few colors, unfilled spaces and little detail.  A poet could see this and be inspired to write a poem that uses simple words, few words, and leaves out extra elements.

A photograph to inspire poetry: Squash


The above is a photograph of a squash growing on a plant.

One poetic inspiration that could come from this photograph would be the idea of food.  One day, potentially, this squash could be eaten.  It could be part of a meal.  There are a lot of poems that could be written about meals.  They could be written about the meal itself, or using the meal as a setting for something else.

Another poetic idea that could be inspired by this photograph, would be the idea of things that can go wrong.  Before this squash is ready to be eaten by a person, a lot could happen to it to prevent that.  It could be eaten by insects, or get a disease, or freeze.  There are many situations in life that are like this: some goal that has a lot of potential obstacles.  This idea could inspire a poem.

Another thought about this squash is the idea of benefit.  This squash has a benefit to the plant as a means of producing seeds and it has a benefit to people and animals that may want to eat the squash.  One the one hand these two sides (the plant and those that want to eat the squash) could have a symbiotic relationship.  Because something eats the squash, the seeds may eventually be planted.  In another sense though, the two sides could seem in conflict.  Who is the squash supposed to benefit: the plant or whatever eats the squash?  In some philosophical sense, why was the squash grown?  Both of these ideas, symbiotic relationships and relationships that raise a question of who is a benefit for, could be starting points for a poem.

Experimental Poetry Form: Alphabetical order rhyme

In the following experimental poetry form, there are eight lines.  Each line has eight syllables.  There is no meter in the lines.  The last word of each line rhymes.  The rhyming words are in alphabetical order.  Indentions can be used as needed.

The idea of this form, is to see how an additional restriction on a basic form (one stanza, eight lines, eight syllables per line, each line rhymes) can affect the form.  Here is an example poem to demonstrate the form:

The attic

The attic was so high away,
like it wanted to keep at bay,
  but then there came a sound one day,
  when into it there flew a jay,
   this happened on the tenth of May,
  and it fluttered, but not in play,
and so below one could not stay,
but had to climb up the high way.