Experimental Poetry Form: Fifteen one word lines

This poetry form is called fifteen one word lines.  As the name implies, the poem consists of only fifteen one word lines.  The poetry form has no other criteria such as rhyming or number of syllables.  The idea of the form is to see how fifteen words on single lines can express an idea.

Using the form, a poet may decide to take different approaches.  One approach, would be to write fifteen words related to something.  For example, if a poet wanted to write about water, they might use the words: clear, flowing, cool, blue, etc.  The words would be related, but would not flow in any kind of structure.

In another approach, rather than writing fifteen words related to something, a poet might decide to write the fifteen words using sentence structure.  The words could flow as one or more sentences.  For example, using water again, a poet might write a sentence that starts, “In the clear flowing water” and have each word on one line.  This would change how the words sound than if they were read as a single line.

Additionally, a poet might choose to write fifteen words that are opposite to what the poetry topic is.  For example, a poet might title their poem “water” but then have fifteen words such as heat, fire, red, etc. that aren’t normally associated with it.  This might create a response of questioning in the reader.

There are also other approaches that could be taken.  The form is flexible for different ideas.

A poet might also choose to incorporate other restrictions into the form such as syllable counts and rhyming that, although not part of the basic form, would add additional variation.

Poetry topic idea: Lentils

The poetry topic idea for today is lentils.  Lentils are small seed like food items (they may actually be seeds) that are generally round and flat and are colored in brown or green or orange (and possibly other colors).  They are sometimes found in a dried state and are hard and resemble little stones when they are.  They can be cooked in soups or like rice would be cooked (and also could be cooked in presumably other ways as well).

One way lentils can used in poetry is to write a poem about a meal.  The meal could have lentils in it and there could be some background and other elements in the poem that relate to them.

Lentils could also be used in poetry by taking the intermediary step of using them in artwork first.  A poet could, for example, make a mosaic using a variety of colored lentils, and then write a poem about the picture that they made.

Another way that lentils could be used in poetry would be to use them in similes or as metaphors in a poem.  For example, a poet might write that something was “like lentils in color” or a poet might use lentils to represent something by, for example, using a group of them to stand for a group of something else.

Artwork to inspire poetry: Clover


The artwork above is of clover.  There are five clover designs, four three-leaf clover designs, and one four-leaf clover design.  All but one of the clovers are three-leaf clovers.  There is one four-leaf clover.

This artwork can inspire poetry in a few ways.  One way is from the idea of searching.  In this artwork, and in a real area of clover, a person may search for a four-leaf clover.  The idea of searching could be used in poetry.

A poet could write a general poem about searching.  They could also be inspired to write a poem about searching for uniqueness.  Additionally, they could write a poem about the detail and attention involved in a search.  A poet could also be inspired to write a poem about a sought thing that is located, or they may be inspired to write a poem where the sought thing is not located.

These ideas about searching for something as well as other ideas about searching could be inspired by this artwork and used in poetry.  There are also other poetic ideas that could be inspired by this artwork.

Poem with an explanation: bird nests

bird nests are empty
a migration continues
will the river flow?

The poem above is a haiku.  It was inspired by the photograph from the blog post A photograph to inspire poetry: a nest.

The first line of the poem, comes from the photograph, although the poem uses nests instead of one nest.  The photograph seems to show an empty nest (Although it is uncertain whether the nest was really empty or just seemed so from the ground.  Additionally, if the nest was empty, it was unknown if the condition was short term, like for a few hours, or whether the nest had been left for a longer period of time or permanently).

The second line of the poem provides a possible explanation for the first line: the bird nests are empty because the birds are south and are in the process of migrating north for spring.

The last line uses a mainly unrelated image of a dry river (it is related because it is part of nature, but that is the main relational point).  It asks a question that is meant to relate to the first two lines.  Asking the question of “will the river flow?” literally contemplates: will a dry river flow again?  Metaphorically though, it is meant to contemplate the idea of whether the nests will be re-inhabited once the migration north has ended.

A photograph to inspire poetry: a nest


This is a photograph of a nest in a tree.  It presumably belongs to either a bird or a squirrel.

This nest could inspire a number of poetic ideas, including poems about:

Homes (as the nest is like a home)
Nature, generally
Collection (as the nest is a collection of items)
Recycling (as the nest uses some recycled materials in that the materials may have fallen from a tree, for example, and then were used by the animal that built the nest)
Uncertainty (as it is uncertain what built the nest)

Experimental Poetry Form: Mailbox

This experimental poetry form is based on the characteristics of a mailbox.  Depending on the design, a mailbox has:

 a post – this holds everything up
 a box – this contains the mail
 a door – this provides access to the box
 a flag – this signals whether there is information intended to leave the box
 mail – this is information in the box

These five components can be used to design a poetry form.  One example is described as follows:

Stanza: 1
Lines: 5
Syllable count per line: 14, 10, 2, 1, 8
Rhyming: AAAAB


There is one stanza, because a mailbox is a single unit.

There are five lines in the stanza, because a mailbox with mail has five components.

The first line is the longest, because it symbolizes the post and symbolically holds the rest of the poem up.

The second line symbolizes the box.  Excluding the door, the box has five sides.  If each side is allotted two syllables, despite the fact that some sides are longer than others, then the total number of syllables for the five sides is ten.

The third line symbolizes the door.  It has two syllables, which is the same as a side for the box.

The fourth line represents the flag, and only has one syllable because it is the smallest part of the structure.

The fifth line represents the mail in the box, and has eight syllables to symbolize the information in the mail.

The first four lines all rhyme together to symbolize the fact that they make one object, a mailbox.  They are connected by the rhyming, but are separate lines.  This is like the mailbox, which is made of different parts that connect.  The last line, which symbolizes the mail in the box, does not rhyme with the preceding four lines because the mail is not connected to the other parts and varies over time.

Visually, the form looks as follows, where the * represent syllables:


A milestone: 200th post.

Today’s post is the 200th post to M. Sakran’s blog of and about poetry and poetry related things.

The first post was posted on April 24, 2014, the fiftieth post was posted on July 11, 2014, and the one hundredth post was posted on September 19th, 2014.

On the blog so far, there have been twenty four individual poems (poems that weren’t part of some other type of post), nineteen poems as part of poem series, twenty four poems with explanations, twenty four artworks to inspire poetry, twenty four poetry topic ideas, twenty three experimental poetry forms, and twenty three photographs to inspire poetry.  There have also been poems that were part of other posts and a few other kinds of posts as well.

To send thoughts about the blog so far to M. Sakran, please use the box below:

To commemorate this milestone, here is a modified circular train of thought poem starting with milestone:



A mile of stones?

Granite stones?

Black granite, or granite with those little speckles like confetti?

Confetti, like the kind thrown from windows for parades.

Parades with people in cars waving.

Waves, that come on shore.

Where there is sand that’s light brown in color.

Light brown like peanut butter on bread.

Bread in slices with the crust, and the white part in the middle with the air holes.

That seem to resemble a honey comb.

Where bees make honey.

That’s golden and amber in color.

Like amber that comes from trees.

That grow on mountains.

That have granite stones.

That go for a mile

A mile of stones?


Poetry topic idea: Rain drops

Today’s poetry topic idea is rain drops.  In this case, the idea only refers to individual drops of rain or distinct groups of drops of rain, as opposed to rain in general.

Rain drops can be used in poems in a number of ways.  One idea would be to write a poem that contrasts an individual and a group.  Rain drops could be used as a metaphor.  One rain drop among a group of drops (for example, drops that have fallen on a table outdoors) could be written about as it relates to the group.  Issues of individuality, conformity, and interactions with others, in addition to other ideas, could be examined using the metaphor.

Another idea of rain drops that can be used in poetry is the idea of being self-contained.  A rain drop is a self-contained unit of water.  This notion can be applied to poetry and be used to relate something small and self-contained to the environment around it.

Another thought would be to examine a rain drop as it falls from the sky.  A poem could describe the journey it takes.  This journey could also be used as a small metaphorical part in a poem that describes something else.

Poem with an explanation: a star

Outside by a warm fire and seeing,

           a star.

Alone in the pale sky,

           it appears to be by itself,

                      until three stars in a row above show,

that belt.


This poem uses the experimental poetry from Flows and Stops.  That form was the second experimental poetry form to be described on this blog and can be seen here: Flows and Stops.

The poem is about seeing one star in the sky as dusk starts and thinking that it looks alone.  Later, when three stars above it in a row are seen, the realization happens that the stars are part of the constellation Orion.  The three stars are referred to as “that belt” in the poem because of the familiarity they bring to the viewer in the poem.