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:
Syllable count per line: 14, 10, 2, 1, 8
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: