Experimental Poetry Form: A list

This experimental poetry form is based off the idea of a list.

It consists of twelve lines.  Twelve lines were chosen to make the poem long enough and to have a length, that at a glance, appears to be natural (as opposed to ten lines, which may appear more thought out).

Each line is separated by a space and is its own stanza.  The idea is to give the appearance of a list.

Each line starts with a number written in numerals (i.e. “23” rather than “twenty three”).  The idea with this is that a list may be written that way.  The numbers on each stanza should flow in either a random way, or in a way that expresses some symbolism, rather than in increasing or decreasing order.  The idea is, again, to make the poem look more like a list would look.

Following each number is one or more words.  Each word or words should express an idea, but should not be a complete sentence.  There are two options for the words or words in the form.  In the first option, each word or words is a noun.  In the second option, each word or words is an adjective.  The first option is more like a traditional list, for example like a list of parts.  The second option is slightly less traditional, and would be like a list of qualities of some things.  For example, if a person was getting many flowers, and wanted certain numbers of each color, a list might read: 8 blue, 7 white, 4 yellow etc…  The idea though with the words, is not to have twelve sentences or phrases, it is to have twelve items or qualities with different amounts.

The poem should have a title and it should help to establish the context of the list.

The lines should not rhyme and there is no meter or syllable counts.  Also, no lines should repeat.

One variation of the form, might be to hand write the poem or to use a font that resembles handwriting.  Depending on the content of the poem, this may add a dimension to it.

Although the poetry form appears to be a list, its main intention is to express deeper ideas.  Some examples that do this might include:

 A list that someone might make of an inventory of items that they find while on a life raft.

 A list of the number of different crimes in a certain area.

 A list of medications a person takes in a day or a week.

 A list of the coins a homeless person counts from their pocket.

The idea of the form, is to use a list as a poem to express or reference broad or deep ideas.

Advertisements