Experimental Poetry Form: Simple Codes

This poetry form is based off of the idea of simple codes.  A poem written in the form is intended to relay a message using the codes.  There are three stanzas in the poem.  Each stanza has three lines.

For the first stanza, the first letter of each word combine to form the first part of a message.

For the second stanza, the last letter of each word combine to form the second part of the message.

For the third stanza, the first and last letters of each line combine to form the third part of the message.

The form has no other restrictions.

To illustrate how the form works, here is a poem almost written in the form, with the letters of the code in bold.  The reason that the poem is “almost written in the form”, is that M. Sakran could not find a word that ended in “v” that made sense in the last line of the second stanza.  Despite this, the example below, should at least illustrate the form.

Happily arriving people,
proceed yonder,
crossing a nearby arrangement.

Unheard mini tarantula exertion,
silent with a hidden knack,
absconds waiting fungi V.

Incensed upset words are spoken,
giving tarantulas cause to be afraid,
as wooden spoons are held ready.


The code in the poem almost spells the message, Happy Canadian Thanksgiving Day.  This holiday was yesterday, and the poem relates to it.  Although M. Sakran does not particularly know anything about Canadian Thanksgiving Day, it was presumed that it was similar to the United States Thanksgiving Day.  Using this presumption, the poem describes people arriving at a relative’s house for dinner.  The people walk by a food counter, and steal little bits of food to eat before dinner (this was done using the metaphor of a tarantula, as it was a word that ended in “a” and was symbolic of fingers moving along a counter to take some food).  When they do, they are yelled at by the cooks.

As can be seen by the incompleteness of the poem, one particularly difficult aspect of the form is the second stanza.  It can be difficult, first, to find words that end in certain letters, and second, to find words that end in certain letters that make at least some sense in the poem.  In another sense though, a poem might be more interesting because of the word choices made.

By the way, should any reader be able to come up with a word ending in “v” that fits in the poem, please send it to M. Sakran using the contact form on this blog.