Experimental Poetry Form: 8/30/3 with choice

The following experimental poetry form combines line count, syllable count and rhyme in a form that has some choice regarding its application.

In the form there are:

Eight lines.  The poet can choose the stanza structure for those lines.

Thirty syllables.  There is no syllable count per line requirement.  The poet can choose how many syllables are in each line under the thirty syllable restriction.

Three lines that rhyme.  The poet can choose which three of the eight lines rhyme.

Here is an example poem written in the form:

X-rays,
dangerous?

What gave you that idea?

That thick lead wall,
that’s so tall?

That’s just there …

BEEP

hold on, have to run to the hall.

Poetry essay: Having poetry with impact

When a person writes poetry, there’s the idea of impacting the reader.  The impact might be small.  You might want a reader to laugh, see some point, or just understand the message.  In other instances though, a greater impact is desired.

When you think about impacting a reader with your poetry there are two areas that you could look at that are often intertwined: emotion and action.

When you impact a reader emotionally, they feel something.  They might feel sad when they read your poem.  They might have a new sense of understanding.  They might feel angry at some idea.  They might have a moment of reflection.

Sometimes when you write poetry, you want the emotional impact to be big.  You might be writing about something personal to yourself and you want people to understand what you have experienced.  You might be writing about a social issue and you want people to understand it from your perspective.  You might be writing about a group of people and you want your readers to feel empathy.

In these instances you want your poetry to “hit”.  You want your poem to have an impact.

Some ways of doing this include having:

  • A clear message.
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  • A clear presentation.
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  • A poem with buildup to some idea.
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  • A poem with timing regarding the moment of impact.
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  • Some element of surprise regarding the moment of impact.
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  • Clear yet present symbolism and metaphor.
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  • A concise poem.
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  • The poem presented in the appropriate context.
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  • The poem focus on a subject with some inherit emotion.

In addition to having an emotional impact on readers, you might also want to impact readers in such a way that they take action.

Think about a poem about a political or a social issue.  You might want to impact your readers so that they become engaged and take some step.  You might want them to vote, protest, volunteer, donate, write letters, share your message, make a change in their lifestyles, or something else.  You want them to do something that furthers some idea because of your words.

When writing a poem with this type of impact, you have to take into account where along a spectrum your readers are regarding what you are writing about.

Depending on the subject, some readers might be very in favor of your point of view and others might be very opposed.  Some readers might be very active and some not.  There is also a lot of space in between both ends of both ideas.

When writing a poem that impacts a person to take some action, the poem has to reflect the position of the reader.  Appealing to someone who feels the same as you is different from convincing someone who feels differently.  Also, getting someone who is very active to feel inspired to take more action, is different from getting someone who isn’t active to start.

Poems that impact people to take action can be about social or political issues, but they can also be about other ideas.  You might want people to become more informed and active regarding a disease.  You might want people to change some aspect of their lifestyles, like stopping smoking.  You might want people to do something small in their lives, like plant more flowers.  Poetry can impact people to take action regarding many different things.

When writing a poem that impacts people to take action, the above mentioned ideas of focusing on where the reader is regarding the idea and how active they already are, are both important.  Other important ideas include:

  • Presenting the poem in the right context.
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  • Having the poem focus on one main idea.
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  • Having the poem express some idea of action.
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  • Possibly presenting the poem with some option for action available (e.g. a donation button or a call to sign a petition).
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  • Having the poem make a consistent appeal.

In writing poetry with impact, there will of course be times when you want to impact a reader emotionally and have them take some type of action.  In some cases, an emotional impact can be important to impacting a person to do something.

One thing to be careful of when combining the two ideas is not to have the emotional impact overshadow the impact for action.  Sometimes a reader can be very moved by a poem, but they might not take any action.  Think about a news story you saw that either made you feel very sad or possibly upset about some situation.  You might have felt very emotional about the subject for a short time, but you might not have done anything.  The story about someone with a disease, for example, might have made you feel bad for the person, but you might not have donated toward the disease or done something else.

Another thing to remember, is that it might take more than one poem and more than one approach to impact readers.  If some idea is important to you, it might take you regularly writing about it from different focuses before you get through to people about it.

A last thing to remember, is that poetry that has an emotional impact can sound very different from poetry that impacts a reader to take action.  In some regard, appealing to someone’s heart can be different from appealing to someone’s head.  This is important to remember as you write poetry with different impacts.

Milestone: 1000th post

This is the 1000th post on M. Sakran’s blog of and about poetry and poetry related things.

Wow.

1000.

Wow.

1000 posts is a lot of posts.  A lot.

At the start, it seemed like after thirty posts there were no new ideas.  Now there are 1000 posts.  That’s a lot of posts.

Hopefully everyone who has read anything on this blog at any time has liked it.  Hopefully you were entertained, inspired or you learned something.  Hopefully you got something from all of this.

If you like this blog, please like this post and follow the blog.  M. Sakran would appreciate it.  You could also buy a copy of First Try or Understanding: poems with explanations.  M. Sakran would really appreciate that.

If you have anything you want to say to M. Sakran, please use the form on the contact page.

This blog has been an experience.  Posting a post virtually every weekday has been fun, inspiring, challenging, interesting and many other adjectives.  It has been an experience.

As it stands now, the blog will continue with much of the same.  The current category topics of poems, poetry topic ideas, poems with explanations, artwork for inspiration, photography for inspiration, bilingual poems, experimental poetry forms and poetry essays will continue.

In the future, new categories may be added.  Some possibilities include: reviews of poetry books, interviews with poets, and contributed poems.  There are other possibilities as well.

Hopefully everyone who reads will keep reading and if you don’t regularly read, hopefully you will start.

Thank you to everyone.

Below is a poem, because, well … why not?

The millipede,
left footprints in the sand,
hopefully they will be seen,
before the waves,
wash them away.

Poem with an explanation: wheeling forward

There’s a time of hindrance wheeling forward in the chair,
the rugs, carpet and doorways rise from the earth,
like a hand was waved and stones obeyed,
like the whole house was of quicksand,
like mountains fled beyond all sight.
Then there is the moment,
when forgetfulness creeps in,
and eyes clinch,
silently loud,
crying.
Lying,
once proud,
moving an inch,
and there’s the din,
that from pain was sent,
and all time seems a blight,
and humility does join the stage band,
and a song of simple need is played,
and notes call out to alleviate an unthought-of dearth,
and to the whiteness of the clouds eyes do stare.

 

In terms of form, this poem uses the experimental poetry form: two triangles from the March 9, 2018 post on this blog.  Check the post for information about the form.

This poem is about a person who has broken their leg and is in a wheelchair.  It looks at the initial time of their experience.

The first sentence looks at the experience as the person first starts to wheel about their house.  They experience the fact that their house is not set up for a person in a wheelchair.  They encounter rugs and carpets that are difficult to roll over and doorways that are too narrow.  They move slowly through everything they do because it is difficult to get about and things they want seem like they have moved far away.

In the second sentence, the person is lying in bed.  They have just awoken and they start to roll out of bed, like they did before their injury, because in that moment they have forgotten they are hurt.  As they move, they feel pain and they clinch their eyes and grimace.

In the third sentence, the person finds they need help for even simple things.

The poem looks at the initial time of a person in a wheelchair.  It looks at the initial experience and the start of the transition from walking to having to roll in the chair.  It looks at the difficulty of that time period.

 

P. S. There will be no new post on M. Sakran’s blog of and about poetry and poetry related things on Friday April 6, 2018. The next new post will be on Monday April 9, 2018. It will be a milestone post.

Poetry topic idea: lying

Today’s poetry topic idea is lying (saying something that isn’t true).  There are different ways a poet could incorporate lying into a poem.  Below are some ideas.  A poet could write a poem:

  • With a character lying to another character. In this instance, for the effect to be known, the reader should know the character is lying.  The other character or characters in the poem might not.
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  • With a lie as humor, satire or sarcasm. The idea is that the lie would be obvious to the reader, and as such, intended to make a point.
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  • With a voice of someone lying. They could write a poem where one person lies to another, but only the voice of the lying person is shown.  They could write the poem as if the person was trying to sound believable.  An example situation might be where a person is unfaithful to their spouse and they lie about something they did.  A poet could write what the unfaithful spouse says in a standalone sense such that only their words come through.  They might write the poem without any explanatory statements.  How what they say is viewed would be left up to the reader.
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  • Where a character gets caught in a lie.
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  • About their own experience in being lied to.
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  • About their own experience when they have lied.
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  • About the idea of lying in politics, business or the media.

Experimental Poetry Form: bottom to top

This experimental poetry form is called bottom to top.  The poem is one stanza of eight lines, with each line having eight syllables.  The “bottom to top” aspect comes from the idea that the poem should be written such that the bottom line is the first line to be read and the top line is the last line to be read.  The poem should be written such that the lines should be read in the order below:

8
7
6
5
4
3
2
1

The line marked 1 should be read first, the line marked 2 should be read second, the line marked 3 should be read third and so forth.  The idea is to experiment with the convention that writing is read from the top of the page to the bottom.

When writing the poem, a poet doesn’t have to think of the last line first.  Rather, a poet can write line 1 first, then line 2 and so forth.  That being said, it might be a challenge to write the poem the other way, starting with the ending and working backwards.

When presenting the poem, a poet might experiment with two scenarios.  In one scenario, they have a note stating how the poem should be read.  In the other scenario, they just present the poem.  They could see, if possible, how readers react in each situation to the same poem.