Poem Series: Time

It has been a while since there has been a poem series on this blog.  The last one appears to be the poem series: Dogs, which started on January 27, 2016 and ended February 9, 2016.  You can read the poems in that series, as well as in the ones before it, here: poem series.

Today will be the start of a new poem series.  The subject of the poem series will be time.

The series will consist of ten poems.  The poems will be posted in the next nine posts plus this post (for a total of ten), unless some event occurs to supersede the series, in which case the series will continue after the superseding.

Please enjoy the Time poem series.

Here is the first poem:

Looking back,
there’s the thought,
of all the different decisions,
that would be made.

Looking forward,
there’s the thought,
that one day,
will there be looking back,
with the thought,
of all the different decisions,
that would be made?

But in the present,
looking forward,
it’s hard to know,
what looking back,
will see.

Poetry topic idea: arrows

Today’s poetry topic idea is arrows.  Arrows can be used in poetry in different ways.  A poet could write about:

  • Arrows as weapons. An arrow is part of the weapon “bow and arrow” and a poet could use arrows with this meaning in their poetry.  They could write about war, such as in medieval times, or they could write about hunting.  A poet could use the idea symbolically for many things.

  • Arrows as directional indicators. Arrows can be used to indicate direction.  They can be seen on diagrams, instructions, signs, and roads.  The idea is that the arrow points to something or some place that a person should then engage with.  A poet could use this idea in poetry in different ways.

Here is an example poem using the idea of arrows:

                         sought for.
If only there were directions.
If only something could point the
way and show the path.  The place
sought for is hidden though.  No
way is marked out.  No arrow
                         points the

Experimental Poetry Form: American Independence Day

This experimental poetry form is based off American Independence Day, which is coming soon.  America declared its independence on July 4, 1776.  As numbers that is written 741776.  This forms the syllable count pattern for the poem.

The poem has one stanza.  The stanza is centered on the page.  The stanza has six lines.  The first line has 7 syllables, the second 4, the third 1, the fourth 7, the fifth 7 and the sixth 6.

The form looks like this with *’s representing syllables


Here is an example poem written in the form:

Then, in a moment of tears,
the bottle thrown,
yelling at something unseen,
declared his independence,
and started his freedom.

Poetry essay: Developing experimental poetry forms

A recurring category on M. Sakran’s blog of and about poetry and poetry related things is experimental poetry form.  Experimental poetry forms are poetry forms thought up by M. Sakran.  Poets can write poems using the experimental poetry forms on this blog as a way to try out different ways to express poetry.

In addition to using the experimental poetry forms on this blog, poets can also develop their own forms.  There are a number of benefits to thinking up and using an experimental poetry form.

First, the exercise of working with form elements can be training for writing poetry.  As a poet combines different form elements together, they can see how they interact and learn more about using them.  This can help later as a poet writes poetry and incorporates form elements into their work.

Second, once a poetry form has been developed, writing a poem with it can also be training.  Trying to fit a poem to a new form can be a skill building exercise for a poet.  In addition to practicing fitting a poem to a form, a poet can also learn how different form elements interact and if they work well together.

Third, some of the forms developed could potentially turn out to be good for certain kinds of expressions and might be the kind of forms that could be used repeatedly.

Fourth, as readers read poems written with experimental poetry forms (even if they don’t know the forms are as such) they can learn from the experience of reading poems written with different form elements.

If a poet is interested in developing their own experimental poetry forms, there are a number of form elements they could use.  An incomplete list includes:

  the number of stanzas

  the number of lines in each stanza and or in the whole poem

  the number of line breaks between each stanza

  the number of words per line, stanza and or in the whole poem

  the number of syllables per word, line, stanza and or in the whole poem

  the number of letters per word, line, stanza and or in the whole poem

  rhyming within lines, stanzas, between stanzas and or in the whole poem

  meter such as iambic or trochaic applied to words, lines, stanzas or the whole poem,

  the number of spaces of indentions of lines

  the number of spaces between words within lines

  acrostic qualities applied to lines, stanzas, between stanzas and or to the whole poem

  page layout (e.g. a poem that looks like a square or a triangle or a poem that is centered or right aligned)

  different word arrangements (e.g. the first word of one line of a poem becomes the last word of another line of the poem)

  repeated words, lines or stanzas

  directional qualities such as the poem is read from the bottom of the page up

  using elements such as homophones, homographs or synonyms

These different elements (as well as others) could be combined in different numbers and ways and could be used in different patterns.  There are a multitude of poetry forms that could be developed from them.

In developing an experimental poetry form, one approach might be for a poet to simply pick different elements and different qualities for those elements and see how they work together.  The idea would be to see what develops without starting with a more specific goal in mind.

Alternatively, a poet might want to develop experimental poetry forms according to specific goals.  They might want to see, for example, what a poem sounds like using a certain repeat pattern or how two poetry meters work when combined together.

When developing an experimental poetry form, a poet should keep themselves, another poet who might use the form, and the reader of poems written in the form in mind.  They want to make sure and develop a form that works in the development stage, is something that can be used by other poets if the form was explained, and is something that can be used to create poems where the form impacts the expression for the reader.

Artwork to inspire poetry: Forelle pear

Forelle pear

Above is an artwork of a Forelle pear.  It can inspire poetry.  A poet could write about:

  • Pears. A poet could go in the obvious direction and write about the fruit.

  • Pairs. A poet could go in the direction of a play on words.

  • Lack of detail. This artwork lacks detail.  A poet could apply the idea of lack of detail to situations in life and use that in poetry.

  • Something using words that rhyme with pear. A number of words rhyme with pear and a poet could write a poem using those rhyming words.  Some of the words that rhyme with pear are: bear, care, chair, dare, fair, fare, flare, glare, hair, hare, mare, pair, pare, rare, stair, stare, tare, tear, wear, and ware.

Here is a poem inspired by the artwork:

each day
the picture of her
faded more
within his mind

A photograph to inspire poetry: two light purple and white flowers

two light purple and white flowers

Above is a photograph of two light purple and white flowers.  It can inspire poetry.  A poet could write about:

  • Pairs. These flowers form a pair and a poet could be inspired to write about other kinds of pairs.

  • Cooperation and competition. Depending on perspective, these two flowers could be seen as cooperating with each other or competing against each other.  They could be cooperating, in that because there is more color in the area than if there was only one flower, they are more likely to attract pollinators.  They could be competing in that they are competing for pollinators.  A poet could write about either of these ideas or a situation where both exist.

  • Not talking. The two flowers are not facing each other.  This could remind a poet of two people who are not talking to each other.  A poet could write a poem about this.

Below is a poem inspired by this photograph.  It uses the experimental poetry form four by four.

After bee told one,
what butterfly had said,
the other had said,
neither spoke a word.

Poem with an explanation: now free?

Twenty one steps,
now free?


the piers,
the waves press.

    The dolphins laugh.

and line.

    Fishing poles



This poem is about a person turning twenty one and being legally allowed to drink.  The poem examines the supposed freedom the person has.

In terms of form, this poem uses the form Twenty Words.

The poem has a water theme.  In the poem, a person walks to the water.  The person goes Twenty one steps to get there.  This symbolizes the twenty one years the person has journeyed to get to this point.

The poem then asks the question now free?  In the poem, the person believes they are free.  They are now legally allowed to drink.  They are no longer constrained by a prohibition.  The poem questions this freedom.

The poem tells the person in the poem to Look.  The idea is for the person to open their eyes metaphorically and see reality.  The idea is for the person to see what is really going on around them.

The next two lines indicate what the person should look at.  They say, the piers, the waves press.  First, this continues the water theme.  The person is at the end of a pier and the waves are pressing.  Second, the lines are a play on the words peer pressure.  In this case, the words are represented by piers press.

The idea of these lines is for the person to see the peer pressure around them.  Rather than being free to drink or not, the person is in a situation where their peers expect them to drink.  In some sense, it has transcended expectation, in that expectation is an action.  Their peers simply take it for granted that the person will drink.

The person, while believing they have the freedom of choice, is really in a situation where they are pressured, and expected, to behave in a certain way.  Before they were not allowed to drink; now they are expected to.

The next line of the poem says The dolphins laugh.  In the poem, the person’s peers appear happy, with their drinking and partying, but underneath problems exist.  They are not as happy as they appear.  This is similar to a dolphin, which can look like it is smiling, despite its emotions.

The next lines show the reality.  Although the dolphins are laughing, they are caught.  They are caught by drinking, peer pressure and the effects of both.  Though they are smiling, they are like a fish on a Hook and line.  They are being reeled in by a culture of expected drinking such that the Fishing poles shook.

The idea of the poem is to examine the idea of freedom.  It looks at a situation where a person was prohibited from an action and then that action was allowed.  Although the person might have thought they were entering a situation of choice, where they could choose the action or not, they really entered a situation where the action was expected.  They went from being restricted from not doing something, to being restricted to doing it.  A similar idea could apply to other situations besides drinking.