Experimental Poetry Form: Repeat Pattern

This experimental poetry form comes from part of yesterday’s poem.  At the end of the poem, there were the stanzas:

He walked away,
and wondered why,
she did not pause,
before her words.

He walked away,
and wondered why,
she did not speak,
the truth to him.

It seemed to him,
it would have been,
a better scene,
had she said no.

It seemed to him,
it would have been,
a better scene,
had she spoke truth.

He walked away,
and wondered why,
he spoke those words,
those days ago.

The four syllables per line and the four lines per stanza, were a thought through element of the poem, that came early on in the poem’s writing.  The repeats however, were something that developed as the poem was written.

As you can see above, there is pattern that is as follows:

Line A,
Line B,

Line A,
Line B,

Line C,
Line D,
Line E,

Line C,
Line D,
Line E,

Line A,
Line B,

The pattern above seemed to form a cohesive pattern and inspired today’s experimental poetry form.

Today’s form is called Repeat Pattern, and has the following characteristics:

Stanzas: 5

Lines per stanza: 4

Syllables per line: 4

Repeating Pattern: AB** AB** CDE* CDE* AB**, with the letters representing repeats, and the *’s representing individual lines.

An example of the use of this form can be found in the partial poem above.  Again, the full poem can be read in yesterday’s post.


Poem: he wondered why

He did see her,
when he came by,
and thought that she,
did see him too.

One day he asked,
if she might like,
to spend a day,
about with him.

She thought and said,
that that was fine,
and she would like,
such an idea.

But when he left,
her friends did say,
“No, not with him,
he is a dud.”

She thought and felt,
that what they thought,
did mean so much,
to who she was.

She said to them,
she did not think,
and she would not,
go out with him.

The next day came,
and he came by,
and she went off,
and hid away.

Two days did pass,
and he did show,
to ask about,
the day agreed.

But like before,
she hid away,
and he stood there,
right there alone.

But with much hope,
he did come by,
upon the day,
that was agreed.

He stood with hope,
and flowers too,
and waited there,
for her to be.

But she was off,
with all of them,
who said that he,
was such a dud.

And they did laugh,
aloud with glee,
but in her heart,
she knew his pain.

And there he stood,
as time did pass,
until the truth,
did fill his mind.

He knew inside,
like times before,
that what he saw,
was a mirage.

He walked away,
and wondered why,
she did not pause,
before her words.

He walked away,
and wondered why,
she did not speak,
the truth to him.

It seemed to him,
it would have been,
a better scene,
had she said no.

It seemed to him,
it would have been,
a better scene,
had she spoke truth.

He walked away,
and wondered why,
he spoke those words,
those days ago.

Experimental Poetry Form: Eight, eight and first words

This experimental poetry form called is eight, eight and first words.  In the form, there are eight lines.  Each line has eight words.  There is a word pattern as follows:

The first word of the second line, is the second word of the first line.

The first word of the third line, is the third word of the first line.

The first word of the fourth line, is the fourth word of the first line.


The first word of the eighth line, is the eighth word of the first line.

The form looks as follows with *’s representing words that aren’t repeated with any intention, and letters representing repeated words:


Here is an example poem:

There thinking back upon the past decision made,
thinking of the moment of choice that day,
back in the place with the stone pathways,
upon the ground with the designation of thought,
the deep sense of stepping forward with words,
past decisions though cannot be changed with sense,
decision is a stone with a great weight,
made by moments of past thoughts and times.

Some issues to keep in mind when using the form are, first, to think about the form of words in the first line.  The form of verb or whether a noun is singular or plural can affect its use as the first word of another line.  Also, counting by words may not be as natural to some as counting by syllables.  Counting the words of each line as each is written would be advisable.  Thirdly, there is the idea that the poem must make sense in the form.  It must fit within it and still have some clarity.

Poem with an explanation: Why not wear blue?

“Why not wear blue?”

“Because it wouldn’t work.”

“Have you tried it?”

“No, but why would a person try that?  It wouldn’t work.”

“How do you know unless you try?”

“You could justify any idea with that.”

“Just give it a try.”

“Just to prove it doesn’t work?”

“You don’t know that.”

“It’s obvious.”

“You just don’t want to succeed.”

“You just keep criticizing when your advice isn’t taken.”

“If you really wanted to change you would try it.”

“Just go away.”


This poem is a simplification of a conversation between two people.  In the poem one person has something about themselves they have been trying to change for some time.  It could be losing weight, for example.

The person has been working toward this goal for some time, with little success.  Because of this, people have started giving them advice.  Having heard what they consider to be random and bad advice too many times, the person gets frustrated when they hear it.  The people giving advice, viewing themselves as just wanting to help, wonder why their advice isn’t being followed, and since it isn’t being followed, they question the level of motivation of the other person.  The conversations come with frustration, and generally follow the pattern of the poem.

In the first line of the poem, the advice giver gives some piece of advice.  They heard it somewhere.  Maybe on a morning news show or from a magazine.  A celebrity said it.  The advice giver values this kind of advice.

The person with the situation, says that the advice wouldn’t work.  They view the advice as random.  They have a disdain for “tips and tricks” types of advice.  Having struggled to make a change, they view advice that claims to make things easy with suspicion.

The person giving the advice then questions the other person.  They ask if they have tried the advice.  They are implying a way of thinking that they will ask later, “How does a person know something won’t work unless they’ve tried it.”

The person with the situation responds by basically stating that the advice is bad.

The other person then states their advice philosophy, “How do you know unless you try?”

The one with the situation though resents this idea.  Having heard, from their perspective, all sorts of outlandish and random advice, they view this with resentment.  Their rebuttal is to extend the philosophy.  They say that if the only way to know if something works is to try it, then that would justify trying anything, no matter how absurd it might be.

The advice giver doesn’t see things that way though.  As far as they are concerned, they got the advice from a source they trust.  Also, they view the advice as harmless.  They feel that if it works, things will be better, and if it doesn’t, little will be lost.

This though makes the person with the situation more frustrated.  They feel like they are constantly being called upon to prove bad advice doesn’t work.  They feel like they have been repeatedly given bad advice and then asked to test it out.  They are tired of it.

The advice giver though, holds on to the idea that a person can’t really know if something works or not, unless they try it.

The person with the situation though sees this as a faulty way of thinking.  To them the advice is obviously bad, and there is no reason to go through the motion of proving it just to satisfy someone else.

At this point, the advice giver themselves becomes frustrated.  Because the person with the situation won’t take what they think is good advice, they question the person’s motivation to succeed.  They are basically thinking that if the person does not want to take their advice, the only reason must be that the person does not really want to change.

The person with the situation though resents this.  As far as they are concerned, this is a pattern they have heard before.  They get bad advice, they don’t take it, and they are criticized for it.  They are tired of getting what they perceive to be weird and random suggestions, and then being criticized for not following them.

The person giving the advice comes back to their refrain.  They hold onto the idea that advice that seems harmless should be tried.  They can’t see what it would hurt.

The other person, being tired of the conversation and of constantly feeling like they have to defend their actions, tells the person to go away.

This poem is about what may be a familiar situation in life, that of giving and getting advice.  It examines the idea of advice being given over an extended period of time.  It looks at the different points of view and the frustration.

P. S. If you like poems with explanations, consider purchasing a copy of Understanding: poems with explanations.

Bilingual Poem: the sign

O’ the post it did have a large sign,
by the road on the side of the line,
o’ the sign it did say,
you who drive look away,
don’t read signs when you drive it’s not fine.


O’ el poste lo hizo haber una señal grande,
cerca la calle en el lado de la línea,
o’ la señal lo hizo decir,
ustedes que conducen miran lejos,
no leen señales cuando ustedes conducen lo no es buen.

A photograph to inspire poetry: purple spiny flowers

purple spiny flowers

Above is a photograph of purple spiny flowers.  It can inspire poetry.  Here are some ideas:

  • This plant is a weed, yet still looks nice. A poet could notice that, and see symbolism for a poem.

  • The flowers have what seem to be spiny petals, but they don’t look firm or sharp. This idea of something looking potential damaging, and yet possibly not being damaging, could be used in poetry.

  • A poet could write about someone receiving or giving purple flowers.

  • The look of the flowers must serve some purpose. For example, they might attract a certain kind of insect or catch pollen in the wind.  A poet could write about the structure of something having a purpose.  “Structure” could be thought of broadly and applied to many things.

Artwork to inspire poetry: banana slices

banana slices

This is an artwork of three banana slices stacked together.  It was done with a gray colored pencil, then scanned, and then computer altered.

This artwork can inspire poetry.  A poet could write about:

  • The idea of achievement. These banana slices are not stacked straight up.  One rests against another, and another rests against both.  It is almost as if the banana slices were meant to be stacked straight up, but for some reason this was not done.  A poet could see this and use it as inspiration regarding the idea of not quite achieving something.

  • The idea of nonconformity. Again, these banana slices could have been stacked straight up, but were not.  A poet could see this as a metaphor.

  • The idea of haphazardness. These banana slices are stacked in a jumbled, haphazard manner, and a poet could see this and apply the idea to a situation in life.

Poetry topic idea: four holidays

Today’s poetry topic idea is four holidays.  Depending on what you celebrate and where you are, today is four holidays.  It is:

  • The Feast Day of the Apostle James

  • Leif Erikson Day

  • Columbus Day

  • Canadian Thanksgiving Day

A poet could write one or more poems about one or more of these holidays.  It would be a good opportunity to learn about each day, what or who is being celebrated, and how each day came about.  It might be particularly interesting for a poet to learn and write about a day that they don’t normally observe.

Of the four days noted above, Columbus Day might be the one that comes with some amount of controversy, depending on perspective.  If that’s the case for a poet writing about it, they could always write about it from that point of view.

Experimental Poetry Form: Anapestic meter with a mirror rhyming scheme

Today’s experimental poetry form uses anapestic meter with a mirror rhyming scheme.

In this form, there are eight lines, each with three anapestic feet.  Anapestic meter is what you might hear in a limerick.

The rhyming scheme is a mirror rhyming scheme and is as follows: ABCDDCBA.

Here is an example poem:

There a small piece of paper was left,
just around on a desk by a chair,
it was left with no thought one would see,
but the eyes and the mind they did peer,
as the feet of the cat they drew near,
and the sense of the right it did flee,
as the eyes there so wide they did glare,
and there snoop in a way o’ so deft.