Experimental Poetry Form: fifty characters

Today’s experimental poetry form is called fifty characters.  The form requirement is simple: the poem (excluding the title) must have fifty characters.  Characters are letters, numbers, spaces, punctuation marks, returns, and other things that make up text.  The number of characters can be counted by hand, or by using a word processing software.  Other than this requirement, the poet is free to add elements to the form in any way they wish.

Here is an example poem:

Hunger

water
yeast
brown sugar
oil
salt
whole wheat flour

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Experimental Poetry Form: Twenty one word lines

Today’s experimental poetry form is called twenty one word lines.  It consists of twenty lines, each with one word.  The idea of the form was inspired by the poem in the post from March 8, 2019.  That poem was a train of thought poem that had nineteen lines, with most being one word.

Although the form could be used to create a train of thought poem (where one idea leads to the next like with word association), it could also be used to write out a sentence or something else.

Here is an example poem that is a train of thought poem:

hunger
food
fruit
stand
roadside
cars
dirt
clean
water
soap
bars
prison
concrete
driveway
mailbox
letter
open
close
business
hours

Some train of thought poems, like the one above, just lead off.  They have no circularity.  Some train of thought poems, like the one from the March 8th post, do have a circularity.  There are other effects as well.

Here is another example poem.  This one is one sentence broken up:

Having
no
shower,
he
did
his
best,
and
washed
his
face,
arms,
and
hands
in
the
convenience
store
bathroom
sink.

Experimental Poetry Form: letter

Today’s experimental poetry form is called letter.  It based off of layout on the page.  The form is arranged like the elements on the front of a letter.

On the front of a letter there are three elements: the return address, the sending address, and the stamp.  They are laid out as follows:

*****                                                                               *****
*****                                                                               *****
*****                                                                               *****

 

                                                  *****
                                                  *****
                                                  *****

 

 

The return address is in the upper left corner, the sending address is in the center, and the stamp is in the upper right corner.

The return address and sending address elements both have three lines corresponding to: name, street address, and city and state.  The stamp element has three lines because of its size.

From the point of view of the person receiving the letter, the sending address is read first, the return address is read second, and the stamp is noticed third.

For the poetry form, there are three stanzas, each with three lines.  Each line has five syllables.  The first stanza is in the center, the second stanza is in the upper left, and the third stanza is in the upper right.

Here is an example poem illustrating the form.  Remember, the center stanza is read first, the upper left stanza second, and the upper right stanza third.

Alone in the house                                                         In a field of stones
everything feels still                                                       emptiness gathers
and time moves so slow.                                               to speak silently.

 

                                                  You’ve been gone so long
                                                  you’re now an image
                                                  a thought in the mind.

Experimental Poetry Form: pennies, nickels, and a dime

Today’s experimental poetry form is called pennies, nickels, and a dime.

Five pennies are equivalent to one nickel and two nickels are equivalent to one dime.  This idea is the basis of the form.

The form has four stanzas.

The first stanza is the penny stanza.  It has five lines.  Each line has one syllable.

The second stanza is the nickel stanza.  It has one line.  That one line has five syllables.

The third stanza is the two nickel stanza.  It has two lines.  Each line has five syllables.

The fourth stanza is the dime stanza.  It has one line.  That one line has ten syllables.

The idea is that the stanzas are related the same way the coins are related.

Here is an example poem:

Some
nights
it’s
so
still.

Sitting by the bed,

in the hospital,
watching the lights glow.

They might look pretty but for the reason.

Experimental Poetry Form: two words

Today’s experimental poetry form is called two words.  The idea is simple: a poem of two words.

While two words may not seem sufficient to write a poem and get a message across, if done with broadness or with context, it can be.  Here are 10 examples of two word poems:

Go away.

She died.

Open up.

Never stop.

Telling lies.

Falling tears.

Empty inside.

Quiet room.

Uncontrollable shaking.

Hidden wallflower.

 

While each poem is short, if perceived broadly, or given context, they can relate a message.

For example, consider the poem Quiet room.

If taken broadly, this could mean a number of things.  It might mean a peaceful setting.  It might mean a room where everyone has left.  It might mean a room where someone is detained.  It might mean a room after someone has died.  It could mean these or other things.  If a reader perceives the poem broadly, they could get a number of messages from it, which can add depth to the poem.

Similarly, if the poem was given context, for example with a title, or by being worked into a story or with other poems, that context could signify the meaning and give the two word poem impact.  For example, if the poem Quiet room, was worked into a broader context of loneliness, the message of the poem would come through.

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Experimental Poetry Form: Five, Five, Five

This experimental poetry form is called five, five, five.  It consists of one stanza of five lines.  Each line has five words.  Each word has five letters.  Here is an example poem:

After night began, teeth awoke –
sharp teeth, clear above trees.
Death fills black empty skies.
Below panic.  Below forms dread.
Teeth gleam after night began.

Experimental Poetry Form: V

Today’s experimental poetry form is called V.  It is based on layout on the page.  The form consists of twenty one words in the shape of a V.  It looks as follows:

 

*                                       *

  *                                   *

    *                               *

      *                           *

        *                       *

          *                   *

            *               *

              *           *

                *       *

                  *   *

                    *

The form is read by going down the left side and then up the right side.  Here is an example poem written in the form:

 

Cooking                                 it.

  food                                   taste

    for                                 never

      others,                      will

        smelling                you

          the                    knowing

            aroma,          plate,

              and           a

                as         on

                  you   it

                    put

Experimental Poetry Form: trochaic meter and rhyme

Today’s experimental poetry form consists of trochaic meter and rhyme.  The form has two stanzas.  Each stanza has four lines.  Each line has four trochaic feet.  In each stanzas, the even lines rhyme.  With each trochaic foot marked with *s and the rhyming lines noted with r’s, the form looks as follows:

****
****r1
****
****r1

****
****r2
****
****r2

Experimental Poetry Form: mirror

Today’s experimental poetry form is called mirror.  The poem has two stanzas, one on the left and one on the right.  Each stanza has three lines.  Each line has five words.  Each line in the right stanza, has the same words as the corresponding line in the left stanza, except the words are in the reverse order.  If each word is represented by a letter, here is what the form looks like:

A B C D E                                                            E D C B A
F G H I J                                                               J I H G F
K L M N O                                                          O N M L K

The trick to the form, is finding lines that make sense both forwards and backwards, and also make sense in stanzas.  It can help that poetry doesn’t always have to follow grammar rules.

Here is an example poem using the form:

Wilbur left Susan crying softly,                             Softly crying Susan left Wilbur,
rain and darkness surrounding all,                     all surrounding darkness and rain,
emptiness and sorrow covering quietly.            quietly covering sorrow and emptiness.

Experimental Poetry Form: anapestic meter with rhyme

Today’s experimental poetry form uses anapestic meter.  In each foot of this meter there are two short syllables followed by a long one.  It is the meter you might hear in a limerick.

In the form, there is one stanza with eight lines.  Each line has two anapestic feet.  In the form, lines two and four rhyme, and lines six and eight rhyme.  With the unstressed syllables noted with an -, the stress syllables noted with an *, and the rhyming lines noted with R and a number, the form looks as follows:

– – * – – *
– – * – – * R 1
– – * – – *
– – * – – * R 1
– – * – – *
– – * – – * R 2
– – * – – *
– – * – – * R 2

Here is an example poem using the form:

The small dog did have wings,
and it flew in the sky.
And the birds they did watch,
as the dog it flew by.
Then they asked how it flew,
and the dog it did say,
that it flew with its wings,
that it flew just like they.

 

As a note, there will be new blog post on M. Sakran’s blog of and about poetry and poetry related things November 22, 2018 – November 25, 2018.  The next new post will be on November 26, 2018.  Happy Thanksgiving.