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.