Experimental Poetry Form: cutting a deck of cards

This experimental poetry form is based off of the idea of cutting a deck of cards.  The base of the poem is five lines long.  Each line is different.  The base could be represented as:

A
B
C
D
E

After the base is written, the first two lines are moved as a set to the end of the poem and the poem is written out again.  It could be represented as:

C
D
E
A
B

This movement of lines is then repeated and the poem is written again as:

E
A
B
C
D

The movement is then repeated one last time as:

B
C
D
E
A

 

All of the pieces should be written as one poem, with each piece serving as a stanza, such as:

A
B
C
D
E

C
D
E
A
B

E
A
B
C
D

B
C
D
E
A

 

The main difficulty in the poem is finding lines that make sense in all the rearranged orders.  To help with that, punctuation, capitalization and indention can change from stanza to stanza.

Rearranging the lines as shown is not the same as mixing the lines up.  All that is happening in each set is that some part of poem is moved from the beginning to the end.  In each of the sets, there is one movement that would put the poem back in order.  For example, in the set EABCD, if the E line was moved to the end, the poem would be back in order.  This idea is part of the poetry form.  The idea is to examine moving lines instead of mixing up lines.

The main idea of the poetry form is to see how the expression changes when the lines are rearranged.  The tone of the poem can change depending on line order, and this change is part of the idea.

Here is an example poem written in the form:

The heat beat down,
upon the worn shape,
as images of collapsing filled the mind,
cars drove by,
and one took pity.

As images of collapsing filled the mind,
cars drove by,
and one took pity –
  the heat beat down,
  upon the worn shape.

And one took pity –
  the heat beat down,
  upon the worn shape,
  as images of collapsing filled the mind,
  cars drove by.

Upon the worn shape,
  as images of collapsing filled the mind,
  cars drove by,
  and one took pity,
the heat beat down.

Experimental Poetry Form: three rectangles

This experimental poetry form is about the visual appearance on the page.  It is called three rectangles.  The poem consists of three rectangles of words: one rectangle, with another rectangle inside, with another rectangle inside of that.  The poem is meant to be read starting at the top left corner of the first rectangle and going around it, and then starting at the top left corner of the second rectangle and going around it, and then starting at the top left corner of the third rectangle and going around it.  The letters in the words follow the direction noted above.  Also words do not carry over from one rectangle to another (such that there is the start of a word in one rectangle and the end in the next).

The main difficulty in the form is getting things laid out.  Although there are different ways of doing this, it might depend on the software being used. Of course, it could also be done on a piece of paper by hand.

Here is an example poem written in the form:

It’s strange to write a poem that mov
                                                                 e
                                                                 s
s         rolling down a hill.  It take
k               It just goes aroun       s        a
c                                            d                n
o              .                                     s        d
r         .    g                            a      o
          s   n                            n      m        t
e        w   o                          d       e        w
k        o    l                                               i
i         l    a                            a      t          s
l         f      seog tsuj tI .dnuor    i          t
,                                                   m         s
e        ti yaw eht dnatsrednu ot e
l                                                               a
m                                                            n
uj a evah ot smees tI  .nur ot smees d

 

Here is the same poem written as a paragraph:

It’s strange to write a poem that moves and twists and seems to run.  It seems to have a jumble, like rocks rolling down a hill.  It takes some time to understand the way it flows.  It just goes around and around.  It just goes along.

Experimental Poetry Form: Anapestic tetrameter

Today’s experimental poetry form uses anapestic tetrameter.  There are six lines.  Each line is written in anapestic tetrameter.  The three middle lines rhyme.  Here is an example poem:

A long lost far off path that goes on far from here,
it does wind and does turn and goes past what is known,
through the trees and the hills to the rocks all of stone,
where the light shines on down on a way that is shown,
that goes through a great wall that does block the way on,
that stopped all who did try to move past what was there.

Experimental Poetry Form: Five lines with syllable counts and a rhyming pattern

The elements of this experimental poetry form are as follows:

Number of stanzas: 1

Number of lines: 5

Syllables per line: 10 – 8 – 8 – 8 – 10

Rhyming pattern: ABBBA

 

Here is an illustrative example poem:

The food trunk is different and not the same –

  What kind of food do they have there?
  Will it be good or just be fair?
  If it’s bad, will anyone care?

The chicken was yummy cooked on a flame!

Experimental Poetry Form: combined syllable and word count

This experimental poetry form combines two elements together: syllable count and word count.  Rather than having some lines be determined by syllable count and others by word count though, this form puts both together on each line.

The poetry form has three stanzas.  Each stanza has four lines.  Each line has both four syllables and three words.

This means that each line has two one syllable words and one two syllable word.

The idea is to make all the lines sound the same in terms of length.  If only syllable count were used, there might be a variability in the number of words in each line.  The lines still have a variation in sound though, in that the word order could be (in terms of syllable count): 1 1 2, 1 2 1, or 2 1 1 (where, in this count, the two one syllable words can’t be distinguished)).

The form is generally simple, however there could be moments where getting the syllable and word count form to work and have the poem flow and make sense might be a little difficult.  Also, it could be difficult, to not use any three syllable words.  To make it easier, nothing else was added to the form, such as rhyming.

Here is an example poem:

Kneaded eraser

There is kneading,
a tiny ball,
a tiny cube,
and unknown shapes.

It dabs cleanly,
making white spots,
as it’s useful,
by the intent.

Yet at moments,
when fingers move,
every new form,
makes life content.

Experimental Poetry Form: Descending trochaic lines

This experimental poetry form is called descending trochaic lines.  It consists of five lines.  The first line has 10 syllables, the second 8, the third 6, the fourth 4 and the last 2.  Each line is written in trochaic meter.  The idea here is to take something familiar, a poem with lines of decreasing syllable length, and change it a little, from either no meter or iambic meter, to trochaic meter.

Here’s an example poem:

Eagles flying, treetops cover hunting,
mammals scatter quickly fleeing,
piercing vision searches,
branches cover,
heartbeats.

Experimental Poetry Form: ten two word lines

This experimental poetry form is called ten two word lines.  The name describes it.  There are ten lines, each with two words.  The line length and total number of words is low, but the number of lines is high.  The idea is to see how these contrasting form elements effect the presentation of the poem.

Here is an example poem:

Sitting there,
sign up,
looking on,
cars passing,
none looking,
none stopping,
wondering if,
all think,
bold words,
are lies.

Post Series: The Dragonfly Series: Experimental Poetry Form: Dragonfly syllable stresses

Dragonfly is a three syllable word with a stress pattern of: high, low, medium.  This idea is used here to make an experimental poetry form.

The form is ten lines.  Each line has three syllables.  Those syllables follow the same stress pattern as dragonfly.  Ideally the poem should make sense as it flows.

Here is an example poem:

Bumblebee,

bumblebee,

  daffodils,

  marigolds,

  bluebonnets,

resonate,

eye-catching,

dragonfly,

metaphors,

everywhere.

Post Series: The Dragonfly Series: Experimental Poetry Form: Dragonfly

There may be a traceable reason as to why dragonflies are called dragonflies.  There may be some noted origin of the term.  M. Sakran doesn’t actually know.

That being said, one hypothesis might be that dragonflies are large flying insects that are long and colorful.  One could imagine someone saying, “That colorful fly was as big as a dragon.”  A similar notion might be with horseflies (“That fly was as big as a horse.”).

Using this as an idea, there are two elements that can be drawn from dragonflies for the purpose of creating an experimental poetry form.  First, dragonflies are a large version of something small (they are big for something little).  Second, they fly.

With these two elements in mind, an experimental poetry form can be made.  It has the following elements:

Stanzas: 3

Lines per stanza: 3

Syllables per line: 12

Indention pattern:

  Stanza one:

    Line 1: no indent

    Line 2: indented 20 spaces

    Line 3: indented 10 spaces

  Stanza two:

    Line 1: indented 30 spaces

    Line 2: indented 20 spaces

    Line 3: indented 25 spaces

  Stanza three:

    Line 1: indented 50 spaces

    Line 2: indented 10 spaces

    Line 3: indented 20 spaces

Line breaks:

  1 between each stanza line

  2 between each stanza

 

The idea is that the stanzas are relatively small, with only three lines, but the lines within them are relatively long, with twelve syllables.  This reflects the idea that dragonflies are small and large at the same time.  Additionally, the varied indentions are meant to reflect the flying of the dragonfly.

The form looks like this:

Line

                    Line

          Line

 

                              Line

                    Line

                         Line

 

                                                  Line

          Line

                    Line