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:


brown sugar
whole wheat flour

Experimental Poetry Form: Fifty letters

Today’s experimental poetry form is based off of fifty.  As mentioned, there are many ways to use fifty as the basis of a poetry form.  Some examples include:

  • An acrostic poem using fifty
  • A poem with fifty syllables
  • A poem with fifty feet
  • A poem with fifty words
  • A poem with fifty lines
  • A concrete poem based off of fifty

Some things based off of fifty might be a little difficult for a poetry form.  Some examples might include:

  • Fifty individual rhymes
  • Fifty repeats
  • Fifty refrains

Today’s experimental poetry form takes a simple approach: a poem with fifty letters.  This is simple for the most part, but can be a little difficult in terms of getting the exact number fifty.  A poet could keep the form simple and just have a free verse poem with fifty letters or a poet could add elements such as meter, rhyme, and syllable count, etc. to the form for an added affect.  Here is a simple free verse poem with fifty letters:

Woe is the poor person –
time does flee,
hope is far,
a life does go.


P.S. There is a new set of photography, artwork, poetry and fiction on MSakran.com.

Poetry topic idea: fifty

Today’s poetry topic idea is fifty.

As was done with the poem: 50, one way to apply this idea is to have a poem with fifty syllables.  Other similar ideas, might be to have fifty words or feet or some other count in a poem.

Also, as was done with the poem: 50, one way to apply the idea, would be to have a poem with things that are fifty.  In the referenced poem, the things were: the year 1950, the age 50, the 50 yard line, 50 cents as represented by two quarters, 50 cents as represented by four bits, the 50th day of the year, and reference to the 50th state.  There are other “50” things that could be used in a poem.

As was done with the poem with an explanation: fifty, one way to apply the idea of fifty to a poem would be to have a concrete poem.  In this example, it was done with the number “50”.  It could also have been done with the word “fifty”.

There are other ways to apply fifty to a poem as well.  Some include: an acrostic poem of fifty, a poem about the fiftieth something, or a poem about fifty somethings.

Poem with an explanation: Fifty

   Two dozen,                          look
   and two dozen           more.      Look,
   two                           more             and
   that                         is all                   there
   seems to be.         Upon                   the
   glass        pane.     Seen                 with
                     still         eyes                  during
                      the         quiet                storm.
So,                  as           the                 rain
falls              out            in a              place
there is     some               explanation


There are a number of aspects to this poem that relate to fifty.

First, this is a concrete poem.  Looking at the poem, it should hopefully look like the number 50.

Second, rather than focusing on something that was inherently fifty, like how many cents are in two quarters, this poem focuses on something that just happens to be fifty in this particular case – the number of drops of rain on a window pane.  The idea here was to be more subtle.  With that, the number of rain drops is said to be “Two dozen … and two dozen … two more”.  This is 24 (two dozen) and 24 (two dozen) and 2, which is 24 + 24 + 2 = 50.

Third, the rain drops in the poem represent the fifty poems with explanations.  This is referenced in the poem where “there is some explanation found.”

Poem: 50

In 1950,
someone turned fifty,
and sat on that yard line,
for more than two quarters,
and maybe paid more than four bits,
and halfway through thought of February 19th,
and Alaska or Hawaii.


P.S.  For those counting, yes, the poem does have fifty syllables.

A milestone: 50 poetry topic ideas

On M. Sakran’s blog of and about poetry and poetry related things, it appears that there have been 50 poetry topic ideas presented.

Part of the intention of these poetry topic ideas, was to help readers by giving them ideas for poetry.  It is M. Sakran’s hope, that readers have be able to use the ideas to write poems.

M. Sakran would like to encourage readers to pick one of the ideas below (they are links to posts about them) and write a poem using it. Post the poem to a blog and use the tag “Poetry Topic Idea” so M. Sakran can have a chance to read it.

The poetry topic ideas presented have been:



Light (part of The Christmas Series)

Music (part of The Christmas Series)

Presents (part of The Christmas Series)

Science fiction

Torque wrench



Squeaking dog



Worn shoes

Imperfection (part of The Citrus Series)

A Random Time






a table

Saint Patrick



Rain drops



Gray sky

New Year





Flea Market





Brewing Tea (part of The Tea Series)

Orange (part of The Orange Series)



A cracked glass


Dried cranberries

Peanut Butter



Waking up