Experimental Poetry Form: four fours

This experimental poetry form is called four fours.

In the form, there are four stanzas.  Each stanza has four lines.  Each line has four words.  Each word has four letters.  The form looks as follows, with *’s representing letters.

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

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

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

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

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Experimental Poetry Form: a cup of T

Today’s experimental poetry form is called a cup of T.  It is based on a play on words of the expression “a cup of tea”.  The form is based off of layout on the page and word count.

The form has five words.  They are laid out as such:

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

As can be seen, it looks like the letter “T” inside of something.  This is the idea of a cup of T.

In using the form, the five words can be separate words, or there can be a flow between them.

Here is an example poem using the form:

 

Y           Famous        N
o                 S              e
u                 o              v
’                  n              e
v                 g              r
e
              Heard

Experimental Poetry Form: one word separated into letters

Today’s experimental poetry form is called one word separated into letters.  The form consists of one word with the letters of the word on separate lines.  Each letter is indented a number of spaces equivalent to the number of the position of the letter in the alphabet.

To use the form, select a word.  Then take the word and write each letter on one line.  Then figure out the placement of each letter of the word in the alphabet.  You can just count or use the information below.

A – 1
B – 2
C – 3
D – 4
E – 5
F – 6
G – 7
H – 8
I – 9
J – 10
K – 11
L – 12
M – 13
N – 14
O – 15
P – 16
Q – 17
R – 18
S – 19
T – 20
U – 21
V – 22
W – 23
X – 24
Y – 25
Z – 26

Then indent each of the letters of the word by the value of its placement in the alphabet.

The idea of the form is to add impact to the presentation of a single word.  By having the word spaced out and broken up the reader has to put more focus into reading the word.  This increases the impact of the word and helps make a single word a poem.

Here is an example poem using the form:

      f
                  r
         i
       g
        h
                    t
     e
              n
     e
    d

Experimental Poetry Form: C

This experimental poetry form is called C.  It is based on layout on the page and syllable count.

The form has three lines, two that are horizontal and one that is vertical.  These lines make the C shape.  Each line has ten syllables.  The letters at the corners work for both lines they are in.

Below is what the form looks like with *’s representing the syllables.  The corner letters are marked with ^’s.

^**********
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
^**********

Here is an example poem using the form:

Have you ever seen a kangaroo hop?
o
p
p
i
n
g

a
r
o
u
n
d

l
i
k
e

y
o
u

n
e
v
e
r

c
o
u
l
d

d
of course, it may wonder just how you walk.
.

Experimental Poetry Form: long, short, long

This experimental poetry from is called long, short, long.  It is based off of syllable count and layout on the page.

The form has three lines.  The first line has twenty syllables, the second line has four syllables, and the third line has twenty syllables.  The form is centered on the page.

Below is what the form looks like with *’s representing syllables.

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

****

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

Here is an example poem using the form:

Standing next to someone as they tell a lie to someone else with sincerity.

They speak to you.

Listening to sincerity, your mind opens, and realization walks inside.

Experimental Poetry Form: five

Today’s experimental poetry form is called five.  It consists of five lines.

The first line of the poem has five words.

The second line of the poem has five syllables.

The third line of the poem has five iambic feet.

The fourth line of the poem has five letters.

The fifth line of the poem has five trochaic feet.

Here is an example poem:

The dog ran far away,
escaping the yard,
and all about the people looked for him.
Night.
Slowly walking minus canine friendship.

Experimental Poetry Form: American Independence Day

This experimental poetry form is based off American Independence Day, which is coming soon.  America declared its independence on July 4, 1776.  As numbers that is written 741776.  This forms the syllable count pattern for the poem.

The poem has one stanza.  The stanza is centered on the page.  The stanza has six lines.  The first line has 7 syllables, the second 4, the third 1, the fourth 7, the fifth 7 and the sixth 6.

The form looks like this with *’s representing syllables

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

Here is an example poem written in the form:

Then, in a moment of tears,
the bottle thrown,
he,
yelling at something unseen,
declared his independence,
and started his freedom.

Experimental Poetry Form: acrostic across

Today’s experimental poetry form is called acrostic across.  The form contains one stanza with four lines.  Each line has as its first word a base word, this base word is used for the acrostic aspect of that line.

To illustrate the form, below is an example line.  In this line the base word is underlined and the acrostic letters are in bold.

Time is missing elements

As can be seen, the base word is “Time”.  This word is used as an acrostic base for the line.  The first word in the line, being the base word, starts with the first letter of the base word, the second word starts with the second letter, the third word starts with the third letter and the fourth word starts with the fourth letter.

This idea of acrostic across is used for all four lines of the poem.  Each line of the poem will have a variable number of words depending on the base word of the line.

Below is an example poem using the form.  It is written first just as a poem, and below it, it is written again with the base word of each line underlined and the acrostic letters in bold.

Here is the example poem:

Seeds enter entirely dark space
what happens after that
is something
hope of possibilities emerges

Here is the example poem with the form elements noted:

Seeds enter entirely dark space
what happens after that
is something
hope of possibilities emerges

Experimental Poetry Form: puzzle pieces

Today’s experimental poetry form is called puzzle pieces.  The form works in a way such that the first part can be combined with the second part.

The poem is written as two stanzas.  The first stanza has five lines, each with four words.  The second stanza has five lines, each with one word.

Each stanza may or may not make sense on their own, however, if they are combined properly, the resulting stanza would make sense. They can be combined in such a way that the words from stanza two could become the end words for stanza one, with each stanza two word combining with its corresponding line in stanza one.  This is an element of the form.

Here is how the form looks:

****[A]
****[B]
****[C]
****[D]
****[E]

A
B
C
D
E

 

The *’s represent words in the first stanza.  The bracketed letters in the first stanza are place holders for the corresponding words in the second stanza.  In using the form, the bracketed letters would be blank spaces.  The bracketed letters represent the spaces where the words from stanza two would fit if they were written in stanza one (although they are not written in stanza one for the use of the form).  Again, being able to fit these words into stanza one, is an element of the form.

The idea of the form is to show a poem in pieces.  It is similar to a puzzle in pieces.  The first stanza represents the part of the puzzle that is mostly completed, and the second stanza represents the remaining pieces.

The idea is that while each part may or may not make sense on its own, the reader should be able to see how they fit together.  This adds to the effect of the poem by engaging the reader.

To make the form easier to use, a poet could write a five line one stanza poem with five words per line, and then transform it to this form.  Below is an example which illustrates this, as well as the general use of the form.

Below is an example poem with one stanza, with five lines and five words per line.

The cat hid so quietly
as the dogs moved quickly
it watched the danger move
knowing that its presence unseen
in the shadows vanished away.

 

To apply the form, this poem is then broken into two stanzas as follows:

The cat hid so
as the dogs moved
it watched the danger
knowing that its presence
in the shadows vanished

quietly
quickly
move
unseen
away

 

This new poem follows the form.  As can be seen, the end words from each of the first five lines became lines of their own as a second stanza.  If the words were put back, the poem would make sense.

As can be seen in this example, the form can be used such that the two stanzas of the form, both separately and together, as well as the combined part that would normally not be written for the reader, can each make sense.  Having the separate stanzas make sense each alone, as well as if read together, can be more difficult than simply writing the combined poem and then breaking it up without regard for how it reads in pieces, but if done, this adds to the effect of the poem.

Poetry essay: conforming to form or not

Some times when a poet writes poetry they will use a poetry form.  It might be a traditional form like a haiku or a sonnet.  It might an experimental form like the ones on this blog.  It might be a form the poet develops as they write the poem.

In using a poetry form, there might be a question of if a poet should conform to the restrictions of the form as they are writing a poem or not

For example, if a poet were writing a 5/7/5 haiku, and the third line sounded just the way the poet wanted, but only had four syllables, should the poet keep it that way, or should they find a way to change it to five syllables to keep with the form?

There are other situations as well where this issue might come up.  Maybe a poet is having difficulty with a form.  Should they work to keep the structure, or should they alter it so it is easier?  In another situation, a poet might like aspects of a form, but feel certain parts don’t fit their expression.  Should they keep those parts or change them?

As in many situations, there are benefits to both ways of working.

In terms of sticking to a form, they are benefits.

One benefit is that sticking to a form inspires creativity.  By having to conform a poem to a form, and have it sound good, a poet might have to be more creative than if they could alter the poem however they wanted.

A second benefit is the philosophical idea of maintaining fidelity to a form.  There is the somewhat philosophical question of is a form really a form if it can be changed at any time?  A poet might feel that it is important to maintain a sense of conformity to a form for the sake of the idea of what makes a form a form.

As a third benefit, some poetry forms are recognizable.  Think of an English sonnet.  If a poet conforms to the form, they can have the benefit that some readers will recognize the form they are using.  This might appeal to some readers.  On the other hand, if they change the form, a reader who knows the form might view it as a mistake.  They might think the poet made an error in using the form and see the poem as having reduced quality.

In terms of altering a form, there are benefits as well.

One benefit is that a poet gets to combine structure with free expression.  A poet can benefit from aspects of the structure of the form while at the same time changing the form to fit their expression.

A second benefit is that writing poetry can be easier.  It might be easier for a poet not to have to conform to certain poetry form restrictions at times.  It can make the flow of writing easier and save the poet time.

A third benefit might be the development of a new poetry form.  A poet might have a form that almost works for what they want, but by changing it some it works completely.  They might find those changes are good in the sense that they fit other situations as well.  The form with those changes might then be a new poetry form.

Trying to make the decision about whether to conform to a poetry form or not can be difficult.  Weighing the idea of sticking to a form vs. writing something simply as it flows isn’t always easy.  Sometimes a poet can feel it is more important to maintain the form and other times they might feel it is more important to have the expression they wanted.

There are a number of ways to make the decision.

One way might be to set some sort of time limit.  For example, assume a poet was writing a poem according to a form, but for some reason some aspects of the form were not working for them.  They might set some time limit for working with those aspects and trying to get the poem to work.  If they can do so in the time, they stick to the form, if not, they change it.

Another solution, might simply be to flip a coin.  A poet might equally be able to write a poem according to a form or with changes to the form.  To decide which to do, they might just flip a coin.  This makes the decision simple.

A third solution might be for the poet to write two poems.  They might write one poem with changes to form.  This might be the more natural poem.  After that they might try to write the poem to conform to the form.  They could then compare the two.  They could present them to people, get opinions, send both out for publication consideration, or something else.  They could let their own views and the views of others help them decide which approach was better.