Experimental Poetry Form: complex

Yesterday’s experimental poetry form was basic.  This one is complex.  It has a number of elements.  They include: stanzas, lines per stanza, rhyming pattern in each stanza, meter in each stanza, metrical feet in each line of each stanza, indentions of each line in each stanza, and acrostic pattern in each stanza.

Here are the details:

Stanzas: 4

Lines per stanza:

  Stanza one: 3

  Stanza two: 4

  Stanza three: 2

  Stanza four: 5

Rhyming pattern in each stanza:

  Stanza one: lines 1 and 3

  Stanza two: lines 3 and 4

  Stanza three: lines 1 and 2

  Stanza four: lines 1, 3, and 5

Meter in each stanza:

  Stanza one: iambic

  Stanza two: trochaic

  Stanza three: anapestic

  Stanza four: iambic

Metrical feet in each line of each stanza:

  Stanza one: 3

  Stanza two: 4

  Stanza three: 3

  Stanza four: 5

Indentions of each line in each stanza:

  Stanza one:

    Line 1: 0

    Line 2: 2

    Line 3: 4

  Stanza two:

    Line 1: 1

    Line 2: 3

    Line 3: 2

    Line 4: 4

  Stanza three:

    Line 1: 5

    Line 2: 5

  Stanza four:

    Line 1: 0

    Line 2: 2

    Line 3: 2

    Line 4: 1

    Line 5: 4

Acrostic pattern in each stanza:

  Stanza one: NOW

  Stanza two: LOOK

  Stanza three: AT

  Stanza four: WORDS


Below is what the form looks like.  The *s represent short syllables, the /s represent long syllables, the Rs followed by a letter (a, b, c, d) represent rhyming groups, and the letters at the end of lines show the acrostic pattern.


*/ */ */ Ra  N
  */ */ */  O
    */ */ */ Ra  W

 /* /* /* /*  L
   /* /* /* /*  O
  /* /* /* /* Rb  O
    /* /* /* /* Rb  K

     **/ **/ **/ Rc  A
     **/ **/ **/ Rc  T

*/ */ */ */ */ Rd  W
  */ */ */ */ */  O
  */ */ */ */ */ Rd  R
 */ */ */ */ */  D
    */ */ */ */ */ Rd  S

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:



Experimental Poetry Form: dactylic meter with rhyme

Today’s poetry form combines dactylic meter with rhyme.  The form contains one stanza of five lines.  Lines 1 and 3 rhyme.  Lines 2, 4 and 5 rhyme.  Each line contains four dactylic feet (thereby each having 12 syllables).  Below is what the form looks like.  The meter is marked with a * for the stressed syllables and a ~ for the unstressed syllables.  The rhymes are marked R1 and R2.

*~~*~~*~~*~~ R1
*~~*~~*~~*~~ R2
*~~*~~*~~*~~ R1
*~~*~~*~~*~~ R2
*~~*~~*~~*~~ R2

Poetry essay: the pros and cons of using meter in poetry

Today’s poetry essay is about using meter in poetry.  This essay won’t describe meter is specifics, but rather, will look at the pros and cons of using it in poetry.


Meter is the beat of a poem.  Because of this, if a poem has meter, it can have more of a song quality to it.  The poem can have better flow, all else being equal, than a poem without meter.

Additionally, once a person gets used to working with meter, it can sometimes make poetry easier to write.  Because of the beat, the poet might be able to hear the type of sound that should come next, and this can help inspire words for the poem.

In a contrast to this, but still as a benefit, because of its restrictive quality, meter can inspire creativity as a poet tries to conform to it.

Another benefit of meter is that it pairs well with rhyme.  Beat and rhyming sounds can go together.  The pairing can work well for formal poetry, poems meant to be sung, or for children’s poetry.

Lastly, meter can sound good to a reader.  When a reader reads a poem with meter, they can sometimes subconsciously pick up on the beat, and it can help with the flow of the poem.


One con of meter, is that at first, it can be hard for a poet to learn.  When looking at multisyllabic words or one syllable words in series, it can sometimes be hard at first to know where the stresses are.

Another con, which is the other side of a benefit, is that meter can be restrictive for a poet.  A poet who chooses to conform to it doesn’t have the freedom to say exactly what they want.

Another downside that can come from meter, is when a poet uses it through most, but not all, of a poem.  This can happen sometimes when a poet cannot fit the idea and words they want to use to the meter they are using and they stay with the idea and words rather than thinking of something else to fit the meter.  While this might be expressive, it can cause the sound of the poem to change.  This can sound distorted to a reader of the poem whose mind has gotten used to the beat.  It can sound like a mistake.

Another downside of meter is that it can bring a formality to poetry.  While this can be a benefit in some cases, it can be perceived negatively in others.  There are some readers who prefer free verse poetry or unstructured experimental poetry, and they might find metered poetry to be too formal or old fashioned for their tastes.

Lastly, if a certain meter is worked with for some time by a poet, a downside can occur when the poet tries to write without meter or in a different one.  If a meter is used over a period of time, it can sometimes stick in a poet’s thought process.  They might find that they start to naturally write in the meter and that they have difficulty if they try to switch to another one.  An analogy might be playing a certain beat on a drum for a while and then trying to switch to another.  The first drum beat might “stick” and make it hard to use the new one.


Like any other form element, when a poet decides whether or not to use meter in a poem (and if they do, which meter to use) they should make sure it fits their situation.

A poet should try to find a meter that fits the idea, expression and tone that they want.  They should have those things first and then find a meter to fit.  If a meter, or any meter, doesn’t fit their circumstance, they shouldn’t use it.

Experimental Poetry Form: Anapestic meter with a mirror rhyming scheme

Today’s experimental poetry form uses anapestic meter with a mirror rhyming scheme.

In this form, there are eight lines, each with three anapestic feet.  Anapestic meter is what you might hear in a limerick.

The rhyming scheme is a mirror rhyming scheme and is as follows: ABCDDCBA.

Here is an example poem:

There a small piece of paper was left,
just around on a desk by a chair,
it was left with no thought one would see,
but the eyes and the mind they did peer,
as the feet of the cat they drew near,
and the sense of the right it did flee,
as the eyes there so wide they did glare,
and there snoop in a way o’ so deft.

Experimental Poetry Form: Ham Sandwich

This experimental poetry form is based off of a ham sandwich.  The ham sandwich has the following layers from top to bottom:

  Lettuce (two pieces)
  Pickles (four slices)
  Tomato (three slices)
  Ham (three slices)

The form reflects the ham sandwich in the following ways:

  There are eight lines (the eight layers of the sandwich)

  The first and last lines are the same (the bread of the sandwich)

  The first and eighth lines have five iambic feet (five letters in bread)

  The second and third lines rhyme (mayonnaise and mustard are both condiments)

  The second and third lines have two iambic feet (the layers of mayonnaise and mustard are thin)

  The fourth line has two iambic feet (two pieces of lettuce)

  The fourth and sixth lines rhyme (lettuce and tomato are produce)

  The fifth line has four iambic feet (four slices of pickle)

  The sixth line has three iambic feet (three slices of tomato)

  The seventh line has three iambic feet (three slices of ham)

In summary:

  Line 1: five iambic feet
  Line 2: two iambic feet, rhyme A
  Line 3: two iambic feet, rhyme A
  Line 4: two iambic feet, rhyme B
  Line 5: four iambic feet
  Line 6: three iambic feet, rhyme B
  Line 7: three iambic feet
  Line 8: same as line 1

This form combines meter, rhyming and a repeat.

Experimental Poetry Form: Two coins

This experimental poetry form is based off of the idea of having two coins.  If there are two coins, assuming they can’t be distinguished from each other, they can be arranged in the following ways:

Heads Heads
Tails Tails
Heads Tails
Tails Heads

(Assuming the coins could be distinguished from each other, there would be different arrangements, for example instead of “Tails Tails” there would be “Tails (Coin 1) Tails (Coin 2)/ Tails (Coin 2) Tails (Coin 1)”)

Using these arrangements, a poetry form can be developed.  One idea would be to have four couplets using two types of lines.  The couplets could be arranged like above:

Line with characteristics A
Line with characteristics A

Line with characteristics B
Line with characteristics B

Line with characteristics A
Line with characteristics B

Line with characteristics B
Line with characteristics A


The characteristics could vary.  One idea would be to have the A characteristics be:

 eight syllables, iambic meter, rhyme one

and have the B characteristics be:

 eight syllables, trochaic meter, rhyme two

The idea is that each characteristic set represents one side of a coin.  They both have the same value (eight syllables), but they are opposite each other (iambic vs. trochaic meter) and they look different (rhyme one vs. rhyme two).

As a side note, M. Sakran would be interested to see any poems written and posted in this form today.  If any poet uses this form today, please use the tag “Two Coins” so M. Sakran has the opportunity to find and read the poems.

Experimental Poetry Form: One hundred feet

This experimental poetry form is a prose-like poem that is written in iambic meter and consists of one hundred feet.  There are two ideas behind the form.  The first is to see how the three restrictions of having a poem in a prose like form, written in iambic meter, and with one hundred feet affects the presentation of ideas in the poem.  The idea is that the restrictions may inspire creativity.  The second idea behind the form, is that it is somewhat of a hidden form.  If a reader did not consciously check, they may not notice that the prose poem was written in iambic meter.  Since the poem would not have the line breaks of some other poetry forms, this fact about it may be hidden.  More so, if a reader was not aware of it, if they did notice that the poem was written in iambic meter, they might not notice that it has one hundred feet.  The idea behind this is to see if a poem seems different to readers, when they might not notice all the aspects of the form that it has.

Here is an example poem written in this form:

Holiday Food

Two days before the holiday arrived, the list of food came out: one roasted turkey with some sage, and cornbread dressing on the side, a sauce made from red cranberries and steamed green beans with butter sauce.

One day before the holiday, the mom worked hard and she prepared it all.  She cleaned the bird and chopped the bread; she snapped the beans and sliced small berries too.

Then on the day she cooked.

And as all ate she had a sense of joy.

Poem with an explanation: Three o’clock

At first the clock it does say three,
and then the eyes do look away,
and with hesitation they do look back,
and then away again.

The seconds pass as the Earth spins,
but for some time the zeros stay,
they seem to be so perfect and complete,
as they are there at three.

But time does go as eyes look on,
and though a hope may be inside,
the time does change as seconds go away,
and then it’s three o’ one.

Something is lost as time does change,
as what was right does go away,
and things do seem to be saddened right when,
the time does change from three.


The above poem is about the time change from three o’clock to three ’o one on a digital clock.  In some sense, it is a poem about loss.  It describes the sight of something that seems perfect and watches it as it fades.  It is almost like watching a petal fall from a flower.

The form of the poem is four stanzas of four lines each.  The meter is iambic.  Each first and second line has eight syllables, each third line has ten, and each fourth line has six.  There are some effects of this.  One effect is that the third lines can give more information and the fourth lines can have more impact.  Another effect is that the third lines somewhat break the meter.  The first line has eight syllables, the second line has eight, but then the third has ten.  This breaking of the meter is in some ways symbolic of the change in time: the two zeros seemed perfect, and then the one appeared.  The poem has no rhyming to increase the focus on the poem’s idea, increase the emphasis of the meter and to reflect the somewhat down tone of the poem.

The first stanza is meant to express trepidation.  Whoever is viewing the clock knows that the change will happen, but is weary of watching it happen.  The second stanza starts with the idea that the deterioration is happening, but then mentions the perfection of the time.  The third stanza finally brings the change.  The fourth stanza focuses on the feeling this brings.