Experimental Poetry Form: Five, Five, Five

This experimental poetry form is called five, five, five.  It consists of one stanza of five lines.  Each line has five words.  Each word has five letters.  Here is an example poem:

After night began, teeth awoke –
sharp teeth, clear above trees.
Death fills black empty skies.
Below panic.  Below forms dread.
Teeth gleam after night began.

Poetry essay: Three ways to look at poetry: what it says, what it means, and what it sounds like

There are a lot of ways to look at poetry, but three ways that a person can think about when trying to decide what they think of a poem are:

what it says,

what it means,

and what it sounds like.

 

What is says

Looking at what a poem says means looking at a poem literally.  It means looking at what it actually says and taking that at face value, without looking for underlying meanings or symbolism, and without looking deeper.  It is a “what you see, is what you get” way of seeing things.

The idea here is to examine the literal expression of the poem.  As an example, look at the following poem:

And there upon the snow did shine,
the light of night when stars did climb,
as wind did blow through trees of pine,
as stars did mark the night’s own time.

In this poem, literally, there is a nighttime winter scene.  There is snow on the ground and light from the stars is shining on it.  There is wind in the pine trees and time is passing.

Looking at what a poem says, a reader would take this scene literally.  They would try to decide what they thought of the scene the poem creates.

What it means

Looking at what a poem means, means looking at the symbolism and metaphor in a poem, or looking deeper within it.  It means trying to figure out the actual intent of a poem, which may differ from the literal expression.

Again, a person can examine the poem above.  There are different ways to interpret it.

If a reader went the literal route, and thought the poem meant what it said, they would see a winter scene.  They would understand that the poem takes place in a place where there is snow.  They would also know that the night was clear because the light and stars could be seen.  They would know that it was windy.  Additionally, they would understand that the poem was in a place where there were pine trees.  They would also understand the passage of time.

Looking at the poem this way, the reader would get a definite sense of place in the poem.  They would be seeing a certain place that differs from others.

If a person thought this way, they would be seeing the poem literally, but would be looking deeper within it.  They could go a step further and see more meaning in the words.

For example, a reader might think that because the stars could be seen, that there was not much light pollution in the scene in the poem.  A reader might see this as an indication that part of the intent of the poem was to say light pollution was a negative thing.

A reader could do this same thing with other ideas presented in the poem.  By doing so, a reader might interpret a message in the literal words of the poem.

In addition to thinking about what the poem meant literally, a reader might also look for symbolism in the poem.  They might see the poem as a metaphor for something else.

One interpretation might be to see this poem as a metaphor for surgery (that was not its original intent, just one interpretation).

In this interpretation, a person is having surgery.  They are covered with a white sheet before it begins (the snow).  They are in room with lights above (And there upon the snow did shine, the light).  The lights are lifted above them (when stars did climb).  The surgery is seen as an ominous thing, and so the light is “the light of night”.

The wind blowing through trees of pine is the ventilation system in the surgery room.  The person is still conscious and can hear the air moving through the medical equipment (trees of pine).

The surgery is seen as ominous by the person having it.  The lights in the room are there for the duration of the surgery.  The lights mark the surgery’s time, rather than the person’s (as stars did mark the night’s own time).

If a reader thought of this interpretation of the poem, they could examine what they thought about it and decide how they felt about the poem.

What it sounds like

The poem used here was written with a specific form.  It is one stanza.  Each line is written in iambic tetrameter.  Lines one and three rhyme and lines two and four rhyme.  A reader of the poem should be able to sense the form, even if they did not know what it was.

Additionally, the poem was written with an attempt to sound poetic.  The idea of light, night, and stars were all used to make the poem sound poetic.

A reader reading the poem, might look at it just from the perspective of what it sounded like.  They might ignore the literal words as well as any potential symbolism and just listen to how it sounds.  In this case, the poem has flow and rhyme with a poetic sound.

The three different views

When a person tries to decide what they think of a poem, they can look at it from one or more of the perspectives above.  This raises some ideas.

First, there might the question of which view was the best.  Should the quality of a poem be evaluated based on its literal words, its meaning, or its sound?  Different people will have different perspectives.

Second, there is the idea of combining the different views.  A person could look at a poem’s meaning and sound together for example.  This would give a different view than if they were looked at separately.

Third, is the question of what happens if a reader likes one of the views but not another one.  For example, what if a reader liked the way this poem sounded, but didn’t like any of the interpretations of its meaning.  Could a person still like a poem if they didn’t like what it meant?  Could a poem be liked only for its sound or literal words?

 

When a reader thinks about what they think of a poem, there are different ways they can see it.  If a reader considers these ways, and tries to look at a poem from each of them, they can gain a better appreciation for a poem and for their own perspective on it.

Experimental Poetry Form: Three stanzas

This experimental poetry form is called three stanzas.  As the name implies, it consists of three stanzas.  Here are the other qualities:

Stanza one has four lines, stanza two has five, and stanza three has three.

Stanza one is not indented, stanza two has each line indented five spaces, and stanza three has each line indented three spaces.

Stanza one has four syllable lines, stanza two has six syllable lines, and stanza three has five syllable lines.

Each stanza is an acrostic stanza for a different word.

Here is what the form looks like:

****
****………………Word one acrostic
****
****

     ******
     ******………..Word two acrostic
     ******
     ******
     ******

   *****
   *****…………..Word three acrostic
   *****

Here is an example poem written in the form

What is that noise,
heard in the dark,
amongst shadows,
this quiet night?

     Certainly just a dream,
     of fears and dreads of dark,
     made of glimpses and sounds,
     entirely of fog,
     silently in shadows.

   Not falling backward,
   over the cliff’s edge,
   where fear reaches out.

 

P. S. Happy fifth day of Christmas.

 

P. S. S. As Monday is New Year’s Day, there will be no new blog post on the blog that day. Happy New Year.

Poem: There’s a feeling

There’s a feeling,
waking up,
in the middle of the night,
and being filled with terror,
at something so harsh,
and then realizing,
that it was a dream,
and feeling that calm,
and relief,
and peace.

 

There’s also a feeling,
waking up,
in the middle of the night,
and being filled with terror,
at something so harsh,
and then realizing,
that it isn’t a dream,
and feeling that chaos,
and dread,
and fear.

Poem Series: Experimental Poetry Forms: One hundred feet: Meteors

The lights did flash up in the sky while stars did shine around.  Each one of them appeared and flew, then seemed to disappear.  They came alone, but flew in forms like they had thought it out.  A few of them drew lines behind, as they did fly their path.  It seemed so strange as they did fly that none did hit a star.

Out in the dark the lights did fly, across a deep black sea.  And into it they seemed to dive and swim somewhere that was unknown.

 

(21/40) Experimental Poetry Form: One hundred feet

Poem with an explanation: a star

Outside by a warm fire and seeing,

           a star.

Alone in the pale sky,

           it appears to be by itself,

                      until three stars in a row above show,

that belt.

 

This poem uses the experimental poetry from Flows and Stops.  That form was the second experimental poetry form to be described on this blog and can be seen here: Flows and Stops.

The poem is about seeing one star in the sky as dusk starts and thinking that it looks alone.  Later, when three stars above it in a row are seen, the realization happens that the stars are part of the constellation Orion.  The three stars are referred to as “that belt” in the poem because of the familiarity they bring to the viewer in the poem.

Experimental Poetry Form: Rhyming and Indention

Stanza: 1
Lines: 21
Meter: iambic trimeter
Rhyming and indention pattern:
A
A
A
 B
  C
  C
  C
 B
 B
D
D
 E
 E
 E
D
  F
  G
  F
  G
  F
  G

This experimental poetry from is based on two ideas: rhyming and indention.  The rhyming and indention patterns are there to connect ideas internally, set ideas apart and connect ideas together.

The first set is the three A rhymes.  These lines are not indented and form one complete set.  The idea in these lines is self-contained.

The second set are the B and C rhymes.  Each of B rhyming lines is indented one space and each of the C rhyming lines is indented two spaces.  The first B line is indented to set it apart from the A lines.  The C lines are indented to set them apart from the B lines.  The B and C lines form one set.  The first B line starts an idea, the three C lines move from the idea in some way, and the last two B lines come back to the idea.  For example, if the first B line was about a tree, the three C lines might be about birds in the tree, followed by the last two B lines that would focus on the tree again.  The B and C lines are set apart from the A lines, but they all relate to each other.

As a note, all the lines in the form, form one stanza.  The idea, is that while there are sets of ideas, they all connect together.  The one stanza gives the impression of one cohesive idea, rather than detached ideas put together.

Additionally, all the lines have the same short meter.  This is done to let the lines have flow and to have the focus be on the rhyming.  The short lines are meant to increase the noticeability of the rhyming.

The third set are the D and E rhymes.  The lines of these rhymes mirror the B and C rhymes.  In this case, there are two D rhymes, followed by three E rhymes, followed by one D rhyme.  Also, the indention of these lines is one less than with the B and C lines.  This is to help differentiate them.  The idea with the D and E lines is the same as with the B and C rhyming set, except in this case, the idea of the D rhyme gets a longer initial expression and ends with a shorter expression, which is the opposite of the case with the B lines.  The idea is to express an idea, move away from it, and then come back to it briefly.

The last set are the F and G rhymes.  These lines are indented two spaces to set them apart from the previous set.  Also, these lines only have one indention, which is also the case with the starting A lines.  This helps to close the poetry form.  The rhymes of these lines alternates.  This is the only set in the form that has that.  The idea was to change the sound from the previous set.  These lines are also a self-contained set like the previous ones.

As an example of the form, here is a poem about looking at stars at night:

Above the earth at night,
the stars shine with their light,
and seem to glow so bright.
 Beneath the dark night sky,
  out in the cool night air,
  when cold does cause a care,
  and warmth does feel so rare,
 one turns their look up high,
 and does not wonder why.
The thought does then occur,
and seems without a blur,
 of all that is so vast,
 of looking in the past,
 and light that moves so fast,
and thoughts leave where they were.
  When looking to the stars,
  at night when things are cold,
  the thoughts do leave their jars,
  at what does shine like gold,
  like breaking through some bars,
  they leave what once did hold.

Experimental Poetry Form: Two Stanzas

Stanzas: 2
Lines in first stanza: 6
Lines in second stanza: 2
Meter: Iambic tetrameter
Rhyming pattern:
 First Stanza: ABCCBA
 Second Stanza: CC

There are a few ideas involved in this experimental poetry form.

The first idea is the mirror symmetry of the rhyming pattern in the first stanza.  This accomplishes a couple of things.  First, the middle C rhyme is emphasized more than the A or B rhymes because the two rhyming lines are together.  Second, the rhyming pattern in some way leads in and then leads out.  It is almost as if it has an open and a close.

The second idea is the way the form looks.  There is a medium length stanza, followed by a couplet.  The couplet is set apart visually from the medium length stanza.  The idea is to present a main part, followed by a conclusion, observation, or some sort of reflection.

Another idea, which is tied to the symmetry of the first stanza, is that the rhyme of the second stanza matches the rhyme of the middle rhyme of the first stanza.  This further emphasizes the rhyme.

Another aspect of the form is that all the lines have the same meter.  This leads to the focus of the form being on the way the form looks and on the rhyming pattern.

Lastly, the form is relatively brief, which affects the type and way ideas are presented.

Here is an example poem using this form:

Homeless night

Upon the ground during the night,
without a sense of sleep or rest,
the homeless man does wait for dawn,
when the cold night will then be gone,
and light of day will end his test,
and his cold time of darkened plight.

And as the time of dark moves on,
the man lays still upon the lawn.