Experimental Poetry Form: revolve

This experimental poetry form is called revolve.  It is a simple form, but could be complex if a poet wanted.

The form consists of five words that revolve in position.  In the first line, the words, represented by letters, are as such:

A B C D E

In the second line, the words revolve position:

B C D E A

In the third line, they revolve again:

C D E A B

Again in the fourth line:

D E A B C

Again in the fifth line:

E A B C D

And in the sixth line, the words return to their original positions:

A B C D E

As a poem, the form looks like:

A B C D E
B C D E A
C D E A B
D E A B C
E A B C D
A B C D E

If a poet wanted the form usage to be simple, they could simply have five words that rotate.  The words might relate to the same topic or connect in some way.

Alternatively, a poet could try to select words that make sense in all the orderings.  This would make the form usage more complex.  It might also require the use of punctuation to make the word orders make sense.

Additionally, a poet could take it a step further and have all the lines make sense as a unit, such that the poem felt like a paragraph.  This would be much more complex.

If a poet went with the simple usage, the idea would be to have a poem that doesn’t conform to the idea of sentences or phrases.  It would express ideas simply with individual words.

If a poet went with the complex usage, the idea would be to have a poem that demonstrated a poetic skill, in addition to getting a message across.

Below is an example poem that is somewhere between the simple and the complex use of the form:

Quickly lilies drinking spring sunlight.
Lilies drinking spring sunlight quickly.
Drinking spring sunlight, quickly lilies.
Spring sunlight, quickly lilies drinking.
Sunlight, quickly lilies drinking spring.
Quickly lilies drinking spring sunlight.

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Artwork to inspire poetry: black and white strawberry

black and white strawberry

Above is a black and white artwork of a strawberry.  It can inspire poetry.  Here are some ideas.  A poet could write about:

  • The idea of the loss of color. As this strawberry is presented without its usual colors of red, green, and so forth, a poet could write about someone or something losing color.  They could write about furniture that has faded.  They could write about a person so scared they lost the color in their face.  They could apply the idea symbolically, and write about a thing or person losing something fundamental to it or themselves.
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  • A person not wanting to be noticed. This strawberry has a muted appearance.  It does not stand out as much as a colorful strawberry would.  A poet could apply this idea to people.  They could write about a person who does not want to be noticed.  An example might be a person at a performance who hopes they don’t get called up on stage.
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  • A person not being noticed. As a corollary to the idea above, a poet could write about a person who isn’t noticed.  An example might be a person at a party who no one talks to (although not because they don’t like the person, but rather, because they don’t notice them).

 

Here is an example poem:

The leaves were green,
but then they changed,
first red,
then yellow,
then brown.
And then one day,
in the wind,
they blew away,
and the tree was bare.
The drought was in,
its hundredth day.

A photograph to inspire poetry: green dragonfly on a banana leaf

green dragonfly on a banana leaf

Above is a photograph of a green dragonfly on a banana leaf.  It can inspire poetry.  A poet could write about:

  • The idea of a person matching their surrounds. This matching could mean in terms of culture, personality, appearance or something else.  The idea is that a poet could relate a person to a place in the same way that this dragonfly relates to the banana leaf.
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  • The idea of appearance not matching reality. In this case, the dragonfly has thin translucent wings.  It almost seems as though they should not work for flying.  Despite this though, they do work.  A poet could translate this idea to people.  They could write about a person whose appearance, as perceived by others, does not match their abilities.
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  • The idea of names. The dragonfly and the banana leaf both have descriptive names.  There is a dragon-fly and there is a banana-leaf.  A poet could write about names.  They could write about how a name describes a person, thing or place and how that name is perceived by others and by the person or thing (if aware) that has it.  A poet could write about the impact of names.

Here is a poem inspired by the photograph:

By choice,
or by chance,
in sunlight,
and shadows,
everything,
aligned.

Poem with an explanation: hidden away

Four years passed
purposefully hidden

  away.

The sight
not using it

    with darkness filling.

  Today
passing by

    the vault.

Stay.

 

This poem is about coping with death.  In the poem, a person in a family has died.  The family, after the death, kept the person’s room just as it was when they were alive.  They have kept the room closed and do not open it.

In the poem, the person has been dead for four years (Four years passed).  During that time, the person’s family has kept the person’s room closed (hidden away).  This was done with intention (purposefully).

The family had a fear, that if they looked at the room, that it would somehow change.  This change was perceived to mean that something of the person would be lost.  There was the idea that if they looked at the room (The sight), that it would somehow use the sight of the room up and that the memory of the person would be lost (with darkness filling).

This idea is almost like the notion that taking something fragile out of a protected case causes it to deteriorate some.  It can only be looked at so many times before it is gone.

Another analogy might be the idea that smelling a scent somehow uses up the scent.  The thing can only be smelled so many times before the scent of it will be gone.

In the poem, the family sometimes has times when they pass the room (Today passing by) which is sealed like a vault (the vault).

When they pass by, they have the overwhelming sense that the room needs to stay the way it is (Stay).  Again is the idea, that if the room changes, the person will be lost.

In terms of form, this poem used the Experimental Poetry Form: Twenty Words.

Poem: 37 lines

So the moon and sun,
and the spinning of the earth,
and here’s today,
with thirty seven.
There’s glimpses,
and glimmers,
and maybe,
and hope.
Off in the distance,
the trees are growing,
but here though,
out in the ocean,
almost a raft.
This isn’t the day,
but looking on,
it does feel strange,
to be at this point.
This isn’t the day,
but somehow,
the morning is seen.
In the positive,
there are positives,
in the negative,
it’s so far away.
Today though,
and for the seven,
there’s not doing,
there’s not focusing.
Today though,
and for the seven,
there is happiness.
Wrapped in the box,
with the card and cake,
with the show and sights,
and bright balloons.
Today,
there is happiness.

Experimental Poetry Form: Twenty words

This experimental poetry form is called twenty words.  As the name implies, it has twenty words.  In addition to that, there are other form requirements.  Those requirements pertain to number of stanzas, lines per stanza, line indentions, line breaks and rhyming.  The idea was to add to the simple notion of a twenty word poem.

The structure is as follows:

A three word line
A two word line
A line break
A one word line, that is a rhyming word, indented two spaces
A line break
A two word line
A three word line
A line break
A three word line, indented four spaces
A line break
A one word line, that is a rhyming word, indented two spaces
A two word line
A line break
A two word line, indented four spaces
A line break
A one word line, that is a rhyming word.

Here is an example poem written in the form:

The clock ticks
seconds pass

  flowing.

Each moment
moves ever onward.

    Birds fly away

  knowing
time passes

    onward never

slowing.

Poetry topic idea: expectation

Today’s poetry topic idea is expectation.

Life is filled with expectation.  There are conscious expectations, like expecting to graduate or expecting to get married.  There are also unconscious expectations, like expecting what a restaurant will be like before you walk in.

A poet could write about expectation in a variety of ways.  A poet could write about:

  • Fulfilled conscious expectations. A poet could write about something a person consciously expects to happen.  They could write about the situation before and after it happens.  They could write about how the person feels in both times.
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  • Unfulfilled conscious expectations. This is the opposite of the above idea.  A poet could write about someone consciously expecting something and that thing not happening.  Again, a poet could write about what the situation is like before and after this occurs.
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  • Unconscious expectations. As mentioned above, life has unconscious expectations.  There are many times when a person expects things to go a certain way even though they are not aware they are expecting it.  The person is expecting the norm of the situation.
     
    In writing about unconscious expectations, a poet could take different routes.  A poet could examine expected situations.  They could look deep into them and try to find social significance in what is expected.

    Alternatively, a poet could write about what happens when unconscious expectations are not fulfilled.  In some sense, these might be awkward or uncomfortable moments in life.

    A poet could also examine the process whereby unconscious expectations are formed in a person.  They could examine past experiences of a person and how those experiences shaped the person’s view of situations.

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  • The expectations of others. In life, a person often has expectations of others presented to them.  A person might have others expect them to go to college or to get married for example.  A poet could write about these ideas from different perspectives.  They could focus on the others having the expectations or on the person to whom they are presented.  They could look at how the expectations are perceived and at what happens if they are fulfilled or not.

Here is an example poem using the idea of expectation:

the scale

there’s a number
unseen
unspoken
that before looking down
you know

on one side
is happiness

on the other
disappointment

it’s there
quietly beside you
just out of view