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


Bilingual Poem: Heart disease

the pressure,
the buildup,
the restriction,
he ran,
for his life.


la presión,
la concentración,
la restricción,
él corrió,
para su vida.

Artwork to inspire poetry: faded iris

faded iris

Above is an artwork of a faded iris.  It can inspire poetry.  A poet could be inspired to write about:

  • Life fading. The iris is fading and a poet could relate this to a person who is dying.

  • Rebirth. After the flower fades, there will be seeds (although an iris might more normally be grown from bulbs).  These seeds could be new plants.  This idea could be translated to rebirth and applied to other situations.

  • Time. A flower fading shows the progression of time.  A poet could apply this idea to other things.  An example might be a building that deteriorates over time.

  • Tired. A flower fading could be related to the idea of being tired or spent.  A poet could apply this idea to other situations.

  • Losing vision. An iris, in addition to being a flower, is also a word that describes a part of the eye.  A poet could write about someone losing their vision.

Here is a poem inspired by the artwork:

her breathing slowed

Poetry topic idea: books

Today’s poetry topic idea is books.  There are a number of things a poet could write about that reference books.  Some ideas include:

  • Libraries.

  • Librarians.

  • Novels.

  • Diaries.

  • Dusty tomes.

  • Imagination.

  • Learning.

  • Studying.

  • School.

  • Encyclopedias.

  • Writing.

  • Publishing.

  • Bookstores.

  • Books of poetry (Like M. Sakran’s book First Try)

  • eBooks (Like M. Sakran’s eBook Understanding: poems with explanations)

  • Authors.

  • Paper.

  • Fonts.

  • Printing.


Here is an example poem using the idea books:

Finding the diary,
in the attic,
he learned what really happened,
all those years ago.

A photograph to inspire poetry: lemon flower

lemon flower

Above is a photograph of a lemon flower.  It can inspire poetry.  A poet could write about:

  • The future. This flower in the future may become a lemon.  A poet could write about what something or someone might become in the future.

  • Potential. This flower has the potential to become a lemon.  A poet could write about a person or a thing that has potential.

  • Aroma. This flower has a sweet aroma.  A poet could write about scent and aroma.  They could apply the idea to flowers, perfume, food, and other things.

  • Temporariness. This flower is temporary. At some point the blossom will fade.  A poet could apply this idea to many situations.

  • Lemonade. This flower may turn into a lemon.  That lemon may be turned into lemonade.  A poet could write about this literally, metaphorically, or they could work with the expression about life giving a person lemons and that person making lemonade.  They could apply the idea to making the best of a situation.

Here is an example poem:

orange color
orange fruit
maple trees

Poem with an explanation: silver clouds

one hundred and fifty
over ninety
the silver clouds form

This poem is about blood pressure.

The poem describes a situation of high blood pressure.  The blood pressure is one hundred and fifty over ninety.  This is related in the first two lines of the poem.

This reading causes the person who has it to worry.  Their worry is described as “silver clouds” in the poem.  The silver clouds forming quickly is a reference to a name for the element mercury: quicksilver.  Blood pressure can be measured in millimeters of mercury and this relates to that.