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: 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: 8/30/3 with choice

The following experimental poetry form combines line count, syllable count and rhyme in a form that has some choice regarding its application.

In the form there are:

Eight lines.  The poet can choose the stanza structure for those lines.

Thirty syllables.  There is no syllable count per line requirement.  The poet can choose how many syllables are in each line under the thirty syllable restriction.

Three lines that rhyme.  The poet can choose which three of the eight lines rhyme.

Here is an example poem written in the form:

X-rays,
dangerous?

What gave you that idea?

That thick lead wall,
that’s so tall?

That’s just there …

BEEP

hold on, have to run to the hall.

Experimental Poetry Form: increasing four

This experimental poetry form is called increasing four.  It is based off the form used in the poem in yesterday’s post.

This form contains four stanzas.  Each stanza contains four lines.

In the first stanza, the first three lines have three syllables each, and the last line has four.

In the second stanza, the first two lines have three syllables each, and the next two have four each.

In the third stanza, the first line has three syllables and the remaining three lines have four syllables each.

In the fourth stanza, all the lines have four syllables each.

The idea is that the number of four syllable lines increases with each stanza according to a pattern.

Here is what the form looks like with the syllable counts for each line shown:

3
3
3
4

3
3
4
4

3
4
4
4

4
4
4
4

Experimental Poetry Form: magic trick

This experimental poetry form is based off of the idea of a magic trick.  Imagine a magician has ten cards.  The magician shows the cards out of order, does the trick part, and the cards are in order.  That is the basis of this experimental poetry form.

The form has three stanzas.  The first stanza has ten lines, the second has one, and the third has ten.

In the first stanza, the lines have a syllable count arrangement of: 8, 5, 10, 3, 9, 4, 7, 2, 6, 1.

The second stanza has a line of 10 syllables.

In the third stanza, the lines have a syllable count arrangement of: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10.

The arrangement of syllable counts is representative of the magic trick.  The first stanza represents the cards out of order, the second stanza represents the trick and the third stanza represents the cards in order.

Poetry essay: using word and syllable count in a poem

Two elements of form that you can use in poetry are word count and syllable count.  They are similar in some ways and different in others.  Both have their uses in poetry expression.

Both word count and syllable count can be utilized in different ways in a poem.  One way that might seem most common, would be using word or syllable count per line.  A poet could also use ideas such as word or syllable count per stanza and total word or syllable count in the poem.

Within a poem, word and syllable count can be varied.  For example, some lines can have one syllable count and other lines another.  Additionally, word and syllable count can be combined in the same poem.

Depending on circumstances, word count can be easier to use for a poet.  If a poet is just starting out with poetry, word count can seem clearer.  There are potentially fewer gray areas than with syllable count.  Some words, for example, can have multiple syllable counts depending on how they are pronounced.  Also, word count doesn’t have to be “heard” in the same way as syllable count, which can make it easier to use.  Additionally, word count can be easier because it can be tallied by a computer.

If a poet is counting syllables or words in a poem themselves, syllable count could actually be easier to use depending on circumstances.  A poet used to working with syllables, might be able to “hear” each syllable and be able to count them with more ease than they could count words.  As stated above, the opposite might be true if a poet wasn’t used to working with syllables.

One drawback to word count, is that word count isn’t as clear an indicator of length as syllable count.  How long it takes to say something is more determined by the number of syllables than the number of words.  In any line, the number of syllables will be greater than or equal to the number of words within the line.

Syllable count has another advantage, in that it can be paired with meter.  When having a poem with beat, syllable count is in the basis of it.

Syllable count and word count can have a number of effects on poetry expression depending on the ways they are used.  Some examples include:

Same word or syllable count per line:

If each line in a poem is the same length in terms of words or syllables, this can add predictability of sound to a poem.  This can increase the “poetic sound” the poem has.  This effect is greater with syllable count than with word count because of the way each impacts the sound of line length.

One word lines:

Having certain lines in a poem contain one word can have an impact on a poem.  Having the words set apart can increase their emphasis.

Syllable count and meter:

Meter adds beat to a poem.  By its structure, it is based off of syllable count.

Using word count for the visual look on a page:

Word count can be used if a poet wants a poem to appear a certain way on a page.  For example, imagine a poem with the following word counts per line: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1.  This would look to the reader as increasing words then decreasing words.  This visual look, as well as others that could be obtained with different structures, might be something a poet wants as part of their expression.

Short line, stanza or overall poem length:

If a poet uses syllable or word count to have short lines, stanzas or overall poem length, this can have an impact on the expression in the poem.

If used correctly, brevity, in each of the instances, can increase the impact of the poem.  In some ways, it goes along the lines of “less is more”.  If a poet is brief in the correct way, they can say just enough to get the point across and increase the impact of the point.

Long line, stanza or overall poem length:

If a poet makes aspects of a poem (or the entire poem) long, this also can have an effect on the expression.

Individual long lines, can stress a point.  A longer overall poem, can give the poet an opportunity to have a more significant feel to the expression.  In some way, by using a longer length, a poet can make a poem more like a song, than a statement.

Longer overall stanza and poem length also gives the poet the opportunity to use repeats and refrains.  This can add emphasis to ideas in a poem.

Experimentation

Word and syllable count can be used when a experimenting with poetry forms.  A poet can try different structures to see how they impact expression.  For example, a poet can have one poem where they alternate long and short lines, and another poem, where the lines have a more complicated count pattern.  The poet can use the experimentations to learn about different ways to express ideas.

Experimental Poetry Form: rhyming with syllable count for the rhyming words

This experimental poetry form focuses on rhyming, with the added feature of syllable count for the rhyming words.  Here are the specifics of the form:

One stanza

Six lines

Five words per line

Lines 1 and 4 rhyme

Lines 2 and 5 rhyme

Lines 3 and 6 rhyme

Lines 1 and 4 each end with a one syllable word

Lines 2 and 5 each end with a two syllable word

Lines 3 and 6 each end with a three syllable word

 

Here is an example poem to illustrate the form:

Radio play

There alone on the chair,
sitting by the radio seeing,
the man hiding there silently,
and imagining his cold glare,
knowing he’s a fictional being,
yet still running off violently.

Experimental Poetry Form: Repeat Pattern

This experimental poetry form comes from part of yesterday’s poem.  At the end of the poem, there were the stanzas:

He walked away,
and wondered why,
she did not pause,
before her words.

He walked away,
and wondered why,
she did not speak,
the truth to him.

It seemed to him,
it would have been,
a better scene,
had she said no.

It seemed to him,
it would have been,
a better scene,
had she spoke truth.

He walked away,
and wondered why,
he spoke those words,
those days ago.

The four syllables per line and the four lines per stanza, were a thought through element of the poem, that came early on in the poem’s writing.  The repeats however, were something that developed as the poem was written.

As you can see above, there is pattern that is as follows:

Line A,
Line B,
****,
****.

Line A,
Line B,
****,
****.

Line C,
Line D,
Line E,
****.

Line C,
Line D,
Line E,
****.

Line A,
Line B,
****,
****.

The pattern above seemed to form a cohesive pattern and inspired today’s experimental poetry form.

Today’s form is called Repeat Pattern, and has the following characteristics:

Stanzas: 5

Lines per stanza: 4

Syllables per line: 4

Repeating Pattern: AB** AB** CDE* CDE* AB**, with the letters representing repeats, and the *’s representing individual lines.

An example of the use of this form can be found in the partial poem above.  Again, the full poem can be read in yesterday’s post.

Poem: he wondered why

He did see her,
when he came by,
and thought that she,
did see him too.

One day he asked,
if she might like,
to spend a day,
about with him.

She thought and said,
that that was fine,
and she would like,
such an idea.

But when he left,
her friends did say,
“No, not with him,
he is a dud.”

She thought and felt,
that what they thought,
did mean so much,
to who she was.

She said to them,
she did not think,
and she would not,
go out with him.

The next day came,
and he came by,
and she went off,
and hid away.

Two days did pass,
and he did show,
to ask about,
the day agreed.

But like before,
she hid away,
and he stood there,
right there alone.

But with much hope,
he did come by,
upon the day,
that was agreed.

He stood with hope,
and flowers too,
and waited there,
for her to be.

But she was off,
with all of them,
who said that he,
was such a dud.

And they did laugh,
aloud with glee,
but in her heart,
she knew his pain.

And there he stood,
as time did pass,
until the truth,
did fill his mind.

He knew inside,
like times before,
that what he saw,
was a mirage.

He walked away,
and wondered why,
she did not pause,
before her words.

He walked away,
and wondered why,
she did not speak,
the truth to him.

It seemed to him,
it would have been,
a better scene,
had she said no.

It seemed to him,
it would have been,
a better scene,
had she spoke truth.

He walked away,
and wondered why,
he spoke those words,
those days ago.

Experimental Poetry Form: combined syllable and word count

This experimental poetry form combines two elements together: syllable count and word count.  Rather than having some lines be determined by syllable count and others by word count though, this form puts both together on each line.

The poetry form has three stanzas.  Each stanza has four lines.  Each line has both four syllables and three words.

This means that each line has two one syllable words and one two syllable word.

The idea is to make all the lines sound the same in terms of length.  If only syllable count were used, there might be a variability in the number of words in each line.  The lines still have a variation in sound though, in that the word order could be (in terms of syllable count): 1 1 2, 1 2 1, or 2 1 1 (where, in this count, the two one syllable words can’t be distinguished)).

The form is generally simple, however there could be moments where getting the syllable and word count form to work and have the poem flow and make sense might be a little difficult.  Also, it could be difficult, to not use any three syllable words.  To make it easier, nothing else was added to the form, such as rhyming.

Here is an example poem:

Kneaded eraser

There is kneading,
a tiny ball,
a tiny cube,
and unknown shapes.

It dabs cleanly,
making white spots,
as it’s useful,
by the intent.

Yet at moments,
when fingers move,
every new form,
makes life content.