Experimental Poetry Form: jack, queen, king

Today’s experimental poetry form is called jack, queen, king.  It is based off of the cards of those names in a deck of cards.

The form is an acrostic form with three stanzas.  The first stanza is an acrostic form for “jack”.  The second stanza is an acrostic form for “queen”.  The third stanza is an acrostic form for “king”.

In the first stanza, each line has eleven syllables, because a jack has a value of eleven.  In the second stanza, each line has twelve syllables, because a queen has a value of twelve.  In the third stanza, each line has thirteen syllables because a king has a value of thirteen.

The form also includes a rhyming pattern.  Lines 2, 6, 7, 8, and 11 rhyme.  Lines 1, 3, 4, 5, 9, 10, 12, and 13 rhyme.  The idea here is that lines that start with a vowel rhyme and lines that start with a consonant rhyme.

Here are the elements of the form:

J – 11 syllables, Rhyme A
A – 11 syllables, Rhyme B
C – 11 syllables, Rhyme A
K – 11 syllables, Rhyme A

Q – 12 syllables, Rhyme A
U – 12 syllables, Rhyme B
E – 12 syllables, Rhyme B
E – 12 syllables, Rhyme B
N – 12 syllables, Rhyme A

K – 13 syllables, Rhyme A
I – 13 syllables, Rhyme B
N – 13 syllables, Rhyme A
G – 13 syllables, Rhyme A

Here is an example poem using the form:

Jumping into the air with the ball in hand,
all hold their breath as the seconds tick on down,
climbing into the air as all around stand,
knowing if made that all will cheer in the land.

Quickly throwing the ball as all bases were manned,
understanding the meaning as the coach did frown,
ending the game would cause a party in the town,
expecting the umpire to say that one noun,
not knowing what would happen for nothing was planned.

Kicking the round ball with help from the adrenal gland,
into the net not thinking of the past patient gown,
not thinking too of the leg that was no longer tanned,
getting the final goal as all the cameras panned.

Experimental Poetry Form: pennies, nickels, and a dime

Today’s experimental poetry form is called pennies, nickels, and a dime.

Five pennies are equivalent to one nickel and two nickels are equivalent to one dime.  This idea is the basis of the form.

The form has four stanzas.

The first stanza is the penny stanza.  It has five lines.  Each line has one syllable.

The second stanza is the nickel stanza.  It has one line.  That one line has five syllables.

The third stanza is the two nickel stanza.  It has two lines.  Each line has five syllables.

The fourth stanza is the dime stanza.  It has one line.  That one line has ten syllables.

The idea is that the stanzas are related the same way the coins are related.

Here is an example poem:


Sitting by the bed,

in the hospital,
watching the lights glow.

They might look pretty but for the reason.

Experimental Poetry Form: Four stanzas with a repeated moving line

This experimental poetry form consists of four stanzas.  Each stanza is four lines.  Each line has ten syllables.  There is one line that is repeated.  It is the first line of the first stanza, the second line of the second stanza, the third line of the third stanza, and the fourth line of the fourth stanza.  The form looks as follows, with the repeated line noted as “R”






Here is an example poem written in the form:

while ribs are smoking outside in the rain
a small clock is watched and hours counted
classic rock is playing songs that you know
iced tea is sipped under an overhang

images of history float up high
while ribs are smoking outside in the rain
generations of learning of fire
generations of learning of life

silently, neighbors peer out their front doors
wondering what is that scent in the air
while ribs are smoking outside in the rain
and thinking they should walk over and see

it’s been too long since days like this were here
with quiet thoughts and peaceful sounds of life
and scents rising slowly up in the air
while ribs are smoking outside in the rain

Experimental Poetry Form: firefly

Today’s experimental poetry form is called firefly.  It has the following characteristics:

It is one line long.

The line consists of seven words (there are seven letters in firefly).

Each word is two syllables long (although there are probably different thoughts on this, firefly could be considered a two syllable word).

The poem is an acrostic for firefly.


Here is an example poem:

Fighting intense regrets, empties flowing letters yearly.

Experimental Poetry Form: Fall Leaf

Set thirteen of items on MSakran.com is based off of a fall leaf.  One idea that was explored in the set, was the idea of life and colors.  The leaf in the photograph and artwork is brightly colored, and yet it is a picture of a dead leaf.  The leaf, presumably, started green, but as the green changed to the colors of yellow and red, the leaf died.  This idea of one thing declining (the life in the leaf) while another thing grows (the colors in the leaf) is the basis of this experimental poetry form.  The form is as follows:

Line 1: 10 syllables
Line 2: 2 syllables
Line 3: 8 syllables
Line 4: 4 syllables
Line 5: 6 syllables
Line 6: 6 syllables
Line 7: 4 syllables
Line 8: 8 syllables
Line 9: 2 syllables
Line 10: 10 syllables

The lines 1, 3, 5, 7 and 9, represent the life in the leaf.  At the start of the form, the leaf is fully alive (10 syllables), by the end of the form, the leaf has died (2 syllables).  Alternatively, the lines 2, 4, 6, 8, and 10, represent the bright colors in the leaf.  At the start of the form, there are no bright colors in the leaf (2 syllables).  By the end of the form, the leaf is fully bright in color (10 syllables).

(As a note, although 0 syllables would have been more representative of the dead leaf and the lack of bright colors than 2 syllables, a 0 syllable line would in essence be a line without any words (possibly blank or with something other than a word).  As such, it isn’t specifically included in the form, however, a poet could include a blank line before and after the form, which could fill that representation.  In the form description above, it made more sense to consider two syllables as the point where the leaf had no bright colors and then, later, was dead, rather than to say that the leaf had almost no bright colors, and was almost dead.)

The way the form works, lines shrink and grow in an alternating fashion.  This characteristic could be used in a number of ways by a poet.  For example, following the way the form was developed, a poet could have the odd numbered lines discuss the decline of the something, while the even numbered lines discuss the growth of something.  Alternatively, a poet could focus on one idea, and see how the pattern of syllable counts affects its representation.  As a third idea, a poet might decide to disregard, in some sense, the pattern presented and mentally break the one stanza into multiple stanzas.  The poet could, for example, decided that lines 1 – 3 focus on one thing, lines 4 – 7 another thing, and lines 8 – 10 a third thing.  Other possibilities could also exist.  Using the form in this way, a poet could see how the pattern in the form combines with whatever breaks they decide and see how that affects the poem that they write.

Poem Series: Experimental Poetry Forms: Stanzas, syllables, and repeats: Lists

This list of things is not random,
balloons filled up but not with air,
coals that smolder on a pathway,
water leaking from a faucet,
windows open during the night,
and blocks of calcium weighed down,
and all these things combined,
together make one thing.

Force, heat, flow, sense, and pain,
and all these things combined,
stacked up together like wood blocks,
inside the cubic foot of space,
and in front with no avoidance.

This list of things is not random,
a valve is turned and something flows,
water pours and smoke floats away,
a washer changed,
a window closed,
a weight is gone,
and peace returns.


(25/40) Experimental Poetry Form: Stanzas, syllables, and repeats