Experimental Poetry Form: a cup of T

Today’s experimental poetry form is called a cup of T.  It is based on a play on words of the expression “a cup of tea”.  The form is based off of layout on the page and word count.

The form has five words.  They are laid out as such:

*        * * * * * * * *        *
*                  *                    *
*                  *                    *
*                  *                    *
*                  *                    *
*                  *                    *
*                  *                    *
*                  *                    *
          * * * * * * * *

As can be seen, it looks like the letter “T” inside of something.  This is the idea of a cup of T.

In using the form, the five words can be separate words, or there can be a flow between them.

Here is an example poem using the form:


Y           Famous        N
o                 S              e
u                 o              v
’                  n              e
v                 g              r

Experimental Poetry Form: two triangles

This experimental poetry form is called two triangles, and is based off of word count, page layout and rhyme.

The poem is centered on the page.  The first line has ten words, the second nine, the third eight, and so forth to the tenth line which has one word.  The eleventh line also has one word, the twelfth has two, the thirteenth has three, and this continues to the twentieth line which has ten words.  Lines of equal word count rhyme.

Below is what the form looks like.  A * represents a word.


The rhyming pattern is:


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.


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: 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: 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.

Experimental Poetry Form: ten two word lines

This experimental poetry form is called ten two word lines.  The name describes it.  There are ten lines, each with two words.  The line length and total number of words is low, but the number of lines is high.  The idea is to see how these contrasting form elements effect the presentation of the poem.

Here is an example poem:

Sitting there,
sign up,
looking on,
cars passing,
none looking,
none stopping,
wondering if,
all think,
bold words,
are lies.

Experimental Poetry Form: New Year

The New Year is coming.  First, Happy New Year in advance.  Second, in light of the New Year, there will be no new blog post on this blog on Monday January 2, 2017.  Third, in light of the New Year, today’s experimental poetry form is based off of 1/1/2017.

This poem contains six lines, separated into three stanzas.  The first stanza has one line, the second stanza has one line, and the third stanza has four lines.  The line in the first stanza is just one word and the line in the second stanza is also just one word.  In the fourth stanza, the first line has two words, the third line has one word, and the fourth line has seven words.  The second line has something in it, but no words.  This something can be punctuation, a number written in numerals, a picture or something else, just no words.  The amount of things in this line is restricted to one line in length (it could however, be just one small item).  The word counts, written out, look like the date of the New Year: 1/1/2017.  Here is an example poem written in the form:



It’s soon
Be happy, gleeful, and filled with joy!

Experimental Poetry Form: 3 3 6

This experimental poetry form is called 3 3 6.  The form is as follows:

The first line has three words.

The second line has three words, that are not any of the words from the first line.

The third line has all of the words from the first and second lines, but no more and not in exactly the same order as they were in the first and second lines.

Here is an example:

The still cat,
watches a dog.

A still dog watches the cat.

Experimental Poetry Form: Four blocks

This experimental poetry form includes the elements of layout on the page, line count, word count and repeats.

The form consists of four blocks.  They are laid out as follows:

Block 1                           Block 2

Block 3                           Block 4

The blocks as a group are centered (or roughly so).  Block 1 is to the upper left, Block 2 is to the upper right, Block 3 is to the bottom left and Block 4 is to bottom right.  There is more space between the columns than the between the rows.  The actual distances can be varied.

Secondly, each block consists of four lines of twenty words total.  There is no requirement regarding the number of words per line.

In terms of repeats, at least two words from Block 1, must appear in Block 2.  A different two words (at least) from Block 2, must appear in Block 3.  Finally, a further different two words (at least) from Block 3, must appear in Block 4.

Here is an example poem written in the form.  The repeated words are noted by being bold (first set), italicized (second set) and underlined (third set):

    Two fantail goldfish,                                                            The two knights battle,
    swim through a resin log,                                                   each with a steel long sword,
    eat amazon and rosette sword plants,                            upon a wide log,
    and play in the small bubbles.                                           that spans the fast moving river.

    The battle went on for days,                                                For days they fought on,
    over who would own the lone river,                                   beside the turbid flow,
    that flowed speedily beneath,                                             their swords moved speedily,
    the tank’s filter.                                                                      as each sought to claim the land.