Poetic Forms

Diminishing Verse: Poetic Form

Here’s a fun form: Diminishing Verse! Diminishing Verse Poems Diminishing verse offers no origin and very few rules, but I enjoyed writing my example below. In fact, the main rule is this: Remove the first letter of end word in previous line. For example: Line 1 ends with the word “grad”...

Landay: Poetic Form

Let’s keep the poetic forms rolling this week with the landay, which is a form that may have existed for thousands of years–though I just discovered it recently. Landay Poems The landay is a variable length form based off a couplet, which means the poem could be as concise as two...

Dizain: Poetic Form

As you may have noticed, I’m making an attempt to start covering even more poetic forms than I’ve done up to this point on the blog. Instead of a new form every month or two, we’re going to start checking out a new form every week or two. Dizain Poems The...

Haiku Sonnet: Poetic Form

We’re getting close to open submissions season for many college-affiliated literary journals. I haven’t submitted much since early spring, but I did receive a few nice and personalized rejections–the kind that let me know I was super close…just not close enough. And so, it’s time to get back to sending my...

Byr a Thoddaid: Poetic Form

I’m excited! This week, we sent the 2017 Poet’s Market to the printer! That means a couple things: First, you can pre-order a copy now (click to continue); Second, I’ve got the time to post more now, including a new form today, a new challenge tomorrow, and a lot more next...

Ovillejo: Poetic Form

The story behind me selecting today’s poetic form is maybe as complicated as the form itself, which is pretty complicated. Poetic Asides regular De Jackson credited me with sharing this form on the blog when she wrote a post on the ovillejo over at dVerse Poets Pub, though I’m not certain...

Magic 9: Poetic Forms

Look for the winner of the tricube poetic form challenge tomorrow. But in the meantime, let’s take a look a new (to this blog) poetic form that we’ll be challenging ourselves to later this week. Like the tricube, the magic 9 is a newer form and relatively unknown. In fact, I...

Tricubes: Poetic Forms

Two poetic forms in the same month! It’s been a while since we’ve done that. Though with today’s form, it’s a shame we aren’t doing three. Unlike interlocking rubaiyat, the tricube is a newer form and relatively unknown. Plus, it’s fun and easy to learn. This mathematical poem was introduced by...

Interlocking Rubaiyat: Poetic Form

It’s been a while since I’ve shared a poetic form on here. And strange as it seems, this form has been hiding under my nose for years without me even realizing it. Of course, I’m speaking of interlocking rubaiyat, sometimes referred to as rubai. I’ve long been familiar with the 12th-century...

Minute Poem: Poetic Forms

Before we dive into the poetic form, I just wanted to remind folks about the upcoming poetry event in Hickory, North Carolina. I’ll be there, along with several more talented poets. Click here for more information. ***** Some forms have a long, exotic history. Some forms are relatively new, but have...

Decima: Poetic Forms

For those interested, I’m in the midst of putting together a results post for the April PAD Challenge. It won’t have a whole lot of results, but it will include some winners–and we’ll add as they come in (like last year). Keep an eye out for it. But first… Let’s look...

Dodoitsu: Poetic Forms

Ready to learn a new poetic form? And yeah, you know that a new WD Poetic Form Challenge is just around the corner. The dodoitsu is a Japanese poetic form developed towards the end of the Edo Period, which came to an end in 1868. As with most Japanese forms, the...

Erasure and Blackout Poems: Poetic Forms

One form I’ve been meaning to get to for a while is the blackout poem and also the erasure poem. Both are sort of similar with the major difference being in presentation, I suppose. Or it’s kind of like rectangles and squares. You see, all squares are rectangles, but not all...

Gogyohka: Poetic Form

If only a poetic form existed that could be both concise and free. Oh wait a second, there’s gogyohka! Gogyohka was a form developed by Enta Kusakabe in Japan and translates literally to “five-line poem.” An off-shoot of the tanka form, the gogyohka has very simple rules: The poem is comprised...

Terzanelle: Poetic Form

What do you get when you mix two super popular Italian poetic forms, specifically the terza rima and villanelle? The terzanelle, of course! It combines the lyricism of the terza rima with the repetition of the villanelle to make a powerful one-two punch in only 19 lines. The traditional stance on...

List of 86 Poetic Forms for Poets

[Update: This post used to list 50 poetic forms for poets, but I’ve updated it with 86 poetic forms for poets. Because forms rock!] I’m in the middle of putting together my list of poetic forms to cover in the (2015) 2018 issues of Writer’s Digest magazine, and it prompted me...

Madrigal: Poetic Form

The madrigal originated as an Italian form, actually as a pastoral song. The Italian madrigal is written in lines of either seven or 11 syllables and is comprised of two or three tercets, followed by one or two rhyming couplets. Just as variable as the lines and line lengths is the...

Golden Shovel: Poetic Form

Earlier this year, I came across a mention of the “golden shovel” form created by Terrance Hayes and made a note to check it out. I’m so happy I did, because it’s a fun poetic form. Here are the rules for the Golden Shovel: Take a line (or lines) from a...

Bref Double: Poetic Form

I’ve always been an admirer of French poetic forms, and I’m really digging the unusual flexibility offered with the bref double. It’s a quatorzain, which is any stanza or poem of 14 lines that is not a sonnet. Here are the rules for a bref double: 4 stanzas: 3 quatrains (or...

Triversen: Poetic Form

I found references to the triversen this week in both online and print resources. It’s a fun poetic form developed by William Carlos Williams (one of my favorite poets–able to write both the concise, “The Red Wheelbarrow,” and the epic, Paterson). I like this form because of its flexibility. Here are...

Sijo: Poetic Form

While the sijo poetic form is new to Poetic Asides, it is actually older than haiku. This Korean poetic form is only three lines long, but a lot is packed into those three lines. Here’s a quick rundown: 3 lines in length, averaging 14-16 syllables per line (for a poem total...

Somonka: Poetic Forms

The somonka is a Japanese form. In fact, it’s basically two tankas written as two love letters to each other (one tanka per love letter). This form usually demands two authors, but it is possible to have a poet take on two personas. Click here for a refresher on the tanka....

Lai: Poetic Forms

The lai is another French form. It’s a nine-line poem or stanza that uses an “a” and “b” rhyme following this pattern: aabaabaab. The lines with an “a” rhyme use 5 syllables; the “b” rhyme lines have 2 syllables. It feels kind of like organized skeltonic verse. Here’s an example lai...

Gwawdodyn: Poetic Forms

The gwawdodyn is a Welsh poetic form with a couple variations. However, both versions are comprised of quatrains (4-line stanzas) that have a 9/9/10/9 syllable pattern and matching end rhymes on lines 1, 2, and 4. The variations are made in that third line: One version has an internal rhyme within...

Cinquain: Poetic Forms

I love playing with poetic forms, especially when the rules aren’t so complicated that I have trouble keeping up with the technical issues of the poem. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve flubbed up a sestina on the fourth or fifth stanza. So I’m happy to share the cinquain,...