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 couldn’t find a creator of the form, though it appears to have been inspired by a poet misspelling the word “abracadabra.”

This 9-line poem doesn’t have any rules as far as meter or subject matter–just a rhyme scheme: abacadaba.

That’s right! Just remove the r’s from “abracadabra,” and boom! A new poetic form; and after writing my first magic 9, I can report that they’re fun to write.


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Here’s my attempt at a magic 9:

The Next

Perhaps, I should sit for a spell,
though maybe I should stand,
for I want to whisper and yell
that she is mine, “O, she is mine!”
Or am I hers? I cannot tell
if I am one thing or the next
since that brief moment that I fell
for blue eyes like a wand
casting an ancient, binding spell.


Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community and author of Solving the World’s Problems (Press 53). Follow him on Twitter @RobertLeeBrewer.


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19 thoughts on “Magic 9: Poetic Forms


    Wild Heart
    by Chasity Wilde Marcus

    Be different in a world too much the same.
    Listen to your heart,
    Not the patterns etched in your brain.
    Create a strategy,
    Not by the rules of another’s game.
    Find your soul,
    Not living in shades of shame.
    Wild heart,
    Bursts in flames.


    by Chasity Wilde Marcus

    Oh, how I dread dragging my feet,
    Scraping my toes as I try to move along,
    Following my heart or everyone’s beat?
    I am not sure.
    But I’m not here to compete,
    Not with you nor him nor her,
    And especially not with me.
    Picturing a life where my thoughts aren’t wrong,
    When I no longer accept defeat.

  3. timphilippart


    I hear but cannot see,
    That irritating cricket,
    I can’t just leave it be,
    Free reigning in my living room.
    It’s really grinding me,
    If I found it, I would crush it,
    This could end non-violently,
    If it fled into a thicket,
    Or sailed across the sea.

  4. Vince Gotera

    Robert, a rhyme scheme of “abracadabra” could work too. You just treat the “r” like it’s a letter in the rhyme scheme. In other words, instead of “e” (the next rhyme letter available) the rhyme scheme jumped to “r” … so line 3 in this 11-line form would rhyme with line 10 (the r’s).

  5. Walter J Wojtanik


    Seeds of thought get planted deep within
    in a way that makes one smile,
    makes one widely grin.
    A garden of words to flourish and bloom,
    without the hustle, and bustle and din.
    In a quiet place, poetry can grow,
    a fallow garden to spread once again
    (we had been gone for a little while!)
    Poetic Bloomings: ready to re-begin!

    © Walter J. Wojtanik – 2016

  6. Sara McNulty

    Let’s Bake A Cake

    Come on, let’s bake a cake,
    Mom will not be home for hours,
    and she will appreciate
    a slice of chocolate frosted white.
    Come on, I bet your tummy aches
    for a thick slice of confection.
    Here is her recipe. Careful, don’t break
    that serving dish. Get the flour.
    No vanilla? Get your coat, make haste.

  7. RJ Clarken

    An Elegant Excuse

    The aegrotat is a clever and very useful note
    because it’s a document which states
    that a student is too ill, with (for example) the flu or a strep throat
    and therefore, cannot sit for an exam, along with his or her fellow classmates.
    No need to study the gerund or Newton’s 2nd Law or even the asymptote
    when a single piece of paper can simply get one excused from this chore,
    thus leaving said pupil more time to devote
    to the pursuit of online games, sleeping in and other worthwhile endeavors.
    And while it may get one’s teacher’s goat, the aegrotat most assuredly gets my vote.


  8. De Jackson


    If you catch her casting
    (stones, crowns) spells
    or curious lasting
    glances toward the moon,
    you’ll know she’s grasping
    at straws again;
    broken-back blasting
    both camels and wells,
    waiting for luck. Laughing.

  9. mswunion1976

    Bourn Again (Magic 9)

    Every morning she quietly brushes, braids her hair
    Every night he listens to her four year old narration
    She calls her dear friend every night, to tell her that she’s there
    Born again, devout, they’re not, evangelists, they are
    In quiet moments, he regards her, then lays out what to wear
    We see them, solemnly buttoning, setting tables, paying rent
    Wintering through, shouldering, planning dinners, playing fair
    Worlds of silent exhaling, of gracious meditation
    Every day, in their own way, soulful acts of prayer

  10. ginarbridges

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  11. ely the eel


    Sometimes I can’t believe
    just how much belief I own.
    Even when I grieve,
    it’s from the very core of me.
    Whatever I might achieve,
    I’ll always know the source of it,
    and before this earth I leave,
    when I’m by myself, alone,
    it’s from belief I’ll be relieved.

  12. De Jackson

    Pieces of 8
    (a Magic 9)

    She keeps leaving
    pieces of herself
    on the page, believing
    one day she’ll find the rest.
    She keeps grieving
    the shatter and the spill,
    the long cold nights unweaving
    the fiction from farewells;
    she finds the stars deceiving.

  13. MikeGill

    Depression is more than a dent in the ground.
    It’s more than a few days in a sad mood.
    Think instead of a thousand pound
    Weight sitting deep in your soul
    And you have to listen to the constant sound
    Of your mind telling you lies and sometimes
    You wonder if any light can be found.
    You have to look in the mirror and tell that dude
    That his is not a feeling to which you are bound.

  14. qbit

    Restoring the Magic

    Absolution will find us in the arts of the great Queen Mab,
    Radiant midwife and sorcery’s bright penumbra,
    Carried through the world on the back of a crow, its great caw
    Daring our understanding with its invocation and agenda
    Breaking the dawn, cracking wide the day, timbre
    A final call to live beyond ourselves, to inhabit the soul of abracadabra.

  15. Bruce Niedt

    Just as an example, here’s a “‘magic 9” I wrote for the other Poem-a-day challenge I participated in last month:

    The Lovestruck Chef

    I have sung for you, but you did not dance;
    I have wept for you, but you did not cry.
    If only I could have another chance
    to move you in the best way I know how,
    with recipes from Italy or France.
    My culinary skills may charm your tongue
    and whet your appetite for some romance.
    But you’ll be hungry, and not quite know why,
    If you refuse my delicious advance.


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