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The Blitz Poem: Poetic Forms

Learn how to write the blitz poetic form, including rules for how to successfully write this 50-liner.

A few poets have asked me over the past year to write up something about the blitz poem, which I'd never tried or even heard of before. So I did a little research, and it actually looks pretty fun. It was created by Robert Keim and is a 50-line poem of short phrases and images.

Here are the rules:

  • Line 1 should be one short phrase or image (like "build a boat")
  • Line 2 should be another short phrase or image using the same first word as the first word in Line 1 (something like "build a house")
  • Lines 3 and 4 should be short phrases or images using the last word of Line 2 as their first words (so Line 3 might be "house for sale" and Line 4 might be "house for rent")
  • Lines 5 and 6 should be short phrases or images using the last word of Line 4 as their first words, and so on until you've made it through 48 lines
  • Line 49 should be the last word of Line 48
  • Line 50 should be the last word of Line 47
  • The title of the poem should be three words long and follow this format: (first word of Line 3) (preposition or conjunction) (first word of line 47)
  • There should be no punctuation

There are a lot of rules, but it's a pretty simple and fun poem to write once you get the hang of it.

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The Complete Guide of Poetic Forms

Play with poetic forms!

Poetic forms are fun poetic games, and this digital guide collects more than 100 poetic forms, including more established poetic forms (like sestinas and sonnets) and newer invented forms (like golden shovels and fibs).

Click to continue.

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Here's my attempt at The Blitz:

"House of puddles," by Robert Lee Brewer

Build a boat
Build a house
House for sale
House for rent
Rent to own
Rent a phone
Phone a friend
Phone home
Home alone
Home before bed
Bed and breakfast
Bed head
Head for cover
Head for the hills
Hills and valleys
Hills of gold
Gold rush
Gold for cash
Cash for gold
Cash that check
Check your messages
Check your back
Back in time
Back against the wall
Wall of noise
Wall fall down
Down with you
Down and out
Out and about
Out for the count
Count your blessings
Count the ways
Ways to live
Ways you smile
Smile and laugh
Smile like you mean it
It ain't no thang
It is what it is
Is it not
Is this poetry
Poetry is music
Poetry is love
Love your poetry
Love the rain
Rain falls down
Rain makes puddles
Puddles are wet
Puddles of love
Love...
Wet...

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