Viator: Poetic Forms

Poetic Form Fridays are made to share various poetic forms. This week, we look at the viator, a form invented by Robin Skelton.
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Poetic Form Fridays are made to share various poetic forms. This week, we look at the viator, a form invented by Robin Skelton.

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Viator Poems

The viator is a poetic form invented by Robin Skelton, author of The Shapes of Our Singing. The rules are fairly simple:

  • The first line is a refrain
  • The refrain appears as the second line of the second stanza, third line of the third stanza, and so on for however many stanzas the poem has...
  • ...with the final line of the final stanza being the refrain
  • That's 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 a viator:

When People Speak, by Robert Lee Brewer

When people speak
of simpler times
before their lives
grew difficult,

I like to think
when people speak
that simpler times
could be ahead--

when living ends
and we're all dead.
When people speak,
I think instead,

let's complicate
while we can breathe
and chase our fates
when people speak.

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