Friday, 17 February 2017

Poetics 3: Structure... Metaphor-to-Meaning

For an excellent discourse on this fascinating subject, please see the post on the Structure and Surprise blog.

Monday, 19 December 2016

New Forms (23): The Alternating Sonnet

Please follow the link here to the Every Sonnet blog (and there are all kinds of other sonnets, too).

Monday, 7 November 2016

New Forms (22): The Cleave

  • A whole site about this form can be found here.

Monday, 12 September 2016

Poetics 2: The Volta

For John Keats and the 'turn', see here on Structure and Surprise. There is even a dolphin in the poem.

I have mentioned the following published lecture before on this blog, but here are the details again as a reminder...

You Only Guide Me by Surprise: Poetry and the Dolphin's Turn Peter Sacks. The Judith Lee Stronach Memorial Lecture on the Teaching of Poetry, delivered on 7 May 2010 by Peter Sacks.

Saturday, 10 September 2016

New Forms (21): Dizain

You can read about this compact 10-line form on Robert Lee Brewer's Writers' Digest page here.

Thursday, 4 August 2016

New Forms (20): Cinquerelle

'A Cinquerelle is a five line poem of descending syllabic value, 15 syllables in all. So two less than a haiku. The idea is to compress a cosmos into an atom.'

Description of the form from Michael Newman.


Waves against boulders;
Breakers unfurl.
White onrush.

© Michael Newman (used with permission)

Saturday, 16 April 2016

New Forms (19): Tanka Prose (aka Tanka-Prose)

'... the best strawberries ...' Tim Gardiner in his piece, 'Between Storms'

We helped to organise an Open Mic evening last night in Ipswich on the theme of 'Treasure'. During the course of the evening, Tim Gardiner introduced me to Tanka-Prose.

I have attempted Haibun (prose with Haiku) in the past, but had not heard of this alternative form. Tim explained a little about Tanka-Prose, which hasTanka rather than Haiku as a key element.

  • Tim Gardiner's Haiku-Prose, 'Between Storms', published in Haibun Today, Volume 10, Number 1, March 2016
N.B. Two key practitioners, Jeffrey Woodward and Charles D. Tarlton, use different forms of the name. Woodward seems to favour 'Tanka Prose' without a hyphen whereas Tarlton hyphenates the two words. Time alone will probably dictate which becomes the norm. See p.86 and 87 of Skylark, a Tanka Journal, summer 2013, vol. 1, no. 1 to see why Brian Zimmer prefers the hyphenated style. 

Saturday, 2 April 2016

Reference Post (2): Outlets for Formal Poetry

Outlets for Formal Poetry

  • A selection can be found here on the pages of 'A Selfish Poet' on Trish Hopkinson's site.

Thursday, 20 August 2015

Literary Forms with Poetic Implications: (3) Mesostic poetry

'Mesostic' was a new word for me. I encountered it on Alec Finlay's page, where it appears several times in relation to his poetry collections.

For a definition of Mesostic, I turn to Wikipedia ...

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Literary Forms with Poetic Implications (2): Univocalism (plus Lipogram and Transgram)

... 'neglected by legends' ... Leanne Moden

A Univocalism is a piece of writing, emanating from the constrained writing techniques of Oulipo. A Univocalism only allows for the use of one vowel, which may be repeated.

There is a rather good poem, keep my secret, in this style here on the Cambridgeshire NaPoWriMo site by Leanne Moden of Ten Years' Time.

You might also enjoy reading about, or experimenting with, the Lipogram, a 'back formation' with a long history ...

The Lipogram is joined by the Liponym and the Liponol

You can read about the Transgram here.

Tuesday, 31 March 2015

New Forms (18): The Paradelle

Sunset at Wivenhoe

The Paradelle is a fiendishly difficult form!

I had not heard of it until Robert Lee Brewer issued a Paradelle challenge on the Writer's News Poetic Asides blog, which you can see here.

Serendipitously, I was reading at PoetryWivenhoe last week and discovered that Peter Kennedy, the group's Administrator-cum-Webmaster-cum-Treasurer, had a poem, 'Paradelle of a Thousand Ships', published last autumn on the London Grip website here (you will need to scroll down a bit). If you click the link, you will find an explanation about the unusual origin of this form!
  • Read about the form here on the Poetic Asides blog
  • A Paradelle anthology (ed. Theresa Welford), available from Amazon

Friday, 12 December 2014

Literary Forms with Poetic Implications: (1) The Sestude

The Sestude is perhaps a 'literary' rather than a 'poetic' form since it can be a prose piece, but it seemed a shame not to include it. The stipulated number of words is 62 and you may not be particularly surprised to learn that it was created by the ‘26’ collective. I came across it here, where there is a link to Sara Sheridan's blog post about the project.

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Resources (1): Update on Books on Form - a post in progress

Thursday, 21 August 2014

New Forms (17): ZaniLa Rhyme

I was looking for a form with minimal rhyme and this is what I discovered instead on the Shadow Poetry site. I look forward to experimenting ...

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

New Forms (16): Erasure Poems - not so new, in fact!

This post was sparked by a conversation on LinkedIn, started by .

For a podcast by Ron Silliman for the American Poetry Foundation on the Erasure Poem, click here.

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Poetics (1): Ramage, coined by Robert Bly

Background ...

I was interested to read about Robert Bly's notion of what he has named the Ramage. This feature of his poetry concerns the musicality of sound produced by the 'union of a consonant and a vowel' (e.g. an or er) within his eight-line stanzas.

  • example on the web e.g. the third of Four Ramages by Robert Bly 

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Welsh Poetry Forms (1): Gwawdodyn Hir

You will find a link here to Robert Lee Brewer's post on the Welsh syllabic Gwawdodyn Hir poetry form. It looks fun to try! There is more information here

Monday, 8 July 2013

New Forms (15): The Triversen

Thanks are due to Bernard Jackson in Alan J. Carter's Quantum Leap poetry magazine (issue no.61, Feb. 2013) for drawing my attention to this form. Bernard describes it as a 'loose' form with cadent capabilities.

Background to the Triversen

William Carlos Williams is associated with the Triversen - or 'triple-verse-sentence' form.

Friday, 25 January 2013

New Forms (14): Careerhymes

Background ...

... to the Careerhyme, a light-hearted form created by J.Patrick Lewis, can be found here on the Gottabook website, belonging to Greg Pincus, creator of the Fib.

You can find an example by Mary Lee Hahn here.  

Thursday, 13 December 2012

New Forms (13): Robert Lee Brewer's Mad Libs Poems

Background to Robert Lee Brewer's Mad Libs poems form can be found here

Compose a Mad Libs poem! Instructions can be found here.  

We adapted the set exercise in our writing workshop. It was a lot of fun and resulted in some productive pieces.

Monday, 10 December 2012

Reference Post (1): Links

Every so often I encounter a site on the web that shares other poetry sites. It seemed the right moment to list a few of these. I hope you will find something to do with poetic form(s) that strikes a chord.

Friday, 2 November 2012

New Forms (12): Folding Mirror Poetry (ii)

Dr Marc Latham, creator of the Folding Mirror Poetry (FMP) form, has just brought out a book, 242 Mirror Poems and Reflections (available on Amazon as a Kindle or print edition). The work comprises 121 Mirror Poems and 121 accompanying Reflections, taking 'the reader on a journey from individual mind to infinite space'.

The book includes my Foreword on p.11, entitled 'The Palindrome Poem and Folding Mirror Poetry: Some Introductory Thoughts'.

The Folding Mirror poetry form was included in The Book of Forms: a Handbook of Poetics Including Odd and Invented Forms by Lewis Putnam Turco (UPNE 2012). FMP is currently 'Form of the Week' on Professor Turco's Invented Forms site.

There are two examples of the FMP in the The Book of Forms: a Handbook of Poetics Including Odd and Invented Forms, 'Hourglass of Time' by Claire Knight and 'Thalatta, Thalatta' by me, Caroline Gill.

Monday, 30 July 2012

Sonnet Sequence (5): The Swatantra Sonnet

Waves on The Lizard, Cornwall

Background to the Swatantra Sonnet form can be found here
Bangladeshi-American Poet-Editor Hassanal Abdullah invented the Swatantra Sonnet as a form in Bengali. Since then he has been experimenting with the form in English. Hassanal Abdullah is editor of Shabdaguchha magazine, a journal of bilingual poetry (you might like to take a look here).

Compose a Swatantra Sonnet! Instructions can be found here
A published example of a Swatantra Sonnet in English by Hassanal Abdullah can be found here in Poetrybay online magazine.

My published example of a 'Swatantra Sonnet-inspired poem':
'Vagrant Emperor' [13/2010] appears in Cornwall - an anthology of poetry and photographs (2012, compiled by Les Merton, photography by Angelicia) ISBN 978-1-906845-38-4. Les Merton is editor at Palores Publications and editor of Poetry Cornwall/Bardhonyeth Kernow.  

N.B. I have written 'Swatantra Sonnet-inspired' because my poem [13/2010] only has 10 syllables per line. This count seemed in keeping with the slender subject of this particular poem.   

Thursday, 19 July 2012

New Forms (11): Naga-Uta

An example of the Naga-Uta can be found here
I have just come across a splendid example of the Japanese Naga-Uta form by fellow Suffolk poet, Ivor Murrell, on his Versifier site.

Compose a Naga-Uta poem! Instructions can be found here.

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Sonnet Sequence (4): Nestorian Sonnet

In Nestor's Palace at Homer's 'sandy Pylos', Greece

Background to the Nestorian Sonnet ...   

I came across this new Sonnet form here on the Sound of Poetry Review. The form was invented by Filipino poet, Ernesto Pangilinan Santiago.

Compose a Nestorian Sonnet! Instructions can be found ...

here on the Sound of Poetry Review.

Thursday, 17 May 2012

New Forms (10): Folding Mirror Poetry (i)

Background to the Folding Mirror Poem form ...  

Dr Marc Latham, the creator of this form, has been experimenting with it now for some years. You can read more on his Folding Mirror Poetry site here.

The form features in The Book of Forms: A Handbook of Poetics Including Odd and Invented Forms by Professor Lewis Putnam Turco. The Book of Forms, now in its 4th edition, is published by the University Press of New England.

My published example: 

My poem, 'Thalatta, Thalatta', features in the book and on Marc's site. It has just been paired with a magnificent photograph by Adel Gorgy on the Immagine & Poesia site here, developed by Lidia Chiarelli.

Monday, 14 May 2012

New Forms (9): The Shadorma

My thanks to Robert Lee Brewer for drawing my attention to this form (along with many others).

Background to the Shadorma form ... 

The form is from Spain.

Compose a Shadorma poem! Instructions can be found ...

... here. You can find out more on Poetry Pages here.

There is an example here.

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

New Forms (8): Cuban Décima Mirror

Thanks to Gregory Pincus, inventor of the Fib poetry form (based on the Fibonacci Sequence), I have come across the Cuban Décima Mirror. This is not so much a new form as an adaptation of an old one. Greg identifies two stanzas of five lines each. Every line has eight syllables. The end-of-line 'stanza rhyme-words' mirror each other, and in this respect the form resonates with palindromic poetry and - for that matter - with Dr Marc Latham's Folding Mirror Poetry, although the CDM lacks the Folding Mirror central line.

Background to the Cuban Décima Mirror form ...

You can read more here (ensuring that you alight on p.xv) in 'The Latin Beat' by Ed Morales. Pamela Gray's Decima Poetry Lesson here may also be of interest.

Thursday, 1 March 2012

New Forms (7): Sevenling

Zennor Mermaid

Sevenlings are short 
and fun to write.

Background to the Sevenling form can be found here

Roddy Lumsden invented the Sevenling about ten years ago, drawing on translations of a short verse by Anna Akhmatova (1889 - 1966).

Compose a Sevenling poem! Instructions can be found here.

My published example:
'Sevenling (Zennor Fish Tale)' in The Mermaid's Mother & Sycorax (Wendy Webb Books, 2020).  [13/2010]

Friday, 17 December 2010

French Poetry Forms (2): Quatern

Background to the Quatern form can be found here

Compose a Quatern poem! Instructions can be found here.

My published example: 'William Burges Wallpaper' (at Knightshayes Court, Devon) took Second Place in the 2010 Writelink Poetry Competition on the theme of 'Rivals'. Sarah James was the judge, and you can read her report here.