Tuesday 7 November 2023

New Form (39): The Drabble

This is not a poetry form, but I could not resist including it as it requires concision and imagination. 

You can read about the Drabble here

You can read a brilliant prize-winning Drabble by Juliet Wilson here on her Crafty Green Poet site.

Tuesday 3 January 2023

New Forms (38): The Bob and Wheel

You can read about this poetic form here on Marian Christie's blog. 

I should add that this is 'new-to-me' form as it has old roots. 

Friday 4 November 2022

New Forms (37): Kintsugi Poems

Kintsugi poems. I became aware of these thanks to a poem, 'Menu', by Geoffrey Winch in Reach Poetry #287.

Thursday 26 May 2022

New Forms (36): The Essence Poem

A description, with examples, of this pithy little number known as Essence poetry, created by Emily Romano, can be found here on the Shadow Poetry site. 

Monday 22 February 2021

New Forms (35): The Duplex

This form, invented by Jericho Brown, combines elements of the Sonnet and the Ghazal.

You can find an example here.

Monday 11 January 2021

New Forms (34): Minison

I have just encountered the Minison Project here, thanks to Trish Hopkinson's NO FEE Submission call page.  

Do take a look at this brief form, described as 'Shakespeare's Sonnet Reimagined'. 


Saturday 24 October 2020

New Forms (33): Roseate Sonnet


Details of the Roseate Sonnet can be found here. This Indian variation on European Sonnet forms was developed by Dr. A.V. Koshy in December 2012.

Monday 28 September 2020

New Forms (32): The haiflu




The haiflu is taking off big time, and although I am presenting it as a new form, it is has really become a community enterprise initiated by Liz Torc, revolving around lockdown Haiku and photographs. We are being invited to post any we write online with a hashtag so that others can find them.



Thursday 16 July 2020

New Forms (31): the Andaree

The Andaree... details can be found here.

Thursday 18 June 2020

New Forms (30): the Suffolk Cando

'... so how did it get so green?' Dean Parkin (Suffolk Cando)

Have you heard of the Suffolk Cando? Poet, Dean Parkin invented the form for the Make, Do & Friends projects, organised by Suffolk Artlink and the Rural Coffee Caravan. He hopes it will help us to celebrate Suffolk Day on 21 June.

Dean describes the Suffolk Cando as a cross between a limerick and a haiku, with added Suffolk dialect thrown in. The form usually has four lines. It can include rhymes 'here and there'.

One line is usually a question, and while the inventor of the form would like to encourage a bit of 'Suffolk', he adds that 'any old dialect would do (or speech).'

The form will be premiered tomorrow on Radio Suffolk (UK) on Friday 19 June 2020 on the Lesley Dolphin show at 2.30pm.

Dean's examples:

Early spring
everything budding
we've had no rain
so how did it get so green?

They say wos it all about?
Well, I dunt really noo.
You can do the hookey cookey
but just yew mind how yew gew.

Posted with Dean's permission.

Thursday 30 January 2020

Poetics (6): the Epigraph

I suspect epigraphs are like a certain yeast-based spread in the sense that you either love or hate them. Dave Bonta and those who comment on his words have listed a number of reasons for their inclusion: you can find the discussion here on Via Negativa.

Wednesday 30 January 2019

New Forms (29): the 821

Tyne Bridge at Night

The 821: you can read about it here.

Examples can be found here

Sunday 4 February 2018

Tuesday 30 January 2018

Poetics (5): the Double dactyl

Do click the link here to read more about the Double dactyl on The London Grip pages for the time being.

Thursday 30 November 2017

New Forms (27) and (28): The Octolune... and the Octoluneo

This new poetic form, which addresses or invokes the moon, was invented by Simon Zonenblick. If you click through to Simon's post and scroll down a little, you will also be able to read about the spin-off form, the Octoluneo.

You can find details of the Octolune on the Write Out Loud site here.

Alison Lock has included an Octolune in her new collection, Revealing the Odour of Earth (Calder Valley Poetry, 2017). Hannah Stone alludes to the poem in her review here on the Algebra of Owls site.

Friday 27 October 2017

New Forms (26): Newspaper Blackout Poems

As far as I can see, these are the same as erasure poems, except that you (only) use text from a newspaper.

See here

Monday 2 October 2017

New Forms (25): The Golden Shovel

This not-quite golden (?peat) shovel is displayed in the Somerset Levels, 
having come from the China Clay Museum in Cornwall

24 November 2017 news update: there is now an international Golden Shovel competition run by Roosevelt University for young people and international undergraduate students: details here

* * *

I attended a poetry workshop and reading at the ¡Cornucopia! Alde Valley Festival on Saturday. One of the poems read out to us by Sue Wallace-Shaddad was in the Golden Shovel form. This was new to me. Its name immediately brought to mind not only Wordsworth's 'host of golden daffodils', but a diverse array of other 'golden' items, rules and concepts - the goose's golden eggs, the Golden Section, a golden handshake and so on.

The image that lodged most firmly in my mind was the 'Golden Marshalltown' trowel, the prized possession of an archaeologist, in The Golden Marshalltown: A Parable of the the Archaeology of the 1980s by Kent V. Flannery (American Anthropologist, New Series, Vol. 84, No. 2, June, 1982, 265-278): you can read about the article here

I am still trying to work out the connection between the trowel and the shovel since both (like the pen: remember Heaney) can be used for digging.

Here are a few links to websites about the new poetry form...

Tuesday 19 September 2017

Resources (2): Martyn Crucefix on 14 Ways to Write an Ekphrastic Poem

Martyn Crucefix has written an excellent blog post here.

For the Rattle ekphrastic challenges see here

Friday 26 May 2017

New Forms (24): The Cherita

The Cherita: a compact and pleasing 'short form', with a sense of narrative at its heart.
  • 'collecting dulse' [22/2017] has been published in The Cherita #3 (eBook 2017 vol i. Find Me) p.188...

Elgol, Skye shorelines

Friday 17 February 2017

Poetics (4): 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 (3): 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 ...

Friday 15 May 2015

Resources (1): Useful Books (currently a list 'in progress'...)

The Book of Forms: a Handbook of Poetics Including Odd and Invented Forms by Lewis Putnam Turco (UPNE 2012)

ISBN-10: 1584650222 AND ISBN-13: 978-1584650225
A constant source of inspiration for many years.

Covered in Rhyme (Poetry: its Forms & Terms) by Alan J. Carter and Bernard M. Jackson
(QQ Press in two parts, UK, £6 incl. of p&p. Rest of world postage on request).

Part 1, by Bernard, covers 37 forms.
Part 2, by Alan, is a glossary of literary and poetic terms.

Muse & Metre by Dr. H. Tulsi, ed. of Metverse Muse (India) - and Bernard M. Jackson

Moving Words, Forms of English Poetry by Derek Attridge (OUP).

242 Mirror Poems and Reflections by Dr Marc L. Latham (Kindle or print edition)

You Only Guide Me by Surprise: Poetry and the Dolphin's Turn by Peter Sacks.

The (brilliant) Judith Lee Stronach Memorial Lecture on the Teaching of Poetry, delivered on 7 May 2010 by Peter Sacks.

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.