The Diatelle

I’d like to suggest an optional form for us to experiment with. A few months ago, Merril D. Smith wrote a poem called a Diatelle. She found this form on shadowpoetry.com.

“The Diatelle is a fun, syllable counting form like the etheree with a twist. The syllable structure of the diatelle is as follows: 1/2/3/4/6/8/10/12/10/8/6/4/3/2/1, but unlike an etheree, has a set rhyme pattern of abbcbccaccbcbba. This poetry form may be written on any subject matter and looks best center aligned in a diamond shape.”

https://merrildsmith.wordpress.com/2020/07/10/flickering/

Merril shared a poem she created using the Diatelle form:

Light
comes, goes,
so it flows
to earth and sea,
flaming grassy meadows,
with photons streaming, gilds a tree.
Though shadows loom below, we let them be;
pretend we do not see the coming of the night,
but live, walk, talk—and love, the apogee
of our beings—humanity
with stardust traces glows
but faintly—see?
The flickers
dim. . .grow
bright.

©2020 Merril D. Smith

She also showed how she diagrams her poetry to get the correct rhyme scheme placement. Refer to my post HERE about rhyme schemes.

Merril says, “Maybe everyone does this, but if not, maybe it’s helpful to see. I made myself a template to keep track of syllables/lines and rhymes. I do this for many forms.”

a1 Light
 b2 comes, goes
 b3 so it flows
 c4 to earth and sea
 b6 flaming grassy meadows–
 c8 with photons streaming, gild a tree
 c10 though shadows loom below, we let them be,
 a12 pretend we do not see the coming of the night
 c10 but live, walk, talk–and love, the apogee
 c8 of our beings–humanity
 b6 with stardust traces glows
 c4 but faintly—see?
 b3 The flickers
 b2 dim, grow
 a1 bright.

I know some of you need an additional challenge. This is an optional form. Try it and see if it flows for you. I won’t add this until we’ve worked with the Diatelle for a while. It helps if you put it in the context of writing an Etheree. Take your time and just have fun. <3

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About Colleen Chesebro: WordCraftPoetry

Colleen M. Chesebro is a Michigan Poet who loves crafting syllabic poetry, flash fiction, and creative fiction and nonfiction. Colleen sponsors a weekly syllabic poetry challenge, called #TankaTuesday, on wordcraftpoetry.com where participants learn how to write traditional and current forms of syllabic poetry. A published author, Colleen is also an editor of “Word Weaving, a Word Craft Journal of Syllabic Verse, also found on wordcraftpoetry.com. Colleen’s mission is to bring the craft of writing syllabic poetry to anyone who thinks they can’t be a poet. Recently, she created the Double Ennead, a 99-syllable poetry form for the Carrot Ranch literary community at carrotranch.com. Colleen’s poetry has appeared in various anthologies and journals including “Hedgerow-a journal of small poems,” and “Poetry Treasures1 & 2” a collection of poetry from the poet/author guests of Robbie Cheadle on the “Treasuring Poetry” blog series on “Writing to be Read." Colleen published “Word Craft: Prose & Poetry, The Art of Crafting Syllabic Poetry,” which illustrates how to write various syllabic poetry forms used in her Tanka Tuesday challenges; and a collection of poetry, flash fiction, and short stories called, “Fairies, Myths & Magic: A Summer Celebration,” dedicated to the Summer Solstice. She contributed a short story called “The Changeling,” in the “Ghostly Rites Anthology 2020,” published by Plaisted Publishing House. Find Colleen at Word Craft: Prose & Poetry at wordcraftpoetry.com.
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35 Comments

  1. Thanks for the shout out, Colleen! I may have to try this form again. 😀

  2. Oh! I love it 💜💜💜

  3. A fun and puzzling challenge! You did a beautiful job!

  4. I’ve done at least one of these. And I diagram too otherwise I get even more lost.

  5. Lovely poem from Merril and interesting form. 🙂

  6. Another form I believe I did try at least once… and I too, like how Merril diagramed it. I think I do similar things when having to rhyme odd lines. sometimes I even put the rhyming words on the line first! And then fill in 😉 I’m not a big fan of forced rhyming, but I will copy and paste the for into my own growing guide of poetic information.

    Thank you!! Always good to stretch the brain cells 😉

  7. This is very interesting, Colleen. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Pingback: My Take – #TANKA TUESDAY Weekly #POETRY CHALLENGE NO. 214, #THEMEPROMPT #DIATELLE – Ruth Scribbles

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