Optional Poetry Forms

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.

The Kerf

Kerfe Roig found another optional form that I think will be fun to create… and the name is close enough to her own name!

Poets Collective shares that the Kerf is a verse form in tercets and is attributed to Marie Adams.

It comprises 12 lines with 4 tercets. It’s syllabic, 6-7-10 per line, and has a rhyme scheme of abc, abc, dec, dec per stanza.

Here is Kerfe’s example:

"Composted"

always digging deeper–
roots that grow below, restore–
listening through decay beyond stillness,

a place that is neither
dark nor light, yet full, aware,
gathered germinating into witness,

distilled light casting words
that linger as counterpart–
revealing mysteries in all that is

held on the wings of birds,
circulated through the heart,
absorbed into the spiraling axis

© 2021 Kerfe Roig

Arkquain Swirl

The Poet’s collective.org says: It is basically a segmented/augmented Arkquain String.

A syllabic centered poem of 34 lines.

It was invented by Madison Shaw, aka Arkbear on Allpoetry.

*syllable count: 1234 5775 4321234 5775 4321234 5775 4321

(1/2/3/4/5/7/7/5/4/3/2/1/2/3/4/5/7/7/5/4/3/2/1/2/3/4/5/7/7/5/4/3/2/1)

*7 syllable lines contain end rhyme 

Example:

"Trickster"

Red
is a
matchstick strike
ignites green seed -

a promise if one
sheds old skin, a hot tempered
belly-jewel, indentured
navel slave to womb;

red is a slow
soft shadow,
a nest
for
flesh in
petals, pommes,
grenadine pips,

in the garden where
stones wear mossy pinstripe suits,
where angels weep as Pan flutes -
a small flame still burns;

she is swollen
as desire
whispers
a
name once
sweet upon
the lips, to know

old bones in her bed
to trust in the lover's ache
she will hunt and kill the snake
cloaked in fox's colours.

Red is a Trick
of the light -
a match
strike.

© wildchild47cantaloupe sky 2022 all rights reserved

Whitney

Kerfe shared the Whitney, which is a titled syllabic form, created by Betty Ann Whitney, and it has exactly seven lines.

Syllable Pattern:  3/4/3/4/3/4/7

"Enchanted (Thursday Doors)"

It looks like
long ago and
far away,
waiting for once
upon a
time—shall we?—it
seems to be expecting us.

© Kerfe Roig

Double Ennead

A Double Ennead is a form I created for the Carrot Ranch Literary Community. The site features 99-Word stories, and I thought 99-Syllable poetry would be a great addition.

The Double Ennead comprises five lines with a syllable count of 6/5/11/6/5, (33 SYLLABLES per stanza) 3 STANZAS EACH = 99 SYLLABLES, NO MORE, NO LESS! Punctuation and rhyme schemes are optional and up to the poet.

Example:

"Farewell to Another Year"

frigid morn, Autumn kissed—
quiescent fields glow,
tempered with an aura of seasonal flow
the wheel of the year turns
another month lost 

under the sun's frail rays,
hardwood shadows fade,
while frost browned grasses sing anthems to the wind
naked tree limbs tremble,
upright to the end

death's undulations voiced 
leaves fall... orange rain,
bird requiems pay deference to the dead
another harvest done,
spring dreams fill my head

© Colleen M. Chesebro

Prime Verse

Prime Verse is syllabic poetry with similarities to the Nonet (which decreases 9 syllables to 1) and Rictameter (which goes up and down by twos from 2 to 10 and descends again). Prime Verse starts at 5 syllables, goes to the next prime number 7, the next which is 11, down and up again. The last couplet is the only set that rhymes and is 5 and 11 syllables. Nine lines in total; 5,7,11,7,5,7,11,5,11. 

fakeflamenco.com

Example:

How Can We Sparkle?

Whiff of Melting Snow
Distant suns I have not seen
Fill the darkened sky and ignite my dreams, I
Could not wish upon a star
When none I had gazed
Ancestors viewed more than we
Wonder filled both their slumber and waking dreams.
Jaded only can we be
When the glory of the night we cannot see.

© Rebecca Cuningham 4/4/22