The Kimo is yet another variation on the Haiku which focuses on imagery and strict syllable count. Israeli poets adjusted the syllabic requirements of that traditional Japanese form to accommodate for the unique characteristics of the Hebrew language.
Key Features of the Kimo
Content: like haiku, usually image-specific and acts as a still life, or snapshot, of a single moment
No one knows who invented the Limerick, but the name suggests it originated in the Irish city of the same name. English poet Edward Lear popularized the form in the 19th century and is largely responsible for the form’s continued popularity. Limericks are sometimes nonsensical, sometimes set up like jokes with a punchline, and should always inspire a chuckle.
Key Features of the Limerick
Content: Humorous, sometimes raunchy, sometimes aimed at a celebrity or public figure
Form: Consists of five lines
Syllables: Syllables are not usually strictly counted, but line length pattern goes: long, long, short, short, long.
The Ae Freislighe (pronounced ‘ay fresh-lee’) is a Celtic form which you’ll find somewhat adapted in English. These adaptations still strive to match the musicality of the original language by including complex patterns of rhyme and alliteration.
Key Features of the Ae Freislighe
Content: Traditionally contains internal patterns of alliteration to create a musical effect
Form: Made up of any number of quatrains
Rhyme: Features a triple-rhyme in lines 1 and 3, and a double-rhyme in lines 2 and 4 (see example)
Syllables: Seven syllables per line
Ending: Usually ends with the same word or line with which the poem begins (in Celtic poetry, this is called a dunadh)
Tennessee, by Robert Lee Brewer
Do you recall Tennessee & all that late night kissing, or is it a memory once yours that’s now gone missing?
Perhaps there’s some video for both of us to review & retire to Ohio with vows that we will renew.
An Original Poem
To find the life underneath Sometimes it takes a cutting A folding back of the sheath To see the green life budding
We learned in our explorations of the Kyrielle [Week 13], Villanelle [Week 23] and Terzanelle [Week 32] that the French love their repeating refrains. But the Pantoum is a French adaptation of a form that is Malaysian in origin.
Key Features of the Pantoum Poem
Form: composed of any number of quatrains
Refrain: The second and fourth lines of one stanza repeat as the first and third lines of the next. Some variation is allowed to add interest.
Of all the forms we’ve covered so far, the Concrete Poem is unique in its emphasis on the physical form—the actual shape of the words—along with the meaning. Poetry meets typography meets graphic design in this experimental, visually inventive form.
Jumblers and scrabblers are well-versed in the art of the anagram, a technique that uses the shuffling of a given selection of letters to find new words. Anagrams can be a lot of fun, so it’s no surprise they are used in many popular word games and puzzles.
Key Features of the Anagrammatic Poem
Content: Always titled, and only letters featured in the title can be used
Form: The anagrammatic method can be combined with existing poetic forms (such as the haiku, sonnet, etc.) or used to create new ones.
The Katauta is a short romantic poem addressed to a lover and is similar to other Japanese forms such as the haiku, somonka, and sedoka. A katauta asks a question, but since the question remains unanswered, it’s sometimes considered more of a half-poem.
Form: A short three-line poem, typically untitled Content: Addressed to a lover and asks a question Syllable Count: usually 5-7-7, but sometimes 5-7-5
The Terza Rima is a type of verse stanza invented by Italian poet Dante Alghieri and is used in his epic masterwork, The Divine Comedy. Terza rima poems are always written in tercets with an interlinking rhyme scheme unique to the form. In English, the terza rima may be incorporated into other well-known forms, such as the sonnet (see example below).
Key Features of The Terza Rima
Form: Written in any number of tercets, but you’ll probably want at least three to establish the rhyme scheme.
Rhyme: Features a terza rima rhyme scheme (sometimes called a chain rhyme) of aba-bcb-cdc, etc.
Below is an example of a terza rima sonnet
Ode to the West Wind Percy Bysshe Shelley (1795-1825)
First Movement O wild West Wind, thou breath of Autumn’s being, Thou, from whose unseen presence the leaves dead Are driven, like ghosts from an enchanter fleeing.
Yellow, and black, and pale, and hectic red, Pestilence-striken multitudes: O thou, Who chariotest to their dark wintry bed
The winged seeds, where they lie cold and low, Each like a corpse within its grave, until Thine azure sister of the Spring shall blow
Her clarion o’er the dreaming earth, and fill (Driving sweet buds like flocks to feed in air) With living hues and odours plain and hill:
Wild Spirit, which art moving everywhere; Destroyer and preserver; hear, oh hear!
An Original Terza Rima Poem
A Galaxy Newly Born
Nascent love is like a galaxy newly born, Its elements simple and lighter than air. But in darkness, its stars yet unformed.
From its center it is an experience as rare, As clear as desire unclouded by dust, But from a distance—a dim blue glare.
Heavier elements—security and trust— Require a ritual, a sacrifice of stars. Much later will come the planet’s crust.