Week Fifty: Invented Form

The Switchfoot

As I wind down this poetry challenge (I can’t believe I’ve been doing this for over a year!), I thought I’d temporarily break away from the traditional forms to devise one of my own. Since many of my favorite forms have a metrical component to them, I thought I would focus on meter for my own form. Without further ado, I give you: The Switchfoot.

In the Switchfoot, we put one (metrical) foot in front of other, featuring a different type of metrical foot in each line of a stanza. It’s an exercise in metrical versatility and a great way to practice writing in different meters. (See the chart below for twelve common types of metrical feet).

Twelve metrical feet and their accents. Courtesy of Wikipedia.

Key Features of The Switchfoot

Content: each line of a stanza must feature a different metrical foot type

Form: any number stanzas, up to twelve lines per stanza


An Original Switchfoot

it is the sun burning

it is
the sun
bright heart
and it is
with its light
without stars
no world can
live but each
world star dims

A Note on My Original Poem

I wanted my original poem to be a clear example of the form at work, so I set out to with the following goals in mind: 1) I wanted each line to feature a single metrical foot, 2) I wanted to feature each of the twelve metrical foot types in a single stanza, and 3) I wanted to use them in order as listed in the chart provided above. I believe I’ve done this successfully. Now, whether or not all of this adds up to a poem that is successful in it’s own right, I’ll let you be the judge!


Want to Learn More? Start Here:

Foot (Prosody) – Wikipedia


Come back every Friday for a new form!

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Write your own Switchfoot and share in the comments!