by Christine Swint
Here’s the long and short of it …
Can we really write 30 poems in 30 days? Yes, we can!
This past November, I participated in NaBloPoMo, National Blog Posting Month. After joining Dana’s group, Read Write Poem, I used the challenge of posting every day to write a poem a day. I was able to write 30 poems by exploring the world of short forms.
In light of the upcoming NaPoWriMo, we thought it would be helpful to round up several short forms for everyone to play with. Who knows, it might become your new favorite way to write!
- Pleiades: This is a modern form invented in 1999 by Craig Tigerman. The Pleiades, named after the constellation also known as the seven sisters from Greek mythology, consists of seven lines of seven syllables each. The title is one word, and each line starts with the same letter as the title.
- Cadae: Another form based on counting syllables, the cadae follows the sequence of the first seven digits of Pi (which equals 3.141592). The first line consists of three syllables, the second one syllable, and so on. You could include several stanzas, or just one. Another variation would be to write three words for the first line, one word for the second line, etc.
- Fib: The fib is similar to the cadae, in that the form is based on a sequence of numbers (0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21). It too is a modern form. There are several ways to write a fib, but the most common way I’ve seen is to write a one syllable line for the first two lines, two syllables for the second, etc. This form creates a great visual effect, because the Fibonacci curve found in nature reveals itself on the page. (See Prompt # 11 where we explored this form in Januray.)
You can also read more about the fib at Gottabook, site of author Gregory K., who coined the title “fib”:
- Rothko: I’ve never written a Rothko poem, but I’m going to soon. There are three basic guidelines to writing one: have a Rothko painting in front of you, write three lines of poetry, each containing three words, and include three colors. If you follow this link to About Poetry, you can also read about the Pollock. Maybe you have your own favorite painter. Why not invent your own short form based on that artist’s work?
- Nonet: The nonet contains nine lines. The first line contains nine syllables, the second eight, etc … (9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1).
Besides these forms, you might already enjoy American Sentences, a form Dana brought to us for our first prompt (way back in November).
This is a short but sweet list to get you started. If you have a favorite little form you’d like to share, leave us a link, and we’ll thank you!