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Explore the Craft of Writing Poetry
Invented Forms

Pathways for the Poet by Viola Berg (1977) appears to be a book for educators. Classic poetic forms as well as many invented forms that can be used as teaching tools or exercises for use in workshops or classrooms are included. Some of these invented forms I have found in use in internet poetry communities, a testament to their staying power. On this page I include the syllabic invented forms found therein which appear to be exclusive to the community of educators from whom Ms. Berg drew her support. I have yet to find these in any other source. I have included the metric invented forms on a separate page. Whether classroom exercise or sharpening your skill as a writer, some of these forms can be fun to play with.

  • Baccresiezé is an invented verse form, apparently created as an exercise in repetition. This verse has two and a half different refrains. It is attributed to E. Ernest Murell. The elements of the Baccresiezé are:
    1. stanzaic, written in 3 quatrains.
    2. syllabic, L1,L2,L3 are 8 syllables and L4 is 4 syllables.
    3. refrained, L4 of each quatrain is a refrain and L1 of the first quatrain is repeated as L3 in the 2nd quatrain. The last 4 syllables of L1 are repeated as the last 4 syllables of L2 in the first quatrain only.
    4. rhymed, with a complicated rhyme scheme AaxB bxAB xxxB x being unrhymed.

      The Will by by Judi Van Gorder                              

      ---------I read of love, undying love,
                what does that mean, undying love?
                A rose withers, a blossom falls,
      ---------------                  what lives will die.
                Love is a will, a rush, a sigh,
                a touch, a cry, a hope, a rock.
                I read of love, undying love,
      ---------------                 what lives will die.
                Blush of new love we know must fade
                replaced in time with trust and grace.
                In rest, I will my love remain.
      --------------                  What lives will die.

      O - Ka - Leee! by Barbara Hartman

      Redwing wakes me from winter dreams,
      he called me from a bare-boned tree
      while I floated in Pelé's pool
      ---------------------------beside the sea.
      Thermal springs caress cool currents
      where small green fish and turtles swim.
      Redwing wakes me from winter dreams
      ----------------------------beside the sea.
      Coconut palms and hala trees,
      Aloha nui, soft salt breeze.
      Blackbird heralds another spring
      ---------------------------beside the sea.

  • The Balance attempts to create an ebb and flow rhythm. The rhythm is created by a specific syllabic designation per line as well as an intricate rhyme scheme. This verse form was created by Viola Berg.  The elements of the Balance are:
    1. stanzaic, framed in 4 cinquains. The patterns of the cinquains change from stanza to stanza.
    2. syllabic,
      stanza 1 =10-8-6-4-2 syllables.
      stanza 2 =2-4-6-8-10 syllables
      stanza 3 =10-8-6-4-2 syllables
      stanza 4 = 2-4-6-8-10 syllables
    3. rhymed, rhyme scheme Abcde edcba abcde edcbA.
    4. composed with a refrain, the 1st line of the poem is repeated as the last line.
                                                                                    Short Balance by Judi Van Gorder

      Centered on a page plain words resonate
      with sounds of fingers striking
      a keyboard, a mighty sword.
      Tapping into
      my muse.

      Good news,
      the verse in due
      time takes shape, strikes a chord
      without inspiration spiking.
      Centered on a page plain words resonate.

  • The Bragi is said to be suited for scenic beauty and "the elfin". Created by Thelma Allinder, this verse form became popular through a 1950's publication, Scimitar and Song. The elements of the Bragi are:
    1. stanzaic, written in 2 sixains.
    2. syllabic, 6-8-10-10-8-6 10-8-6-6-8-10 syllables per line.
    3. rhymed, rhyme scheme abccba cbaabc.

      Persimmon by Judi Van Gorder

      Soggy leaves decompose
      on the winter walkway
      that ambles through the stark barren garden.
      One lonely Persimmon tree stands discarded
      against the sky, leafless array
      of dark limbs seem to doze.

      Golden orbs appear to hang unguarded,
      the dulcet sweet fruit on display
      with no one to pose
      a threat to dispose.
      Left ignored on this frosty day,
      bountiful harvest is unregarded.

  • The Brevee is a terse list of related rhymes. One more stanzaic form that appears to be invented as a learning tool, it was created by Marie Adams. The elements of the Brevee are:
    1. stanzaic, written in any number of sixains.
    2. syllabic, L1 L2 L4 L5 are 2 syllables each line and L3 & L6 are 4 syllables each.
    3. rhymed, rhyme scheme aabccb ddeffe.

      Cold by Judi Van Gorder

      Little
      brittle
      fragments of ice
      splinter
      winter
      ski paradise.

  • Cadence, created by Ella Cunningham, is a verse form which appears to be exercises in rhythm and possibly to show the value of often overlooked parts of speech, articles and prepositions. It is similar to the Cameo found at Poetry Base.  The elements of the Cadence are:
    1. a heptastich, a poem in 7 lines.
    2. syllabic, the Cadence written with 1-2-3-4-4-8-5 syllables per line.
    3. unrhymed, but end words should be strong, no articles or prepositions.

      127 Hours by Judi Van Gorder

      Snared,
      narrow
      precipice,
      time running out.
      Only option,
      amputate trapped arm, flying solo.
      Fortitude, freedom.

  • The Cinquetun (spelled Cinquetin in The Study and Writing of Poetry by Wauneta Hackleman) appears to be an invented verse form that is a longer version of the Crapsey Cinquain. It kind of defeats the purpose of the compactness of the original form, but then allows for broader images and an even meter. This verse form was created by E. Ernest Murrell.  The elements of the Cinquetun are:
    1. a hexastich, a poem in 6 lines.
    2. syllabic, lines of 8-6-10-6-8-2 syllables each.
    3. rhymed, rhyme scheme axbaxb, x being unrhymed.

      Memories  by Judi Van Gorder

      Night fog drifts through our redwood
      grove, brushing each needle
      with soothing elixir sent from afar.
      Memories, where we stood
      heart with heart joined and chose
      our star.
       
  • Cromorna is a verse form that has compact lines and exacting meter and rhyme developed by Viola Berg.  The elements of the Cromorna are:
    1. stanzaic, written in 3 quatrains.
    2. syllabic, with 5-3-5-3 5-3-5-3 5-3-5-3 syllables per line.
    3. rhymed, rhyme scheme abab cbcb dbdb.

      Word of the Day by Judi Van Gorder

      To rhyme will be hard,
      a hassle,
      to challenge the bard
      who'd wrassle?

      The word for the day,
      bedazzle.
      Its meant in a way
      to frazzle,

      Its purpose, to daze
      or razzle.
      A trip through a maze
      of dazzle.

      (Yes wrassle is a real word, it is an alternate spelling of wrestle - to engage in the sport of wrestling.) Not much available in rhyme or even near rhyme for bedazzle and it really was the "Word of the Day" at a dictionary site.

  • The Donna is a syllabic Limerick, without requiring the anapestic rhythm. Created by Viola Berg, the verse should be witty and fun.  The elements of the Donna are:
    1. stanzaic, written in any number of quintains.
    2. syllabic, lines of 8-6-4-4-6.
    3. rhyme xabba, xcddc etc.
       
  • Duodora is a quatorzain that doesn't claim to be a sonnet. Written in 2 septets, L1 of the first septet is repeated as L1 of the 2nd septet. The verse form was created by Dora Tompkins who was an editor of the Nutmegger, a poetry magazine published in Connecticut. 1970s.  The elements of the Duodora are:
    1. a quatorzain made up of 2 septets.
    2. syllabic, 4-6-5-5-5-10-10 / 4-6-5-5-5-10-10 syllables per line.
    3. rhymed Axxxxxb Axxxxxb L1 is repeated as a refrain that begins the 2nd stanza. x is unrhymed.
       
  • For-Get-Me-Not is a tiny verse form originated by Viola Gardner.  The elements of the For-Get-Me-Not are:
    1. a small poem, a complete couplet.
    2. syllabic, 4 syllable lines.
    3. rhymed.
    4. titled.

      May by jvg
      A daisy day
      will lead the way.

  • The Hautt is a verse form that pursues "wisdom and eternal truth" in honor of Christian educator Dr. Willaim D Hautt. It was created by Viola Berg..  The elements of the Hautt are:
    1. content driven.
    2. a hexastich, a poem in 6 lines.
    3. syllabic, 4-5-2-2-5-4 syllables per line.
    4. unrhymed.
       
  • The Kerf is a verse form in tercets and is attributed to Marie Adams. The elements of the Kerf are:
    1. a poem in 12 lines made up of 4 tercets.
    2. syllabic, 6-7-10 per line.
    3. rhymed, rhyme scheme abc abc dec dec.
       
  • The Logolilt is an invented stanzaic form that features diminishing line length. It was created by Flozari Rockwood.  The elements of the Logolilt are:
    1. stanzaic written in any number of sixains made up of 2 tercets each.
    2. syllabic, 8-4-2-8-4-2 8-4-2-8-4-2.
    3. rhymed, rhyme scheme aabccb ddeffe.
       
  • The Lyrette is a syllabic invented verse form created by Dr. Israel Newman.  The elements of the Lyrette are:  
    1. a heptastich, a poem in 7 lines.
    2. syllabic, 2-3-4-5-4-3-2 syllables per line.
    3. unrhymed.
    4. each line should end with strong word.

      Vows  by Judi Van Gorder

      Within
      that moment
      filled with orchids
      and sweet Savignon
      we pledged our lives
      forever
      to love.
       
  • Manardina is a syllabic invented verse form with only 2 rhymes created by Nel Modglin of Davenport Iowa. The form has been used as a contest form.  The elements of the Manardina are:
    1. a poem in 12 lines.
    2. syllabic, L1,L6,L7,L11 &L12 are 4 syllables each, L2-L5, L8-L10 are 8 syllables each.
    3. rhymed, rhyme scheme axbbxxxbbxa.
       
  • The Marianne is a verse form that is written with a combination rhyme and syllable count.It was created by Viola Berg . The lines should be centered on the page.  The elements of the Marianne are:
    1. a pentastich, a poem in 5 lines.
    2. syllabic, 4-6-8-4-2 syllables per line.
    3. rhymed, axaxa x being unrhymed.
    4. titled and centered on the page.
      Reaching for a Star by Judi Van Gorder

      For all who teach,
      inspire students to look
      to the stars beyond their reach
      and push against 
      the breach.
       
  • Miniature is a verse form that is a kind of contradiction of syllabic and metric form. All but 2 lines, begin and end on stressed syllables which would imply catelectic trochaic meter. It also has an unusual feature of requiring the 5th syllable of the 1st line be rhymed with the 1st syllable of the 2nd line, it was created by Margaret Ball Dickson.  The elements of the Miniature are:
    1. a decastich, a poem in 10 lines.
    2. syllabic, 7-5-7-5-7-6-7-6-7-7 syllables per line. All but L6 & L8 begin and end on a stressed syllable. L6 & L8 have feminine endings.
    3. rhyme x a x a x b x b c c, x being unrhymed.
    4. composed with the 5th syllable of L1, rhymed with the 1st syllable of L2
       
  • Minuette is a verse form with short lines possibly the rhythm of the lines is meant to simulate the rhythm of the musical minuette. Introduced by Viola Berg, it is similar to the Sweetbriar.  The elements of the Minuette are:
    1. a poem in 12 lines made up of 2 sixains.
    2. syllabic, all lines 4 syllables long.
    3. rhymed, rhyme scheme xxaxxa xxbxxb.
    4. composed with L3,L6,L9,L12 indented. (Interesting how detailed some of the verse forms can be described, like calling for specific lines being indented.)
       
  • The Octain is an invented verse form begins and ends the poem with the same word. It was created by Lillian Mathilda Svenson.  The elements of the Octain are:
    1. an octastich, a poem in 8 lines.
    2. syllabic, 2-4-6-8-8-6-4-3 syllables per line. Not a typo, the last line takes 3 syllables but the last word must be the same as the first.
    3. rhymed or unrhymed. If it is rhymed the rhyme scheme is AbcdbcdA. (given the rhyme and the syllable count the first line must be a 2 syllable word.)
       
  • The Octodil is an invented verse form that uses only even numbered syllable lines. It was created by Viola Berg.  The elements of the Octodil are:
    1. a poem in 8 lines, an octastich.
    2. syllabic, 4-4-6-6-8-8-6-6 syllables per line.
    3. unrhymed and no feminine or falling end words.

      Days Like This by Judi Van Gorder

      I hear the howl
      of whipping wind
      hurling pellets of rain
      against my windowpane.
      Dimming the darkness, candles lit,
      muted shadows yawn and stretch low..
      We're snuggled dry inside,
      me and my furry friend.

  • The Pendulum is an invented verse form that features graduated line lengths. It was created by Etta J Murphy and was first published in Calkins, Haiku Highlights (July-August 1970).  The elements of the Pendulum are:
    1. a poem in 8 lines, an octastich.
    2. syllabic, 8-6-4-2-2-4-6-8 syllables per line.
    3. rhymed, rhyme scheme aabbccdd.
       
  • The Retournello is a stanzaic invented form with a refrain. It was created by Flozari Rockwood.  The elements of the Retournello are:
    1. stanzaic, written in any number of quatrains.
    2. syllabic, 4-6-8-4 syllables per line.
    3. rhymed, rhyme scheme abba cddc effe etc.
       
  • The Scallop is an invented stanzaic form written in sixains. It was created by Marie L Blanche Adams.  The elements of the Scallop are:
    1. stanzaic, written in any number of sixains.
    2. syllabic, 2-4-6-6-4-2 syllables per line.
    3. rhymed, rhyme scheme abccba deffed ghiihg etc.
       
  • The Seox (seox in Anglo Saxon means six) is a verse form written in 6 lines in keeping with its name. It was created by Ann Byrnes Smith.  The elements of the Seox are:
    1. a poem in six lines, a hexastich.
    2. syllabic, 3-7-6-5-4-3 syllables per lines.
    3. unrhymed.
       
  • The Septanelle is a verse form in 7 lines. It was created by Lyra LuVaile. The elements of the Septanelle are:
    1. a heptastich, a poem in seven lines.
    2. syllabic, 4-6-10-4-6-10-4 syllables per line.
    3. rhymed, rhyme scheme ababcca.
       
  • The Sweetbriar is an invented verse form similar to the Minuette. It uses only 1 rhyme and was created by Viola Berg.  The elements of the Sweetbriar are:
    1. stanzaic, written in 2 sixains. (This could easily be considered a stanzaic form, to be written in any number of sixains but it might be difficult to maintain the singular rhyme in more that 2 stanzas.)
    2. syllabic, 4-4-6-4-4-6 syllables per line.
    3. rhymed, rhyme scheme xxaxxa xxaxxa.
       
  • The Termelay is similar to the Roundelay. This invented verse form was created by Viola Berg.  The elements of the Termelay are:
    1. a hexastich, a poem in 6 lines.
    2. syllabic, 4-4-4-8-8-4 syllables per line.
    3. unrhymed.
    4. composed with a refrain, L3 is repeated as L6.
       
  • The Troisieme is a verse form introduced by Viola Berg. The content is broken into 4 parts, an introduction in the 1st tercet, an expansion in the 2nd tercet, a parallel or contrast in the 3rd tercet and a summary or conclusion in the couplet.The structural elements of the Troisieme are:
    1. stanzaic, written in 3 tercets followed by a couplet.
    2. syllabic, 3-5-7 3-5-7 3-5-7 9-9  syllables each.   
    3. unrhymed.
  • The Veltanelle is a stanzaic form created by Velta Myrtle Allen Sanford.  The elements of the Veltanelle are:
    1. stanzaic, written in no more than 3 sixains.
    2. syllabic, 10-6-10-6-10-10 syllalbes per line.
    3. rhymed ababcc dedeff ghghii.  Note😣🙄 previously posted with incorrect rhyme scheme.  I'm sorry.
       
  • Verso-Rhyme is an invented verse form introduced by L. Ensley Hutton and written without punctuation except for an exclamation at the end. Therefore, I can only assume that the poem should be written on a subject the poet feels emphatically about.  The elements of the Verso-Rhyme are:
    1. an octastich, a poem in 8 lines.
    2. syllabic, 6-4-6-4-6-4-6-4 syllables per line.
    3. rhyme, xaxbxaxb. x being unrhymed.
    4. usually right margined.
       
  • The Violette is a stanzaic form with a rhyme scheme similar to the Zéjel without the mundanza, introduced by Viola Gardner. Line 4 carries a linking rhyme from stanza to stanza.  The elements of the Violette are:
    1. stanzaic, written in any number of quatrains.
    2. syllabic, 6-6-6-4 syllables per line.
    3. rhymed, feminine rhyme used aaab cccb dddb etc b is a linking rhyme from stanza to stanza.

      She Passed  by Judi Van Gorder

      He handed her the keys
      She handled them with ease
      the driving test a breeze.
      Never braver.

      Off she goes resolute
      Mom's anxious cries held mute
      but friends think it's a hoot
      New teen driver.

  • The Zanze is a verse form with variable syllabic pattern introduced by Walden Greenwell.  The elements of the Zanze are:
    1. a poem in 16 lines made up of 4 quatrains.
    2. syllabic, 8-8-8-8 6-6-6-6 4-4-4-4 2-4-6-8 syllables per line.
    3. rhymed, Abab cdcd efef gagA.
    4. L1 is repeated as L16, L5 is the repetition of first 6 syllables of L1, L9 is the repetition of first 4 syllables of L1 and L13 is the repetition of the first 2 syllables of L1.

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