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Explore the Craft of Writing Poetry

Invented Forms


The Patrol Poem "is an accentual verse poem in three stanzas of four lines each." Rex Allen Brewer invented the form in response to an exercise in group study of Poet’s Companion. It was an exercise to create a new form, distinct by meter, rhyme and use of poetic devices. I include it here because the form is musical and representative of one of many small poetic communities popping up on the internet.


The Patrol Poem is:

  • a 12 line poem made up of 3 quatrains.
  • accentual verse, giving importance to stress count. There are 4 stresses in each of the 4 lines of the first quatrain, 3 stresses in each of the 4 lines of the second quatrain and the stress count alternates stresses from 4, 3, 4, 3 in the third quatrain.
  • rhymed, rhyme scheme is xaxa xbxb xcxc. x being unrhymed.
  • composed with repetition of words as a criteria of this form. In each quatrain 1 word is repeated 4 times, anaphora (repetition of the first word of the line) may be employed to accomplish this goal.


    Advice to a Beginning Poet-Writer

    by Rex Allen Brewer


    Listen to your broken heart my friend;

    listen as the old folks speak;

    listen to the jay's tall tale;

    listen and learn before you speak.


    Write the simple stuff;

    write the common tale;

    write barefoot poetry;

    write to shape a spell.


    Learn to write with Glory words,

    words that soar and fight.

    You want words that sing and shout,

    words that dance all night.

    With Apologies

    by Judi Van Gorder


    Late, again and again and again!

    Late for school, the bell has rung,

    late for work, a client waits,

    late for mass, the Kyrie sung.


    I’m always a step behind,

    time seems to slip away,

    I find too much to do. . .

    delay, delay, delay.


    I am even late in dreams,

    I rush to be on time,

    I vow to change, be punctual,

    forever an uphill climb.

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