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Catalogue Verse or List Poem


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Explore the Craft of Writing Poetry
Semitic Verse

Catalogue Verse dates back to biblical times. The first evidence of this genre of poetry is in Hebrew text, Genesis 12. It is as the name suggests a list of names, things or places with something in common. It often offers parallels and makes use of anaphora creating a chant like tone. Many catalogue poems make reference to God, although that is not a requirement. The frame or structure is at the discretion of the poet.Today teachers often use this form as a classroom exercise, although they are likely to call it a List Poem. A variation of Catalogue Verse is the French Blason

The elements of a Catalogue or List Poem are:

  1. framed at the discretion of the poet.
  2. composed showing a point of view.
  3. includes a beginning and an end, it is not simply a list.
  4. each item recorded is written using the same syntax.

    Pied Beauty by Gerard Hopkins is a modern Catalogue poem written in the verse form of a Curtal Sonnet using sprung rhythm.

    Morning Sounds All Around by Serina Matteson (a free verse Catalogue poem)

    Maddening ring of the clock that was not turned off.
    Television mumbling in the next room.
    Wheezing cough.
    Grumbling of a late night teenager.
    Flicking of the lighter.
    Unanswered telephone resonating.
    Dithering that ask if I'm up to talking.
    Heavy sigh released with smoke laden breath.
    Pounding feet from a rushed school senior.
    Guilt whispering that she blames me.
    Gulping while swallowing a hand full of pills.
    Buzzing of the lawnmower.
    Rocks pinging off the trailer metal.
    Humming of the air conditioner.
    Angst screaming that my hearts beating too fast.
    Cussing from my son as he kicks the lawnmower.
    Scratching paws in the kitty litter.
    Blaring voices. Who turned up the television?
    Thump, thump from the heart beat in my temple.
    Hip hop from the bathroom.
    High pitched drone seeping from the computer
    Fixated voice that there's too much noise.
    Uncertain clang.
    Rustling covers being pulled up over my head.

~~ © ~~ Poems by Judi Van Gorder ~~

For permission to use this work you can write to Tinker1111@icloud.com

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