From Category: Traditional and Exotic Verse Forms
The ghazal is a poetic form from the Arabian Peninsula popularized in the modern West by the late Agha Shahid Ali. This essay shares Ali's insights into this challenging, rewarding structure, whose literal meaning is “flirtation”.
Bob Newman has found exquisite forms to frame your words. Bone up on Chant Royal, Domino Rhyme, Rhopalics and Rubaiyat. An idiosyncratic links page presents treasures like Arnaut & Karkur's ultimate on-line prosody resource, a great resource to learn about important verse forms.
This clever site created by Paul Aubrian features lists of adjectives that begin with a particular letter or syllable. Handy for writing acrostic poems, playing Scrabble, or completing those tricky crossword clues.
In Latin, a cento is a patchwork. In poetry, a cento is a work composed of lines from works by other authors. Examples include “The Dong with a Luminous Nose,” “SemiCento” (multi-lingual!) and “Familiar Lines.” Read more about the cento form at William Delamar's Werd Trix and A Word A Day's series on poetry forms.
Chiasmus is “a reversal in the order of words in two otherwise parallel phrases.” Dr. Mardy Grothe collects exemplars of the art. We especially like this one, relayed by John F. Kennedy in 1956: http://www.chiasmus.com/mastersofchiasmus/kennedy.shtml
Brief, easy-to-understand discussion of short poetic forms such as the haiku, cinquain, and sonnet, with links to lessons and examples.
A Word A Day defines a clerihew as “a humorous, pseudo-biographical verse of four lines of uneven length, with the rhyming scheme AABB, and the first line containing the name of the subject.” This form is a relatively recent invention of Edmund Clerihew Bentley (1875-1956). A typical creation: The people of Spain think Cervantes/Equal to half-a-dozen Dantes;/An opinion resented most bitterly/By the people of Italy. Some clerihew links… Clerihews in T-town.
Concrete poetry physically arranges words and letters on a page to create an effect that adds meaning to a poem. Explore Michael Garofalo's collection of weblinks to concrete poems and William Delamar's discussion at Werd Trix.
Links to haiku and Zen Buddhist quotations compiled by Michael P. Garofalo on his Garden Digest website.
Brian Kim Stefans presents “the dreamlife of letters”. Words from A to Z scamper, dissolve and deconstruct themselves in this 11-minute animation, Stefans' playful response to postmodern jargon. Read Teemu Ikonen's commentary on the genre, “Moving Text in Avant-Garde Poetry”.
Hosted by The Australian Haiku Society. Click the anthology link from the home page for plenty of good haiku. Click here for their links to haiku-related contests, publications and listservs.
Indriso is a form created by contemporary Spanish poet Isidro Iturat. The poem is formed by two triplets and two one-line stanzas (3-3-1-1), with free use of the rhyme and the number of syllables in its verses. “The indriso comes from the sonnet but it is not a sonnet. In the same way, the sonnet is a variation of the Provençal song but it is not a Provençal song.” See examples (mostly in Spanish, with some Englist translations) on his website.
The Poetry Foundation website features this essay on landays, a traditional poetic form among the Pashto-speaking people of Afghanistan, which has become a clandestine outlet for women to express dissent and speak of forbidden subjects like love and sensuality. The essay includes many examples of landay couplets with cultural context and photos.
Literary webzine with a specialized focus on Japanese short form poetry. Several contests throughout the year offer modest prizes for haiku, senryu, free verse, and flash fiction.
Biannual journal of haiku poetry, established in 1986. Mayfly is a paying market. Editors say, “We feel it is the duty of the editors and writers to make careful selection and proper presentation of only the very best, the most evocative, the truly effective haiku. We publish only 14 or 15 haiku per issue, but each haiku is printed on its own page.”
An independent journal of haiku and haiku studies. Publishes original poetry in Japanese forms, book reviews, and essays. Also sponsors the Robert Spiess Memorial Award ($100), annual deadline in March.
The New York Shakespeare Exchange's mission is to expand the audience for Shakespeare's plays and to support innovative presentations. One of their ventures is The Sonnet Project, a series of short films juxtaposing a Shakespeare sonnet and a vignette set in a distinctive NYC location.
Poetry blog on the Writer's Digest website features interviews with contemporary authors, writing prompts, advice on the craft, and introductions to exotic poetic forms.
The writers' forum FanStory sponsors this website for emerging writers, which offers tips on writing in a variety of poetic forms.
Poetry Through the Ages, a project of the Institute for Dynamic Educational Advancement (IDEA), is a free online exhibit that showcases poetic forms and movements from different cultures, with examples and instructions. A special feature of the site is a new poetic form called “node poetry”, which breaks the traditional linear flow of a poem into branching clusters of words that the reader can read in different sequences. Drawing its inspiration from synthetic and visual poetry, the form is found exclusively online, and enables readers to take the poet's lines and construct the poem as they explore it.
Haiku, tanka and meditative art from the journal Still and its successor, dew-on-line. Special section of September 11 poems. Hosted by award-winning poet Ai Li.
This blog operated by MET Press publishes contest announcements and other events of interest to the worldwide tanka and haiku poetry community.
Large collection of award-winning haiku. Calendar of haiku-related contests. Quarterly newsletter reports on national and international events.
Website of neo-formalist poet Timothy Steele, a professor of English at California State University, Los Angeles, includes selections from his poetry and critical essays as well as a useful introduction to traditional poetic forms and meters.
tinywords is a daily online journal of haiku and micropoetry (150 characters maximum). Sign up to receive a poem a day by email or text message.
With Words is a UK-based nonprofit that offers writing workshops and literary events for adults and youth, as well as an international haiku competition. Visit their website for basic advice on writing haiku poetry, with examples.
Paul Aubrian created this site featuring lists of words that rhyme with a particular word or syllable. A fun way for formal poets to expand their vocabulary.
Sophisticated presentation and analysis of haiku and haiku-related genres. Newsboard posts promote events and resources for Asian verse. Send handsome ecards for free.