10-line Poem Challenge #14: Brady’s Touch

This past week two people have tried their own hand at writing a Trianglet. Do stop by their blogs and take a look….

When you have finished reading the poems linked above, be sure to come back here to learn about a new decastich, Brady’s Touch.


Brady’s Touch is a decastich (10-line poem) created by Maryann Merryweather-Travis on November 2006, in honor of Allen Brady.

  • It is made of 2 quintets (5-line stanzas) with a specific rhyme and syllabic count.
  • Line length: Each stanza follows the same pattern of 9-9-8-8-2 syllables.
  • Rhyme scheme: abxcd abxcd
  • Thus the second stanza is an exact replica of the first stanza in terms of line length and rhyme. The poem really has a nice sound, with the rhyming sounds being so far apart from each other.

Continue reading “10-line Poem Challenge #14: Brady’s Touch”

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10-line Poem Challenge #13: Trianglet

It has been six weeks since my last decastich tutorial. But after a much-needed break from writing, I am back in the saddle and ready to resume this journey through the various 10-line poetic forms. What about you? Are you ready to study them with me? Great! Then let’s get started.

The Trianglet was created by Mina M. Sutherland.

  • It is a decastich written in one stanza.
  • The second half of the poem is a reflection of the first half in both its rhyme and its syllabic pattern.
  • The lines have a syllabic pattern of: 1-2-3-4-5-5-4-3-2-1.
  • The rhyme scheme is: AbcxddxcbA.
  • The poem begins and ends with the same one-syllable word (lines 1 & 10).

Continue reading “10-line Poem Challenge #13: Trianglet”

10-line Poem Challenge #12: Zeno

The Zeno is a decastich created by J. Patrick Lewis, who says of his form: “I call the form a ‘zeno,’ so named for Zeno, the philosopher of paradoxes, especially the dichotomy paradox, according to which getting anywhere involves first getting halfway there and then again halfway there, and so on ad infinitum.”

  • It is a decastich written in one stanza.
  • The lines have a syllabic pattern of: 8-4-2-1-4-2-1-4-2-1.
  • The rhyme scheme is: abcdefdghd. If this looks like alphabet soup to you, think of it this way: xxxaxxaxxa.

Continue reading “10-line Poem Challenge #12: Zeno”

10-line Poem Challenge #11: Mini Monoverse

The Mini Monoverse was created by Emily Romano.

  • It is a decastich written in 2 stanzas of 5 3-syllable lines.
  • Rhyme scheme: aaaaa bbbbb
  • The poem should tell a story, but this is not required.
  • It may be doubled, in which case the additional stanzas would rhyme ccccc ddddd. But of course, it would not be a decastich if doubled, so we will stick to the original 2 stanzas for this exercise.

Continue reading “10-line Poem Challenge #11: Mini Monoverse”

My Writing Process: How to Write a 10-Line Poem

For the past eight weeks we have been looking at various 10-line poems, studying forms that were invented by fellow poets and teachers. Today I would like to showcase one of these forms, the Ercil, a decastich created by James Gray in honor of Arkansas poet Ercil Brown. And in particular, I’m going to show you by way of a video demonstration the process I went through to write one of my Ercils, namely, “Carolina Wren.”

Continue reading “My Writing Process: How to Write a 10-Line Poem”

The Nuts & Bolts of Poetry: Rhythm, Meter, and Rhyme

Many of us write poetry, but what is it, really? What is poetry? What distinguishes it from prose? I would like to answer these questions and define a few terms specific to the genre of poetry, for those of you who truly wish to join me in digging deeper and improve our poetic writing skills.

What Is Poetry?

Poetry is a literary form that uses a distinctive style and rhythm to express emotions and ideas. It may be rhymed or unrhymed, short or long. It almost always has rhythm, but sometimes the rhythm can be measured, while at other times it seems as random and as natural as normal conversation.

The opposite of poetry is prose. Prose lacks rhythm. Short stories and novels are written in prose.

Let me ask you a question—or better yet, give you a pop quiz of sorts. Suppose we take one of the sentences from above, and perform an experiment.

Poetry is a literary form that uses a distinctive style and rhythm to express emotions and ideas.

Now, I’m going to break that sentence into shorter lines, like so….

Poetry is
a literary form 
that uses a distinctive style and rhythm 
to express emotions 
and ideas.

This sentence is obviously prose, but did I turn it into poetry by merely creating line breaks? Continue reading “The Nuts & Bolts of Poetry: Rhythm, Meter, and Rhyme”