Cleaning house here…Poetry Forms Old and New will have all the forms I play with (or have played with) in alphabetical order – more or less.
American haiku: Lune
American Style Japanese forms: haiku, tau ku, pi ku plus
‘Add and Mix Misky’ a new Micro Poetry form (May 2014)
How to write the ‘Gem’ of an Elfje, Shadorma, Snowball, and Sedoka (updated August 2013)
More Short Forms: Pensee and 5W;
Tanaga: an ancient Filipino short form;
Tilus [tee-loo-hz] micro poetry;
High-Coo … Not quite perfected yet
American haiku: The Poetic ‘Lune’ = American haiku (Definitions of The Kelly and Collom forms)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Lune is a fixed-form variant haiku created for the English language, and consists of two versions:
The Robert Kelly lune
Robert Kelly, a Professor of Literature at Bard College, invented a new form of English-language haiku using the form 5/3/5 syllables, with the intention of making the form closer to the Japanese haiku than English-language haiku written in a 5/7/5 syllable format.
The Jack Collom lune
It is measured in words rather than syllables, making it easier for children to learn and compose. The form is 3/5/3 words. Jack Collom created this new form of haiku by chance, when he misremembered the original creation of Kelly’s as this form, thereby creating a new one.
Both versions are free from all constraints associated with haiku, thus need contain no kigo (season-word), kire (cut), may rhyme and may use all other poetic devices.
^ a b c The Lune: The English Language Haiku by Holly Blissat GoArticles.com
^ a b Lipson, Greta B. Poetry Writing Handbook: Definitions, Examples, Lessons. Lorenz Educational Press, 1998. ISBN 9781573101080 p53
American Style Japanese forms:
haiku, tau ku, pi ku and other sparkles (New verse added August ’12 / update how to’s Oct. ’12):
While there are many definitions and interpretations of just what the ‘haiku’ form is; I sometimes like to follow the ‘old’ traditional American form of counting syllables, just because that’s the way I was taught. These are some of the forms I follow counting syllables: (the / symbol represents where the next line begins)
tanka 5/7/5 line break 7/7
renga 5/7/5 line break 7/7 line break 5/7/5
I also like to write haiku in series to help tell stories. While each haiku can stand on its’ own – the whole piece tells a complete story.
I have a friend who has a site devoted to the American style 5/7/5 syllable count haiku: please do visit and enjoy:
For these forms the first number is the line and the second number is the syllables used in it:
tau ku: 1/6 2/2 3/8
example I wrote:
to the light that lingered
the edge of the storm has arrived
pi ku (1/2 of a tau ku): 1/3 2/1 3/4
example I wrote:
what is left?
word says; goodbye
*Another fun note: The Japanese language does not have or recognize ‘plurals’
so there is one haiku or ten haiku but nary any ‘haikus’ 🙂
This fact was garnered from a friend, fluent in Japanese who lived and taught in Japan for several years.
stars, moon on the run
I see the seasons play chaise
night clouds in wind breath
hour glass gains grains
at the corners of my eyes
sleep finds my she shore
sudden summer storm
adds percussion to insect
crickets, katydids, bullfrogs
go briefly quiet – waiting
for the rains refrain
when the weather passes by
they jam once again
chance traffic stop – look
old willow on the corner
sits a lone kestrel
could there be a nest hidden
like the one in my backyard
majestic bird flies
seeking rodent or rabbit
for her fledgling chicks
high on lone bare willow branch
does her nest hide near
amid white flowers
two tiny butterflies flit
only as they can
my eyes follows their air dance
they capture my attention
heavy is the air
in summer morning hours
so too hangs my heart
yet remain beating it must
to accept forward motion
let my eyes open
after the tears have shed
so I can smile…
restless pines shimmy and shake
a storm is brewing
a storm, hurricane?
electric pulses- rain flows
winds blow – nature is
without emotion – bellows
an uncontrollable force
resolve, revolve, – sun
the heart pluses in rhythm
a new day will dawn…
a different gaggle
of old hens some roosters to
dining in one room
gave the farm to younger chicks –
they still need to peck and paw
dining in one room
no dishes to wash tonight
man made waterfall
chemically hued blue-green
lures the dragonfly
entertaining each other –
miniature golf at the park
blind black eyed susans
spent by the summer season
hang petals with grace
(*there is beauty even in things whose life is spent)
two storms in one day
can a summer garden’s thirst
ever be quenched
when drought is setting records
parching the fields everywhere
air pressure signaling change
chicks in the nest squawk
sleep that was once easier
turns into sinus pain dread
counting the minutes
in and out of fleeting scenes
amid shifting dreams
the nut grass grows tall
light green spikes throughout the lawn
twice as fast daily
than the lush carpet wanted –
t’is a canvas for this weed
outstanding red bird
summer green boughs your backdrop
brief afternoon rest
quick silver fish tail
shimmers in the muddy creek
hears the ‘bass’ of self
gentle morning rain
garden veggies drink their fill
summer fledglings left
huddle in the porch eaves’ nest
sing for their breakfast
dew covered grass laughs
as my shod feet tickle them
joyfully day starts
My inspiration for this haiku was a note I wrote to a friend…
“As the sun is getting up just a tad later these days – when I go to water my few veggies in the morning – my clogs get covered with the tears of dew from the laughter of the grasses…”
immature birds fly
close behind a flash of red
early morn lessons
father lovingly leads them
across the yard – pine to pine
I then imagine
sky trail through the neighborhood
seeking bugs and seeds
heart beats within skin
would rather be rejected
by the horse flies’ bite
which has now left red welt marks
than a fledgling magazine
first contact sweet, then
bitter – I’ll find a place yet
while my heart still beats
if given supplies
and time, chimps could write Shakespeare’s
great works – so they say
my untapped mind meanders
my thoughts are swinging from trees
what words can I wrap
around in letters to form
a tale that makes sense?
early honkers blast
chilling overtones – autumn
still five weeks away
grasshoppers violin plays
in the mist of dusk
echoing a fiddled waltz
expects only pairs of ears
in the mist of dusk
enchantment transforms empty
to a full moment
(inspired by this post from the Kosher Samuri
…the Tennessee Waltz
An ‘Add and Mix Misky’ a new Micro Poetry form (May 2014)
2 + 3 = 5 (syllables and words mix)
With thanks to Misky:
I suggest three stanza with any combination of syllable and word count mixes –
keeping either words or syllables to a whole stanza
kittens in bushes;
more strays in the neighborhood
How to write the ‘Gem’ of an Elfje, Shadorma, Snowball, and Sedoka (updated August 2013):
The Elfje form originated in The Netherlands where it is used to teach young children to write poetry. The word Elfje means ‘Elven’ or ‘Fairy’ poem (from ‘Elf’ meaning ‘elven’ or ’fairy’ and the sufix ‘-je’ meaning ‘little’). The form consists of 11 words spread over 5 lines.
How to Write Elfje:
An ‘Elfje’ counts as five sentences.
Line 1. One word. This word symbolizes a colour or feature. The word symbolizes the atmosphere.
Line 2. Two words. These are something or someone with this colour or feature.
Line 3. Three words. Giving more information about the person or the object. You describe where the person or the object is, who the person or what the object is, or what the person or object is doing. This sentence usually starts with the word ‘he’, ‘she’ or ‘it.’
Line 4. Four words. Here you are writing something about yourself in relation to the person or the object. This sentence is your conclusion.
Line 5. One word. This word is called the ‘Bomb.’ It is the essence of the poem.
The example of a pure Elfje most often found on the Internet is:
in the dark
Is there a cat?
To follow the rules strictly can be rather restricting and stilted so, as with all forms of poetry it is permissible to bend them a bit and most of the Elfje on this site will have done so to some degree.
Please visit http://simplyelfje.wordpress.com/
See how you can submit your own Elfje to this site that is devoted to this unique form.
A Modified Shadorma: A Spanish poetic form
rhyme scheme A, B, A, A, C, B
Count of syllables is 3, 5, 3, 3, 7, 5 – I used words.
is there direction
on a road, east – west
consider the reflection
with calm contemplation
as one door behind us closes
after goodbye – what is next?
I hope to have my own true to form Shadorma up sometime soon.
As far as I know you can start with any word, but the only add additional words below the starting word by one (1) letter.
I wrote this one starting with the word ‘Home’.
I like to play with small form poetry and tried a Snowball Mirror as seen here:
Because spacing does not translate well when copy and pasting I used “….” to keep the spacing that I wanted.
A Mirror Snowball
A single Sedoka has six lines, and the syllable count is 5,7,7,5,7,7
I stretch forms so my first attempt is a trio of Sedoka:
expected rain – fills
the slowly drying gully
just yesterday looking sad
as some higher spots
were filled with debris and rocks
exposing parts of its bed
throughout the night – drops
increased the flow, so again
the little minnows can reach
the widening creek
that is home to bigger fish,
muskrat, otter, and turtles
my quiet footsteps
alert the frogs who quickly
hop out of sight – along with
startled birds who fly
just far enough away, wait
for the return of their space…
More Short Forms: Pensee and 5W
More Short Forms:
Pensee = is a five line poem each line is progressive counted syllables (S)
1. subject; two (2) S
2. description; four (4) S
3. action; seven (7) S
4. setting; eight (8) S
5. final thought; ten (10) S
a day before the last snow?
crisp sky, cold wind
birds aloft rest in the trees
the budding maples are like flames
star calendar says spring; winter hovers
5W = is a five line poem with the guide of
Line 1. Who
Line 2. What
Line 3. Where
Line 4. When
Line 5. Why
I hope to post an example soon. Enjoy.
Tanaga: an ancient Filipino short form
A new short form introduced by Jen @ http://blogitorloseit.com/
Today I’d like to introduce you to the Tanaga, an ancient Filipino poem. While several of the Tanaga’s features might feel strange to everyone in Carpe Diem Haiku Kai, I hope you will give the poem a chance. Why? Because the Tanaga has been dying out in its native language, Tagalog. Several cultural groups encourage Tanagas written in English in an attempt to reach new audiences and keep the form alive.
Some sources call the Tanaga a “Filipino Haiku”, but that isn’t quite accurate. Like an English haiku, the Tanaga counts syllables. Unlike the haiku, the pattern is four lines of 7 syllables each (7-7-7-7).
The biggest difference is that the Tanaga rhymes; it has a pattern of AABB. In addition, ancient Tanagas were handed down through oral history and contain advice for living (1).
Here is an example of a Tanaga in archaic Tagalog (1):
Catitibay ca tolos
sacaling datnang agos!
aco’I momonting lomot
sa iyo,I popolopot.
Friars Juan de Noceda and Pedro de Sanlucar, 1754.
Oh be resilient you Stake
should the waters be coming!
I shall cower as the moss
to you I shall be clinging.”
Translation by Jardine Davies
I mentioned that Tanagas are reaching new audiences. As you might expect, new audiences bring changes. Today you will see Tanagas with titles and with new rhyming patterns (for example, AABB, ABAB, ABBA, AAAB, BAAA, and so on). Life advice (morals, ethics, proverbs) may or may not be present (1).
Why would I encourage a rhyming poem at Carpe Diem? First of all, it is sad to think of a dying poetic form. Second, even though Tanagas and haiku are different, we can use our expanding “haiku toolboxes” to great effect. (Thank you, Kristjaan, for your constant work in showing us new tools!) We can use our skills in sharing those crisp ripple-of-water-in-the-pond moments – and add a bit of advice or a lesson at the end.
A Tanaga by Jen
The peaceful river reflects
green banks that the grass protects
and where trees their strength renew:
may I reflect green life, too!
My Tanaga for this challenge can be found here:
Tilus [tee-loo-hz] is a form created by Kelvin S.M. and falls under the category of micro poetry.
The form is divided into two parts: the first part is composed of two lines following a 6-3 syllable
count; the second part, a one-syllable word to close and/or complete the subject layered in the first part.
The whole piece must, only, contain 10 in overall syllable count.
The main focus of Tilus is on the world of Nature,
and how it can open a new door to a wider understanding of life and beyond.
The form aims to be epic in emotions expressed, more importantly,than to be epic in words.
by Kelvin S.M.: http://kelvinsm.blogspot.nl/
tree fell; dead wood – stacked high
for the hearth
even with the chain saw
on your brow
working weekend, we did
High-Coo poetry: Still working on this… but it was inspired by my friend and our conversation at this post:
High-Coo poetry about the great Wild Wild American West.
No syllable counts, just ten paces (words more or less) at high noon with pens a drawn’
High-Coo: Cow Poke Poetry
Lucus ain’t about backen’ down none.
When the need arises ;
He speaks real clear with that rifle gun
And from : http://blogitorloseit.com/
squint, Clint, squint! /
Man With No Name tries to aim /
in the mid-day glare //
black-hatted villain /
clomps into the boom town saloon – /
piano man pales //
Thanks to: ©JR of Blogitorloseit
Also please see a very comprehensive list of poetic forms here: