Invented Poetry Forms — The Singsangsong

Wow! It’s hard for me to believe but it’s been over two month since my last post on an invented poetry form, so I guess it’s time for me to do another one. Today I will discuss the Singsangsong, a form I invented which is an eighteen line poem consisting of six stanzas. The lines can be metered or not and have no fixed lengths (the length of each line can  vary within the poem). The stanzas alternate between couplets (two lines) in which the first line repeats as the second, and quatrains (four lines) in which all four lines rhyme with each other (a monorhyme). The first line of the quatrain also repeats as the fourth line (and in case of the final quatrain, the third line as well). In other words, the singsangsong’s rhyme scheme can be expressed (with capital letters representing repeated lines) as AA BbbB CC DddD EE FfFF.

Like many of the forms I have created, it”s probably more suited for light verse than serious poetry. Also because of its heavy reliance on repetition, the singsangsong is meant to be read out rather than read on the page, and should be recited in a singsong manner (hence its name) or even sung using a spontaneous, improvised melody. Here are three examples that I wrote which you can use as inspiration if you would like to try writing some of your own:

Prelude to a Panic Attack

I can’t shake this strange sensation.
I can’t shake this strange sensation

Something’s off-kilter, out of whack
Like a hidden widening crack
Or something lost I can’t get back.
Something’s off-kilter, out of whack.

What it is I cannot phathom,
What it is I cannot phathom.

I got this terrible feeling
Like a wound that isn’t healing
that sends my unsettled mind reeling.
I got this terrible feeling,

Can’t explain it but everything seems so wrong.
Can’t explain it but everything seems so wrong.

Some inexplicable event is happening here
Which floods my heart with paralyzing fear.
Some inexplicable event is happening here…
Some inexplicable event is happening here!!!

A Reluctant Departure

So long, my love, goodbye…
So long, my love, goodbye!

Now it’s time for me to leave you.
No, I’m not trying to deceive you,
Wish my absence won’t greatly grieve you
Now it’s time for me to leave you.

Arrivederci, sayonara…
Arrivederci, sayonara!

Our time together’s something we can only borrow.
Being away from you will cause me sorrow,
Yet I know I’ll be with you again tomorrow.
Our time together’s something we can only borrow….

Au revoir, auf Wiedersehen,
Au revoir, auf Wiedersehen…

I must go and we must part.
Although it is fracturing my heart,
I must go and we must part…
I must go and we must part.

Nostalgia For Summers Past

Oh, Summertime doesn’t seems the same,
Oh, Summertime doesn’t seems the same.

I remember what it was like when I was a kid
and all the groovy fun things that we did,
all the bike rides and Slip N Slides we slid.
I remember what it was like when I was a kid.

Oh, all those perfect August evenings,
Oh, all those perfect August evenings

Under cloudless moonlit skies,
Feasting upon ice cream and french fries,
Picking blackberries and chasing fireflies
Under cloudless moonlit skies.

Summer was always my most treasured season,
Summer was always my most treasured season.

I miss my wonderful childhood summers a lot.
Back then, they didn’t seem so miserable and hot.
I miss my wonderful childhood summers a lot,
I miss my wonderful childhood summers a lot!

Please let me know what you think of the singsangsong, and if you should write some of your own, don’t hesitate to share. Thanks so much for reading!

10 Great Quotes About Poets, Poetry, and Writing by Joseph Brodsky

“Poetry is rather an approach to things, to life, than it is typographical production.”

“In the business of writing what one accumulates is not expertise but uncertainties. Which is but another name for craft.”

“Poetry is not only the most concise way of conveying the human experience; it also offers the highest possible standards for any linguistic operation.”

“Every individual ought to know at least one poet from cover to cover: if not as a guide through the world, then as a yardstick for the language.”

“Poetry is what is gained in translation.”

“By failing to read or listen to poets, society dooms itself to inferior modes of articulation, those of the politician, the salesman, or the charlatan. In other words, it forfeits its own evolutionary potential. For what distinguishes us from the rest of the animal kingdom is precisely the gift of speech. Poetry is not a form of entertainment and in a certain sense not even a form of art, but it is our anthropological, genetic goal. Our evolutionary, linguistic beacon.”

“A poet is a combination of an instrument and a human being in one person, with the former gradually taking over the latter. The sensation of this takeover is responsible for timbre; the realization of it, for destiny.”

“If a poet has any obligation toward society, it is to write well. Being in the minority, he has no other choice. Failing this duty, he sinks into oblivion. Society, on the other hand, has no obligation toward the poet.”

“In America, a metrical poem is likely to conjure up the idea of the sort of poet who wears ties and lunches at the faculty club. In Russia it suggests the moral force of an art practiced against the greatest personal odds, as a discipline, solitary and intense.”

“Every writing career starts as a personal quest for sainthood, for self-betterment. Sooner or later, and as a rule quite soon, a man discovers that his pen accomplishes a lot more than his soul.”

—Joseph Brodsky

The Virtual Poetorium for June 29, 2021

Although I decided not to post an invitation to participate in the Virtual Poetorium last month on this blog (like I usually do), I thought readers still might be interested in reading the latest edition: https://poetorium.home.blog/virtual-poetorium-june-29-2021/. Warning, it’s a bit weirder and different than our others since instead of having a featured poet who is currently alive, our feature is a long dead one courtesy of an imaginary time machine. I also want to thank my fellow blogger Brad Osborne for once again contributing. I hope you enjoy it!

The Virtual Poetorium Father’s Day Poetry Project

Dear Readers,

I am so pleased to report that our Virtual Poetorium Father’s Day Poetry Project, that I announced earlier on this blog, turned out perhaps even better than I thought it would. In spite of a few glitches with the Zoom invitations and links,  our Father’s Day Poetry Zoom Event, with fourteen poets presenting their original poems (or in one case, a song) about their fathers, was held on June 20th, and quite a success. Although it may be a bit rough and unedited, here is the link to the video recording  of that very special evening: https://youtu.be/BJgYhmocm00. Unfortunately the part near the end where I read our special group ode to Fathers, “Remembering Our Fathers: A Group Ode in Two Parts” (compiled from contributions from eleven poets) turned out a bit garbled, so I’m also including another separate video of myself reading the ode: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=INgQj9JQ64M. I hope you will enjoy them both, and please feel free to share them with your friends.

I am still working on the Poetorium Father’s Day Poetry Anthology to be posted on the Poetorium website that will include all fourteen poems read at our Zoom event as well as our group ode, but here is a sneak preview for my readers of this blog. This is the finished version of “Remembering Our Fathers: A Group Ode in Two Parts” (you may notice this version is a bit different from the one you hear me read in the videos—I revised the poem after receiving feedback from some of the contributors):

Remembering Our FathersA Group Ode in Two Parts

1. In Hushed Rememberance

I remember my father as a silent presence,
a volcano smoking in the dark,
erupting not often, but memorably—
a presence to keep your eyes on. 

I remember my father now mainly in dreams
(though more and more less frequently),
ones in which he’s behind the wheel 
of our second-hand Ford Granada,
his own eyes on the road ahead, 
while demanding irrevocable quiet
from all the other occupants,
as we drive into deepening darkness
down lonesome one-lane byways.

I remember my father on his 80th birthday
(to grow old is to be drowned out by the cacaphony
of change, as your entire world is dismantled 
all around you). The next day my mother called,
she was crying. He passed away in the hospital
without saying a word. Now cremated, he rests
in sulking stillness on my mother’s bureau in her room…

2. The Braid

I remember my father when I was a child
of eight or nine, trailing him through the cornfield
with my instamatic camera, clicking and clicking the shutter,
the visor of his soiled gray cap turned up,
as I captured what I beieved was the eternal twinkle
in his eyes and a joyous grin animating his face,
but now with hindsight, more likely just
his natural reaction to the harsh rays
of the glaring afternoon sun.

I remember my father’s blue-eyed smile,
his laughing approval, his circling arms
how he walked me up hills holding my hand,
took my picture in the wind. He still has
the moustache, the jawline, the straight shoulders
of a movie star, and the kindest, gentlest heart.
Wine should be sipped he taught us,
a knife respected, the truth told.
And the first kiss after shaving was a gift
only our daddy could bestow.

I remember how our father didn’t have time to stop
to close the driver’s side truck door as he dashed around
loading mowers, filling tanks, changing blades
before hustling out for the next job
but did have time to stop to steal our basketball, show off
footwork in work boots: fake one way, spin, drop
to the other, a beautiful hook shot arcing, falling, kissing
the net, my brother and I cheering in the sun.

I remember my father taking me to Pathmark,
reading all the labels, and teaching me how to shop.
I remember my father teaching me jazz—
asking me to tape five variations of Monk’s Misterioso.
Listening to that tape over and over with Dad,
we were both smiling.

I remember my father—there could be no other—
black-and-white-suited on the train that he commuted.
I remember him on bended knees at his bedside at night,
his familiar plea to the divine above “Please help
us raise the seven children in our family”.

I remember my father for his worthless words,
but also watchful eyes and softest touch,
that he always remembered all my favorites… 
Everything. Every time. My father’s love
seldom spoken, always certain.
I remember my father telling me 
I didn’t owe him anything. I didn’t believe him
until I had a child of my own, long after he had passed.

All these combined memories, the stories of our families
(our interactions intertwined) becomes the braid
we make down through time (father to son or daughter),
the rope we lower or climb that keeps us together.

—Compiled by Paul Szlosek with contributions from Tom EwartMishelle GoodwinHoward J KoganJonathan AndersenCarla SchwartzRob JaretPatricia O’ConnorDee O’ConnorSusan O. Neddand Natasha S. Garnett

I hope you enjoyed reading the Poetorium Group Ode to Fathers, and thank you so much for your continued support of this blog!

An Invitation to Participate in the Virtual Poetorium Father’s Day Poetry Project…

 Dear Readers,

I am so excited to announce that this month, in addition to our regular edition of the Virtual Poetorium,  I am working on a very special poetry project. Although we may be too late for Mother’s Day, there’s still time to celebrate our fathers this year, and so the Poetorium, with the help of my good friend Dee O’Connor, is organizing two ways to do that (and would like to invite you to participate):

1. A Group Ode: To contribute, please send 2-8 lines inspired by the prompt “I Remember My Father” (the phrase may or not be included in the lines). The lines will then be compiled and edited by myself who has prepared many similar group poems for the Poetorium in the past  (bear in mind your lines may be split up and recombined with others to form new stanzas). This ode will be modeled after a similar poem by national poet Kwame Alexander who released “The Ceremony of Giving” on Mother’s Day (you can find his poem and read the full story behind it here @ https://www.bonappetit.com/story/kwame-alexander-mothers-day-community-poem).

2. Father’s Day Virtual Reading: Join us for a poetry reading honoring fathers on June 20th.  Up to 20 poems will be selected and posted in a Father Day’s Poetry Anthology on the Poetorium’s website AND will be read by their authors on Zoom starting at 7:00 p.m. (ET) on Father’s Day.

We’re hoping to have a diverse representation of poets and poetry forms, so please pass this invitation on to anyone anywhere (but especially those living in the Worcester County area of Massachusetts) who may be interested. The group ode, along with up to 20 poems about fathers will be read on the 20th. Please submit one or both of the following either in a Word document file or pasted in the body of your email by June 13th at the latest:

· A poetry stanza inspired by the prompt “I remember my father …”

· One original poem about a father/father figure (be sure to include where your poem has appeared if it was previously published)

You don’t need to submit an entry to participate in the virtual event, but registration in advance is required. To register, please send your name and email address along with any submissions by June 13th to poetorium@mail.com. If you are submitting a contribution to the group ode and/or a poem,  please be sure to include a short bio.

If you have any questions about this special Father’s Day Poetry Project including the group ode, the Zoom reading, the Father’s Day Poetry Anthology to be published on the Poetorium website, or anything else, please leave them in the comments of this post, and I will try to answer them right away.

Thank you so very much for reading, my friends! I appreciate everyone’s continued support of this blog, and hope that you will join me and your fellow poets in participating in this special Poetorium Father’s Day Poetry Project!

The Virtual Poetorium for May 25, 2021…

Dear Readers,

Here is the link to the May 25th, 2021 edition of the Virtual Poetorium celebrating  the the second year anniversary of the Poetorium posted last night on the Poetorium website for you to hopefully peruse and enjoy at your leisure: https://poetorium.home.blog/virtual-poetorium-may-25-2021/. As a special bonus, I am also including a link to a video of myself performing this month’s Poetorium group poem “A Multitude of Blessings”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kE-HI_wHrLs

However, I have come to a decision not to repost the entire Virtual Poetorium here on this blog like I have done with previous editions in the past, because I feel that in its entirety, it would probably  be too long a read and thus far too overwhelming for most readers. As a result, some really excellent poetry would probably be skipped, and that would be a real shame.  So instead, I will just post the opening poem, which originally appeared in Street Signs: A Worcester Anthology complied by David Nader and published by BatCity Press over twenty years ago. I sincerely hope you like it….

Poet or Stripper

If I ever have a seventeen-year-old daughter,
(I admit the possibility is becoming quite remote)
and one morning, as we are chowing down together
on Pop Tarts and Coca Cola, she tells me
she can’t decide on a career,
wavering between poet and stripper,
I would have to advise her to choose the latter.

Now, not even considering economics,
and I heard a good stripper call pull down
a couple thousand a week, but as a poet,
she’d be lucky to see half that in her lifetime,
stripping is obviously the much more moral,
much less degrading profession.
All you have to expose is skin.
And the audiences are always so enthusiastic and responsive,
filled with respected members of the community,
like businessmen and politicians.

But as a poet, you got to perform
in sleazy run-down dives
reeking of amaretto and hazelnut
and cater to the whims of all those underground,
on the fringe, alternative lifestyle types.
You know who I mean:
Environmentalists,
Liberal Thinkers,
and the like.
And they are usually so indifferent
to the poor slob on stage.
You practically have to beg them on hands and knees
for them to listen, to pay any attention at all,
and if they do, they are never satisfied.
They keep demanding
“Take it off!!
Take it all off…” –
the pretenses,
the false facades,
the masks you wear in public.

And you oblige, teasingly peeling away
all the layers, one by one
until your soul is laid bare,
your essence revealed
and you’re left standing there
with your psyche hanging out
for a room full of strangers to gawk at.

Well, if you ask me,
you have to be an attention-craving fool
with no self-respect to want to do
a humiliating thing like that.

—Paul Szlosek (from Street Signs: A Worcester Anthology)

Invented Poetry Forms – The Kindku

In today’s post, we will be discussing the Kindku, a newly invented poetry form inspired by both traditional Japanese forms (like the haiku and tanka) and Found Poetry.  Co-created  by Cendrine Marrouat and David Ellis, here are the rules for writing one taken directly from their website, Auroras & Blossoms @ https://abpositiveart.com :

“The Kindku is a short poem of seven lines. The syllable pattern is 7 / 5 / 7 / 5 / 7 / 5 / 7 or 5 / 7 / 5 / 7 / 5 / 7 / 5.

The Kindku must include seven words that are taken from one specific source — a poem, a book, a newspaper article, etc. In the case of a book or long piece of writing, those words must come from the same page.

Words must be used in the order they were found. Their placement also depends on the line:

  • Line 1 starts with word 1
  • Line 2 ends with word 2
  • Line 3 starts with word 3
  • Line 4 ends with word 4
  • Line 5 starts with word 5
  • Line 6 ends with word 6
  • Line 7 starts or ends with word 7

Kindku poems can have titles and punctuation. No matter the topic covered, they must sport a positive tone.

Kindku poets are encouraged to credit and link to the inspirations behind their pieces.”

I’d also like to add that I was curious if the seven keywords had to be exactly how they appeared in the original source material or could they be in a modified form.  For example, if one of the words was a noun and was plural in the original, could it be singular in your kindku, or if it was a verb in the past tense, are you allowed to use the word in the present tense? I contacted Cendrine, one of the co-inventors of the form, and she told me the words, indeed, have to be exactly as found in the original text (which does make writing a kindku a bit more of a challenge).

Cendrine, also graciously gave me permission to reprint two of the first kindkus ever written (one she wrote, and the other by David, her co-creator) on this blog as examples (I also need to note, if you wish, you can emphasise the seven words taken from the original source material by highlighting them in bold, like Cendrine and David did in the following kindkus, but that is totally optional):

Art Writes Itself

Art writes itself in the heart
before other things;
intent lingers for a while
inviting practice,
lost hope to find a new map.
on this continent
you are the only master.

Kindku inspired by Elizabeth Bishop’s One Art

© 2020 Cendrine Marrouat

True Self Remains

Antique, old, not forgotten
Celebrate passions
Heart wants to be filled, always
True self will appear
Mighty are our selfless deeds
Happiness remains
Fear and doubt we chased away.

Kindku inspired by Percy Bysshe Shelley’s Ozymandias

© 2020 David Ellis

Like in all my posts about poetic forms, I am also including my own humble efforts at writing some for you to use as models. I must confess that I did find the Kindku at first extremely difficult to write. Surprisingly, it wasn’t sticking to the exact syllable counts or word order that gave me problems, but the primary rule about the tone of the poem. I wouldn’t say that my first two attempts (one based on Robert Frost’s “The Witch of Coos” and the other from “The Fish” by Marianne Moore”) were exactly negative in attitude, but I wouldn’t describe them as positive and upbeat either, just rather neutral and detached in tone. According to the Auroras & Blossoms website, one of the main purposes of the kindku is to be “an invitation to promote kindness, positivity and inspiration through poetry” (as you can see, the word “Kind” is even a part of the form’s name), so I must emphasise that in order to write a true kindku, you should try to follow this rule as closely as you possibly can, even though what one considers positive probably varies from person to person. Hopefully, in these later efforts, I was able to achieve that goal, but I will let you, dear reader, be the judge:

Isn’t it Obvious?

Visible things often change
from invisible,
fluctuating in between.
Like a magic charm,
your own sense of perception
detects and opens
surrounding unseen doorways.

Kindku inspired by Marianne Moore’s A Jelly-Fish

All Your Uncertainty (Like the Weather) Will Soon Pass…

Fog creeps across the landscape.
Stealthily, it comes.
Little by little, things fade
(you can’t see your feet).
It seems the world’s dissolving
(so ghostly-looking),
then turns solid once again.

Kindku inspired by Carl Sandburg’s Fog

The Way of the Seasons

Summer simmers like hot soup,
cools into Autumn.
Winter, impatient, waits to
be relieved by Spring,
Sowing snow which will melt to  
feed crops planted and
thriving neath the vernal sun.

Kindku inspired by e. e. cumming’s anyone lived in a pretty how town

There is a technique I discovered while working on the above kindkus that I feel makes them easier to write which may prove helpful to you too. Instead of randomly deciding on which seven words to use beforehand, just go through your source material, and choose a word to begin. As you finish the first line,  scan for a succeeding word that will work in your second as your train of thought develops, and so on and so on, making sure to use the words in the order they appeared in the original work.  You will find this way provides flexibility and flow, and you won’t be forced to stick in a predetermined word that just won’t fit in your poem.

If you are like me, you may even find that writing kindkus will become addictive. As you grow more confident in writing them, here is a variant you might like to try using an entire (or partial) line from one of your favorite works (be it a poem, a song, a short, a quotation, etc.) as the source of your seven words. For an example, one of my favorite lines ever from poetry is the final line of “Refrigerator, 1957” by Thomas Lux – “You do not eat that which rips your heart with joy.” Using its last seven words, I came up with the following (which I found quite pleasing):

What’s That?

That unexpected feeling 
in your stomach (which
rips away complacency,
thoughts of despair), your
heart pounding in pure delight
(each thump pulsing with
love), is known, dear friends, as “Joy“…

Kindku inspired by Thomas Lux’s Refrigerator, 1957

So I hope you enjoyed today’s post on the Kindku, and will try writing some for yourself (it is a wonderful way to pay tribute to some of your favorite poems or other written works). Remember, even if you do find the rules a bit restrictive and intimidating at first, don’t give up. Keep going, and I can almost guarantee you’ll be more than satisfied with your results. And please don’t be shy about sharing them, either with me, or the kind folks at Auroras & Blossoms. I am sure they will be thrilled to see them!

An Invitation to Participate in the Virtual Poetorium for May 25th, 2021…

Dear Readers,

I am pleased to announce that this month’s Virtual Poetorium will be marking the second year anniversary of the Poetorium (some of you might be a bit puzzled right now, thinking “Wait a minute, Paul, didn’t you guys just have a first anniversary edition this March?” Well, yes, we did, but that was celebrating the anniversary of the Virtual Poetorium, while this month will be two years since we  launched the very first live Poetorium show at the Starlite Bar & Gallery in Southbridge, Massachusetts on May 28th, 2019).  I am happy to say our featured poet for this month’s edition will be fittingly the person who started it all – our very own Poetorium co-founder and co-host, Ron Whittle

Like I did in previous months, we’d like to once again open up this May’s Virtual Poetorium for anyone who would like to participate and invite all my fellow bloggers and faithful readers (or just anyone just happening to read this) to be a part of our unique online poetry gathering in print. However, I have come to a decision not to repost the entire Virtual Poetorium here on this blog like I have done in the past, but instead just post a link to the Poetorium website so you can read it there if you like. I feel the Virtual Poetorium in its entirety is probably too long a read and thus too overwhelming for most readers. As a result, some really excellent poetry will probably be skipped, and that would be a real shame. So as a solution, I hope to break this edition of the Poetorium (as well as others) up into more easily digestible segments, and perhaps post them here sometime in the near future. 

To be part of our virtual open mic this month, please send us one of your own original poems or stories (under 2000 words please) either in a Word document file or pasted in the body of an email along with your name, any opening remarks you care to make, and where your poem has appeared if it was previously published to poetorium@mail.com  by Friday, May 22nd. Also if you like, you can send us a photo of yourself to be posted above your poem, but that is totally optional.

Once again, we also need contributions to the Poetorium Group poem which this month will be tentatively titled “A Multitude of Blessings” To participate, please send us a blessing (or a wish) consisting of one to six lines with the first line starting with the word “May” such as “May you always have peace in your heart.” or “May your smile be your umbrella.”.  All contributions (which will remain anonymous unless otherwise requested) will be compiled to create our group poem which be included in this month’s Virtual Poetorium. Once again, the deadline for submissions is the night of Friday, May 22nd.

For this month’s Poetorium writing form challenge, you are all invited to write an American Sentence, a poetry form invented by the American Beat poet Allen Ginsberg in the mid-1980’s as a twist on traditional haiku. Like haiku, American Sentences consist of 17 syllables, but instead of being arranged into three lines, they are written as a single line or sentence. They also may or may not have a title.  As far as the other rules of the form, there seems to be varying opinions. Many seem to feel the poem should be just one complete grammatical sentence, while others have written them as two, three, or four or even just as series of phrases. Paul E. Nelson (the poet most associated with the American Sentence, besides Ginsberg) emphasizes the use of concrete images though ones written by others often deal with abstractions. Ginsberg, himself, stated that the poem, if possible should mention either a time or place (or both) and the use of articles such as “a” and “the” should be avoided. But even he didn’t always follow the last suggestion as seen in these four of the original American Sentences composed by Ginsberg:

Nov 1991 N.Y.

Put my tie on in a taxi, short of breath, rushing to meditate

—Allen Ginsberg

Tompkins Square Lower East Side N.Y.

Four skinheads stand in the streetlight rain chatting under an umbrella

—Allen Ginsberg

On Hearing the Muezzin Cry Allah Akbar While Visiting the Pythian Oracle at Didyma Toward the End of the Second Millennium

At sunset Apollo’s columns echo with the bawl of the One God

—Allen Ginsberg

Approaching Seoul by Bus in Heavy Rain

Get used to your body, forget you were born, suddenly you got to get out!

—Allen Ginsberg

In comparison, here are four American Sentences I wrote that originally appeared on this blog:

Boulevard Diner

The ham slices squeal on the smoking grill like the ghosts of dying pigs

The Sad Truth About Aging

To grow old is to witness your world being dismantled around you

The Gambler’s Mantra

Luck is a middle finger waved in the face of probability

An Urban Stroll a Week After a Winter Storm

Propelled by my feet, chunks of frozen snow skitter down gritty sidewalks

Using the above poems as models, please try writing some for yourself and send us your best efforts by Friday, May 22nd to be included in this month’s Virtual Poetorium.

If you have any questions about submitting to the virtual open mic, the group Poetorium poem, the writing challenge, or anything else about the Virtual Poetorium itself, please leave them in the comments of this post, and I will try to answer them right away.

Thank you so very much for reading, my friends! I treasure everyone’s continued support of this blog, and hope to hear from you soon with your contributions to this month’s edition of the Virtual Poetorium!

Invented Poetry Forms – The Enneao

Thinking it would be an appropiate follow-up to my recent post on the Octo, today I decided to write about the Enneao, a poetry form I invented that was directly inspired by it. While the octo consists of 8 lines of 8 syllables, the enneao (which name was derived from the prefix “ennea” meaning nine) has 9 lines with 9 syllables each (however these 9 lines are divided into 3 stanzas of 3 lines apiece). Also like the octo, the first three lines are transposed as the final three lines of the poem, but in this case, the first line becomes the ninth line, the second becomes the eighth, and the third, the seventh. The fourth and sixth lines rhyme together, while the fifth line rhymes with the second (and eighth). The rhyme scheme (with capital letters representing the repeated lines and small letters the ones that rhyme) can be expressed as ABC dbd CBA.

To demonstrate how close the enneao is to the octo, I thought it would be fun to take one of the poems I wrote as a model for the octo, “Our Seemingly Unending Journey”, and rewrite it as enneao.

So first, to refresh your memory, here is the original poem:

Our Seemingly Unending Journey
(The Octo Version)

Where we will precisely end up?
I don’t think we shall ever know.
Seems a long time since we started.
In which season? I don’t recall.
Perhaps Winter or maybe Fall.
Seems a long time since we started,
I don’t think we shall ever know
where we will precisely end up.

By just adding an extra line, and an extra syllable to each of the pre-existing ones, you can see I was easily able to convert it into an enneao:

Our Seemingly Unending Journey
(The Enneao Version)

Just where we will precisely end up?
I do not think we shall ever know.
Seems like a long time since we started.

In which season? I cannot recall
(I do remember there was some snow…
so perhaps Winter, or maybe Fall?).

Seems like a long time since we started,
I do not think we shall ever know
just where we will precisely end up.

And now here is another example of an enneao I wrote:

Yes, There’s a Vacancy…

No one stays at the Ritz anymore,
most folks don’t realize it’s still open.
This old hotel has seen better days.

Once it was the hippest place in town.
People flocked here, but that was back then.
Now the owners pray it’d just burn down.

This old hotel has seen better days.
Most folks don’t realize it’s still open.
No one stays at the Ritz anymore…

I sincerely hope you enjoyed learning about the enneo today, and might even try writing one yourself (and if you do, please share!)  Thank you so much for reading as well as your continued support of this blog!