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April is Poetry Month and to celebrate, I’m posting poetry on some blogs. Today I’m going to blog about concrete poems, alphabet poems and blank verse which are several of my favorite poetry forms. The acrostic is another of my favorite forms, which I’ll be blogging about next week on the SMP Author blog.

Why not try your hand at some of these fun forms? You’ll enjoy them.

Concrete poem–A concrete poem is more than words.  A concrete poem use space on a page.  You can use different typefaces, colors, and symbols to create the visual effect of the concrete poem.  The form the words and symbols make on the page could form a picture that looks like  whatever the poem is about.  Or the verbs could act themselves out (like a falling leaf trailing down the page).  Or the nouns could take on the shape and color of the word they represent.  Or the words can just form random patterns that don’t have anything to do with what the poem is about.  What is important in a concrete poem is its physical appearance on the page.

Here is an example of a concrete poem. The word placement forms a picture of a gun.

Atomic War!

a desolate

forgotten world

the

final

peace

–by Catherine Castle

Alphabet poem–An alphabet poem uses the letters of the alphabet in the poem.  There are several kinds of alphabet poems.  One type of poem takes a letter of the alphabet, looks at its appearance and writes a poem about the letter.  For example the dot on the lowercase I looks like a child’s head.  Or the letter M looks like the open beak of a bird.  In another type of alphabet poem you might take a series of letters, for example A, B, C, D. or S, T, U, V, W, or any other sequence and write a poem where the first word of each line starts with one of those letters.  Another alphabet poem that can be a lot of fun to write makes every, or almost every, work in a line begin with the same letter. The Alliteration, or repeating of the sounds, can make these poems fun to read aloud.

The Circus

Acrobats accentuating aerial acts on altitudinous wires

Balance bars and bicycles between the

Cable, catching careening caps of clowns cavorting

Down under death-defying dare devils.

–by Catherine Castle

After we went dancing on  the riverbanks

Before the sun came up and spread its

Crystal light upon the sleeping city,

Daringly, we dipped our aching toes in the

Ever flowing waters of the copper-green

Fountain at the center of the town square.

–by Catherine Castle

 

Blank verse–Is a 10-syllable line poem that doesn’t have rhymed endings.  Each 10-syllable line has five stresses or accents that give it a rhythm.  A good way to create a blank verse poem is to write a paragraph about something then go back and divide it up into 10 syllable lines, making adjustments in the words so they fit the right pattern.  Since there is no rhyme in blank verse, the rhythm of the poem is important.  Be sure to read it out loud to see if it has a nice, melodic sound.

Lilac Prayers for a Mother

One spring morning, long after you had gone,

your perfume rose along the gentle breeze.

I called out your name thinking you were there.

For one brief moment, I was young again

and you were alive.  Your lilac scent filled

my garden as it once filled your bedroom

on Sunday mornings when you dressed for church.

I threw your name skyward in a wistful

prayer. Lilac prayers for a beloved

mother. Lilac prayers for bygone times, when

I was young, you were here, and death seemed so

far away. I longed to keep the lilacs

blooming, spreading perfume and the fragrant

memory of you throughout my spring garden.

—By Catherine Castle

 

Do you like poetry? Have you ever written any of  these poetic forms?

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