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Poetry short forms

September 16, 2013

Sea View at Kamari Beach, Gerani, Crete
I have always enjoyed playing with poetry short forms. Whilst on holiday in Crete last week I was inspired by the elements to create the following butterfly cinquain based on a pattern of 2,4,6,8,2,8,6,4,2 syllables:
Woken …
West wind whistles,
wild waves whip white-washed walls,
Whack, wallop, woosh. Whack, wallop, woosh.
Wow! Wow!
Whack, wallop, woosh. Whack, wallop, woosh.
Wild waves whip white-washed walls,
West wind whistles,
Woken …
When I arrived back home I found an article in Writing Magazine October 2013 about the growing popularity of twitter poetry. This modern short form, also known as ‘twikhaiku’ or ‘micropoetry’, is said to be inspiring a new generation of poetry readers and writers. I was impressed to read that George Sirtzes has dabbled in the form and created 20,000 of them. Looks like I have some catching up to do then.
What I love about poetry short forms is their portability. This one formed in my mind while I was watching the waves crash over the rocks in a normally calm bay popular with local swimmers. I churned it over and over en route back to my room where I was finally able to put it down on paper. A longer form would have escaped my memory by that time.
A few days ago I visited Saltburn which was recently hit by flash floods. A visit to the beach there inspired me to create a poetry string:
– stones – sand – seaweed – swimmers – surfers – ships – swifts – seagulls – Saltburn – seashore – salt – sweets –
which reminded me that activities beginning with ‘s’ are considered to be conducive to releasing creativity. In my experience a wave of inspiration can come a few days after engaging in swimming, sight seeing, etc. once the brain has had a chance to mull things over. This ‘simmering’ is an essential part of the creative process for me and something that I am more consciously aware of when producing shorter forms of writing.
If you are interested in finding out how I’ve woven together a series of poems inspired by visits to different Greek islands you can download my fantasy poetry story ‘Twisting in the Land of Light’ from http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/JudithLesleyMarshall

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2 Comments
  1. Hey Judith

    Twitter poets do sometimes apend their work with hashtags to help discovery. But as there are so many forms/styles of micropoetry, and with the limited twitter space, tags can vary wildly and sometimes poems are not tagged at all. This makes discovering poetry on twitter quite a task.

    Yyu might find my hashtag guide useful. It lists most of the common hashtags used by many micropoets online.It has descriptions and examples live from twitter

    http://micropoetry.com/twitter-micropoetry

    Thanks

    Luke

    • Thanks for the advice, Luke. Last year I participated in the tweet poem activity for National Poetry Day. I must explore tweeting more poems as I do enjoy creating short forms. Regards, Judith

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