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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

  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



    • 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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