• RSS Versifier

    • Questing
      I am a strong believer in renewable energy, but it’s not a free lunch.  Significant amounts of energy has to be used to change quartz sand to silicon.   Silane gas produced during the manufacturing process is extremely explosive, and explosions occur.  Another risk is that we currently have no safety masks that can prevent […]
    • Blyth Estuary Evening
      There is a wonderful walk along the line of the old narrow gauge railwayline to Southwold, where it runs alongside the Blyth estuary.  I led a walk for a group of poets there this year, and this was one of the poems that I read on the walk.  We had a very enjoyable workshop after […]
    • As The Light Changes
      The East Anglian Daily Times ran an article entitled ’22 beautiful poems about East Anglia’ in their Saturday magazine insert on March 18th this year. I was very pleased to see this poem of mine on the same page as poems by Sir Walter Raleigh and George Szirtes. TO HEAR THIS POEM PLEASE CLICK ON […]
    • The Last Word
      By way of a change, here is a short piece of prose: In a writers’ group this morning we were challenged to write a short story in 150 words.  The story below contains exactly that number.   The light was starting to fade, and breaking soft waves seemed even quieter.  He stopped collecting pebbles and […]
    • Moving Hands
      How many things that  seemed eternal early in life, have completely vanished?                         TO HEAR THIS POEM PLEASE CLICK ON THE ARROW ABOVE   Sometime in the nineteen-fifties it perched on the hundred-foot workshop,  where Waitrose’s  entrance is now. It would pace the working lives of hundreds. […]
    • You know you are worth it
      I wrote this poem in mid November this year, then my e-mail inbox started to fill with ‘Pre-Black Friday’ offers, then ‘Black Friday’ offers, followed later by ‘Post Black Friday’ offers, and now I am seeing ‘Black Friday repeat offers’!  Reality has overtaken imagination.   TO HEAR THIS POEM PLEASE CLICK ON THE ARROW BUTTON ABOVE […]
    • Poems for a portrait
      I agreed to sit as the model again this morning for an art group producing portraits.  We had a cultural exchange as at the end of the two sessions as I recited the Haikus composed in my head during the forty minutes of the sitting.  I then exchanged a book of my poetry for the […]
    • Last Orders
      This poem won a ‘Commended’ award in the recent 2016 George Crabbe Poetry Competition.  The competition judge, Moniza Alvi, wrote of ‘Last Orders’ “Tragic and hard hitting, I found this poignant poem compelling.”  ” This is a poem with a real sense of urgency”. PLEASE CLICK ON THE ARROW BUTTON ABOVE TO HEAR THIS POEM […]
    • Irony
      During a few days in Liverpool we visited Crosby Beach, to see the Antony Gormley sculptures arranged as  ‘Another Place’.  Two friends had been examining the work, and turned to walk off the beach.  I took the photograph below, and the poem was written after I examined the image, using an  element of artistic license. ‘Communing’ […]
    • Illuminating Longing
      Here is a shared experience from the night of the full ‘Strawberry  Moon’ on June 20th.  A warm evening after a wet morning promised the sight of Nightjars hunting, and the moon was a bonus, PLEASE CLICK ON THE ARROW BUTTON ABOVE TO HEAR THIS POEM   The mist quilt  slips across the sodden heath […]

Forms of Poetry

In this area, over a period of time,  I will attempt to demonstrate various forms of poetry that writers can use to express themselves.   I do not set myself up as an expert so welcome any comment that might contribute to this.  Blank verse or free verse, my preferred form,  is very much dependent on the poets own style, and may sometimes incorporate any element of the forms illustrated.

The Villanelle :
Originally a song format, this type of poem is witten in three line stanzas (tercets) of uneven number, with the final stanza as a quatrain (four lines).  In addition two refrains from the first stanza are repeated in a specified manner.  CLICK ON THE VILLANELLE LINK ON THE TOOLBAR TO READ MORE.

The Cinquain:
A format created by the American poet Adelaide Crapsey.  A compressive five line poem that is great fun to use, and can help the thought process.

The Sonnet:
The form that we are most used to is the English or Shakespearian Sonnet.
Shakespeare was one of several early sixteenth century poets who developed the Italian Sonnet form into the version that become popular.  The form often carries his name as his sonnets in this style have become the most famous in English literature. CLICK ON THE SONNET LINK ON THE TOOLBAR TO READ MORE.

The Haiku and The Tanka:
The Haiku is a poem of one tercet, simply three lines in length, containing only seventeen syallables in total.  There is no consideration of meter or rhyme, but the syllables must be organised in the specific constaints of five syallables in the first line, seven in the second and then five in the third line.

The Naga-Uta
The Naga-Uta is an extension of the Haiku into a longer poem. The five, seven, five syllables form repeats as long as the poet requires, and the poem finishes with an extra seven-syllable line.

The Pantoum
Originally a Malayan form of verse,  it was adopted by European poets in the mid 1800’s, although they dropped the Malayan format of the first two lines of each stanza being abut the natural world, and the third and fourth lines being about human interaction. European poets simply used the construction formula. CLICK ON THE PANTOUM LINK ON THE TOOLBAR TO READ MORE.

The Ghazal
The Ghazal originated in Iran during the 10th Century and takes the form of a series of independently themed couplets, with a consistent meter, The defining feature of the Ghazal is the repetition of a word or phrase that occurs in both lines of the first couplet. The poem length is usually between five to fifteen couplets. CLICK ON THE GHAZAL LINK ON THE TOOLBAR TO READ MORE.

The Ottava Rima
A fourteenth century Italian origin, the Ottava Rima is an eight-line stanza with an a-b-a-b-a-b-c-c rhyme scheme.  Frances stillman in The Poets Manual and Rhyming Dictonary cites Byrons Don Juan as the best known example in the English Language. CLICK ON THE OTTAVA RIMA LINK ON THE RIGHT HAND TOOL BAR TO SEE AN EXAMPLE.

The Englyn– 
specifically The Englyn Unodl Union or straight one-rhyme Englyn.
Another form of poetry with an emphasis on syllable counting, this time from Welsh Poetry.  CLICK ON THE ENGLYN LINK ON THE RIGHT HAND TOOL BAR TO SEE AN EXAMPLE.

The Sestina   — 
A late twelfth century poetry form, thought to have originated in France, and used by the Italian poets Petrach and Dante , from whom it received its Italian name.  The main feature of the poem six stanzas of six lines each  is the repeated use throughout each stanza of the six line end words or ‘teleutons’.  The poem ends with a three line stanza , and two of the teleutons are used in each line of this tercet. CLICK ON THE SESTINA LINK ON THE RIGHT HAND TOOL BAR TO SEE AN EXAMPLE.


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