Pathways for the Poet by Viola Berg (1977) is a book for and by educators. Classic poetic forms as well as many invented forms which appear to have been invented as teaching tools or exercizes for use in workshops or classrooms are included. Some of these invented forms I have found in use in internet poetry communities, a testament to their staying power. On this page I include the metric invented forms found there in which appear to be exclusive to the community of educators from whom Ms. Berg drew her support. I have yet to find these in any other source. I have included the syllabic invented forms on a separate page. Whether classroom exercise or sharpening your skill as a writer, some of these forms can be fun to play with.

• Cycle appears to be an exercise in meter and rhyme. This invented verse form was created by Paul Emile Miller.

The Cycle is:
○ stanzaic, written in 3 quatrains.
○ metric, L1 and L3 tetrameter made up of a trochee followed by a dactyl and 2 iambs; L1 and L3 often use feminine end words. L2 and L4 are iambic trimeter. “Pathways” description and example are in conflict, the description of meter here fits with the example poem.
○ rhymed, abab cbcb dbdb.

Pasted from
My thanks to Judi Van Gorder for years of work on this fine PMO resource.

My example

Naturally Selected (Cycle)

Defunct vestigials are proof I reckon,
(denying dogma’s claims)
demonstrating clearly changes beckon,
in life’s ambiguous game.

Natures monologue denies we’re molded,
pre-cast, annealed in flame.
Mankind draws then repeats, hand un-folded –
survival’s life’s whole aim.

Limitations, norms, exceptions, changes
responding – not the same.
Bio plasma slowly rearranges,
without thought, overcame.

© Lawrencealot – September 4, 2014

Visual template


Romantic Stanza

Stanzaic:   Any number of quatrains.
Syllabic:    Multiple versions. I have seen 11/11/10/7, but documented here are:
                 the Wordsworth version: 11/11/11/7, and the 11/10/11/7 version.
Meter:     Dactylic, with the final foot being either catalectic or brachycatalectic
                (lacking either one or two syllables).  
Rhyme:    cross rhyme, end-rhyme abab.
Refrain:   The first 7 syllable of line one making up line 4.
Romantic stanza
Structure, Metrical Requirement, Repetitive Requirement, Rhyme Scheme Requirement, Stanzaic
Alternating quatrains of basically dactylic meter where lines one and three have eleven syllables, line two has ten, and line four is the first seven syllables of line one.
Attributed to:
Maksim Bahdanovic, stanza so named by Bob Newman
Rhyme: (Ba)baB
Xxx Xxx Xxx Xx
Xxx Xxx Xxx X
Xxx Xxx Xxx Xx
Xxx Xxx X
Starting Point:
With each quatrain, start with the first/last line, since that line establishes your rhymes.
Maksim Bahdanovič (1891-1917) was the greatest lyric poet in the Belarusian language, and one of his best-loved poems is entitled simply Romance. It begins, “Venus, new-risen above us appearing…” The verse form it uses is unusual and quite tricky. There is no standard name for it, so I have chosen to call it the romantic stanza. As an example, here is an alternative version of a well-known poem by Wordsworth: Daffodils
The form was named Romantic Stanza by Bob Newman
Example PoemsOut Genesis

Clustering, combining dust aggregates in time
Assembling Hydrogen particles as they must
be a bit weightier so they may start their climb.
Clustering, combining dust.

Billions of our years go by with no life at all.
Galaxies born, made of stars that explode and die.
Pressures of their dying create life’s wherewithal.
Billions of our years go by.

Busting outward from that blast, heavy elements
driven here by cosmic winds let know life commence.
all living things spring from cataclysmic events
bursting outward from that blast.

© Lawrencealot – January 26, 2013


Since the specifications contain so much variance, I did the above in formal Dactylic tetramter, and the following in the indicated 11/10/11/7 format.
Neither are exactly the pattern used by the creator’s famous poem.

Our Genesis   (Romantic Stanza – 11/10/11/7 Version)

Clustering, combining dust aggregating
assembling Hydrogen just as it must.
Assembling atoms, Helium’s a-making,
Clustering, combining dust.

Billions of our years gone by with life absent.
Galaxies born, made from stars as they die.
Pressures of their dying create content .
Billions of our years gone by.

Busting outward from that blast, all elements
required for biologic life at last.
All living things sprung from stars’ final events,
bursting outward from that blast.

Visual Template

5/3 Meter Poetry form

A poem consisting of an odd number of quatrains (15 lines or more)
I have no idea if this form has been otherwise named, if you know please advise.
Alternating lines of 5 and 3 syllables, where
the odd lines consist of  an IAMB and an ANAPEST
da-DUM da-DUM-da
and the even lines consist of a DACTYL

Each stanza uses individual rhyme pattern –abab
where the b-rhymes are always feminine rhyme

The first stanza is a refrain, repeated as the final stanza. 


Example poem:

Paradise Kept   (5 3 Meter)

Such colors are not
so birds then forgot

Their evolution
a bright solution
was the best.When foes are but few
we evolve
with different view,
with resolve.

Most survive with ease
but compete
to awe and appease–
the elite.

They sung and they played
and they danced
their colors arrayed
to enhance.

Let man not destroy
thru his greed
the habitat of joy
where.they breed.

Such colors are not
so birds then forgot

© Lawrencealot – March 30, 2013

Visual Template
5-3 Meter