Star Sevlin

Star Sevlin is an invented shape poem that is supposed to form a star when centered on the page. It is found in Pathways for the Poet by Viola Berg 1977 and was created by Lilliann Mathilda Svenson.  The only example I found on the Internet today  (1/30/2015) was a contest winner in 1951.

The Star Sevlin is:
 a heptastich, a poem in 7 lines.
 iambic syllabic, iambic  4/6/8/6/8/6/4 syllables per line.
 rhymed, rhyme scheme abbcaca.
 centered on the page.

My example

First One in 50 Years (Star Sevlin)

I don’t know why
this form is called a star
and not Svenson’s. That’s how things are.
There isn’t much to find
Good samples are in short supply
Thus my blog was designed
lest old forms die.

© Lawrencealot – January 30, 2015

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Star Sevlin


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. …. Whether classroom exercise or sharpening your skill as a writer, some of these forms can be fun to play with.

Medallion is an invented verse form is a shape poem using predominantly trochaic meter. This form was created by Lilian Mathilda Svenson.

The Medallion is:
○ a poem in 9 lines.
○ metric, L1-L8 are trochaic and L9 is iambic. Syllables per line 4-7-8-7-9-10-9-7-4. As you can tell from the odd numbered syllable count of L2, L4, L5, L7 & L8, these lines are either catalectic or acephaletic (dropping either the end syllable or first syllable from the line). For this form, although it is not so instructed, the example poem is catalectic.
○ rhymed, rhyme scheme xabccbadd.
○ shaped. The poem should be centered on the page.

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


My example

Summer Sears Us (Medallion)

Summer sears us
Makes autumn our next goal.
Fans are run to keep us cool.

Loud compressors whirr and hum 
while we wait for cooler days to come.
Winter’s cold kills homeless; keeps kids home from school, 
furnaces gulp gas and gobble coal.
Such a different song we sing, 
and pray for spring.

© Lawrencealot – September 18, 2014

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The Octain is an invented verse form begins and ends the poem with the same word. It was created by Lillian Mathilda Svenson.The defining features of the Octain are:

an octastich, a poem in 8 lines.
syllabic, 2/4/6/8/8/6/4/3 syllables per line.
Not a typo, the last line takes 3 syllables but the last word must be the same as the first.
rhymed or unrhymed. If it is rhymed the rhyme scheme is AbcdbcdA.

Pasted from

My Thanks to Judi Van Gorder for the wonderful resource at PMO

In the rhyme scheme AbcdbcdA, the capital A indicates a word refrain.

My Example

Octawhat? (Octain)

A multi-form
with rhyming or without,
was named “Octain”, ain’t that a bitch?
If naming your dog, Dog’s the norm
then I won’t kick about
an octastitch
though confused.

© Lawrencalot – April 3, 2014
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