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.
• Neville is a verse form with a combination of trimeter and tetrameter lines, created in honor of Mrs. Neville Saylor byJames B. Gray.

The Neville is:
○ a heptastich, a poem in 7 lines.
○ metric, L1, L4, & L7 are iambic tetrameter and L2,L3,L5 & L6 are iambic trimeter.
○ rhymed, rhyme scheme abbacca.

Macy’s Parade Day by Judi Van Gorder

At times like these when nights are long
and cold becomes a skean
that stabs my flesh between
my shoulder blades, the wind is strong.
I bundle for the chill,
wool scarf a codicil,
then venture out to join the throng.

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

My example

School Lunch Vegetable (Neville)

School Lunch Vegetable

When catsup’s spilled upon my plate,
I’m not disturbed at all.
A puddle large or small
is merely sitting there as bait.
A tasty morsel swipes
then bread or finger wipes.
I can’t remember what I ate.

© Lawrencealot – September 19, 2014

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Antonymical Poem

This is a form invented by Hani_Nasar writing on


Form name : Antonymical Poem 


Details : The form antonymical poem is a four line poem and is given after the name antonyms . The first line contains one word which is the antonym of the second line word . The second line contains one word which is the antonym of the 1st line . The third line contains the word of 1st line . And the fourth line contains the word of 2nd line. 


For example : 


Lock                                                                ( an antonym of the 2nd line ) 

Key                                                                  ( an antonym of the 1st line ) 

Lock your past ,                                        ( Contains the word of 1st line )  

To find a key for your future .            ( Contains the word of the 2nd line )  


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My example

Don’t Rush to Dawdle 


If you see a duckling dawdle, seemingly caused by his waddle,
don’t rush to match that toddle by quickly drinking from your bottle.


© Lawrencealot – September 14, 2014

Alliterative Acrostic Trigee poetry form

Alliterative Acrostic Trigee takes the concept of 3 poems in 1 to another level. It was presented as a challenge on a poetry forum. A three in one poem (Trigee), alliterated and the first letter of each line spells a word. Number of lines, meter and rhyme at the discretion of the poet.

Titan by Judi Van Gorde

Tall tasks talk to me . . . . . . . . . .. . . Ten times over I try
in tantamount with the tax . . . . . . . . to temper tradition
tame and trip thought. . . . . . . . . . . . tell a timeless tale
and tender a tome . . . . . . .. . . .. . . . testament of truth
not terse nor tentative but . . . . . . .. . to be tenable to a tempest

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

Related forms:  Trick Poetry

How to write one:
1. Pick a word which will become the acrostic seed.
The letters of that word will become successively, the first
letters of each line in the poem. (Usually, also the title.)

2. Select a line-length, and if you are so disposed, also a meter.
3. Divide that line into two more or less equal lengths.
4. Choose rhyme pattern if desired
5. Write away.

My example

Done (Alliterative Acrostic Trigee)

Don’t do it darn it Dad.                       Darn it Dad, you did it.
One darn drink leads to more;            Daddy drank Drambuie
Now smooth and strong is sad,          good sense should forbid it.
Enjoy it on the floor!                          Mommy moaned “Oh phooey.”

© Lawrenealot – September 1, 2014





• The Virelai, is a narrative, an expanded Lai and a member of the Lai family of forms. A poem of a single Virelai stanza is known as a Bergerette.

The Virelai is:
○ stanzaic, any number of nonets (9 line stanzas) may be written at the discretion of the poet. One nonet is called a Bergerette or a Lai when made up of 3 tercets.
○ syllabic, syllables per line 5-5-2-5-5-2-5-5-2.
○ rhymed, it carries a running rhyme from stanza to stanza. aabaabaab bbcbbcbbc ddcddcddc etc until the end, in which the long line rhyme of the first stanza is repeated as the short line rhyme of the last stanza, ffaffaffa.

○ Telling the Storm by Judi Van Gorder

It happened at night
it gave me a fright,
the slash!
I watched it ignite
like a flame in flight
its dash
like a fighting kite
waving fiery bright,
so brash.

The thunderous crash
made the fish-tank splash.
The room
shook after the flash,
I pulled back the sash.
The womb
of the storm, the clash
was done with panache,

When done, to resume
and dispel the gloom,
I write.
To tell with a plume
and bring forth the bloom,
a light.
In time to exhume,
a poem to groom

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


My example

When Wally Wanders
When Wally Wanders (Virelai)

When Wally some way,
went walking away,
I snored.
I thought it okay
there’s little to stray
But to my dismay
without his display
I’m bored

He’s always deplored
the thought of a cord
Although I’d be floored
He would be adored
if snatched.
I’ll post a reward
to get him restored-
much scratch.

If he’s met his match
and he’s in the hatch
I may
just act with dispatch
to undo the latch
As runt of the batch
he was a fine catch,
I’d say!

© Lawrencealot – August 30, 2014

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Virelai Ancien

Viralai Ancien is a Medieval descendant of the Lai. It is long with very restricted rhyme. 

The is:
○ stanzaic, usually written in any number of 12 line stanzas made up of 4 tercets. Six or nine line stanzas can be used but according to Bob Newman anything less than 12 lines is for wimps.
○ syllabic, 8-8-4-8-8-4-8-8-4-8-8-4-8-8-4.
○ rhymed aabaabaabaab bbcbbcbbcbbc etc. The short line rhymes of the previous stanza become the long line rhymes of the next stanza. At the end, the long line rhymes of the 1st stanza becomes the short line rhyme of the last stanza.

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


Virelai Ancien

The virelai ancien is a medieval form that has done well to survive this long, and is unlikely to be widely mourned if it doesn’t survive very much longer. Perhaps my feelings toward it would be more charitable if I hadn’t just forced myself to write one of the wretched things. This is how it turned out:
The Virelai Ancien

The virelai’s a lot of fun!
Of flavours, most forms have but one,
But it has two.
The ancient flavour first was spun
When time itself had just begun;
The world was new.
Some neolithic Tennyson
Beneath the prehistoric sun,
Who’d had a few –
The Muse struck him, and soon he’d done
A verse form that would run and run.
’Twas quite a coup!

He sang of hunting caribou;
Of making of it a ragout;
Of gluttony.
His whole tribe – later called the Sioux –
Went wild about this form’s debut,
Its subtlety.
A tidal wave of ballyhoo,
Of photo shoot and interview –
Celebrity –
Engulfed our hero ere he knew.
Then other bards tried to outdo
His minstrelsy.

It was a wondrous sight to see,
This verse form’s popularity –
They wanted more!
For there had been a scarcity
Of highly-structured poetry
There, theretofore.
The virelai’s complexity
Imparted a resplendency
None could ignore.
It spread by bush telegraphy
To Blackfoot, Crow, and Cherokee,
From shore to shore.

It didn’t last. A natural law
Of nature, red in tooth and claw
(Exemptions: none)
Ordains that, like the dinosaur,
Each species must in time withdraw,
Its race well run –
Though no Sioux critic, brave or squaw,
The virelai nouveau foresaw,
Or how it won.
And yet the ancien lost the war.
The Sioux don’t write them now, and nor
Does anyone.

As you see, you need rhymes literally by the dozen – each rhyme occurs 8 times in the long lines of one stanza, and 4 times in the short lines of the next (and the form loops back at the end, so that the short lines of the last stanza rhyme with the long lines of the first). You can have as many stanzas as you like, but personally I’d say four was enough for anybody. 
(Actually you’re allowed to have 9-line stanzas, or even 6-line stanzas, as long as you stick with the pattern of 2 long lines followed by a short one, and honour the rhyming scheme. But stanzas shorter than 12 lines are for wimps.)
In truth, the virelai ancien seems to me to be much more of a test of ones ability to find rhymes than a recipe for writing a good poem. But if you enjoy a challenge, go for it!

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My thanks to Bob Newman for his years of work on the wonderful Volecentral resource.

My example

Photo Shoot Recruit (Viralai Ancien)

We left a house of ill repute
where we’d produced a photo shoot
with maidens there.
We never sought forbidden fruit
(we were old farts and lacked the loot;
it wasn’t fair.)
One girl was blond and very cute
could have been Laura Vandervroot;
I could but stare.
Then we continued on our route,
where starlets longed for our salute;
they posed with flair.

So many of them were named Cher,
or Joy, Cherie, or even Claire
I got confused.
I viewed a many derriere
and ogled bosoms almost bare
and still perused.
A plain or ugly girl was rare
They all looked lovely in the glare
Their beauty oozed.
In evening gowns or under wear,
they paraded without a care.
I was bemused.

Then finally we were all excused.
When asked what kind of film I’d used
I said, “Aw,shoot!”
The roll of film had gone unused.
My boss was feeling unamused.
I got the boot.
Although I’m sore and slightly bruised
and thoughts of pay were disabused
d absolute
I certainly remain enthused
My camera can be re-used
so failure’s moot.

© Lawrencealot – August 28, 2014

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Virelai Ancien


Type: Structure, Metrical Requirement, Rhyme Scheme Requirement, Isosyllabic, Simple
Description: A nine-lined rhymed poem. It is isosyllabic, and being French, goes well with Alexandrines.
Origin: French
Schematic: aabbccabc
Rhythm/Stanza Length: 9
Line/Poem Length:          9

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My thanks to Charles L. Weatherford for his years of work on the wonderful Poetrybase resource.


The Trine is a verse form which apparently originated in France and is described at Poetry Base. Trine is Anglo-French meaning “three each” and in astronomy it is three planets 120 degrees adjacent to each other forming an equilateral triangle.

The Trine is:
• a poem in 9 lines made up of 3 rhymed couplets followed by a tercet.
• isosyllabic, (same syllable count), using the French Heroic line, the Alexandrine, would be appropriate but I don’t think it is a prerequisite. (I use 9 syllable lines in the example below.)
• rhymed, rhyme scheme a a b b c c a b c.

Trifling Trinity by Judi Van Gorder

High pitch chatter comes out of the dark,
a racing rat skitters through the park.
On his tail a dragon breathing fire
chasing the rodent into a briar.
While up in a palm a monkey cheered
and clapped his hands thinking nothing weird.
This gay game they play I must remark,
for some is nothing to aspire,
though for this three it’s fun commandeered.

One trine in Chinese Astrology is the Rat, the Dragon and the Monkey. The Trine is also the name of a popular Video Game, although I have no idea what the theme of the game is.

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

My example

Rhetorical Answers (Trine)

“If all the world is but a stage,”
I asked a wise and wizened sage,
“where will the audiences sit?”
and one more question ‘fore I quit,
as I assume you’re not adverse,
Do backwards poets write inverse?”
“Rhetorical requests engage,
and spurs one to access one’s wit,
I’ve heard some good, some bad, some worse.”

© Lawrencealot – August 26, 2014
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I found a few invented forms which appear to be exclusive to The Study and Writing of Poetry; American Women Poets Discuss Their Craft, 1983. The book is a collection of essays from 50 American women poets, each essay provides insights into a multitude of topics from poetic genres, stanzaic forms, to writing techniques. This book provided some addition insights and background information on several stanzaic forms that I thought I had researched fully. I liked this book, it pays attention to the details.

• The Burtonelle is a style of writing more than a form. At first glance I thought this the same as a Cleave or Trigee but this technique produces only one poem not three in one as those forms do. It was introduced by poet, novelist and educator, Wilma W Burton who takes credit only for labeling the technique and writing a poem a day in this style in the Bicentennial year 1976. Her discipline of writing a poem a day in a bound journal has continued well over 20 years and is an exercise she recommends for all aspiring poets.

The Burtonelle is a poem written in two sections side by side with caesura in the form of a uniform space between the two columns or sides. Punctuation, caps and meter are at the poet’s discretion.
First Steps by Judi Van Gorder

In zombie stance          one foot out 
slightly on tip toes        and another one
teeth sparkling              he hovers then steps
slowly another               unsteadily another
His tiny white                in grin of determination.

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My thanks to Judi Van Gorder for years of work on this fine PMO


My example

Take Monday Off (Burtenelle)

“You can take Monday off –           if you can answer right.”
The teacher told the class.            “How many stars are there?”
No one could answer that.            “Man did that question bite?”
our little Johnny said,                    “That question wasn’t fair.”
Next week the teacher asked,      “How many grains of sand
are on our lovely beach?”              Nobody had a clue.
Our Johnny went to work-            he figured out a plan.
He painted Ping-Pong balls.         She’d ask something he knew.
The question for this week-          but Jonny spilled the balls
disrupting the classroom              (with giggles all around).
“Allright the teacher said,            “I want to know just who’s
The comic with black balls?”       So Johnny quickly found
his feet and said “That’s Bill        Cosby, and I’m excused.”

© Lawrencealot – August 23, 2014

Short Particular Measure

Short Particular Measure
All the authorities seem to agree that this has 6-line stanzas rhyming aabaab, with syllable counts of 668668 (that’s 334334 in feet). Mysteriously, all the authorities then go on to give examples with syllable counts of 448448! On the assumption that what they say is more reliable than what they do, I offer this as an example of SPM:

He made the sheep and hogs;
He made the mice and frogs,
Our great Creator sempitern –
And us, and cats, and dogs.
So say our theologues:
One day to pasta we’ll return.

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My thanks to Bob Newman for his years of work on the wonderful Volecentral resource.

My example

Loosing It! (Short Particular Measure)

I’m really quite amused
when some words are misused
Since poets offered help one time
cannot be disabused
they cannot be excused.
Perhaps they ought to switch to mime.

© Lawrencealot – August 20 2014

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Short Particular Measure



Type: Structure, Metrical Requirement, Rhyme Scheme Requirement, Other Requirement
Description: A seven-couplet poem, the pleiadic’s first stanza is repeated piece-meal in the other six stanzas. Specifically, S2L1s1-4, S3L1s5-8, S4L1s9-10, S5L2s1-4, S6L2s5-8, and S7L2s9-10. There is some slight leeway in interpretation, for instance “-er” might become “her.”
Attributed to:Vera Rich
Rhythm/Stanza Length: 2
Line/Poem Length: 14

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The pleiadic is a verse form devised by Vera Rich, so-called because of its seven stanzas. It looks like this:

My love is quite unlike a red red rose –
No thorns, a sweeter smell, a paler nose.
My love is quite immaculate; the sun
Shines from her every orifice, bar none.
I have been smitten, like a red-nosed clown
By custard pies; in sweetness, I may drown.
Each day I offer her a blood-red rose
Which she declines; each day my ardour grows.
The blooms she spurns would be the pride of Kew –
No thorns, a sweet perfume, a lush deep hue.
I can’t imagine what mistake I’ve made –
Perhaps a subtler smell, a paler shade?
I brandish blossoms everywhere she goes.
I wish I knew why she turns up her nose.
The highlighted parts of stanzas 2 to 7 together make up a repeat of the whole of the first stanza, with each part in turn appearing in the same position in the new stanza as it did in the first. Each line is in iambic pentameter, and the repeats cover respectively 4, 4, 2, 4, 4 and 2 syllables. That’s all there is to it…
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My thanks to Bob Newman for his wonderful resouce at Volecentral.

Not mentioned in either source above is the
Rhyme pattern: aabbccaaddeeaa

My example poem

Guy’s Lies (Pleiadic)

Can you believe I’ve never told a lie?
It’s all because my mem’ry’s bad, that’s why.

Can you believe I’m happy and content
Although each month my money’s mostly spent?

Forgetting lies I’ve never told someone
would be a bitch and probably not fun.

“Does this make me look fat?” Don’t tell a lie?
Tell her “Your hair looks splendid, sweetie-pie.”

Some people fib to be nice; that’s a fact.
It’s all because they’re exercising tact.

And if I get an answer wrong one day,
you know it’s ‘cus my mem’ry’s bad, okay?

I have few friends I’m not a tactful guy.
My wife has left me; could it be that’s why?
© Lawrencealot – August 17, 2014

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Anacreontic Ode

The Anacreontic Ode is proof that an ode need not be long and lofty. The Greek poet Anacreon often wrote odes in praise of pleasure and drink, a Dithyramb or Skolion. Often the odes were made up of 7 syllable, rhymed couplets known as Anacreontic couplets. Some of Anacreon’s poems were paraphrased by English poet Abraham Cowley in 1656 in which he attempted to emulate Greek meter. The main concern of several 17th century poets was that the poem avoid “piety” by “Christian” poets who would tame the spirit and make the form worthless. Although the Anacreontic Ode has been defined as a series of Anacreontic couplets, Richard Lovelace’s The Grasshopper is thought to be a translation of an Ode by Anacreon, it does fit the subject matter but the translation is written in iambic pentameter quatrains with alternating rhyme.

The Anacreontic couplet is named for the ancient Greek poet Anacreon who tended to write short lyrical poems celebrating love and wine, a genre known as Dithyramb. By 1700 English poet John Phillips defined the form to be written in 7 syllable rhyming couplets.

The Anacreontic couplet is:
○ stanzaic, written in any number of couplets,
○ preferably short. The Anacreontic Ode is often made up of a series of Anacreontic couplets.
○ syllabic, 7 syllables for each line.
○ rhymed. aa bb etc.
○ composed to celebrate the joys of drinking and love making. Some Anacreontic verse tends toward the erotic or bawdy.

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My thanks to Judi Van Gorder for the wonderful PMO site. It is a wonderful resource.

Other Odes: Aeolic Ode, Anacreontic Ode, Choral Ode or Pindaric Ode or Dorian Ode,
Cowleyan Ode or Irregular Ode, Horatian Ode, Keatsian or English Ode, Ronsardian Ode

Thematic Odes:
Elegy, Obsequy, Threnody Ode
Elemental Ode
Genethliacum Ode
Encomium or Coronation Ode
Epithalamion or Epithalamium and Protholathiumis
Palinode Ode
Panegyric or Paean
Triumphal Ode
Occasional Verse

My try at this form:

Elbow Tango  (Anacreontic Ode)

Come and share with me a brew,
or better yet more than two.
Drink in smiles before you go
exercising your elbow.
We can sit on stool or bench,
drink and flirt with serving wench
with fine limbs and rounded ass-
her charms grow with every glass.
Likely, we’ll go home alone
but fine memories we’ll own.

© Lawrencealot – August 13, 2013

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Anacreontic Ode