Our Poetic Asides inaugural Poet Laureate, Sara Diane Doyle, has been busy-busy-busy this summer working with teen writers. But not too busy to share with her fellow Poetic Asides crew a new poetic form she developed with one of her students, David Edwards. Since Sara knows the form best, I’ll let her explain the form to you in her own words.
A few months ago I began exploring various poetic forms. With each form I tried, I would post my attempt on a forum for teen writers, where I am a mentor. One of the teens, David Edwards, got interested in forms, especially the “created” forms. He asked if anyone could invent a form and I said “sure!” Then, he got the crazy idea that we should create a form together.
To start, we wanted to throw in every poetic element that we really liked. David came up with the meter and feet and I added in the repeating line. We came up with the rhyme scheme and length together. The result is a form we call the Roundabout. In this form, the rhyme scheme comes full circle while offering repetition of one line in each rhyme set. 
The Roundabout is a four stanza poem, with each stanza consisting of 5 lines. The poem is written in iambic and the lines have 4 feet, 3 feet, 2 feet, 2 feet and 3 feet respectively. The rhyme scheme is abccb/bcddc/cdaad/dabba. Roundabouts can be on any subject. 
Several of the writers on our forum have written Roundabouts and have had a blast.” We would love for other poets to give it a try! Here are some examples to get you started.
by David Edwards
Around around the carousel
across the circles face
we cry we shout
we crash about
across the circles face
and ever always breakneck pace
by this unending route
and twists and turns
and breaks and burns
by this unending route
of ever always in and out
the yearling quickly learns
to run and yell
at ocean’s swell
the yearling quickly learns
to run and leap and then he earns
but he will never tell
there’s not a chase
that wins the race
but he will never tell.
When Spring Trips ‘Round
by Sara Diane Doyle
When wildflowers bloom once more
and raindrops touch the earth,
the faeries come
to start the hum
and raindrops touch the earth!
Come join the song, the dance the mirth!
Enjoy the juicy plum.
beneath the sun
’til day is done-
enjoy the juicy plum!
The clouds let out the beating drum-
rejoice with us as one.
Our joy we pour
for pain we bore-
rejoice with us as one.
Of gleeful hope, the snow knows none,
but speaks of faeries lore,
of magic birth,
the greatest worth
but speaks of faeries lore.

Pasted from
My Thanks to Poetic-Asides.

Specifications restated:

Roundabout is:
A 20 line poem, attributed to David Edwards
Stanzaic: Consisting of 4 five-line stanza
Metered: Iambic with feet of 4/3/2/2/3 per line
Rhyme Scheme: aBccB bCddC cDaaD dAbbA
Refrain: L2 is repeated as L5 in each stanza

My Example



The driver thought he’d save some time.
although the sign said no.
he’d always say
he knew the way
although the sign said no.

His load was long but even so
’twas shorter this-a-way.
He drove enough
and knew his stuff —
’twas shorter this-a-way.

He shrugged and said “I’ll be okay”,
he put the truck in gear.
He took his time
and did the crime;
he put the truck in gear.

Half through the loop, he could not clear;
it cost him many dime
to learn what’s so;
when he could go
it cost him many dime.

© Lawrencealot – January 20, 2015
Photo credit: taken by poet.

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Writing Women: Newer Poetry Forms Created by Women Part 2

I recently acquired the book “The Study and Writing of Poetry,” which features poetry and poetry forms created and written by women. Today I will share forms created by Irene Gramling, Verna Lee Hinegardner, Lillian Mathilda Swenson, Remelda Gibson, Mary Owen Lewis, and Chiquita LoJuana Gonzolas.

The Fantasy

The first form featured was created by Irene Gramling, and she created it about fifty years ago (Study and Writing of Poetry, 126).


–The first two stanzas have an indented format and the final stanza does not indent at all (see below).

–Three stanzas:

Stanza #1

Line #1 = 4 syllables
         Line #2 = 4 syllables
                   Line #3 = 8 syllables
                             Line #4 = 4 syllables
                   Line #5 = 4 syllables
         Line #6 = 4 syllables
Line #7 = 4 syllables

Stanza #2

Line #1 = 4 syllables
         Line #2 = 4 syllables
                   Line #3 = 8 syllables
                   Line #4 = 4 syllables
         Line #5 = 4 syllables
Line #6 = 4 syllables

Stanza #3

Line #1 = 4 syllables
Line #2 = 4 syllables
Line #3 = 8 syllables
Line #4 = 4 syllables
Line #5 = 4 syllables
Line #6 = 4 syllables
Line #7 = 4 syllables


Stanza #1 = abccaba
Stanza #2 = deffed
Stanza #3 = gghhiii


–Topic, although “[i]t lends itself to humor and/or satire” (Study and Writing of Poetry, 126).


This second form was invented by Verna Lee Hinegardner. Just like the Fantasy, it was created about fifty years ago. The form name is representative of the poet’s goal. “It captures a momentary mood or moment in time.” (Study and Writing of Poetry, 133).


–One stanza, twelve lines.
–Meter: iambic. Syllable count as follows: 8, 4, 4, 4, 8, 4, 4, 4, 8, 4, 4, 4.
–Rhyme: aabbccddeeff




The next form was created by Lillian Mathilda Swenson. “” (Study and Writing of Poetry, 136).


–Meter: Syllable count of 2, 4, 6, 8, 8, 6, 4, 3. Total of 41 syllables.
–Rhyme: abcdbcda.



Onda Mel

The fourth form was created by Reymelda Gibson. Unfortunately, there is little information on this form other than what I share here.


–Eight lines.
–Meter: Syllable count of 8, 4, 4, 8, 8, 4, 4, 8.
–Rhyme: abbacddc
–Topic: Love.




There are a few poetry forms with seven lines called a septet. This variation was created by Mary Owen Lewis.


–Seven lines.
–Meter: Syllable count of 3, 5, 7, 9, 7, 5, 3.


–Rhyme: Use rhyme or not.


When I researched beyond this book, I noticed that there are some other poetry forms that use the name tango. Most of them reference the dance or try to emulate the dance in poetry form. This final form is a variation of a tango and was invented by Chiquita Lojuana Gonzolas.


–Four lines.
–Meter: Syllable count of 9, 10, 11, 12.
–Rhyme: abcb.




The Study and Writing of Poetry. Edited by Wauneta Hackleman. Revised by Amy Jo Zook. Whitston Publishing Company. 1996.


My Example

Her Audition (Fantasy)

Amarah Hi!
Those glasses make you look astute
You met the mob.
D’ya get the job?
If not, then why?
You still are cute.

So don’t you cry.
Can’t tell you’re bald
with that big hat,
and heisting pa’s false teeth was cool.
They stop the drool.
You’re one smart brat!

No, no one’s called.
You best hustle
with that bustle
mom wants it back;
that is a fact.
You’re mom will talk if Hefner calls
or Esquire stalls –
She’s got the balls.

© Lawrencealot – December 13, 2014

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The villancico hails from Spain, and is a (largely forgotten) forerunner of the villanelle. As with the villanelle, whole lines are repeated. In fact, whole couplets are repeated. There are three stanzas, and last two lines of the first and second stanzas are both repeated at the end of the third. Here’s an example, in the best possibletaste:
Ordure of the British Empire

Most frequent of our complaints
Is ignorance in the young.
Oftentimes my lady faints
When plain folk misname their dung,
But speak of otters’ spraints
And we’ll know you are sound.

On such small orthodoxies
Aristocracy is based.
Don’t know what “poo of ox” is?
You’re so common; you’ve no taste!
Waggyings of foxes –
That’s where breeding is found.

Badger’s werdrobe on the ground;
Hare’s crotels scattered around;
Wild boar’s fiants – Ha! You frowned!
You’re not gentry, I’ll be bound!
But speak of otters’ spraints
And we’ll know you are sound.
Waggyings of foxes –
That’s where breeding is found.

The rhyming scheme is quite demanding, with 6 of the 8 lines of the third stanza required to rhyme with one another. In the only other example I have seen, there is even more rhyming (so that the lines here ending in “based” and “taste” ought to rhyme with “complaints”), but I flashed my artistic licence and claimed exemption from that requirement. 7-syllable lines seem to be standard, except in the two refrains, which both use 6-syllable lines.
I haven’t seen a formal description of the villancico anywhere. Researching these obscure forms can be a frustrating business. According to various sources, the villancico is the Spanish equivalent of a madrigal, or of a carol, or primarily a musical form without lyrics. It is certainly not a verse form anyone is prepared to give an exact description of. (Except perhaps in Spanish – a language I don’t speak.) Any information would be gratefully received.
In this example, I am taking the mickey out of the vocabulary of field sports. (Not for the first time. I also have a poem called Table Manners – more popularly known as Frushing the Chub – which uses a selection of Elizabethan carving terms.) Back in the days of Empire, there was a specific word for virtually every attribute or behaviour of any animal species of interest to the aristocracy. The best known of these are probably the nouns of assemblage – murder of crows, exaltation of larks, murmurationof starlings, dopping of sheldrake, etc. Harmless pieces of trivia for pub quizzes nowadays, but once these were potent shibboleths – anyone who didn’t know the proper word for a hare’s droppings (see above) or the sexual antics of foxes (“clickitting”) was plainly not “one of us”. An authoritative book on the subject was written byEdward, Duke of York, first cousin to Henry IV.    

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

Specifications restated:

A stanzaic poem of 20 lines, 2 sestets plus and octet
Syllabic: The first four lines of each stanza are 7 syllable, the remainder 6 syllables
Rhymed: ababAC1 dedeDC2 ccccAC1DC2.
Refrains indicated by the Capital letters

My example

Let Us Prey  (Villancico)

A gift must have some appeal
before the intent can count.
Man can’t eat a godly spiel –
so take that into account.
What you give should be real,
It should fulfill a need.

An offer of warm French fries,
or a tattered coat to wear
may mean more to homeless guys
than assurance that God cares.
if your gift satisfies
Then you’ve done a good deed.

Gifts with strings attached are fraud
they’re for you – and that is flawed.
Such giving I can’t applaud;
even in the name of God.
What you give should be real,
It should fulfill a need.
if your gift satisfies
Then you’ve done a good deed.

© Lawrencealot – October 31, 2014

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Haven Fire

Haven Fire is a poem of 20 lines, created by Paul Steele, writing on Allpoetry as IntimidusRex. The length of each stanza, varies from 1 to 8 as determined by its position in a Fibonacci series.

It is:
Isosyllabic, with each line having 8 syllables
Stanzaic, Consisting of 6 stanzas
Formulaic, Each Stanza’s length is determined by its position in a Fibonacci series.
Rhymed: Rhyme pattern: a b cc aac ccaac bcbcbaba
Refrained: The first half of L1 becomes: the first half of L8, L13, and L18.
The 2nd half of L1 becomes the 2nd half of L10 and L18
The first half of L2 becomes the 2nd half of L3, and L8, and the 1st half of L17.
The 2nd half of L2 becomes the 1st half of L5, the 2nd half of L13 and L17.

*Fibonacci sequence 
The sequence of numbers, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, … , 
in which each successive number is equal to the sum of the two preceding numbers.

Related Poetry Forms: Fib Diamond, Fib SeriesFibonacci Spiral, FiboquattroHaven Fire

My example

Water Cycle (Haven Fire)

When water falls it changes states

It might be mist a magic shift

It changes states  it might be mist
but it was vapor in our midst.

A magic shift it changes states
within a cloud it transformates
(a new word now, I must insist.)

When water falls It might be mist
but molecules cannot resist
and often one evaporates
and downward mist just dissipates
and thirsty farmers then are pissed.

When water falls a magic shift
takes place and lets cold snow exist
which gives our mountain streams a lift.
which fact allows life to persist.
It might be mist a magic shift
when water falls it changes states. 
This cycle is an awesome gift
that mother nature regulates.

© Lawrencealot – October 20, 2014

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Haven Fire

The Balance

  • The Balance attempts to create an ebb and flow rhythm. The rhythm is created by a specific syllabic designation per line as well as an intricate rhyme scheme. This verse form was created by Viola Berg.
  • The Balance is:
    • stanzaic, framed in 4 cinquains. The patterns of the cinquains change from stanza to stanza.
    • syllabic,
      stanza 1 =10-8-6-4-2 syllables.
      stanza 2 =2-4-6-8-10 syllables
      stanza 3 =10-8-6-4-2 syllables
      stanza 4 = 2-4-6-8-10 syllables
    • rhymed, rhyme scheme Abcde edcba abcde edcbA. (AbcdeedcbaabcdeedcbA)
    • composed with a refrain, the 1st line of the poem is repeated as the last line.
    • Short Balance by Judi Van Gorder
    • Centered on the page the words resonate
      with sounds of fingers striking
      the computer keyboard.
      Tapping into
      my muse.Good news,
      the verse in due
      time takes shape, strikes a chord
      without inspiration spiking.
      Centered on the page the words resonate.

Pasted from

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

Specifications restated:
A poem of 20 lines, centered on the page
Syllabic: 10/8/6/5/2 2/4/6/8/10 10/8/6/4/2 2/4/6/8/10
 Rhymed, rhyme scheme Abcde edcba abcde edcbA.
My Sample Poem
Fish wrap is Functional    (The Balance)
The paper tells of babies being born,
while businesses are formed and fold,
and folks grow old and die,
while other’s kill
or cheat
to beat
other’s for thrill
or just because they’re high.
The earth’s getting too hot or cold;
associations steer and hold in scorn
those men who break from ranks and won’t adorn
concepts as right, because they’re old.
Opinions satisfy,
candidates will
just tweet
or greet
with smarmy skill
while business goes awry
and we the sheeple, are controlled.
The paper tells of babies being born.
© Lawrencealot – March 7, 2014
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The Balance


The LaJemme is a 5 stanza form created by poets Laura Lamarca and Jem Farmer.
Syllalbic:          10/10/10/10  8/8/8/6 8/8/8/6  10/10/10/10  10/10/10/10
End Rhyme Pattern:  abab cdfe gfdf hihi abab
Cross-rhyme required and interleaved rhyme required.
Expanded rhyme pattern:
Where the first letter in parentheses is syllable 4, the second is end rhyme.
Meter: consistently iambic
As stated by the inventors:
Stanza 1, 10 syllables per line, Rhyme scheme abab, 4th syllable of each line is to rhyme with the end rhyme of the preceding line.
Stanza 2, syllable count: 8/8/8/6, Rhyme scheme cdef, with cross rhymes in each couplet on 4th syllable
Stanza 3, syllable count 8/8/8/6, Rhyme scheme gfdf, 4th syllable of each line follows the same rule as stanza 1.
Stanza 4, 10 syllables per line, Rhyme scheme hihi, 4th syllable of each line is to rhyme with the end rhyme of the preceding line.
Stanza 5, 10 syllables per line, Rhyme scheme abab, 4th syllable of each line is to rhyme with the end rhyme of the preceding line.
Note: I would have been much happier if the poet had required cross-rhyme in both short line stanzas, for sake of elegance and consistency.
Example poem.
Celeste     (LaJemme)
She comes some nights from mists beyond the sea
and sings to me the songs of sirens lore.
Notes float ashore in tones of upper C
that guarantee a mortal won’t ignore.
I’m driven then to leave my wife
and leave my life behind again
and simply go as lemmings do.
This much is true, you know.
The amber glow within her eyes
would not surprise a wizard though
they do bestow control that men
succumb to when they glow.
She uses me to quench her mortal thirst
and from the first I’ve risen to her game.
I cannot tame the fires for she’s well versed
and has rehearsed her wiles to much acclaim.
Her origin remains a mystery
It’s plain to see she’s easy to adore
and wanting more, to me comes naturally
I heed her plea and dance to her sweet score.
© Lawrencealot – December 19, 2014
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Royal Spiral

This form was created by Mary Sullivan Boren, aka,  Meter Maid on
This is a stanzaic form consisting of exactly four quintains.
each having two rhyming couples of iambic pentameter and a tail of iambic dimeter.
Though similar to the Rondeau, it varies significantly
in the rhyme and repetition scheme, as follows:
S1: aabbc
S2: ccdde, where L5 repeats the first two feet of S1 L1.
S3: eeffg, where L1 repeats S1 L5.
S4: gghhc.
This first four syllables of line 1 become the refrain in line 5 of  the second stanza.
Line 5 of the first stanza becomes the first four syllables of stanza three.
Example Poem
Cave Dweller
While young I schooled, worked; I lived in a cave.
‘Twas not remote, nor I remotely brave.
First time on my own; autumn really nice.
I lived for weeks- there ’til the snow and ice.
I paid no rent.
No neighbors, no landlord; it beat a tent.
To my mom’s house my mail (not much) was sent.
As snug as could be with storm- lantern there.
I’d study, watch town below, without care.
While young I schooled.
I paid no rent. I stayed ’til weather cooled.
With hygiene handled at the gym, I stooled
myself at deli for a bite to eat.
My big meal I’d have at work: Donny’s Beat.
My evening job.
The quiet soothed, silence ruled- absent the mob.
Would I could share with my missing heartthrob.
Later, one lass did ask me, “Where is it?
She said had she’d known she’d come to visit.
this resident.
(c) Lawrencealot – April 2012
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Royal Spiral


This is a new form designed in June, 2013 by Laura Lamarca.
It is composed of 5 quatrain stanzas with varying length and meter, (20 lines)
but every line begins with an anapest foot.
This is a moderately  difficult form to write.
The requirements of the form in her own words  are:
Verses 1, 3 and 5
Rhyme scheme abab
L1 and L3 – 11 syllables, stressed syllables needed on beats 3, 6, 8 and 11
L2 and L4 –  9 syllables, stressed syllables needed on beats 3, 5, 7 and 9
Verse 2 and 4
Rhyme scheme baab
L1 and L4 – 9 syllables, stressed syllables needed on beats 3, 5, 7 and 9
L2 and L3 – 7 syllables, stressed syllables needed on beats 3 and 5.
MUST be a metaphoric poem, preferably dark and deeply emotive.
Rhyme scheme “abab cddc efef ghhg ijij” for the easy version (ababcddcefefghhgijij) or
Rhyme scheme “abab baab abab baab abab” for the more challenging version. (ababbaabababbaababab)
Example Poem
This was written for a contest to name the form, I thought LaAnapestia would have been descriptive, but my thinking did not prevail.
Liberty’s Tree     (LaDan)
Disagreeable though it may be my friends,
a time comes when men who are born free,
(as all are), must leave kings who won’t make amends.
They are kings because we let them be.
The untried Americans-to-be
who’d displayed recalcitrance
now displayed recognizance
of the threat to their own liberty.
As the spirit of patriots now depends
on the Jefferson’s and Paine’s to see
better ways to assure the power extends
to the common man, they write their plea.
They were radicals,  to disagree,
and they lacked the competence
to deny the providence
of the kings throughout our history.
It seems sometimes the voice of reason portends
a much greater change than taxing tea,
and revolution comes when man comprehends;
But it may cost blood from you and me.
© Lawrencealot – July 24, 2013
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Diminishing Hexaverse

• The Hexaverse is:
• a hexastich, a poem in 6 lines.
• isosyllabic, 6 syllable lines.
• unrhymed.
• Diminishing Hexaverse is an invented form which can be found in various poetry communities and blogs across the web without any reference to its source. Most use the same definition which strangely ignores the meaning of hexa and describe the form with only 5 stanzas, diminishing from 5 lines and 5 syllables each to 4 lines and 4 syllables each and so on ending in a single stich of 1 syllable. With that description the frame would better be termed a Diminishing Pentaverse.

•  Finally I came upon a site that seems to me to get it right at Tir na nOg, diminishing from 6 lines of 6 syllables each to 5 lines of 5 syllables each and so on to a single stich of one syllable and my faith was restored. I have to believe the original concept began with the 6 line beginning and was somehow corrupted to only 5 stanzas along the way and the lemmings followed. The form is fine with 6 or 5 stanzas but it just makes more sense to me to use the correct terminology to reflect the frame used.  (20 lines)
The Diminishing Hexaverse
• a poem in diminishing 6 stanzas, made up of a sixain, followed by quintet, followed by a quatrain, followed by a tercet followed by couplet and ending in a single stich.
• syllabic, L1-L6 6 syllables each, L7-L11 5 syllables each, L12-L15 4 syllables each, L16-L18 3 syllables each, L19-L20 2 syllables each and finally L21 1 syllable.
• unrhymed.
These being finally the most cogent of the various description I found are the words of Judi Van Gorder,aka tinker from PoetryMagnumOpus, which is linked from this site.
• x x x x x x
x x x x x x
x x x x x x
x x x x x x
x x x x x x
x x x x x x
x x x x x
x x x x x
x x x x x
x x x x x
x x x x x
x x x x
x x x x
x x x x
x x x x
x x x
x x x
x x x
x x
x x
Example Poem
Tell Him No
Her lips are parted now.
My lips are closing in.
Expecting to taste somehow,
A promise of our sin.
Before we’ve made a vow
our mating will begin.
Nothing good can come
from this rendezvous.
I am just a bum
who does not love you.
Dreams will not come true.
I’ll say the words
That most men say.
We are just turds,
who want our way
So lassies
Just beware
and take care
this way.
Just say
(c) Lawrencealot – May 13, 2012


The individualtean is a form invented by chasingtheday of
In consists of 5 rhymed variable length stanzas
with the following end-rhyme pattern: abcbac def abcbac def gg
Rhyme may be perfect, slant or assonance.
Stanza 1 Consists of lines with 10/8/6/8/10/6 Syllables
Stanza 2 Consists of lines with 3/4/7 syllables
Stanza 3 Consists of lines with 10/8/6/8/10/6 Syllables
Stanza 4 Consists of lines with 3/4/7 syllables
Stanza 5 Is a couplet, each line with 10 syllables.
The form requires the ending syllable of lines 2 and 12 to rhyme with the first word of the following line.
In addition the last word of every stanza must rhyme with the first word of the following stanza.
There is NO requirement for any meter discipline.
Example Poem
Another Kiss Waitin’  (Individualtean)
Kisses tempt the strongest, noblest of men.
Indeed, all men are much moved by
Sighs, hugs, and words of care,
Still nothing lifts us quite so high–
Except knowing that kiss will come again,
Starving until it’s there.
Where my dear
inside my heart
resides the dreams of your lips?
Whips  and chains encumber some  and bring pain
Although with orders I comply
I bide my time I swear
Thinking of you kisses, Oh My!
Invigorated, treat hurts with disdain.
Nothing can bring despair.
Fair one, near
Or far I start
Remembering our hist’ry.
Memory of warm lips rewarded me.
Every time my feet brought me back to thee.
© Lawrencealot – August 13, 2012
This visual  template should help
Note: b-c in the rhyme indicator column, means that the
first word must use b-rhyme, the end-line must use c-rhyme.