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.

The Latova which I can only assume it was created by the author Viola Berg. This invented verse form appears to be an exercise in trochaic meter.

The Latova is:
a poem in 18 lines made up of 2 9 line stanzas.
metered, trochaic tetrameter, the final foot of each line is catalectic. (drop the last unstressed syllable)
rhymed, rhyme scheme abbcccbaa deefffedd.


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


My example

Never Did I Own a Pig   (Latova)

Never did I own a pig
Never propertied was I.
Still I climbed on mountains high
roamed thru fields that others owned
rode on horses that were loaned,
thinking wealth was just postponed.
Never had I cause to cry.
Can’t deny sometimes a swig
found me waking in the brig.

Sailed with mates who oft were rough.
Courted ladies of the night,
Left most bars before the fight.
Went to school and learned a trade.
Thinking then I had it made
entered marriage unafraid.
Wealth remained just out of sight.
Deemed by wife to be hot stuff,
being loved was good enough.

© Lawrencealot – Septempber 13, 2014

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• The Briolette was invented in the 1950s by Viola Berg.

The Briolette is:
○ stanzaic, can be composed in any number of cinquains made up of a triplet and a rhyming couplet.
○ metric, iambic tetrameter.
○ rhymed, rhyme scheme aaabb cccdd etc.

 Briolette of India by Judi Van Gorder
The Maharajah claimed it cursed
the diamond cut to quench a thirst.
King Richard, Lion Hearted, erst
would take the gem on his crusade,
a brilliance which will never fade.

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

My example

Shifting Gears (Briolette)

When age starts creeping up on you,
and physical restraints accrue
I wouldn’t quit if I were you
because at that time you will find
untapped resources in your mind.

The mountain trails you used to climb
are now denied – it seems a crime,
but render them to me in rhyme
that’s something which you didn’t do
while you were scrambling for the view.

Without much money in your purse
and your arthritis getting worse
a shared experience penned in verse
extends your life beyond your days
to generations in the haze.

©Lawrencealot – September 2, 2014

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Cross Limerick

• Cross Limerick is an American invented form, a variation of the Limerick found in Pathways of a Poet by Viola Berg. It adds a couple of lines to the Limerick verse form.

The Cross Limerick is:
○ metered verse written in anapestic patterns. L1, L2 and L7 are trimeter (3 metric feet) and L3,L4,L5 and L6 are dimeter (2 metric feet). (anapest = da da DUM or u-u-S = unstressed , unstressed, stressed syllables.)
○ a septet. (7 lines).
○ best used for witty, whimsical, bawdy themes, light verse.
○ written with a rhyme scheme aabcbca.
○ no title is used.

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

My example poem

The girls who in short skirts walk the street
are not those that mom wants you to meet.
When they’re plying their wares
it’s with commerce in mind
they invite young men’s stares
and more if one’s inclined.
But the kindest of them can’t be beat.

© Lawrencealot – August 5, 2014
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Cross Limerick


  • The Termelay is similar to the Roundelay. This invented verse form was created by Viola Berg.The Termelay is:
    • a hexastich, a poem in 6 lines.
    • syllabic, 4/4/4/8/8/4 syllables per line.
    • unrhymed.
    • composed with a refrain, L3 is repeated as L6. 
My Thanks to Judi Van Gorder for the wonderful resource at PMO
My example poem
What Do Nattering Nannies Know?    (Termelay)
When power groups
say “No you can’t”,
Do something else.
Some want constraints acts that seem fine;
Just stick a finger in their eye.
Do something else.
© Lawrencealot – April 7, 2014
Photo Credit: Viewed on FaceBook
All rights belong to the photographer, if anyone can give
me his name I would  love to provide attribution.
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  • The Sweetbriar is a stanzaic invented form similar to the Minuette. It uses only 1 rhyme and was created by Viola Berg.
    The Sweetbriar is:

    • stanzaic, written in 2 sixains.
    • syllabic, 4/4/6/4/4/6 syllables per line.
    • rhymed, rhyme scheme xxaxxa xxaxxa.
My Thanks to Judi Van Gorder for the wonderful resource at PMO
My example poem
He Watches Me Bathe    (Sweetbriar)
He likes to watch
me shower it excites
him, that I know.
I wait until I’m sure
he’s there, then I
put on my show.
I see him smile
as I’m caressed by the
cool water’s flow.
He spends that time with me
each day, until
I have to go.
© Lawrencealot – April 5, 2014
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  • The Octodil is an invented verse form that uses only even numbered syllable lines. It was created by Viola Berg.The Octodil is:
    • a poem in 8 lines, an octastich.
    • syllabic, 4/4/6/6/8/8/6/6 syllables per line.
    • unrhymed and no feminine or falling end words.
My Thanks to Judi Van Gorder for the wonderful resource at PMO
My Example poem
Who Says?   (Octodil)
An owl flew by
and looked into my eyes
and though I know I’d heard
him hooting in the dark of night
I’d never seen the fellow’s face.
I’ve understood that owl’s
are wise- it’s true; he did
not ask me “Who?”
© Lawrencealot – April 3, 2014


  • Minuette is a verse form with short lines possibly the rhythm of the lines is meant to simulate the rhythm of the musical minuette. Introduced byViola Berg, it is similar to the Sweetbriar.The Minuette is:
    • a poem in 12 lines made up of 2 sixains.
    • syllabic, all lines 4 syllables long. 
    • rhymed, rhyme scheme xxaxxaxxbxxb.
    • composed with L3,L6,L9,L12 indented.
My Thanks to Judi Van Gorder for the wonderful resource at PMO
My Example Poem
Tax Code Charity    (Minuette)
I voted twice, 
in different years 
     for Reagan’s way. 
I voted twice, 
against the guy 
     who now holds sway. 
I give at church 
I give in town 
     I really care 
as much as Bill 
who gave the poor 
     his underwear. 
© Lawrencealot – April 2, 2014
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  • The Marianne is a verse form that is written with a combination rhyme and syllable count. It was created by Viola Berg . The lines should be centered on the page.The Marianne is:
    • a pentastich, a poem in 5 lines.
    • syllabic, 4/6/8/4/2 syllables per line.
    • rhymed, axaxa x being unrhymed.
    • titled and centered on the page.
My Thanks to Judi Van Gorder for the wonderful resource at PMO
My Example
A Centered Pentastitch (Marianne)
I don’t know why
Viola invented
this form. There’s not much to apply.
But, being me,
I’ll try.
© Lawrencealot – March 31, 2014

The Donna

  • The Donna is a syllabic Limerick, without requiring the anapestic rhythm. Created by Viola Berg, the verse should be witty and fun.
    The Donna is:

    • stanzaic, written in any number of quintains.
    • syllabic, lines of 8/6/4/4/6.
    • rhyme xabba, xcddc etc.
My Thanks to Judi Van Gorder for the wonderful resource at PMO
My Example Poem
Out at Second Base     (The Donna)
I couldn’t undo her brassier,
and dammit how I tried,
for big boobs need,
they do indeed,
a strap that’s pretty wide.
Exasperated, the girl said,
“Let’s kiss and kiss some more.”
I missed her flesh
but our lips meshed
until my lips were sore.
© Lawrencealot – March 22, 2014
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  • Cromorna is a verse form that has compact lines and exacting meter and rhyme developed by Viola Berg.The Cromorna is:
    • stanzaic, written in 3 quatrains.  
    • syllabic, with  5/3/5/3/5/3/5/3/5/3/5/3 syllables per line.
    • rhymed, rhyme scheme abab cbcb dbdb  ().
My Thanks to Judi Van Gorder for the wonderful resource at PMO
My example Poem
Diverse     (Cromorna)
An electric arc
could have been
the requisite spark
way back when.
And that ignition
led to men
and our condition,
now and then.
If so, I suppose
we must yen
for each one of those
who our ken.
© Lawrencealot – March 18, 2014
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(12 lines)