San Hsien

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.

• San Hsien (three strings) is another invented verse form in a decastich. It was created by Jessamine Fishback.

The San Hsien is:
○ a decastich, a poem in 10 lines.
○ metric, iambic dimeter. L1 is acephaletic (drops the 1st unstressed syllable).
○ rhyme, rhyme scheme ABbaccabBA.
○ composed with a refrain, L1 & L2 are repeated as L9 & L10 in reverse.

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

My example


Sober Thought (San Hsien)

You are here
the sign proclaimed.
“Where?”, I exclaimed.
“That final beer
was just too much;
you’re out of touch
that much is clear;
aren’t you are shamed?”
The sign proclaimed
You are here.

© Lawrencealot – September 25, 2014

Picture Credit:  ea of Allpoetry

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San Hsien