Dickson Nocturne

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 Dickson Nocturne seems to be an exercise in meter. It was created by Margaret Ball Dickson who at one time was head of Creative Writing at Valparaiso University, Indiana. 

The Dickson Nocturne is:
○ strophic, a 12 line poem made up of a tercet, a quatrain and a cinquain.
○ L1,L2, L4, L5, L6, L8, L9, L11 are dactylic trimeter, some catalectic (dropping a syllable at the end) and L3,L7,L10,L12 are iambic dimeter. L3, L7 and L12 are a repeated refrain.

Pasted from http://www.poetrymagnumopus.com/index.php?showtopic=1199#dionol
My thanks to Judi Van Gorder for years of work on this fine PMO resource.

My example

For You are There   (Dickson Nocturne)

Sometimes the nights are inviting
bringing forth lust that’s exciting
for you are there.

Sometimes the days seem made for living,
Other times cold and unforgiving
Struggles seem so inconsequential
for you are there.

Often as my day unravels
Thinking of you in my travels
I know you care
Sometimes I feel our home’s heaven
for you are there.

© Lawrencealot – September 8, 2014

Visual template

Note: Rhyme NOT mandated.
Dickson Nocturne


The Caprice form was invented in a whimsical moment by Mary Lou Healy, aka Mlou on Allpoetry.com.

The caprice is:
Stanzaic: It is a poem consisting of any number of cinquain stanzas
Metered: It is written in iambic pentameter except for L2 of each stanza being iambic dimeter
Rhyme Pattern: ababa cdcdc efefe, etc.

What Meaning by Mlou

What meaning in an autumn afternoon
when the sun, low sinking in the west
goes down too soon,
when breeze that whispered, dear, I love you best,
now sighs the farewell notes of mournful loon?

The chill that rattles every browning leaf
echoes through my blood and stills my bones
beyond belief.
I grudge the ticking clock those mellowed tones,
knowing Time is an accomplished thief.

I fear that falling leaves can’t be denied,
can’t be returned to limbs now growing bare
although I’ve tried.
Those melancholy endings float on air
and mirror my forebodings deep inside.


My example

Community Pup  (Caprice)

What pleasure’s taken when I take a stroll.
My puppy patient; anytime I stop
he plays his role.
For meeting folks, my dog’s a natural prop.
But playing ball with kids is his real goal.

We walk three quarters of a mile each way;
a park with slides and swings is near the school
where dogs can play.
The kids think playing catch with Griz is cool,
so now we do it nearly everyday.

I walk because the doctor said I should
but stopping at the park is just for Griz,
And that is good.
Each day before school starts that’s where he is,
and he’s well-known throughout our neighborhood.

© Lawrencealot – September 6, 2014

Visual Template