Blood Quill

The Blood Quill form was invented in 2008 by Jim T. Henriksen writing on

The Blood Quill form has two stanzas, each made of six lines. First and fourth line rhymes, second and fifth line rhymes, and third and sixth line rhymes per stanza. First, second, fourth and fifth line has six syllables, while third and sixth line has nine syllables. Rhyming pattern is abcabc defdef, and rhythm pattern is 669669 669669, or visually:

Poetic Justice

Poetic Justice

I will tell you a tale
of a powerful guild,
with brave members all over the Horde;
And not once would they fail,
for this group was so skilled,
with a feather they held like a sword.

They fought till the last breath,
whether theirs or their kill,
and the ground trembled hard with a thud;
With their enemies death,
in their heart was a quill,
and a poem was written in blood.

© Jim T. Henriksen. All rights reserved.
January 8th, 2008

Specifications restated:
Stanzaic: Two Sestets
Syllabic: 6/6/9/6/6/9
Rhymed: abcabc defdef
Metric option: Anapestic dimeter and trimeter.

My example

Race Riots

Race Riots (Blood Quill)

In reacting to hate
caused by eras long past
the aggrieved now have earned disrespect.
When they somehow equate
one man’s acting too fast,
just to race, they’re not most circumspect.

In destroying a store
or committing a crime,
their behavior is rising a flood.
All their own ought deplore
men behaving like slime
and then forcing more payment in blood.

© Lawrencealot – December 8, 2014

Dream Song

The Dream Song at first glance could probably be considered a style or genre of poetry because of the prominent “dream theme”. But with more careful examination, the Dream Song is a framed verse form with a specific stanzaic prescription. It was created by American poet, John Berryman’s (1914-1972) book of 77 Dream Songs . He continued to write Dream Songs after the book was published and there are over 400 of his Dream Songs in circulation. The poems seem to me to be recordings of Berryman’s dreams in verse. They are often disjointed and bizarre although the frame of the poems remains consistent. There is a reoccurring character Henry who as a black faced minstrel is called Mr. Bones. The poems include “wrenched syntax, scrambled diction, extraordinary leaps of language and tone, and wild mixture of high lyricism and low comedy” . Poem

The Dream Song is:
• a verse form, the poem is written in 3 sixains, 18 lines.
• metric, Accentual, usually L1,L2,L4,& L5 5 stresses and L3 & L6 have 3 stresses. As long as 4 lines are longer and L3 & L6 are shorter, the rhythm is jerky much like the content.
• rhymed, rhyme patterns vary from stanza to stanza however there are normally 3 rhymes per stanza. abcabc abccba, aabccb, abbacc are a few of the patterns. abcbac is the pattern of the stanza below.

Dream Song #112 by John Berryman 

My framework is broken, I am coming to an end,
God send it soon. When I had most to say
my tongue clung to the roof
I mean of my mouth. It is my Lady’s birthday
which must be honored, and has been. God send
it soon.

I now must speak to my disciples, west
and east. I say to you, Do not delay
I say, expectation is vain.
I say again, It is my Lady’s birthday
which must be honoured. Bring her to the test
at once.

I say again, It is my Lady’s birthday
which must be honoured, for her high black hair
but not for that alone:
for every word she utters everywhere
shows her good soul, as true as a healed bone,—
being part of what I meant to say.

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

My Example

Re-curring Dream (Dream Song)

Alone, depressed, confused, but well, I dream.
I’m working at a place I’ve never seen.
Achievement comes with ease.
I’m asked to make a lunch run for the team
Two blocks away exists a small canteen
“Get crackers, coffee, cheese!”

The walk there’s pleasant, takes no time at all.
The staff all greet me smiling, with good cheer
and hand me tasty eats.
I leave and find I’m in a massive mall
it’s blocks across and doors are nowhere near,
and none return to streets.

I ask for help, and people point the way;
they’re wrong! I ask again and people stare…
Of course they do, I’m nude.
I criss and cross the sprawling mall all day
I’m nearly nuts but suffer no despair –
I’ve all the friggin’ food.

© Lawrencealot – December 7, 2014

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Dream Song

Distorted Diablo

• Distorted Diablo is an invented verse form that plays with the biblical devil’s number 666 and distorts by flipping the middle number upside down to get 696. Created by Pat Simpson, I think the content is meant to follow the theme of the numbers.
The Distorted Diablo is:
○ stanzaic, a sixain, a 9 line stanza, a sixain, in that order.
○ syllabic, both sixains are written with 6 syllables per line and the 9 line stanza is written with 9 syllables per line.
○ rhymed at the discretion of the poet.

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

My example

The Devil’s in the Details (Distorted Diablo)

Both the meter and rhyme
are at your discretion.
Avoiding both’s no crime
‘cept for my obsession.
I try rhyme all the time –
an obvious confession.

Depending up on the time of year
my energies ebb and flow a bit.
The whiteness of winter’s a delight
to think about while I’m cozy here
and don’t have to venture out in it
but can sit inside, ponder and write.
In springtime when roads and sky are clear
you’ll find me hiking with briar pipe lit
in the day and near my desk at night.

The devil I can’t blame,
my muse I cannot thank
when neither mete nor frame
appears in my word bank.
Yet efforts are less lame
when my verse is not blank.

© Lawrencealot – December 2, 2014

Beacon of Hope

Beacon of Hope 

Is a form created by Christina R Jussaume on 10/02/2009. It starts with a sestet, (Stanza of 6 lines) of 6 syllables each. Next is a triplet, (Stanza of three lines) of 12 syllables each. The next 12 lines are 8 syllables in length. The subject should be spiritual in nature and uplifting. I have used rhyme here, but I leave each Rhyme scheme up to each poet. It should be center aligned and it will appear to look like a lighthouse.

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Many Thanks to Christina R Jussaume for her work on the Poetry Styles site.

My example

Tolerant Spirit (Beacon of Hope)

Since mankind’s self-aware
and unknown causes fear
and fear leads to despair
displacing human cheer
Man felt a need for prayer
(to gods) that much was clear.
Some Fifty-five odd hundred plus (and mostly men)
have formalized beliefs to which folks say amen –
all cults though some are called religions now and then.
Sincere beliefs from visions wrought
from trances (those perhaps induced
by substances not unlike pot)
led intellect to be seduced.
With promises, some fable based
good men as well as montebanks
let sheeple have their fears erased
by rites performed and giving thanks.
I’ve felt no need to be beware
just ‘cus all answers are not here.
Continuums are every where
or not – so I’ll enjoy this sphere.

© Lawrencealot – November 17, 2014

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Beacon of Hope


The Minnesang (Middle High German – minne = love) is the German courtly love poem of the 12th to 14th century. The German equivalent to the Provencal troubadors, the minnesingers were the writers and performers of the Minnesang. The verse was cultivated by the nobility, and often built around the theme of a brave knight’s attempt to court a lady who doesn’t return his favor. This stanzaic form was influenced by the Canzone and other poetic works that these poet-performers picked up in their travels. The Minnesang was meant to be sung but the melodies were not well documented and mostly only lyrics are left.

The defining features of the Minnesang are:
• stanzaic, written in uniform stanzas although the number of lines in the stanza per poem is variable, sixains were popular.
• metric, often iambic tetrameter with the last line of each stanza a longer Germanic line, iambic heptameter or octameter.
• rhymed, variable rhyme schemes were used, ababcc was common another was abbcaa dxd x being unrhymed.

Here is the 1st 2 stanzas of a Minnesang written by Albrecht von Johansdorf and translated into English which I found at a website for Emory College.

[cryout-multi][cryout-column width=”1/2″]
Ich vant âne huote
die vil minneclîchen stân.
sâ dô sprach diu guote
“waz welt ir sô eine her gegân?”
“frouwe, ez ist alsô geschehen.”
“saget, war umbe sît ir her? des sult ir mir verjehen.”
“Mînen senden kumber
klage ich iu, vil liebe frouwe mîn.”
“wê, waz saget ir tumber?
ir mugt iuwer klage wol lâzen sîn.”
“frouwe, ichn mac ir niht enbern.”
“sô wil ich in tûsent jâren niemer iuch gewern.”
[cryout-column width=”1/2″]
I found my lady all alone,
standing without a chaperone.
She said, so only I could hear,
“What do you think you’re doing here?”
“Dear Lady, I just happened by.”
“Don’t lie to me, and don’t hold back, but tell me why!”
“My pain and longing come from you;
complain is all I ever do.”
“Alas, you stupid man, you’d best
leave off complaining; let it rest.”
“Without you, Lady, I can’t live.”
“My favors in a thousand years I’ll never give.”
Pasted from <>
My thanks to Judi Van Gorder for years of work on this fine PMO resource

German and Austrian Poetic Forms:

Bar Form, Dinggedicht, Goliardic VerseKnittelvers, Minnesang, Nibelungen,Schuttelreim

My example

Serve King and Heart (Minnesang)

I have a tale that I must tell
although I know it’s not unique,
about my love for Abigail
and for her sister Dominique.
I’ve known them both since we were youths;
Our families served the court and catered to the King’s own truths.

l left the castle to engage
in training duty would require;
returned at four-teen years of age.
a well regarded kingdom squire.
I saw both girls then frequently –
their teen-age beauty was extolled. I kissed them secretly.

Quickly beknighted by the King
my prowess so esteemed in games,
my physicality the thing
quite feared by men- admired by dames.
In tournaments I had to choose
whose favors to accept each game and I would never lose.

Oh how I longed for Abigail
but family motives barred our way.
Her father raised most holy hell
when favored on my lance one day.
The King by then had eyes on her
as paramour (how can the man be blamed? It would occur.

Some contact though with her was cleared
I didn’t even have to ask;
the King would use me for his beard
to escort Abby to the masque.
She warmed me when we twirled and bowed
She warned me though she shared my heat, no love could be allowed.

“Please wed my sister, Dominique,
she loves you as I do dear knight,
then for her safety you’d bespeak
when soon our King sends you to fight.”
I loved them both, I have to say
the politics of power in this case worked out okay.

© Lawrencealot – November 15, 2014

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Bar Form

The Bar Form is a medieval, German stanzaic form. Lutheran chorals and minnesingers of the 12th thru 14th centuries used the form. The Star Spangled Banner is written in Bar form.

The Bar form is:
• stanzaic, any number of octaves made up of 2 couplets followed by a quatrain. The 2 halves of the octave are known as Aufgesang and the Abgesang “after song”. (the Abgesang can use portions of an Aufgesang phrase.)
• metered, at the discretion of the poet as long as the rhythm of the lines of the first couplet is repeated by the 2nd couplet, the following quatrain has a different rhythm in each line which is not repeated within the octave. It might be clearer described in music the first 2 couplets repeat a melody, the quatrain carries a different melody.
• rhymed, ababccdd

Star Spangled Banner by Frances Scott Keyes stanza 1

Oh, say, can you see, by the dawn’s early light,
What so proudly we hail’d at the twilight’s last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars, thro’ the perilous fight,
O’er the ramparts we watch’d, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof thro’ the night that our flag was still there.
O say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

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

The “bar form” term is still used by songwriters today. The popular “Over
the Rainbow” is written in this form, as are all of the classic blues.

German and Austrian Poetic Forms:

Bar Form, Dinggedicht, Goliardic VerseKnittelvers, Minnesang, Nibelungen,Schuttelreim


My attempt

Nor Can I Now Whistle (Bar Form)

My cohorts often found me singing in the halls
or maybe whistling as I walked from place to place.
When taking showers notes were ringing off the walls
for happy music puts a smile upon my face.
A melody that you can sing together
Will get you through all kinds of stormy weather.
Old age has robbed my voice of any pleasant pitch
but if I keep it down nobody seems to bitch.

© Lawrencealot – November 13, 2014


Pathways for the Poet by Viola Berg (1977) appears to be a book for educators. Classic poetic forms as well as many invented forms that can be used as teaching tools or exercises 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 syllabic invented forms found therein 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. I have included the metric invented forms on a separate page. Whether classroom exercise or sharpening your skill as a writer, some of these forms can be fun to play with.
• Baccresiezé is an invented form, apparently created as an exercise in repetition. This verse form has two and a half different refrains. It is attributed to E. Ernest Murell.

The Baccresiezé is:
○ stanzaic, written in 3 quatrains.
○ syllabic, L1,L2,L3 are 8 syllables and L4 is 4 syllables.
○ refrained, L4 of each quatrain is a refrain and L1 of the first quatrain is repeated as L3 in the 2nd quatrain. The last 4 syllables of L1 are repeated as the last 4 syllables of L2 in the first quatrain only.
○ rhymed, with a complicated rhyme scheme AaxB bxAB xxxB x being unrhymed.

The Will by by Judi Van Gorder

—————I read of love, undying love,
what does that mean, undying love?
A rose withers, a blossom falls,
————— what lives will die.
Love is a will, a rush, a sigh,
a touch, a cry, a hope, a rock.
I read of love, undying love,
————— what lives will die.
Blush of new love we know must fade
replaced in time with trust and grace.
In rest, I will my love remain.
————– What lives will die.

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My thanks to Judi Van Gorder for her wonderful PMO resource.

Syllabic: 8/8/8/4
Stanzaic: Three Quatrains
CorrectedRhyme Pattern: AA1xB bxAB xxxB x being unrhymed

My example

And Yet We Lived

And Yet We Lived (Baccresiezé)

We walked across the hot asphalt
bare feet imprint the hot asphalt
embedding footprints in the road
—————–when we were boys.

Strange things we found became our toys
and after wading in canals
We walked across the hot asphalt
——————when we were boys.

We drank from hoses, slept outside,
and rode for miles two on one bike.
We never owned a helmet once
—————when we were boys.

© Lawrencealot – March 5, 2014

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Linked Refrain

This is a form created my Mary Lou Healy, writing as Mlou on
It is patterned after her own “Autumn’s Imperious Call”.

I’m blown away on the wildling winds of fall.
Almost, it seems, I have no will at all
but melt into those colored dancing streams
that swirl and whirl, painting my leaf-filled dreams.

Painting my leaf-filled dreams with amber light
that glows and goes straight to the heart of things.
This is the season when my hopes take flight
and soar to more ardent heights on burning wings.

On burning wings, my autumn days are borne
into an endless sky.  I must obey
the bright command.  As leaves from trees are torn,
on falling, calling notes,  I’m blown away.

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It shares the stanzaic nature and rhyme pattern of the Swap Quatrain but is unique in meter, and by nature of it’s inter-stanza linkage. I have named in the Linked Refrain.

The Linked Refrain is:
Stanzaic: Consisting of 3 or more quatrains
Metered: Iambic Pentameter
Rhymed: aabb cdcd efef, etc
Refrain: The last portion of the last line of each stanza becomes the first part of the next stanza, except for the final stanza. It’s last portion is the first portion of the first stanza.

My example

2nd Amendment to U.S. Constitution (Linked Refrain)

A last resort is revolution, friend,
when tyranny and foul abuse must end.
Dependency sets liberty askew
when laws are slanted by a monied few.

A moneyed few will finally take control
as Tytler showed us, only all too well.*
The point is reached where voting plays no role
and masters then arise we can’t expel.

We can’t expel dictators- we’re but slaves
and will accept a fair amount of pain.
The point will come when men prefer their graves
to bondage. Then of course we’ll fight again.

We’ll fight again; the question is, with what?
We’ll not have laser drones or planes or tanks
nor will the masters use them to rebut
our will for fear of rage within the ranks.

Within the ranks of tyrants in the past
their scheme has been disarm – exterminate!
Won’t we be safer minus guns they asked?
Hell no! The facts are such I’d hesitate.

I’d hesitate for social crime alone,
disarmed against a thief I’d come up short.
I’m keeping every single gun I own
for patriots they are a last resort.

© Lawrencealot – November 3, 2014

* See a brief descripton of the Tytle cycle here:
http: article-03-14-09.html

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Linked Refrain


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.    

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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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Kyrielle Dialogue

Kyrielle Dialog
Type:  Structure, Metrical Requirement, Repetitive Requirement, Rhyme Scheme Requirement, Other Requirement, Stanzaic
Description:  This is a kyrielle with two alternating refrains and voices or characters speaking in the poem. The voices and their refrains alternate stanzas. The refrains may rhyme with each other or have other elements in common, such as anaphora.
Attributed to: “The Dread Poet Roberts”
Origin:  American
One version is:

aaaR1 bbbR2 cccR1 dddR2, etc.

R1 = refrain of the first character
R2 = refrain of the second character

See the kyrielle for other rhyme schemes internal to the stanza.
Rhythm/Stanza Length:

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

Related Forms: Con-Verse and Converse in Couplets

The Kyrielle Dialog is
Stanzaic, consisting of 3 or more stanzas
Isosyllabic, each line having 8 syllables
Rhymed with several optional rhyme schemes
such as aaaA bbbB cccA dddB or abaB cdcD ebeB fdfD etc.
Dramatic: Alternate stanzas represent separate character voices.

My example

Momma Said (Kyrielle Dialogue)

When you come in please wipe your feet,
don’t hang with hoodlums in the street,
and offer seniors your bus seat,
be circumspect, avoid conceit.

Your mom’s old-fashioned isn’t she?
Such actions, now we seldom see;
that’s why you are great company.
Her notions make great sense to me.

Thank you sweetheart I know you’re right.
She’s always been my guiding light.
She told me I should be polite,
be circumspect, avoid conceit.

© Lawrencealot – October 19, 2014

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Note iambic meter is not mandated.

Kyrielle Dialogue