The Varselle is an ambiguous form invented by Linda Varsell Smith of Rainbow Communications.

  • It is stanzaic, consisting of any number of eight line stanzas.
  • It is either rhymed or not.
  • It is either syllabic or word-based.
  • It is either centered or left justified.
  • The number of (syllables or words) per line is 2/3/4/3/5/5/4/6
  • If rhymed the rhymed scheme must be ababcbca

Smith’s Examples

Oregon Spring

Spring’s too wet!
Hail is straining
patience, yet
sometimes sun streaks through.
Sun turns chills to sweat.
What can we do?
Confusion remaining.

For Kip

our dear passed son.
love-warming through years.
Can’t disremember
the joys or tears
from grief of everyone.

My Example

Form: Varselle

Don’t Feed the Cat

That brat!
We do feed
our funny furry cat;
we do indeed,
and mother nature does too!
So please neighbors, take heed,
he’ll beg from you.
Ignore him, he might get fat.

© Lawrencealot – February 12, 2015

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