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Friday, 19 October 2018

Meddle with an elevenie poem

To celebrate the upcoming Meddling with Poetry course, I'm sharing 16 delicious forms of poetry I've discovered, each of them a delight to play with.

Meddle with an elevenie poem. A nifty little quickie, just 11 words total: 1 word: a noun 2 words: what it does 3 words: where it is 4 words: further explanation 1 word: a feeling about all this

The elevenie's an absolute beauty and a very handy form to have up your sleeve when you want a quickie. The form is blissfully simple and creatively constrained, so you can launch in with just your noun (that's a thing word) and discover the rest as you go, through following its strict rules. You can also write double and triple elevenies if you want, or as many as you please. Here are some of my draft elevenies:

Single elevenie

catch petals
strung in midair
elf-veils suspended, decaying

Elevenie series: Colour elevenies

bulge lavender
over slate roofs
ragged with distant rain

brittles copper
against red brick
glowing in late sun

slide creamily
around the courtyard
wrapping the edges in

curls greenly
in humid stillness
every twig twisting with

Variation: for a fun / silly group game, try playing these "Consequence" style: each person writes a line, folds their paper, and passes it on. The resulting poems can end up hilarious, nonsensical, or uncannily brilliant. This was one I wrote with my nieces, Isabel (11, black pen) and Harriet (8, orange pen). Remember that we couldn't see what each other were writing!

hover, untidily
up down everywhere
They dream of jungles

Note: To respect copyright, these blog posts will only use my own poems as examples. On the course, I'm licensed to give my students copyright poems, so you'll see lots of others.

The next Meddling with Poetry course starts in February 2022 (booking deadline: 26 Jan). It explores a host of different poetry forms, as well as the musicality of language, poetic imagery, and other aspects of the poetic. Absolute beginners and experienced writers are equally welcome. You can read more details and book a place here.

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