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2021: Celebrating The Writers' Greenhouse
10 YEAR anniversary!

Friday, 21 December 2018

Meddle with a nonet poem

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

An elegant quickie that tails away to a vanishing point. The first line has 9 syllables, the next 8, then 7, and so on down to 1.

If the rubliw is a brontosaurus (starts small, gets much much bigger in the middle, and then gets small again), then the nonet is a ticeratops (starts big, gets smaller and smaller, then stops). The first line has 9 syllables, then 8, then 7, then 6, and so on, all the way down to 1. It's an enormously satisfying little form and the dwindling away lends itself to all kinds of subject matter.

Having a selection of these tiny forms is also a huge help when you're mad-busy with Christmas prep / wiped out with flu, but still want to poem! Here's one I wrote in November, with hectic flu but still wanting to keep up my poem-a-day practice:

Water-wall slams, translucent turquoise
splinters silver, barrels, roaring
white and golden grains churn, flung
forward, rush – their arches
stretch flat, simmer with
bubbles, strain to
touch – pause – stroke
the wet

Have fun with it!

Note: To respect copyright, these blog posts 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 May 2020. 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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