Monday, March 26, 2012

Create Your Own Poetic Form

I've written about this before, and have a link to my form here. It was quite a few years ago that I came up with the 'Cordonostic' form of poem. I fell in love with it at the time, but then got over that love. 

Counting syllables appealed to me at the time, I think, because I'd been working with Primary School students and the counting seemed like a good way to get them into putting short lines down on the page. It also works well at making sure the youngsters learn to end the line and go to the next one, and not fill every single bit of the line before starting the next one.

Now though, I'm not working with young students, and I'm writing more more free verse, or traditional forms of poetry. I might take another look at the Cordonostic poem soon though. I've been enjoying some of the Japanese forms - haiku and tanka in particular.

With it's strict syllable count, the Cordonostic poem has some similarity with the way haiku is seen by Westerners who haven't delved deeper than the 5-7-5 syllable count when writing haiku in English. That kind of haiku isn't held up high for many English speaking haiku poets, for good reason. There has been much written about these points elsewhere, including here. This interesting article talks of the reasons why the 5-7-5 syllable count doesn't actually give you what the Japanese form does. Check it out if you'd like to know more.

If you read the article in the link of the first line here, you'll read about my own new form of poetry. What I challenge my readers to do is to come up with their own poetic form. I love playing with these kinds of things. Getting the correct number of beats in a line, or getting the right words in the right place, can be loads of fun, sort of like mathematics for the number dummy (which I most certainly am!).

I see this king of poetry writing as a way to keep my brain ticking over, and so warding off dementia or other brain issues. If you've been doing crossword puzzles or sudoku puzzles to keep you brain going, why not give creating a new poetry form a go?
Or if that's too much to try, you could always have a look at my Cordonostic poetry style, and write one of those. I'd love to read it if you do!


john malone said...

I agree, Carolyn: not just writing poems but any kind of writing, including blog writing :), is a way of keeping our brains alive and warding off that beast Dementia

Carolyn Cordon said...

I witnessed my father slowly losing himself to dementia, and the thought of having that to me fills me with horror.

Dad was a great man, with so many friends, friends who slowly drifted away as Dad made less and less sense. He'd lost his main reason for his life, with the death of my older brother. Jeff and Dad were a winning team in harness racing for many years, once Jeff was gone, the thrill of it was gone for Dad.

He went on training for a few more years, but it wasn't the same, training horses for someone else to drive. He wanted to train them for Jeff to drive...