2021: Celebrating The Writers' Greenhouse 10 YEAR anniversary!
The Writers' Greenhouse
2021: Celebrating The Writers' Greenhouse 10 YEAR anniversary!
Meddling with Poetry: poetry-writing course

Nifty little quickie poems

To celebrate the launch of the Meddling with Poetry in February 2019, I shared 16 delicious poetry forms, counting down to the course. See all the poem forms in the Poetry Advent Calendar or read on for a selection of nifty little quickie forms.

Elevenie: the eleven-worder

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

Variation: for a fun / silly group game, try playing these "Consequence" style: each person writes a line, folds their paper, and passes it on.

Read more about it and an example.

Triolet: maximum recycling

Like your first two lines? Just keep using them!
new line, rhymes with first line
new line, rhymes with first line
new line, rhymes with second line

Read more about it and an example.

Cinquain: the tiny five-liner

Fancy French poetry-speak for a "fivey": each line longer then the last one short.
Line 1: 2 syllables
Line 2: 4 syllables
Line 3: 6 syllables
Line 4: 8 syllables
Line 5: 2 syllables

Read more about it and an example.

Rubliw: basically a brontosaurus

Like a Brontosaurus, this poem is thin at one end, much much thicker in the middle, and then thin again.

The first line has 2 syllables, the next 4, then 6, then 8, then 10 Ė then it goes back down to 8, then 6, then 4, then 2.

Read more about it and an example.

Nonet: from 9 syllables to none

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.


Read more about it and an example.

Katauta: the haiku in love

This is basically a haiku but itís in love (or written to a lover) and you can have 2 extra syllables if you want them:
Line 1: 5 syllables
Line 2: 7 syllables
Line 3: 5 or 7 syllables
You can also write a series of them, as a conversation between lovers.

Read more about it and an example.

Quintilla: the rhyming five-liner

A Spanish five-liner with plenty of rhyme. You have five lines, each with 8 syllables. Use 2 rhymes throughout, and donít end on a rhyming couplet.

That gives you lots of possible rhyme schemes: ababa, abbab, abaab, aabab, or aabba. Just donít end aa or bb!

Read more about it and an example.

Pleiades: one letter to rule them all

A starry seven-liner, named for the Seven Sisters star cluster. Pick a one-word title, and start each of the seven lines with the same letter as the title. As a nod to the palest star, you can also make each line just six syllables.

Read more about it and an example.

Want more? Try the full Poetry Advent Calendar. The next Meddling with Poetry course starts in February 2022 (booking deadline: 26 Jan 2022) and explores a host of different poetry forms, as well as the musicality of language, poetic imagery, and other aspects of the poetic. Read more details and book a place here.

Meddling with Poetry Course

The Spring 2022 course will run with two parallel courses, one in person in Oxford, and one online.

In-person course

When: Wednesdays 7pm–9:30pm
9 Feb – 30 March 2022

Where: Upper Wolvercote (North Oxford). There's free parking, a great bus route (#6), and beautiful canal-side walking routes.

Online course

When: Thursdays 7pm–9:30pm
10 Feb – 31 March 2022.

Where: live Zoom classes with posted materials, open to bookings from anywhere in the UK


£275, payable in instalments.

To book

Email me for a booking form and let me know if you're booking for the in-person or online course.






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