Hello, poets! Today marks the end of the first week of Na/GloPoWriMo 2021. I hope you are starting to get into the groove of writing a poem each day.
Our featured participant today infinebow, where the prompt for Day 6 led to a chatty-and-dreamy poem about salt and other things.
Today’s reading is a live event sponsored by Cornell University that will take place tomorrow, April 8, at 7 p.m. eastern daylight time. It features the poet Camonghne Felix.
And now, for our (optional) prompt! There are many different poetic forms. Some have specific line counts, syllable counts, stresses, rhymes, or a mix-and-match of the above. Of the poetic forms that are based on syllable counts, probably the most well-known – to English speakers, at least – is the Japanese form called the haiku. But there are many other syllable-based forms. Today, I’d like to challenge you to pick from two of them – the shadorma, and the Fib.
The shadorma is a six-line, 26-syllable poem (or a stanza – you can write a poem that is made of multiple shadorma stanzas). The syllable count by line is 3/5/3/3/7/5. So, like the haiku, the lines are relatively short. Rather poetically, the origin of the shadorma is mysterious. I’ve seen multiple online sources call it Spanish – but “shadorma” isn’t a Spanish word (Spanish doesn’t have “sh” as a letter pairing), and neither is “xadorma,” or “jadorma,” which would approximate “shadorma” in sound. But even if this form is simply the brainchild of an internet trickster who gave it an imaginary backstory, that’s no reason why you shouldn’t try your hand at it. Every form was made up by someone, sometime.
Our second syllabic form is much more forthright about its recent origins. Like the shadorma, the Fib is a six-line form. But now, the syllable count is based off the Fibonacci sequence of 1/1/2/3/5/8. You can link multiple Fibs together into a multi-stanza poem, or even start going backwards after your first six lines, with syllable counts of 8/5/3/2/1/1. Perhaps you remember the Fibonacci sequence from math or science class – or even from nature walks. Lots of things in the natural world hew to the sequence – like pinecones and flower petals. And now your poems can, too.