Sunday, June 10, 2018


          It bothers me that no comments are posted on this blog, which makes me think nobody looks at it.  Lots of work goes into this project, the goal of which is to give PST members and others a quick reference.
          It's alphabetical.  Terminology explanations are under T.  I'll add any term you suggest.  I'm happy to learn new terms myself.  We're all learners here.
        To use this blog, click on the item of interest in the index to go to the definition and example of the particular form you want to learn about.  If you click on the last item in the index on page 1  (butterfly cinquain), you'll be able to see page 2 of the index.  Repeat the process for subsequent pages.       
          I value your comments.

Florence Bruce, the Blogger
Email me at


A line (verse) of poetry containing six iambic feet. See Spenserian stanza.   In English verse, examples of the Alexandrine line (and I do find the term always capitalized) are found in lines from Robert Browning's poem "Fifine at the Fair" --

          If hunger, proverbs say, allures the wolf from wood,
         Much more the bird must dare a dash at something good.

(Both contain six feet.)

F. Bruce
The Blogger

Tuesday, August 26, 2014


The amphion is a 10-line structure in iambic meter.  Lines 1, 4, 7, and 10 are tetrameter (4 beats), and they are separated by couplets in dimeter (2 beats). The rhyme scheme is abbaccdeed.

Here's a sample poem from *Mary Harper Sowell's collectiion called Poetry Patterns A-Z.

Glorious Springtime

The signs of Spring are everywhere--
               Golden skies,
Showers cleanse the April air;
               Gypsy breeze,
               Dancing trees.
The multitude of birds that sing;
              Rushing streams,
              Newborn dreams--
A glorious season is the Spring.

*Mary Harper Sowell  (deceased) was a teacher of the blind. She lived in Fairfield Bay, AR, and was a member of the writers' group there.  She was probably also a member of Poets Round Table of Arkansas.


We are beholden to Eleanor Berry, a past president of National Federation of State Poetry Societies (NFSPS), for these definitions and examples of the specific format.   
In September, 1963, Dr. Yuzon and some Filipino poets met, organized, and founded UPLI. On this great occasion, he wrote the following Asian Sonnet which he invented, rhymed a-b-a-a-b, c-d-c-c-d, e-f-e-f, published in its official organ “Laurel Leaves”, Autumn issue, September 30, 1977.
On the foundation of UPLI
Objective: World Brotherhood and Peace Through Poetry

At Hotel Filipinas years ago,
In 1963, though only few.
We founded what today the poets know
As UPLI -Laureates with their spreading glow
To make world peace a golden dream come true.
With voice triumphant like the lark at morn
We dared with lyric songs the curse of wars;
Through Laurel Leaves we blew the battle horn;
Though Poets Congresses are manger born;
We shall never stop reaching for the stars.
For , sermons on the mount we shall deliver
And give mankind a ladder to the skies
Until such time when poetry can ever
Redeem from hatred our lost Paradise.

Eleanor comments that the "Asian sonnet" doesn't appear to have caught on outside of UPLI. She found for us another example, this one on the Moontown Cafe website. The poem is preceded by a description of the form, as follows:

This is an unusual form made up of  two cinquain stanzas and a quatrain. The rhyme scheme is  abaab, cdccd, efef. The description of the structure said the first stanza had to be either a pastoral scene or make use of pastoral imagery. 


So young and supple, like a flower.
As subtle as a blushing rose.
This bud that brightens by the hour
And blooms so sweetly from the dour,
Will gently deepen as it grows.

A lass that fruits to modern maiden,
Alas, is vined on heaven''s grace
And though such picks are yet forbidden,
The loveliest of angels laden,
Is cherished o''er the tender trace.

A yearning heart is sorely tempted
To sweep aside the barren truth;
When age and wisdom are preempted
By blossoming of vibrant youth.

By sailboat On 12/22/2011 1:50:27 PM

She concludes:  "If the form has been used to any extent, I certainly hope there are better examples! But the above is what Google turned up when I searched for Asian sonnet (in quotes, so the search was for the whole phrase, not just for the individual words).  Hope this helps. Eleanor."

Monday, August 25, 2014


The ballad is a rhymed form adapted for singing or recitation. Thrall & Hibbard 's Handbook to Literature speaks of the ballad as a simple narrative of a dramatic and exciting episode. Hence, the poem should tell a story in a series of quatrains. 

The ballad stanza, specific to the form, is a 4-line stanza containing 8 syllables (4 poetic feet) in lines 1 and 3; 6 syllables (3 poetic feet) in lines 2 and 4.  This often used 4/3--4/3 meter is sometimes called "rocking horse" rhythm. The meter is usually iambic (u/).  The rhyme scheme is a-b-c-b.

Here's an example of a typical ballad stanza:   

There lived a wife at Usher's Well,
and a wealthy wife was she;
she had three stout and stalwart sons,
and sent them o'er the sea. 

Florence Bruce, the blogger
Contact me at


The Beymorlin sonnet is a double-rhymed sonnet form requiring internal rhyme as well as end rhyme.  The internal rhyme must fall on the 2nd syllable of each line. The rhyme schemes may be Shakespearean or Petrarchan, but the two must match within any single poem. Call attention to internal rhyme with underlining, as shown in the two examples,which are taken from Encore, 1999.


(Note in this example that the internal and end rhymes are both Shakespearean.)

The dust explodes through morning rays of sun
And scatters like a nightworks summer night,
While rusty whispers cough, then jump and run,
And splatter into nothingness in flight.
Thick guardian webs hold tightly to the door,
But secrets beckon me to set them free.
They pardon my intrusion - as before -
When deepest love imprisoned all of me.
And there I wept. With trembling heart and hand,
I turn the brass, and seek to bind the tie.
I dare indulge the shackled ghost's command
I yearn to dream to one more lullaby.

Oh, dearest Gran!  How could my heart have known
That here, for me, is shelved your wedding gown.

Jeani M. Picklesimer, Ashland, KY


(Note matching Petrarchan rhyme schemes in this second example.)

The canvas of my life is thickly spread
With layers, overpainted, while I sign,
And say each is the best I can design,
But plan another, as the words are said.
If I could mold myself of daily clay,
Destroy the armature deep at my core,
Employ a finer chisel than before
Or try new stone to carve for my display --

I would begin my tale with chapter one;
Rewrite the wasted years, erase the shame.
Defeat, despair and failure I would scorn.
I could be splendid when my work was done.
A bright new talent critics would acclaim.
How sweet, if dreams, like days, were newly born!

Dian S. Barnett, Marietta, GA

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Sunday, August 24, 2014


       Blank verse is iambic pentameter without rhyme. That means each line contains 10 syllables or 5 iambic feet.  One iambic foot contains 2 syllables, the first unstressed, the second stressed. One iambic foot is symbolized as u/.  The symbol is repeated 5 times to represent one line of iambic pentameter:  u/ u/ u/ u/ u/.  Don't be intimated by the expression "iambic pentameter."  It's really very easy to write because the English language is highly iambic, which gives us a lot of help.  

       In a blank verse narrative poem, the poet must tell a story.  It can be humorous or serious.  Here's a serious example of a blank verse narrative poem:

Viola's Week

"I wish the phone would ring," Viola said,
one boring day. The talking to herself
was frequent now. Who knows when it began?
Some days were busy--Sundays at the church.
On Wednesday nights she took a covered dish.
Constructing that consumed an hour or two.
The longest days were Mondays, and the dread
of Monday started late in every week.
When she no longer drove, she quit the choir,
So Thursdays, which had once been fuller, dragged.
On Tuesdays she played Bunko with the girls
if they stayed well. Four hostesses took turns,
but Bunko games might soon be ending now
that Peggy had sustained a T.I.A.
Viola gave up sewing --well, the mess
that sewing left! The scraps, stray pins, loose threads!
The children came on weekends when they could
and helped with shopping, putting things away.
She understood how they had their own lives;
she'd told them so a hundred times or more.
So Fridays could be loneliest of all
on learning that the children couldn't come.
Well, getting a shampoo used up some hours
on Friday morning. She was home by noon.
She thought of volunteering, but she feared
she might not get the weekday she preferred.
She'd tell them she was free that day, of course.
They mustn't think time heavy on her hands.

One boring day, while talking to herself,
Viola said, "I wish the phone would ring."

(Sample poems above contributed by
Florence Bruce, the blogger.)