Poetry Forms

The NSA FilesI’ve been writing poetry for a long time. Enough to have three collections and six chapbooks available, and then some. I’ve written in a lot of traditional forms, but like many poets writing today find that free verse suits me best. That doesn’t mean I don’t still write in traditional forms, I do. It just means that it’s less and less often.


Since I don’t often talk about poetry in my blogs, I thought I would today. A few years ago, I was feeling less than creative—I still wrote, but it felt like I was dragging the work out of my chest. So, what I did was to create a poetry form of my own. I wanted something that was strict and limited, yet offered me the chance to open up and be creative. It’s amazing to me how much more creative I can get while trying to fit into a form. Anyway, I wrote a series of poems in my particular form, and have put that book together. It should come out in six months to a year, I hope.


Here’s what I did: I kept the idea of free verse, but restricted each line to a single sentence. Then I held the poem to three stanzas of six sentences each. I ended up with eighteen lines to each poem. And, the second line of the third stanza is always a question. I wanted the imbalance of the question to come near the end, where I had no time to answer it, really, but where there was the most hope in answering it, as well. Also, the question I felt often put the poem that came before it, into perspective somehow.


As a poet, I know that it’s impossible to ever know if what you do is any good, or worth anything to anyone but yourself. This form somehow satisfies a need inside me. And, even after the initial poems in the series, I’ve continued to go back to that form. Here’s a recent poem.


Two More


The stairs have stopped creaking.

The carpet is shy.

Nothing happens for a reason.

You’ve been lied to for years.

One can of tuna can stink up the house.

The car is still running.


Forever is too long for some people.

Always sounds greasy and wet.

Evening smells like loneliness.

Eyes can do no more than they have.

Simple is the most complicated life.

Do only what you must.


Give more often than you take.

What could be worse or better?

The sky is different at every angle.

Fish love water more than they need it.

Rain is never enough.

Sometimes you have to say no.


Ten Months In WonderlandTerry Persun writes in many genres, including historical fiction, mainstream, literary, and science fiction/fantasy. He is a Pushcart nominee. His latest poetry collection is “And Now This”. His novels, “Wolf’s Rite” and “Cathedral of Dreams” were ForeWord magazine Book of the Year finalists in the science fiction category, and his novel “Sweet Song” won a Silver IPPY Award. His latest science fiction space opera is, “Hear No Evil”, his latest fantasy is “Doublesight”, his latest mainstream/literary novel is “Ten Months in Wonderland”.

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