Looking to Shake Things Up

I am not a rebel. I have a reputation for being a rule follower. And I do “color in the lines” because that is part of what makes me effective in what I do. This black/white view seems to seep into many aspects of my daily life. It even is seen in my poetry. I love poetry and my favorite types of poems are ones which have all sorts of strict parameters. I adore writing things like a Kyrielle (4 stanzas of 4 lines – 8 syllables per line with a rhyme scheme of aabB, ccbB, ddbB, eebB) or a Lira (5 lines with a syllable count of 7/11/7/7/11 and a rhyme scheme of ababb) and even a Pantoum (interlocking 4 line stanzas – lines 2 & 4 become lines 1 & 3 in the following stanza. Paired lines rhyme, closed using lines 1 & 3 of the 1st stanza and lines 2 & 4 of the last). There are lots of complicated forms. You can see I’m a little traditional in my writing. I was doing some reading and there is a controversy brewing over a new (or not so new) poetical form (or not a form depending on whose opinion you favor). And I’m going to shake things up.

I’m referring to instapoetry. It is a modern poetry form that is a type of free verse, lacking capitalization and punctuation except at the very end. There can be as few as 2 lines or as many as 12. They are not haiku, there are no syllable requirements, or meter, or rhymes. They often employ poetical devises such as simile, metaphor, and catachresis. The criticisms seem to be splitting hairs – is it art or artful personal promotion? Is it poetry or proverb? Is it modern and new or is it simply plagiarism of an older form (Shakespeare)? I’m not sure. But I’m going to give it a go and you can draw your own opinions!

splinters pierce palms
shatter to stab souls
In the end require
extraction for healing.

23 thoughts on “Looking to Shake Things Up

  1. You are a good writer, and I enjoy listening to what you create. I’m not a rebel either. Unlike you, I’m simply too slow to lead or rebel. I write short poetry to try to express my thoughts. I’ve won awards for my poetry, but I am totally free verse. I also paint my dimensions of thought, but I’m not trained. Do you paint or draw, too?


    1. Thank-you for the kind words! I think a strict form forces me to focus and distill my thoughts into a more concise form. I dabble in drawing and painting but rarely attempt to translate my poetry into a painting… I mostly limit myself to ceramics.


  2. Ah, this is awesome. Great piece and quite the introduction. I like many poetry forms but tend to write whatever comes to mind in whatever ways it comes about.


  3. In my admittedly uneducated opinion, that is definitely poetry. Your example pierced my heart. I don’t think it’s a new form, though; I know I’ve written similar pieces since I was an angsty teenager many moons ago. Perhaps it’s just an informal style that is gaining legitimacy by being granted a formal name. Here’s one I wrote a while back:

    she wasted away
    from sorrow
    he embraced her
    in ecstasy
    she was finally
    thin enough.


    1. I am very gratified that this poem touched you. I think you are absolutely correct in that this form has been around for a long time and accepted as poetry. Your poem is so very sad. Today was a rough day. I wish I could forget that it ever happened… I have Tuesday 1-29 as a vacation day. I have an eye dr appt. at 8:oo AM. Do you want to get together and do something??


  4. Many poets find better or more creative ways of saying what they want to say by having to work within a structure. I’m one of them. To me, writing free verse is like making paper mache without a balloon–lots of curly, pasty strips and nothing to stick them to, no underlying shape or support. The strict parameters of poetic forms are challenging, which makes it doubly satisfying when you nail it. Why just skate through compulsory moves (get your point across) when you could don a sparkly skirt and add a triple lutz? That said, some subjects don’t fit into prescribed molds and some lines are just too good to let go in the service of rhyme or syllables. I like your InstaPoem, which seems to be an extended metaphor for small psychic injuries that fester and eventually eat you alive if you don’t excise them. I had to look up “catachresis” which is sort of funny because I mix metaphors (intentionally and unintentionally) all the time. Here is a fun example from a prior New Year’s post made entirely of clichés where I decide against resolving to lose weight because “the fat lady has sung on that one; there’s no use beating a dead horse until the cows come home.” 🙂


  5. I remember your poetries on Xanga, Val .
    You are the English-American Boileau ( the French prince of the poets who ruled the versification on the XVII century ! 🙂
    Love ❤


  6. Great poem, love the meaning and concisness. Poetry as an art form is form in itself. It all works in my opinion. If it touches someones heart or mind it is poetry.🤩


  7. It’s probably easier to not worry about punctuation and capitalization. Creatively, it doesn’t bother me. As a teacher…yes, it bothers me. LOL However, I always enjoy your poems. I think you are a great writer. 😉


    1. Hehe! Yeah, I like some capitalization and punctuation but it isn’t always what the form demands…. Thanks so much for the compliment! I’m tickled that you like my efforts!


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