shot glass
"... brevity is the soul of wit ..."
- William Shakespeare

Glossary of Poetic Forms

The following are poetic forms that have appeared in Shot Glass Journal.

The Ghazal (pronounced "ghuzzle" was developed in Persia in the 10th century AD. It comprises of 5 or more couplets. Each couplet must be a poem in itself. Both lines of the couplet should be of the similar syllable length. Both lines of the first couple must end with the same word or refrain. The second line of all subsequent couplets must end with the same word ending the first couplet. The last couplet could contain an alias or signature of the poet. There can also be a rhyming pattern with the word that precedes the repeated word in the second line of each couplet.

Grid Poem
An arrangement of lines into a symmetric grid, subject to the following constraints: each line must fit contextually both across rows and down columns of the grid. In addition, the identity matrix of the poem (left to right diagonal) must read intelligibly. In the 3 x 3 case, this diagonal is formed from lines (1,1) ,(2,2), and (3,3) where (1,1) is the top left line. These three readings should offer new perspectives to the subject of the poem or can be thought of as stanzas nested within the poem itself.

Haibun is a literary composition combining prose and haiku poetry which originated in Japan in the 17th century. Haibun prose can include biography, autobiography, diary, essay, prose poem, travel literature, short story and others, and more than one haiku may be used.

Japanese poetry, usually haiku, that accompanies and compliments a work of art.

A Japanese poem which records the essence of a moment, offering insight into nature and the nature of humanity. Modern English should be brief - with one to three lines totaling 17 syllables or fewer. A haiku of three lines is most common, with usually a short, long, short format. Although the format is not as important. The 5-7-5 syllable count is not required.

Jisei is a poem written by the poet before their own death. These poems reflect the final reflections of one's life. It was generally a tradition with zen monks but were written by poets as well. These poems originated in Japanese, Chinese and Korean cultures as far back as the 7th Century, and can be written in any poetry form, but were traditionally written in tanka or haiku style.

The Lanturne is a five-line verse shaped like a Japanese lantern with a syllabic pattern of one, two, three, four, one.The poem is center aligned and resembles an oil lantern and thus the name. Rhyming is optional and the form is usually employed to evoke serious thoughts.

Mirror cinquain
Mirror Cinquain - two stanza Cinquain sequence of pattern 2-4-6-8-2-9-6-4-2.

A poetic form developed by Michael Walker which has four lines and has a monorhyme scheme. Lines 1 through 3 have 8 syllables and line 4 contains 4 syllables repeated.

Naani is one of the Indian popular Telugu poems. It consists of 4 lines with the total lines consists of 20 to 25 syllables. The poem is not bounded to a particular subject. Generally it depends upon human relations and current statements.

A nonce form is generally created by a poet for a specific poem but which may, over time, and with repeated usage by subsequent poets, become a "received form."

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