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

Glossary of Poetic Forms

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

Doubled rondeau
A French lyric poetry form that consists of four stanzas. The first and last are identical; the second half of the second stanza is a short refrain, which has as its text the first half of the first stanza.

A poem that is inspired by another art form, such as a painting, sculpture, photograph. The poem defines or describes the artwork.

An epigram is a short poem with a clever twist at the end or a concise and witty statement.

Something which indicates the salient facts about or characteristics of the deceased. Shortened form of the elegy.

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.

Golden Shovel
The golden shovel is a poetic form that takes a word from each line of an existing poem and uses it as the last word of each line in a new poem. The form incorporates elements of both erasures and cento poems. Terrance Hayes is credited with inventing the form when he wrote "The Golden Shovel", an homage to the poet Gwendolyn Brooks.

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.

Kyrielle Sonnet
A Kyrielle Sonnet consists of 14 lines (three rhyming quatrain stanzas and a non-rhyming couplet). Just like the traditional Kyrielle poem, the Kyrielle Sonnet also has a repeating line or phrase as a refrain (usually appearing as the last line of each stanza). Each line within the Kyrielle Sonnet consists of only eight syllables.

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.

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