shot glass
Issue # 7 May 2012
"... brevity is the soul of wit ..."
- William Shakespeare

Glossary of Poetic Forms

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

Shakespearean Sonnet
A sonnet with 14 lines consisting of three quatrains and a couplet, with a rhyme scheme of abab cdcd efef gg.

The Sijo is a Korean short poetry form the 7th Century. A cousin of Haiku having originated from the Chinese. Three lines of 14-16 syllables totaling 44-46 syllables. Beginning - Line 1 presents a problem. Development - Line 2 develops or "turns" the thought. Conclusion - Line 3 resolves the problem or concludes the theme - surprise turn or twist is a must. A natural pause occurs midway in each line. Each half line should be 6-9 syllables.

Poetic verse having a fixed number of syllables per line whether stressed or not.

Terza Rima
Traditional Italian poetry form. Three line stanza (tercet) using a interlinking chain rhyme. The second line of each tercet is the rhyme scheme for the first and third lines of the next tercet with a rhyme scheme of ABA, BCB, CDC.

Tanka consists of 31 onji sounds (or under). It is limited to 5 lines, with the traditional syllabic count usually being 5-7-5-7-7 onji. It is sometimes written in one line, but the more contemporary way of displaying Tanka is in 5 lines.

Tanka Prose
Prose that accompanies a tanka poem, similar to a Haibun which is a narrative that accompanies a haiku.

The Tritina has no required meter, but whichever meter or syllable count you do choose, you should stick to it throughout the poem so you can maintain a good rhythm in your poem. The rhyme scheme is based on your selection of three words and follows the pattern of ABC CAB BCA with the final line using all three words to bring the order back to ABC

The Triolet has two rhymes and two repeated or refrain lines. The first line is repeated as the fourth, and seventh lines, the second and eighth lines are the same line. Repeated lines 1, 4, and 7 rhyme with lines 3 and 5. Repeated lines 2 and 8 rhyme with line 6.

Zen Poetry
The traditional format was in four lines of Chinese characters (early Japanese poets also wrote in Chinese) but poetry changed over time to include Tanka, Haiku, and even much longer pieces. Many of most memorable were written in 8 lines such as the Hanshan (Cold Mountain) collection.

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