shot glass
nz shot glass
Issue # 2 September 2010
"... brevity is the soul of wit ..."
- William Shakespeare

Glossary of Poetic Forms

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

Cinquain is a short, usually unrhymed poem consisting of twenty-two syllables distributed as 2, 4, 6, 8, 2, in five lines

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

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.

A 6 line poetry form base on PI = 3.14286. Each line represents the number of words used from the PI number.

A poem written in prose rather than verse. It can look like a paragraph or fragmented short story but acts like a poem. It works in sentences rather than lines.

The Rondolet is a French form consisting of a single septet with two rhymes and one refrain AbAabbA. The capital letters are the refrains, or repeats. The refrain is written in tetra-syllabic or dimeter and the other lines are twice as long - octasyllabic or tetrameter.

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.

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.

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.