Monday, April 12, 2010

Monday Poetry Stretch - Lipogram

A lipogram is a written work composed of words selected so as to avoid the use of one or more letters of the alphabet. Since posting an interview with JonArno Lawson, I haven't been able to get the form out of my mind. Here's an example of one of his poems. Since the title of the poem uses only the vowel e, this is the only vowel that appears in the poem!

Deer delve deeper,
peer between endless greens,
gentle breezes tremble the reeds,
tempers seethe,
regrets deepen.

Whenever we freeze,
then flee--
Whenever we're tender,
then severe--

we resemble deer.

Poem ©JonArno Lawson. All rights reserved.
How's that for a challenge?! What letter(s) will you omit? Leave me a note about your poem and I'll post the results here later this week.


  1. Yikes--this is hard! Here's my best shot. Now I admire JonArno Lawson even more!

    Stick Trick

    Well hidden,
    she slides
    between trees.
    The breeze
    ripples her shirt.
    Her knees
    are skinned.
    She is thin.
    The girl grins,
    creeping behind
    the swing.
    She'll greet
    her friend
    with a stick,
    clever and light—
    insect prickle,
    shiver, tickle.
    Then Kell will
    with frightened

    --Kate Coombs, 2010, all rights reserved

  2. Kate - I love the insect prickle and all of your joyful-outdoor-childhood images. You're right about this not being easy.

    Which Letter to Use?

    I struggle to choose
    which letter
    but hey
    this is the choice
    every poet will weigh.
    One letter of twenty-six
    left in the dust.
    I feel guilty
    to dump one
    but dump one I must.
    Rules govern this poem.
    I need to obey.
    It's tough so
    I'll just pick
    the first letter - __.
    (Is this OK?)

    © Amy Ludwig VanDerwater

  3. Thanks, Amy. I like how you used the left-out letter without using it--heehee! Face it, you're a rebel. :)

  4. the tryst
    by steven withrow

    steven, lesley meet.
    deep-freeze eve.
    they tremble, speechless,
    free. wedded eyes
    tell secrets. even
    the evergreen trees
    keep shy. temps
    descend by twelve
    degrees. yet every
    step feels fever,
    swelter. yes, every
    breezy zephyr swells
    sky's sweet glee!

  5. That's great, Steven - well done! Here's my contribution of the one-vowel version:


    knows how

    to go
    slow now,

    to fool Doom,
    to bow down -

    to grow

    knows not

    how to grow
    cool, nor cold,

    knows not

    to stop,
    poor sot.

  6. This is tricky but fun. After my first draft, I realized a sneaky little "a" had snuck in without my noticing. I sent it packing in the revision!


    Listen --
    wind in trees
    billowing breeze
    birds singing
    chimes ringing

    See --
    violets, periwinkles,
    showers, sprinkles,
    green emerging,
    blooms unfurling,
    spiders spinning,
    life is winning

    ~Elisabeth M. Priest

  7. Okay, here's my poem for the week.


    He's gone now
    too long

    My home of youth
    now foreign
    is no longer home

    I miss his
    blue eyes
    unwilling hugs

    I miss his
    work ethic

    I miss his
    quiet love

    I still journey home
    however impossible it is
    to return

    I miss him terribly
    but nothing like my mom