Monday, November 09, 2009

Monday Poetry Stretch - Rictameter

I'm writing sonnets right now and seem to be forever tapping out meter and stresses, so this week I've picked a form that requires some syllable counting. Rictameter is a nine line, unrhymed poetry form in which the 1st and last lines are the same. The syllable count is 2/4/6/8/10/8/6/4/2.

You can learn more about this form and read some examples at the group site Rictameter.

What kind of rictameter will you write? Leave me a note about your poem and I'll post the results here later this week.


  1. Oh this looks like fun! The link is fabulous!

  2. Today

    I am trying

    a brand new form of poem.

    It is known as rictameter.

    Who is it makes up these poetry forms?

    Some clown with a post box in Maine?

    Or was it just someone

    who had a dream


    c 2009 Jane Yolen

  3. Perfect, Jane. I had the same thoughts, too. I think it's just some puzzle addict who likes to torture people.

  4. Ha! Jane's right. Nevertheless, here's my rictameter:


    hauls his round brown
    caravan behind one
    smooth trotless horse up and down small
    country roads. When he's gone, so is the green
    laundry from the garden's clothesline.
    Festooned in lettuce, he
    rides on--bold-eyed

    --Kate Coombs (Book Aunt), 2009

  5. Ooh, love that snail festooned in lettuce!

    I'm in a morbid mood today, I guess, since I'm 2/3 through a book about a fatal bear attack. So...

    Bear Attack

    Ripped nylon. Claws.
    Brush crackles underneath
    navy sky, moon as sole witness.
    Light creeps through bare black branches to spotlight
    burgundy shadows far below.
    Sudden, dead air. Silence.
    Night prays for more

    --Laura Purdie Salas, all rights reserved

  6. Autumn
    Is so cool. He
    Showers us with vibrant
    Colors. Our children race and jump
    In the pile the size of a Volkswagen.
    We sip cider while we watch the
    Breeze scatter leaves on the
    Yard yet again.
    ---Kelly Polark,2009.

  7. Love all your Rictameters. Here's my stab at one ~

    Mind fog
    Creeps shamelessly
    Blurs judgment inside brain
    Key decisions lost in its midst
    Bleary vacillations picking up speed
    Yearning for sun to blaze away
    Thick overhanging clouds
    Obscuring view
    Mind fog

    © Carol Weis, all rights reserved

  8. I found this form frightfully difficult, more relentless, perhaps, than haiku. I have dozens of rejects. Interestingly, nearly all of them ended up as miniature, somewhat elliptical narratives -- teasers for a real story. Here is the one I hate the least:

    Over the hill,
    Past the long-necked horses,
    Thumping the fence with a fat stick
    Just for the wooden sound of it,
    I wade into the grass
    To hush my feet

  9. I wrote a silly one first, but a conversation with my neighbor, a vet, sparked this more serious tone:

    Your boots
    and medals shine
    like brass instruments that
    announce the sacrifice you made
    for him, and her, and them, and us, and me.
    Do the sounds of battle still ring
    in your ears and do you
    long for quiet
    and peace?


  10. allegore, I loved your poem; what a beautiful Veteran's Day tribute!

    I tried my hand at paring down my gifted lecture for preservice teachers into a rictameter. Here is the result:

    This word is not
    elitist. These kids are
    different, outliers on the curve.
    They deserve love, support, and challenges.
    We need to appreciate them
    and help them learn to be
    happy being

    I am having fun reading others' rictameters!

  11. Harriet, I think that's so nice - and it is a teaser for a story. Love the detail of the long-necked horses, love that wooden stick.

    Okay - I'm going to give this a try. Will post soon.

  12. Late Night Thoughts

    Why not
    howl at the moon?
    Soon, it will be sun-up -
    who knows what happens after that?
    This might be it, your one wolf-throated chance.
    You know, the sun never rises
    at night - what kind of friend
    is that? Howl now!
    Why not?

  13. This is about our newest addition!

    A cat
    comes to a door
    looking for food and drink.
    He finds this. And he finds children
    kissing him before they even name him.
    Small hands remind him how to purr.
    Soft laughter fills the porch.
    This home needed
    a cat.

  14. I couldn't resist adding another, this time with matching first and last lines.

    moon is slouching
    lazily in the sky.
    Her belly is too full to rise
    just yet, so she lounges right above the
    horizon, peers over the broad
    shoulders of farm workers,
    and inspects the


  15. Here's my rictameter, a belated Veterans Day observance, my Poetry Friday post, two book reviews (one's even a novel in verse) and a handful of coincidences: