Monday, September 07, 2015

Monday Poetry Stretch - Etheree

The next form for the Poetry Seven year-long writing project is the etheree. Since I've promised myself I won't wait until the last minute this time around, I'm posting the form now as a reminder to get to work! 

An etheree is a poem of ten lines in which each line contains one more syllable than the last. Beginning with one syllable and ending with ten, this unrhymed form is named for its creator, 20th century American poet Etheree Taylor Armstrong.

Variant forms of the etheree include the reverse form, which begins with 10 syllables and ends with one. The double etheree is twenty lines, moving from one syllable to 10, and then from 10 back to one. (I suppose a double etheree could also move from 10 syllables to one, and then from one back to 10.)

You can learn more about the etheree at The Poets Garret and Shadow Poetry.

I hope you'll join me this week in writing an etheree. Please share a link to your poem or the poem itself in the comments.


  1. I just wrote a few fibs for a project, and I was reminded how tricky these short, unrhymed but counted syllable poems could be to do well. But I can do bad ones, no problem! :D

    Thanks for the practice. I'm going to try one today!

  2. bee
    one bee lost
    forgot the dance
    east west north south hmm
    whirling breeze swirling bee
    visiting roses daisies
    hyacinths dance of flowers buzz
    like bee dance remembering bee flies
    north hips laden with pollen humming home

    —Kate Coombs

  3. A Companion to Kate's poem:

    BeeHiving: An Etheree

    as bees will do,
    buzzably flying
    making a beeline to hive,
    kept alive by wind and honey
    both promises made by her own queen
    as she hips home with pollen to the hive.

    ©2015 Jane Yolen all rights reserved

    1. Nice! I love hips as a verb.

    2. Wonder if we could get them both published somewhere together?
      Wonder if we could do a book together in which we write in wonderfully odd forms and echo one another? Maybe in email) we could discuss this????? xxxJane

    3. hips home with pollen - so lively

  4. Print.
    Not the same
    but somehow… yes.
    A format question.
    Britannica online claims
    it updates daily and covers
    the world. In print it fills a bookcase
    back home in my father’s dusty study.

  5. These are all wonderful! Kate and Jane, can't believe you did bees...that was going to be my topic (Tricia will back me up in this)! Funny that we all have bee brains.

  6. It's been awhile since I played, though mine is certainly not playful. I'm following such wonderful examples, too!

    slips in
    when you least
    expect it to
    pooling tears in eyes
    already damp from the
    previous day, when it punched
    you in the gut with its fistful
    of memories, doubled you over
    in pain, reminding you how much you loved.

    smiles, smacks
    His lips as
    He is about
    to embark on the
    last piece of pie when his
    wife Mandy jabs her fork down,
    flicks up this tasty confection,
    smooshes it down her gullet, then shows
    off her new, bedazzled, blueberry smile.

    (c) Charles Waters 2015 all rights reserved.

    1. Fun poem, Charles. Love bedazzled, blueberry smile. Mandy sounds like me ;)