Welcome to another installment of Write After Reading: Writing the Life Poetic, a weekly online book club with poetry participation. It alternates between my blog and Laura’s blog. Last week, over at Laura’s blog, we talked about chapter 58 and writing the Zeitgist. Today I picked chapter 63, Taking Shape, Experimenting with Poetic Forms.

This chapter talks briefly about how the constraints of a form can actually improve your poetry or at least lead you down some interesting paths. Though I haven’t yet devoted the time to mastering some of the longer forms I do agree that having that structure often helps me focus my poetic attention in much the same way that we found when we did the Mad Libs.

Here’s an online source with easy explanations of the forms of verse – Poetry Handbook.

I opted to go for haiku since I’m writing this late at night after a crazy-making day but I hope to come back tomorrow and try some other forms as well.

sleeping dog whimpers
chases squirrel shadows, barks
hunter triumphant

one week, no flour, sugar
bad habits need undoing
how will I survive?