Tuesday Tryouts — Poetic Form: The Lanturne

30 Aug

8:10 a.m. — Atlanta

Hello everyone. I have a short and sweet form for you today. I am trying, more or less, to go through forms alphabetically. We should be on haiku, but a couple of other sites have recently undertaken the haiku, so I will leave it awhile. What I have for you is similar: a lanturne. Hands up: how many of you had heard of this form before? No. I hadn’t either.

At its most basic, it is a syllabic form: five lines, one syllable, two syllables, three syllables, four syllables, one syllables. And, the alignment is centered, so the poem looks like a lantern [it does require fiddling — I suspect I would ignore the lantern shape and play with the syllables].

 winds blow
 a tornado

Copyright © 2003 Crystal Rose

Notice, that like the haiku there is a caesura, or stop point. This can occur after any line preceding the last, and is often after the second, or third. The effect is of a set up and then a result, a cause and effect.

  over peaks,
morning glories

Copyright © 2003 Crystal Rose

Hmmm…more fir tree than lantern.

The first word is often, but not necessarily, the subject of the poem. The second and third lines describe what that subject is doing, or what the subject looks like. The fourth and fifth lines are usually the turn. I know it all sounds loose, but that gives us a flexibility, a little stretch room within the syllabic confines.

And, that is it. Seems too easy, doesn’t it? Remember to post your results so we can read them, and to wander around and read others.

I shall not see you Thursday as I had hoped, because I an in the throes of a wretched cold. I am at the point that I wish someone would shoot me. I shall see you Friday for the roundup and next Tuesday for an open prompt [hint: think about things that are meaningful to you] and next Thursday for a reader inspired discussion on language.

Happy writing everyone.


Posted by on 30/08/2011 in exercises, poetry, writing


Tags: , , , ,

32 responses to “Tuesday Tryouts — Poetic Form: The Lanturne

  1. viv blake

    30/08/2011 at 11:34 am

    I’m , puzzled: I like your poems, but the form you have used is 1,2,3,4,1, whereas in your notes it should be 12345 (ie half an etheree!) I think your examples are better, and will follow that.

    • margo roby

      30/08/2011 at 11:39 am

      Thank you, O sharp eyed one. I have fixed it and hopefully noone else has gotten to it yet.

      And, thanks for the good wishes. The only good thing about a cold is that one cannot catch the same one twice, so the older we are, the fewer colds. How about that?


  2. viv blake

    30/08/2011 at 11:35 am

    PS, sorry you are suffering: I hope you’re soon back on top form.
    xox ViV

  3. viv blake

    30/08/2011 at 6:07 pm

    I’ve had a busy and very tiring day, so an instant lanturne is all I could manage.

    • margo roby

      02/09/2011 at 11:23 am

      Hope you have rested up, Viv. You know, you are allowed to wait and write and post later…


  4. Mary

    30/08/2011 at 9:00 pm

    Margo, I tried nine of these. I enjoyed writing them. Thank you! Here they are:

    • margo roby

      02/09/2011 at 11:24 am

      Nine! I can’t wait to read them, Mary. Heading over.


  5. pmwanken

    30/08/2011 at 10:50 pm

    don’t want
    the whole world,
    I just want your

    We’ll see if that posts properly. I don’t think it will look like a lantern OR a fir tree. Hmmm….But I do like the form! 🙂

    • pmwanken

      30/08/2011 at 10:51 pm

      Nope…it didn’t take my coding. I had tried using html to center it. Rats.

      • margo roby

        02/09/2011 at 11:26 am

        Lol! Not at you, with you. My lanturnes are never going to look like lanturnes because I don’t like fiddling, but I like the syllabic form, so I will work on this form.


    • viv blake

      31/08/2011 at 12:58 am

      I like this one. I couldn’t think of anything

      • margo roby

        02/09/2011 at 11:27 am

        You and I seem to be going through a particularly gludgy time of it, don’t we, Viv. Having said that, your delphinium list is coming along nicely. I shall get a hand poem from it, eventually. My mother’s hands.


  6. jinksy

    31/08/2011 at 2:13 am

    I may have to play with some of these soon…Thanks!

    • margo roby

      02/09/2011 at 11:33 am

      You are welcome, jinksy! Let me see them if you write some.


  7. Teri

    31/08/2011 at 8:50 am

    might be
    where I write
    a nice Lanturne,

    My fir tree shape will not show up here- but I find this form like a good exercise… now I can go get dressed and think about it some more. xo teri

    • margo roby

      02/09/2011 at 11:28 am

      Exactly how I feel about the form, Teri.


  8. Mike Patrick

    31/08/2011 at 3:36 pm

    Well, I came up with something, but it’s not very bright for a lantern., kinda fun though.

    • margo roby

      02/09/2011 at 11:28 am

      Dimmed lanterns, hmmm? I shall seek their light.


  9. viv blake

    31/08/2011 at 4:52 pm

    Here’s a few more, economically combined with another prompt:

    • margo roby

      02/09/2011 at 11:29 am

      I do enjoy economy and shall wend my way over to read these.


  10. Teri

    01/09/2011 at 10:54 pm

    Feel better soon Margo- It is always so hard for me to follow directions- But once I started typing I was able to play with the words a bit- thanks for the prompt-

    • margo roby

      02/09/2011 at 11:30 am

      Thank you, Teri. This one is a doozy.

      I wouldn’t worry about following directions. The goal is to arrive at a poem. How you get there, not so important. Who knows what you gain by not following directions 🙂


  11. Teri

    04/09/2011 at 5:34 pm

    Well these are NOT Lanturnes because I just was too tired to herd them into shape – and so Margo I took your advice and just let them be. Hope you are having a nice weekend.

    • margo roby

      06/09/2011 at 10:34 am

      Okay, I adore the vision of you herding the lines, Teri. I shall go see how your recalcitrant lines turned out.


  12. anjum wasim dar

    05/09/2011 at 12:20 pm

    Just read about your health Margo.Hope and pray may you be well soon.amen.

  13. Annette

    04/10/2011 at 12:02 am

    I finally got around to posting my lanturnes. It reminds me of writing small stones — but with more form, which I like.

  14. margo roby

    04/10/2011 at 12:11 pm

    Annette! Yes, I agree with your description of a lanturne. And, they are fun. I’ll head over to your place for a read.


  15. Nicole

    07/10/2011 at 1:45 am


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