Poetry Calisthenics by J. Patrick Lewis

Before they set out to jog, runners stretch to loosen their muscles. Poets might benefit from stretching mentally. Apart from the all too familiar common measure and ballad verse, here are a few lesser-known forms that could prove helpful to flexing one’s muscles and extending one’s reach beyond the traditional formal verse forms or free verse.

Click to download a free PDF from U.S. Children’s Poet Laureate J. Patrick Lewis:

Poetry Calisthenics


J. Patrick Lewis © 2011.

5 thoughts on “Poetry Calisthenics by J. Patrick Lewis

  1. I tried the Welsh verse form Rhupunt for this one. Thanks, Pat, for sharing these exercises:

    Jurassic Fish
    By Steven Withrow

    My deepest wish:
    To catch a fish
    That dwarfs a whale.

    To hook and reel
    By look and feel
    A monster’s tail.

    But I’m too late
    To cast my bait
    For bones so strong

    And razor sharp.
    I’ve only carp
    To string along.

    I’d settle for
    A man o’ war
    Or basking shark

    If one will break
    For pity’s sake
    From fathoms dark.

    ©2011 Steven Withrow, all rights reserved

  2. Lots of new ways to play with words. Thanks for sharing, Patrick. I tried a Zeno.

    The New England forest explodes!
    Shy green dares to
    yellow, crimson,
    fall’s memory
    meant to

    © 2011 Joyce Ray

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