There’s more to poetry than pretty,  frilly words, repetitive rhyme and a sole devotion to emotion! Through our studies we are finding that poetry makes use of mathematics (Fibonacci, Sestina, Haiku, Tanka, Senryu.. ) where we count syllables, lines and stanzas to write our poems.

History is built into the study of poetry in that many poets over generations have inspired us to take up the gauntlet and write in homage to their style, rhythm or attitude. Repeating the past is an education in itself. 

Of course, the written word is based on the concepts of language, grammar and literature. These are the studies which give our poems their structure and foundation.

There is music in worded verse, a lyrical expression that lives within the poems we offer.

Art can be expressed through words. I hear there is a poet who makes visual poems, “painting” pictures with his words in a very concrete way. 

But there is also a science to poetry. This pursuit we’re on is a scientific exploration, in a way, as we delve into the workings of this process which consumes us. During the Poetic Asides Poem-A-Day Challenge this past April, Robert Lee Brewer asked us to pen a science based or scientific poem, One concept that came to mind is presented below:




I present the PERIODIC TABLE OF POETIC ELEMENTS! The table consists of 118 poetic forms and techniques based closely on the Periodic Table of Elements with which we are most familiar. Each symbol represents one of the functions we will use in our writing. During the course of the next few months you are asked to write as many of these forms as you can to the prompts that will be offered. Also, poems written for other prompts across the webiverse can be included if you so desire in order to utilize as many modalities as you are able.  Keep a tally (the provided table can be printed and used as a checklist) of the poems written. You need not write them in order of appearance, use them as you are comfortable in using them. You may want to write your favorite forms early and “challenge” (that word again) yourself with the more complex forms as your confidence builds. You decide how you use the forms featured!  You can repeat forms; they will all earn points. All I ask is that you include your name and indicate the form you used and the prompt by which it was inspired . Yes, even free verse is included… sort of a wild card  thrown into the mix.

As an added incentive, each form has been assigned a point value (aided by a draw of Scrabble tiles) These points are purely random, meaning a sestina could only be 1 point and a Haiku could gather a ten (both hypothetical values). I will publish this chart at the end of the September (tentative deadline is Sept. 30, 2015); you’ll have to trust your instincts. The most points will earn three of my chapbooks (WOOD, YOLO and either “Life is a Beach (and then you die!)”, “Intensities in Tent Cities” or “Rhyme of the Poet Laureate” (Your choice). Big whoop, I know! This isn’t a “challenge” per se. Think of these “points” as green stamps earn writing your poems! 😉


So join us in the process of poetics as seen through a “scientific eye”. Continue to RISE UP through poetry!


A short while back I had compiled a “book” on poetic forms that were featured here, at POETIC/ CREATIVE BLOOMINGS, POETIC ASIDES by Robert Lee Brewer and various other sources (or created by other talented poets).

All forms in the PTOPE above are included among the 300+ pages in this file, along with most examples. Each element lists the page number on which it appears. Each page references the element symbol and its location on the table. Find a link to this file below: