Table of Forms—Phonetic Poetics

The iamb saunters through my book
Trochees ruch and tumble
While the anapest runs like a hurrying brook
Dactyls are stately and classical

Phonetic poetics refers to poetic forms based on the pronunciations of words. Most conventional poetic forms are structures based on the sounds of words—rhyme and meter—and recurring words or lines. Such forms include the pantoum, the sonnet, the villanelle (as a rhymed form), the ballade. the limerick, the alcaic, ae freislighe, ottava rima, and the haiku. An elaborate taxonomy of metric feet, wiith elegant jargon, allows one to derive new combinations:

  • dactylic tetrameter
  • anapestic tetrameter
  • trochaic hexameter
  • amphibrachic icosometer

    14 Vowel Sound Poem: a poem that uses each of fourteen vowel sounds exactly once.

  • Gentle Mentor: a poem using a particular vowel sound in every word.

    Alcaic: a poem which uses each of fourteen vowel sounds once, with the added rule that a vowel sound may be repeated indefinitely so long as no other vowel sounds intervene.

    [syllable poetry]: an explanation of syllable poetry written as a syllable poem.

    Rishi Talks to his Counselor: a dialogue between a student and his counselor in which the student uses only one-syllable words and the counselor speaks in four-word lines with one one-syllable word, one two-syallable, one three, and one four-syllable word per line.

    Antiphrasis: a homophonic transliteration—written using words that sound similar to those whose meaning is intended. This technique has been used by members of the Oulipo to write a poem using English words that, when read aloud, sounds like mutilated French.

    An online tool (developed by Joe Futrelle and William Gillespie) allowing you to arrange phonemes into a poem.

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    Dominique Fitzpatrick-O'Dinn
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