Invented Poetry, a Tetradecanet

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I belong to a fabulous group of writers who write 14 line poetry.  Many of them focus on writing Sonnets and the like, however as a free verse writer, I have concerns.  Previously, I have written rhymed poetry.  I enjoy rhymed poetry as well as sonnets.  The problem I have found (perhaps my own failing) is that if I write in one form, the other gets lost.  I have written rhyme and then every thought that comes out of my head is rhymed verse.  It makes the journey back to free verse a more difficult journey and I don’t know if I would want that.  Also, I do worry that it will change the way I write now.


For all it’s worth, I enjoy the way the lines enter my mind and leave the pen.  They have a mind of their own.  While experimenting does in no way harm your methods, I worry that switching back to rhyme could.  So, in response to that I have started “inventing” my own forms of poetry that meet the guidelines for 14 lines, that are not rhymed.  This is why you have seen me post a few different styled poems lately.


Anyway, the other day I wanted to write in a different style that those I have been writing (the Reflective Staircase Poems) which I invented based on other poetic forms (but put together in one form).  Then, the words “Fourteen words crawled silently across the page” came into my head and a new poetry form was born.  Aptly named by a dear friend, a Tetradecanet, the rules are rather simple.  The first line starts with fourteen words, the next line has thirteen, and so on until only one word is left.


So perhaps you can understand a little about why I’ve been trying new things and why they curiously all have fourteen lines.  Still trying to grow… but not to the point of losing myself.


Fourteen Words


Fourteen words crawled silently across the page, hunting for meaning where meaning was lost

it was an abstract passage, a veiled flight of fancy, a wordsmith’s dream.

To the writer’s delight, words danced, crooned, and bounded in uncertain fashion.

The words required the author’s gentle touch to give them meaning

and the writer was equally anxious to start the task.

Pen raised, the words did wend their curious way.

A story was spoken, a tale was told

and inquisitive ear, did beg to listen.

This is where we find ourselves,

between the spoken, delightful dance

of words, glorious words

easing their sorrows,

searching for



© Sumyanna 2017


Wonderful image courtesy of

Thank you Ferrick Gray, for coining the term Tetradecanet.


24 Comments Add yours

  1. Wonderfully done, I loved the message and can’t imagine attempting not only to write, but having it take a certain form. Something for others to do and for me to just remain in awe.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sumyanna says:

      Thank you. I know exactly what you mean. I read stuff that just floors me. It is a blessing to read so many talented people out there… yourself included! And those images!!!


  2. Nice poetry form, and very simple yet neat. Working on creating my own poetry form myself.


    1. Sumyanna says:

      Thank you very much. Oh wow – when you do, I hope I catch it. It is rather exciting to do something no one else has done 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Your welcome and I’m sure you will, and yes it is!


  3. leigha66 says:

    What a fun style… I may have to give it a try. Good job!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sumyanna says:

      I hope you do 🙂 I’ve been having fun with them.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. 7128788elf says:

    I just let the words and ideas choose there own form, in the early days I tried to force ideas into a set structure, but it did not work. When I write a Haiku, I do not worry about the amount of syllables etc, I just let the words flow, and often enough it at least looks like a haiku, then others just keep on going and become a longer poem. I have never tried to write a rhymed piece or a perfect sonnet in my life. Maybe it would do me good, but I think I will leave that until I retire.


    1. Sumyanna says:

      Yes, I find it rather difficult to force style. I will try some here and there, but if they don’t work – I easily set them aside. I have tried sonnets and the like, but truly it is not where my heart is. I’m sure I could write one if I took it seriously, but I think the soul of me is in the poetry I write now (if that makes sense). It is what shows who I am. It breathes the way I do.

      I usually write rhymed poetry for the kids, but have even stopped doing that this year because I’ve been too busy. If I rhyme – I cannot write free verse for a few days (rhyme keeps creeping in). It is a struggle and since I have limited time… I am staying here for now. I do hope to write more for children later, but need more focus. As for where you are, I think it is a good place to be when you feel comfortable with who you are and how you speak. I would not change a thing, Charles. Just be who you are.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. 7128788elf says:

        Thanks Sumyana, I have always tried to be me, there are some things about being me that people including my dear wife don’t like, and am trying to change, but I carry on, especially in my poetry. Sometimes I wish I had more time for the poetry, but there are lots of things that need doing, so like with you, time is tight, so I seem to have dropped down to only one poem per week. I hope to start choosing poems for a first collection soon, and to write more, and to do more live poetry readings.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Sumyanna says:

          Oh, to tell you the truth Charles, we are all shaped by our own past. There are plenty of things I don’t like about myself, but I just keep striving to be a better version of me every day. Some days are successful, others – not so much 🙂

          I understand you about lost time. It is hard to find time to do all the things we wish we could do. However, it is good to know in the back of our heads what we wish to achieve. Perhaps someday we will have the time to work on them.

          No worries about only one poem a week. Just know you are keeping at it. Also, I have learned that to be a writer, we must also take the time to live. Soak up those moments and later on you can use them as inspiration! Oh, please keep us in the loop with your endeavors!

          Liked by 1 person

          1. 7128788elf says:

            Sometimes the mountains are so high and steep it seems impossible to move, but one tries to find the route that will help one summit it, and feel good about what one has achieved, but to do it one needs a great phocus, and great clarity of mind. Tiredness does not help with this, but perhaps one can find ways around it. Strange, as an artist, I would like to build my poetry into my art work, or the other way round. As I see myself as firstly a poet, i have begun to realised that the whole art thing is holding me back from publishing my first book, so I have decided to do a poetry only book, which should help, but lets see what happens.


          2. Sumyanna says:

            So true. Some things seem rather daunting, but over time (hopefully) it will get easier. I wish you a quick return to good health. I know it is not easy – you want to run, but you can only walk. You want to have the strength to carry mountains, yet you struggle to have energy to move your own body. I have known other people who have gone through the same thing. You know, for some reason I did not know you were an artist. Goodness, I really need to settle down and read your blog from beginning to end! I have missed so much. I get that the art might delay you. Always know you could do it later. I think it’s lovely to combine the two, but with time constraints it helps to not let that get you behind. Whatever you come up with, I know it will be wonderful!

            Liked by 1 person

          3. 7128788elf says:

            Yes that is a problem, as I am also a musician, so that sometimes takes time away as well, though now that I can’t really play the drums any more, I do more listening, and helping bands etc. get going. My mother was considerable watercolour painter, who gave up painting to bring up my sister and I, then went back to it, but mainly as a teacher. She did group exhibitions and sold quite a lot. I have some of her works, and only 1 of my own in my collection. I got the teaching bug from my mother and I tutored poetry and creativity for a long time, and many leading South African poets and painters started their artistic lives with me.

            Liked by 1 person

          4. Sumyanna says:

            Wow. How do you find all the time?!? I’m smiling while saying that. Seriously… I have said it before, you really need to write a book. You have such an interesting story to tell. My life is more mundane. Wash dishes, clean clothes. I mean, my life holds great purpose and I am ever so thankful, but truly your story should be one worth listening to and learning from!

            Liked by 1 person

          5. 7128788elf says:

            Thanks, I will do it at some stage, though I wonder if people that do not know me would be interested in reading it. For various reasons I did not want to write it while certain individuals including my parents were still alive. So as more friends and relatives dy, so it feels easier to get started. I will have to choose the material quite carefully or it will become huge and rather boring. Maybe I will bring it out as a series of books. There is nothing wrong with being a mother and doing housework, I do quite a bit round here, so that my wife Genevieve does not have to spend all day doing it all herself. When I was a bachelor I did it all myself.


          6. Sumyanna says:

            Oh I think it is an important job, actually 🙂 I just mean that it is not the same as perhaps other things. I do not regret it. My children need me. If I can raise them properly and give them the strength and wisdom to get through things, I will say I have done my best work. It truly is not as easy as it sounds and you cannot do it half-heartedly. Yes, I understanding not wanting to hurt anyone even though you feel the need to express yourself. I am much the same. My family does not know that I write (or perhaps I should say they have no interest). It makes it a little easier to express myself. So glad to hear you help your lovely wife. Many do not know what it is like to have help 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

          7. 7128788elf says:

            Yes, I think bringing up children well is a very difficult thing to do. I am a bit surprised that your children are not more interested in your poetry writing. I am lucky, Genevieve checks to see if I have written something every day, and tries to get me to start choosing the poems to put in a book , so that I can get published. She always comments on the poems, and challenges things she feels need to be looked at, or changed.


          8. Sumyanna says:

            Oh no! I did not mean my children, I meant my family as in my parents and brothers 🙂 My children absorb everything I read. They are the reason I started writing and they encourage me to keep going. Were it not for them, I would not have submitted my book to that competition. They are all also working on becoming rather good writers themselves. They value it highly. I just find it sad that my own family does not take interest in it (or perhaps it would be more apt to say “me”). I have so much I would love to share, but am not given the opportunity, if that makes sense.

            Liked by 1 person

          9. 7128788elf says:

            Yes it makes perfect sense, it is the same with me, for none of my extended family including my sister are the least interested in my writing, it seems some of them are embarrassed that there is a poet in the family! I had always had the impression that your children were great supporters and intimately involved in your life as a poet. Fortunately Genevieve plays the role for me. Am hoping you do well in the competition.


          10. Sumyanna says:

            I find it odd though, that they are not interested in the one main thing that makes your soul on fire. Hope that makes sense, but to me I would want to know of someone’s passion. Eh, who knows why. I’m just glad that you keep hanging on to your words and I am equally glad that Genevieve supports you fully. She is one precious lady! Keep at it and yes, I hope so too. We find out at the end of this month. I am nervous but even if nothing comes of it, I am glad that I tried 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

          11. 7128788elf says:

            If nothing happens push on, send it to some publishers, they will give you advice on how to move forward, or will publish. I think every one has their thing that fires the soul and tells stories for others to help find their souls firing point.

            Liked by 1 person

          12. Sumyanna says:

            I most likely will. I am thinking to take on a few projects during the summer while the kids are out of school. I also want to start writing stories for children again. I have missed that greatly, but when I write I need to have more time to focus…

            Liked by 1 person

          13. 7128788elf says:

            Yes I know the feeling…

            Liked by 1 person

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