Inspirations, or: Expectations

A Crystalline

Some consider each step telling,
a beautiful poem of its own.

Even the richest depictions
of leaves crunching won't please the others.

'Take us, blindfolded, by our hands,'
they insist, 'Describe each clod of dirt.'

Satisfaction's a hard mistress;
she'd have me leading readers off cliffs.

What’s a Crystalline?

  • A complete couplet. Either standing alone or written in any number of couplets;
  • Syllabic, 17 syllables;
    • Regular: 8/9 or 9/8 syllables per line;
    • Irregular: broken where appropriate, other than the 8-9/9-8 regular form;
  • Written with English grammatical rules of syntax, caps and punctuation;
  • At the poetโ€™s discretion, written with poetic devices (rhyme, onomatopoeia, metaphor…);
  • Composed with a โ€œcutโ€ or pivot, most often between L1 and L2.


Let’s write poetry together!

When it comes to partnership, some humans can make their lives alone – it’s possible. But creatively, it’s more like painting: you can’t just use the same colours in every painting. It’s just not an option. You can’t take the same photograph every time and live with art forms with no differences.

Ben Harper (b. 1969)

Would you like to create poetry with me and have a completed poem of yours featured here at the Skeptic’s Kaddish? I am very excited to have launched the ‘Poetry Partners’ initiative and am looking forward to meeting and creating with you… Check it out!

30 thoughts on “Inspirations, or: Expectations”

  1. And that is how you are supposed to read poetry! You trust the poet to lead you into uncharted territory and you hold to the verse with anticipation.

  2. Well I do go out on a limb here. Poetemicists do of course, especially I see of late, endeavor to be terribly abstract, arcane, professing to leave the burden of descriptives to the audience’s mind’s eye. All well and good. Given Maugham and Hemingway, I’d go with Ernest. But there is undeniable craftsmanship in choosing one or two perfectly suited adjectives, adverbs, or flimflammeries to guide the audience toward a specific conclusion or if not to a conclusion, to a specific vantage point to more clearly “see” the unspoken words of a tale. Give me a mix, my mind will glide over excess, but I covet the noir talesman who has me understand just how perfectly leggy that unscrupulously seductive magenta-haired dame was before she squeezed the 45’s trigger on her double-dealing cur of a flame.

    Cut my wick too short, my flame of understanding will flicker and sputter.

  3. Lead me up the cliff at the edge of this contintent of sentences. Point out the clods of dirt that won’t crumble beneath my SCUBA flippers. I’ll give you a lune worth eleven syllables of pure chrystalline. In gratitude for inspiring the poet in me to breath your air. ๐Ÿ™‚

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