The Florette, or: Form verses creativity

Sangeetha & David’s new poetry project

Once upon a time, two poets who’d never met in person spontaneously began writing verses back and forth to one another over the Internet. Their first poetry project took them some nine months: a 100 verse Hyakuin.

Once they’d completed their oeuvre, the two decided to continue their creative journey together; and Sangeetha came up with a fun new idea, which David loved – to explore different poetic forms together, working through the Alphabet from ‘A’ to ‘Z’.

Every week, for twenty-six weeks beginning in January of the year 2022, they would take turns selecting poetic forms beginning with the letter corresponding to that particular week (1=A, 2=B, etc., etc.) and write poems to one another using that form.

David suggested they call their new project ‘Form verses creativity’, and so it began.

F for Florette

David’s Florette to Sangeetha

Jerusalem upon the hills,
exposed to keen Winterbeast's chill;
icy claws through sky's darks have pried;
frigid wings battering stone sides.
We hear its tail thrashing outside, long howls so shrill.

Jerusalem sky's rippling gray,
few dare venture outside this day.
Winterbeast soars, gnashing its teeth;
none dare draw longswords from their sheaths.
Freezing above, mucky beneath, breaths heavy weigh.

Sangeetha’s response to David

Jerusalem surprised by snow;
Boon or bane? Elpis doesn't know. 
Schools close, makeshift sledges come out;
On slopes, children slip, slide, and shout.
Winterbeast rages on, no doubt, but hope still glows.

Jerusalem takes to the cold,
Wears a tallit of white and gold.
The chill is braced, the day is seized;  
Men aim to tame the Winterbeast.
Prayers and hopes for warmth and peace touch every soul.


  • Version 1 โ€“ Quatrain Stanzas
    • Rhyme scheme: aaba;
      • interlaced rhyme in line four, where syllable eight shares the โ€œbโ€ rhyme;
    • Syllabic: 8/8/8/12;
    • Meter: Iambic.
  • Version 2 โ€“ Quintet Stanzas
    • Rhyme scheme: aabba;
      • interlaced rhyme in line five, where syllable eight shares the โ€œbโ€ rhyme;
    • Syllabic: 8/8/8/8/12;
    • Meter: Iambic.

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!

21 thoughts on “The Florette, or: Form verses creativity”

  1. Both of these poems are amazing and have the feel of a single author, they meld so well together. I love the format (Iโ€™m a syllable-counter) and the rhyme scheme (ditto), and the imagery is vibrant and effective. Well done, Sangeetha and David! ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. Oh especially in my case Ben, not a lot of poets and creatives in my town. I appreciate my connections all over the world, I canโ€™t believe there was a time when we didnโ€™t have the internet now

        1. Kate,

          Crazy, right? I often think – what would COVID have been like for us without the Internet? I shudder to think!

          BTW, please feel free to call me ‘David’, which is my first name. The word ‘ben’ simply means ‘son of’ in Hebrew, and ‘Alexander’ was my father’s name… I created this blog in his memory. I know my pen name is confusing – sorry about that!


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