The Marianne, 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.

M for Marianne

Sangeetha’s Marianne

My turn with M
was short and truly sweet
Life in five lines could overwhelm
but now written
~ a gem

David’s Marianne

The alphabet
beckons enticingly...
We haven't skipped a letter yet,
for fear of sheer


The Marianne is a verse form written with a combination rhyme and syllable count. It is:

  • a pentastich, a poem in 5 lines;
  • syllabic, 4/6/8/4/2 syllables per line;
  • rhymed, axaxa x being unrhymed;
  • titled and centered on the page.

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!

18 thoughts on “The Marianne, or: Form verses creativity”

  1. Thank you. I checked out the three sites. Great. The reading I do. The prompts โ€“ I believe โ€“ I have to avoid for the time being; otherwise my demanding full-time job suffers to badly. And then I …

  2. I love to read and write poetry, but imposter syndrome keeps me from sharing it with anyone. I’m working on moving past that. I am excited to try that rhyming structure — I’ve never used it before. Thanks for sharing!

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