The Retrac, 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.

R for Retrac

David’s Retrac

to folks you meet.
You'll find most people treat
you in a kind, good-natured way.
So, tell yourself when you awake each day:
“I’m not defined by what others might say;
my own true self’s beyond okay!
Since only my retreat
Can bring defeat...
can’t neglect

Sangeetha’s Retrac

Don't you bend
To fit a mould
Test what you have been told
This is your movie. You're the star
Go the whole distance, no matter how far
Discover beyond your skin; Raise the bar
Come alive, all of who you are
Have the heart to be bold
To show the world
You don't bend.


  • 12 lines;
  • syllable Count: 2/3/4/6/8/10/10/8/6/4/3/2;
  • rhyme scheme: a/a/b/b/c/c/c/c/b/b/a/a

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!

28 thoughts on “The Retrac, or: Form verses creativity”

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