The Alliterisen, or: Creativity verses form

Sangeetha & David’s new poetry project

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

Once they’d completed their first oeuvre, they decided to continue their journey together; and Sangeetha came up with a fun idea. Beginning in January ’22, they took turns selecting poetic forms beginning with the letters of the alphabet (A through Z) and wrote poems to one another using those forms.

Upon completing that second project, Sangeetha suggested that they go through the alphabet once more, this time with an addition twist… In their new series, for every letter of the alphabet (A through Z), the two would select not only a poetic form but also – a keyword for each poem.

For ‘A’, David selected the ‘Alliterisen’ form and the keyword ‘Alternatives’.

A: Alliterisen

David’s Alliterisen

Are choices the choosers? Perhaps people misreckon.
Whether we attempt alternatives or not, life loops around.
Those things that once granted great gratification
Often still satisfy though we've tried turning to others.
I wonder whether it's nature or nurture,
Don't you? Innate programming persists. Hardwired with wills,
We examine existence but learn little of life.

Sangeetha’s Alliterisen

Do we explore existence, choosers chary of choice? 
Tiptoeing tentatively, do we wander on a  whimsy 
Crystal clear that decisions are left for later? 
Shall we simper silently or laugh ludicrously loud? 
Learn life lessons or fly by frivolously? 
Is the present perfect or tomorrow the treasure? 
Is Fate foretold Or does choice choose it for us? With love...


  • The Alliterisen is a seven-lined poem with a specific syllable pattern and two alliterations per line. (Alliteration is the succession of similar consonant sounds. They are not recognized by spelling, but rather by sounds.)
  • The syllable structure for the Complex Alliterisen is as follows:
    • 1st line- x syllables
    • 2nd line- x+2 syllables
    • 3rd line- x-1 syllables
    • 4th line- (x+2)-1 syllables
    • 5th line- x-2 syllables
    • 6th line- (x+2)-2 syllables
    • 7th line- x syllables

Sangeetha & David’s ‘Creativity verses form’

  1. The Alliterisen (#alternatives)
  2. The Bragi (#books) [1st attempt]
  3. The Bragi (#books) [correct]
  4. The Cadae (#crisis)
  5. The Dodoitsu (#desire)
  6. The Emmett (#elves)
  7. The Fold (#friend)
  8. The Golda (#gravity)
  9. The Harrisham (#hope)
  10. The Inverted Refrain (#imagination)
  11. The Jram (#jubilee)
  12. The Kลel (#kismet)
  13. The Lai (#love)
  14. The Monometric (#motivation)
  15. The Nove Otto (#night)
  16. The Ovillejo (#origins)
  17. The Purely Hopeful (#poetry)
  18. The Quatern (#quiet)
  19. The Raay (#roots)
  20. The Septanelle (#smiles)
  21. The Trianglet (#time)
  22. The Ukiah (#underwear)
  23. The Violette (#vintage)
  24. The Whyquain (#wisdom)
  25. X (wildcard): The Eight-ette (#excuse)
  26. The Ya Hoo (#yes)
  27. The Zip (#zip)

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 “The Alliterisen, or: Creativity verses form”

  1. Wow
    I canโ€™t believe Iโ€™m attending the masterclass on Alliterisen.
    How feelings rise and fall
    The come and go
    And sometimes they linger
    And even remain. They have this power.
    They stay.
    The poets with their cymbals and sounds,
    amplifying many a thought which passed through my mind,
    catching one here and there, I confess that life is an intricate dance.

    But dance we must. As we take on new acts, the steps come together much better.

    Wonderful musings, from the both of you.

    1. โค ๐Ÿ™‚ Rae โค ๐Ÿ™‚ ~ thanks!

      I sometimes get too caught up in these sorts of questions – they distract me from real life! ๐Ÿคฆโ€โ™‚๏ธ

      Much love,

  2. So glad to see both of you starting a new poetry project! Your poetry meshes so well together. And happy Fatherโ€™s Day to you, David! ๐Ÿ™‚

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