The Kōel, 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 ‘K’, David selected the ‘Kōel’ form and the keyword ‘Kismet’.

K: Kōel

David’s Kōel

Humanity's kismet is inscrutable
Witness: whither winter's wicked winds
We wonder what of life is mutable

Sangeetha’s Kōel

Is Kismet a whim, a missive of peace?
Simply syncing similar semantics
In inimitable incongruences of caprice 


  • Stanzaic: written in any number of tercets;
  • Rhymed: rhyme scheme axa bxb cxc etc., with x being unrhymed. Rhymes should have strong vowel sounds;
  • In its strictest form, L1 and L2 are assonant and must carry the same vowel sound in each word in the line;
  • L2 is always alliterated: Nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs must all begin with the same consonant. Articles and connectors need not alliterate.

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 Kōel (#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!

9 thoughts on “The Kōel, or: Creativity verses form”

  1. I never knew there were this many forms out there. Always very interesting to see what’s next in line. Perhaps, given the “My Name” scavenger hunt, the two of you should create the David and the Sangeetha?

  2. Haha! I love these both! This may be presumptuous but since the Kōel is usually multiple tercets, and these fit together so well, and you are used to writing in collaboration, why not combine them into one poem and write a few more stanzas??

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