The Septanelle, 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 ‘S’, David selected the ‘Septanelle’ form and the keyword ‘Smiles’.

S: Septanelle

David’s Septanelle

Is a smile true?
Don't trust the mouth to tell.
The wise know it's the eyes that joy comes through.
There's where truth dwells.
Mouths may smile for your sake,
But a twinkling eye-smile can never fake
That shift in hue.

Sangeetha’s Septanelle

It was her smile
Toothless, her first full beam
Straight from her newish soul, her smile beguiled,
Lit up my dreams
Her chuckle reached me first
I couldn't help but smile, our eyes locked in trust
We were a team.


  • Heptastich: a poem in seven lines;
  • Syllabic: 4/6/10/4/6/10/4 syllables per line;
  • Rhymed: rhyme scheme ababcca.

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!

17 thoughts on “The Septanelle, or: Creativity verses form”

  1. beautiful poems and it reminds me of the same way the two of you have come to trust your words behind your smiles to your souls in delivering us these wonderful pearls. Nice you guys.. xo โฃ๏ธ

  2. Both of you fulfilled the request of the Septanelle with so much love compassion and dignity.
    Also the rhyme scheme.
    Where do you fetch these lines
    The opening question too.
    Where do you find them
    Also the opening in David’s Septanelle

    These eyes!!

  3. Another new form and a smile to start my day! Having been masked for 3 years, my husband asked how I could tell that someone smiled at me. The answer of course was in the eyes!! And I do remember the first smile from my sonsโ€ฆ and no it wasnโ€™t a gas bubble!!

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