The Whyquain, 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 ‘W’, David selected the ‘Whyquain’ form and the keyword ‘Wisdom’.

W: Whyquain

David’s Whyquain

  • Q: Why are owls considered wise?
Patiently waiting 'gainst night skies
Ruled by instincts, owl seeks a prize
Surveys and listens- 'til it spies...
Then, BAM! It's a- rodent's demise!
Owl is bird-brained, but has huge eyes!

Sangeetha’s Whyquain

  • Q: Is it wise to speak?
When my opinions blindly shout
All social etiquette I flout
Learned or Loon, you would check out
Then it is wise to not speak out
Than unwisely remove all doubt 


  • A single pentastitch (verse of five lines);
  • Syllabic: 8 syllables per line;
  • Meter: iambic tetrameter;
  • Rhymed: monorhyme;
  • Concept: It answers some asked or un-asked question.

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!

22 thoughts on “The Whyquain, or: Creativity verses form”

  1. Very fun form and of course the line “Then, BAM! It’s a- rodent’s demise!” really hit home! I had to laugh at Sangeetha’s take on Abe Lincoln’s quote of ” Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and to remove all doubt “!!

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