Lantern Poetry -Quick Writing Idea

A lanturne or lantern poem originated from Japan. 

It is a five-lined poem with a fixed syllable count for each line. 

Line one has one syllable
Line two has two syllables
Line three has three syllables
Line four has four syllables
Line five has one syllable

The idea is to centre your writing so that the resulting pattern of words resembles a Chinese lantern. This adds a challenge to use the right words to create the desired visual appearance.

An extra challenge would be to add more structure through adhering to the following instructions:

Line one should be a one syllable noun
The two syllables in line two should describe the noun
The three syllables in line three should describe the noun
The four syllables in line four should describe the noun
The last line should be a one syllable noun which is a synonym of the noun in line one

Here’s what I came up with –

beating fast,
sometimes broken,

We can easily manage if we will only take, each day, the burden appointed to it. But the load will be too heavy for us if we carry yesterday’s burden over again today, and then add the burden of the morrow before we are required to bear it.

John Newton

Manage Our Burdens

Writing Tetractys Poetry

The tetractys is a triangular figure consisting of ten points arranged in four rows: one, two, three, and four points in each row, which is the geometrical representation of the fourth triangular number. It was an important mystical symbol to the secret worship of the Pythagoreans.

The Tetractys, as a form of poetry, was invented by Ray Stebbing. It is made up of five unrhymed lines, consisting of a total of 20 syllables:

  • line one – one syllable
  • line two – two syllables
  • line three – three syllables
  • line four – four syllables
  • line five – ten syllables

Tetractys can be reversed and written 10, 4, 3, 2, 1.

Here is an example:

went mad
on Thursday
because our Steph
dyed her hair purple and got a tattoo.