In honor of Valentine’s Day, my poetry group did a writing exercise wherein each person contributed a phrase about the source of love.
A few days after the meeting, our fearless leader Steve arranged
the phrases (verbatim) into a poem which he sent to us via email:

They say that love is never lost, so why can’t I find it?
Love comes from love
Innate, hard-wired unless over-written by Fortune or Fate
a cookie pan
Love–divine–like birds, always there, even in winter
When in the midst of pouring rain, a smile warms the day

He challenged us to re-work it if we wished.  Woo-hoo!  A batch of free verse phrases crying out for structure, a form…  This sounds like a job for JustJoan!  But what form would I use?  Which one would do justice to this wide variety of ideas and images?  Naturally occurring rhymes were scarce, so I began with syllabic forms: eintou, cinquain, haiku, and diminished hexaverse.  I figured I’d hit on the right one sooner or later.
I got lucky on my first try, but kept on going.  Perhaps one of the other forms would work better.  What I found, to my surprise, is that they all worked.  Emboldened, I decided to try a couple forms with rhyme and refrain:  lai and rondelet.  With a few synonyms and a touch of creative license, these also worked.  I added an acrostic for good measure.  You guessed it, it worked.  I’d always believed that words suggested their own poetic form, but maybe verse in search of an outlet finds one in whatever form it is offered.  Without further ado, poems about love:

Eintou Septet
7 lines
Syllables 2 / 4 / 6 / 8 / 6 / 4 / 2

like winter birds
warm smiles on rainy days
divine, innate, subject to Fate
never lost, hard to find
on cookie pans
from love


5 lines,
Syllables 2 / 4 / 6 / 8 / 2

Warm smiles
Birds in winter
Never lost, hard to find
Divine, Innate, on cookie pans
From Love


3 lines
Syllables 5 / 7 / 5

Love is never lost
Found in smiles, birds, gods, the self
and on cookie pans


Diminished Hexaverse
5 stanzas, first stanza has 5 lines, each 5 syllables, second has 4 lines, each 4 syllables, third has 3 lines, each 3 syllables, fourth has 2 lines, each 2 syllables, fifth has 1 line, 1 syllable


Around and within
Like birds, always there
even in winter
A smile that warms us
on a rainy day

Innate, and yet
subject to Fate
The divine yield
of cookie pans

Never lost
but sometimes
hard to find

Love is
born of



9 lines with rhyme scheme a / a / b / a / a / b / a / a / b.
a lines have 5 syllables, b lines have 2 syllables

The Divine revealed
Within us concealed
A cookie pan’s yield
A pouring-rain-shield
A Lost-Found ordeal
A spin of the wheel
of Fate


7 lines with rhyme/refrain scheme A / b / A / a / b / b / A.
Refrain (A) is 4 syllables, all other lines are 8 syllables, all lines written in dimeter

Love comes from love
and warming smiles on rainy days
Love comes from love
and cookie pans, and God above
Within us all, subject to Fate
It’s never lost but just misplaced
Love comes from love


The first letters of each line spell something related to the poem

They say that love is never lost so
How come I can’t find it?
Even in winter it is there, like birds
Smiles that warm us in the midst
Of pouring rain. Divine. Innate.
Unless overwritten by Fortune or Fate
Really, it is borne on cookie pans
Chocolate Chip Love, Oatmeal Love
Ephemeral and yet, everlasting

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23 thoughts on “ONE LOVE POEM, MANY FORMS

  1. Tippy Gnu March 24, 2019 / 6:28 am

    You’re making me love poetry. I didn’t like the initial arrangement of haphazard phrases. But I liked the way you arranged them, in each metered form. I don’t know what it is about the metered patterns you use, but that seems to be the key for making a poem special to read. At least for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Just Joan March 24, 2019 / 7:29 am

      Thanks, Tippy. This exercise was a revelation. I have always wondered how I “just knew” what form a poem wanted to be. The answer is simple; words bend themselves to fit into any form we choose for them. Syllabic poems have a mathematical appeal, rhymes are pleasing to the ear, combinations of the two delight people who enjoy solving puzzles. I’ll bet you are in that category. 🙂


    • Just Joan March 24, 2019 / 11:47 am

      Thanks, PB. What you wrote there could be a poem, 2/3/2/3/2. This collection is like people’s life stories, all basically the same and yet, all different. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. joyroses13 March 24, 2019 / 4:40 pm

    Enjoyed reading all the different styles. The last 3 were my favorites with the Rondelet being the best. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Just Joan March 24, 2019 / 5:20 pm

      Thanks, JR. I liked the rondelet too, because I enjoy puzzles and it has the most rules. But the lai and diminished hexaverse were my favorites. My fellow poets were all over the map as far as which one they liked best. This collection is like a box of assorted chocolates–creams, jellies, caramels, truffles, nuts, plain–something for everyone. 🙂


      • joyroses13 March 24, 2019 / 5:56 pm

        You are welcome and I will take an assorted box of chocolates anytime! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    • Just Joan March 25, 2019 / 7:56 pm

      Thanks, Snoozin! Love trying on different outfits, pick your favorite. 🙂


      • snoozing on the sofa March 27, 2019 / 4:04 pm

        Acrositcs have always been my favorite type of word puzzle, so I’ll have to go with that.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. circumstance227 March 27, 2019 / 5:08 pm

    How creative you are! As you (almost) said in your intro, maybe love, like verse, in search of an outlet finds one in whatever form it is offered”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Just Joan March 27, 2019 / 7:49 pm

      Thanks! I audited a college-level poetry class in 2015, just for fun. One of our ongoing assignments was a journal about our “poesy process.” I had always assumed that words suggested their own poetic form and I was adept at figuring out what form they wanted to be. I now see it was entirely up to me, a game I could not lose. I like your parallel of love and verse, so true. 🙂


  4. Alison March 27, 2019 / 8:18 pm

    How wonderful. I’ve learned so much from this first post as a new follower. I see your always witty/insightful comments to Circumstance227 and it appears we are kindred. Nice to meetcha!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Just Joan March 30, 2019 / 4:22 pm

      Welcome, Alison! Glad to have you on board. Feel free to browse the JJ42 archives, you might discover we’re even more kindred than you thought. There are pieces about my political leanings, my pets, my dislike of technology and gadgets, an epic fail at the grocery’s self-check lane, my adventures in RV-ing, even the contents of my purse and refrigerator door. 227 is one of my favorite bloggers. I’m always up for a rant about Twump, a chicken story, or an update on Vera’s overuse of cleaning supplies. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Alison March 30, 2019 / 11:42 pm

        We definitely have 227 in common. She is my best blogger friend. I look forward to getting to know you better, Joan!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. K E Garland March 30, 2019 / 2:04 pm

    This is one of the most creative takes on verse and form that you’ve demonstrated, Joan. I’m impressed, as always ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Just Joan March 30, 2019 / 3:56 pm

      Thanks, KE. It was a fun challenge, an experiment that yielded a valuable poesy lesson. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. C April 4, 2019 / 11:10 am

    Interesting to read these different forms. Thanks for writing them all!
    The less-is-more haiku appealed most to me.
    (Has anyone else noticed that sometimes in haiku, especially modern less formal ones, whatever it is that’s being described in lines one and two can end in a sort of ‘reveal’ line three?
    That’s what ‘and on cookie pans’ did for me. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Just Joan April 4, 2019 / 12:11 pm

      Howdy, C. Glad you enjoyed my multi-form tribute to love. To me, Haiku is like a one-bite brownie: small, but the first bite is always the best one anyway, the most satisfying. The cookie pan ended up where it did for exactly the reason you cited, thanks for noticing. As for less-is-more, I never write poems longer than one page, in the modern age of memes and 40-character tweets, I feel it asks too much of the reader. Thanks for stopping by JJ42, come again. 🙂


    • Just Joan April 6, 2019 / 3:25 pm

      They are, if you make them with real butter and joy in your heart. 🙂


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