Insomniac musings on poetry


Sonnet, Ballade, Kennings, Haiku, Triolet……………..

While re-visiting some old work I’d done some years earlier I came across some pieces where I’d

dabbled in different forms of poetry. The motif of this site is that when imagination and intellect are

stimulated in equal measure doors open and great things can happen . This applies to all things including science.

The thought struck me how does a structured poetic form impact on this concept. When thinking of couplets, numbers of syllables and iambic pentameter is there not a tendency to sway towards intellect, the poem becoming more like a puzzle ? Or does the very act of embracing a structured, confining form drag, as the intellect rises, imagination and emotion along with it thus possibly driving the written word to greater heights ?

Certainly I feel the latter is true in the case of the Haiku . I feel the simplistic yet limiting form rules

of this style, its economy of words is such that only by imagination & intellect can it be created and maybe that is why the Haiku is often found to be amongst the most beautiful and thought provoking

examples of our art.

However ! Is there not an argument that all poetry, like sculpture and painting, should be free form ?

By free form I mean free from form and accepted structure. Should we not simply unleash our imagination on the world, let it run free, and rely solely on our intellect to guide it, baring our souls and exposing the deep recesses of the mind. After all there was a time when each poetic form did not exist, but lay waiting to be created…….by imagination and intellect.

There is of course no answer only opinions and so please feel free to express yours.


  1. Interesting post, Nigel. I find that the form can so often suggest the subject, but the reverse is also true. My first thoughts when a subject suggests itself to me are usually the ones that I run with and just the act of getting some words and/or phrases down on paper and letting them flow can, without too much forethought, end up either in a strict form or with no format at all.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The form suggesting the subject, fascinating,, I hadn’t even considered that Roland . What’s your view on non rhyming forms ? I suppose it’s merely personal opinion and terminology preferences but whilst I know a non rhyming piece is most definitely poetry and that rhyme is a technique, rhyme is so prolific and powerful that I prefer to regard non rhyme as prose or prose-poetry just to differentiate . I suppose non rhyme is the ultimate ‘let it run’ free form, intriguing but complex subject.


      1. Yes, ‘let-it-run’ free form describes it well. I find that free verse allows for ‘stream of consciousness’ thinking to be expressed poetically with greater freedom, but I do love all rhyming formats too and endeavour to keep both in my poetic armoury – such as it is.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Thought provoking Nigel. At the end of the day whether we call a poem a haiku or a senryu, or whether we categorise art or music, they are just labels attached to expression. I know many critics deplore the use of free form verse but as long as the emotion is there does it matter? Having said that I do enjoy playing with the different forms of poetry.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I absolutely agree. It boils down to what art is. For me it must stimulate imagination and intellect and above all create an emotional response. If a poem or painting can achieve all three it’s, for me, great art. I remember a discussion I was involved in where I was knocking Dan Brown’s Da Vinci code, pointing out that compared to the beauty that is F Scott Fitzgerald’s prose it was trash. I thought about it afterwards and concluded that his work is as worthy of the title ‘Art’ as any other due to the fact that despite lacking beauty, it clearly triggers both imagination and intellect the evidence being its success, film adaptation and plethora of similar books.
      I also learnt that not only is elitism and arrogance as unpleasant in art as life generally it actually stifles and restricts the creative mind.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. In poetry the elitism and arrogance is what has kept poetry hidden for many years. I read poems on blogs I would consider as good as poems being promoted by publishing houses. I agree with you Nigel, that the terms applied to art are personal. Good or bad are value judgements and can be restrictive.

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