I was recently exploring The American Poetry Journal’s website and discovered this wonderful description of sevenlings, a poetic form based on a famous poem by Anna Akhmatova (one of my favorite poets!). Your challenge? Write a poem in this form!
Direct from APJ:
“The sevenling is a poem of seven lines inspired by the form of this much translated short verse by Anna Akhmatova (1889 – 1966).
He loved three things alone:
White peacocks, evensong,
Old maps of America.
He hated children crying,
And raspberry jam with his tea,
And womanish hysteria.
… And he married me.
tr. D M Thomas
from Selected Poems (Penguin)
The rules of the sevenling are thus:
The first three lines should contain an element of three – three connected or contrasting statements, or a list of three details, names or possibilities. This can take up all of the three lines or be contained anywhere within them. Then, lines four to six should similarly contain an element of three, connected directly or indirectly or not at all. The seventh line should act as a narrative summary or punchline or as an unusual juxtaposition. There are no set metrical rules, but being such as short form, some rhythm, metre or rhyme is desirable. To give the form a recognisable shape, it should be set out in two stanzas of three lines, with a solitary seventh, last line. Titles are not required. A sevenling should be titled Sevenling followed by the first few words in parentheses The tone of the sevenling should be mysterious, offbeat or disturbing, giving a feeling that only part of the story is being told. The poem should have a certain ambience which invites guesswork from the reader.”