History That Never Was

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Poetry Forms: Nonet

The nonet is a simple poetry form, in terms of the rules. It’s a nine line poem in which the first line has nine syllables. Each subsequent line has one less syllable, with the final line being only a single syllable. There are no rules about rhyming or any other bits of meter except for the overall syllable count.

To make this one more interesting, you can mirror it for a second stanza, which would start with one syllable in the first line and work its way up to nine syllables in the ninth line of that second stanza. An example of this can be found here.

If you’re just getting started playing around with poetry, try a nonet for something fun and easy, and use the form to play around with getting your message across within the syllable restrictions. It’s a good exercise to figure out word choices that you can use to make your lines the right length!

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