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A traditional poem is defined by its subject matter, sentence structure and rhythm style.

A technical poem is defined by its deviation from the norm, relying on a unusual composition in order to draw the eye or garner the reader’s interest.

So far, I have written three technical poems: The Quickening, Spiral and Five. In this post I will examine their individual quirks and qualities.

Firstly, The Quickening. Probably the least obvious technical poem on this list, the poem is made special by the fact that every line has one less letter than the preceding line (trust me, I counted). I did this in order to shape the poem’s unusual form and draw an allusion to the dwindling amount of time the man has left (fun fact, the line which states his age has the same number of letters as his age, which took some clever organizing).

Spiral, more noticeably, has every line’s last word become the following line’s first word (even the last word of the poem is used as the first word of the poem). I did this in order to create a fun sentence structure and draw an allusion to the cyclic nature of love and heartbreak, as well as the spiral of angst experienced by the protagonist.

Lastly, Five. Once again the trick is fairly obvious (each word of each line begins with a vowel in the same order A, E, I, O, U). This was more of a mental exercise for me, and less an allusion to any specific theme.

So, the next time you decide to write a poem, why not make it technical? You can do whatever you want with it, as long as you make it your own.

Thank you for listening!