Pam Webb

a writer's journey as a reader

Shaping Up Poetry: Concrete Poems

One thing I truly enjoy about poetry is its diversity when it comes to form.  This week I’ll be featuring a variety of poem forms.  First up is concrete poetry.  Take it away Wikipedia:

George Herbert‘s “Easter Wings”, printed in 1633 on two facing pages (one stanza per page), sideways, so that the lines would call to mind birds flying up with outstretched wings.

Concrete poetry or shape poetry is poetry in which the typographical arrangement of words is as important in conveying the intended effect as the conventional elements of the poem, such as meaning of words, rhythm, rhyme and so on.

It is sometimes referred to as visual poetry, a term that has evolved to have distinct meaning of its own, but which shares the distinction of being poetry in which the visual elements are as important as the text.

Now that the definition is out of the way here are some examples.  Enjoy!

My students adore this form due to its playful nature, and I can often coax a poem out of them through shaping the words.  I encourage you to experiment or at least to look up more examples.

Happy Poetry Month!

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16 thoughts on “Shaping Up Poetry: Concrete Poems

  1. Just added these to my poetry unit this year! Students love them.

  2. Must have a go! These are great!

  3. Such fun 🙂 I can imagine that your students would love these (a great way to get them to love poetry too!).

  4. Pingback: Shaping Up Poetry: Found Poems | picturemypoetry

  5. Pingback: Forming Poetry: Terse Verse | cricketmuse

  6. Pingback: Poetry Workshop: #1 Repetition Poems | cricketmuse

  7. Pingback: Video Poems | cricketmuse

  8. Delightful! Thank you for liking my blog.

  9. And another thank you for following my blog.

  10. Very creative…impressive!

  11. I love the creativity of these poems. I’m definitely going to use these when I teach poetry. I’ll let you know how it goes.

    • Oddly enough this remains my most popular post. Shape poetry is a big hit with students. I’ve had success with found poetry as well. I keep poetry tiles up in my room and get quite a few interesting off the cuff verses. I need to inject more created versus studied poems with my seniors. Thanks for reminding me!

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