IN-FORM POET: Poesia di Tema

Poesia di Tema
Original poetic form by Marie Elena Good

I’ve titled my new form “Poesia di Tema,” which is Italian for “Themed Poetry.”

Elements of the form:

1. Title (required).
2. Rhyme is not required, but may be used.
3. All lines must be the same number of syllables (maximum of 12 syllables per line), and single-spaced.
4. Following a one-line space at the end of the poem, state the theme of the poem.
5. The theme and title lines must equal the same number of syllables per poetic line.
6. Poems may be solemn or humorous.
7. The ultimate Poesia di Tema includes an element of surprise or lesson in the theme.

Marie’s Example (8-syllable count)

The Pretty Mighty Spider Web

How is it that this teensy bug
with eight legs and an ugly mug
can build a home of wispy strand
that’s beautiful, and so well planned
that gale-force winds can whip through town,
but even they can’t knock it down?

Not All That’s Dainty is Feeble

Walt’s Feeble Attempt:


A beacon, horizon’s light
shines bright in the cool, dark night.
Ships pass, their fog horns alert,
announcing their position.
The waves dance lightly, the sands
shifting with every cycle.

The night offers her comfort.

91 thoughts on “IN-FORM POET: Poesia di Tema

  1. Pingback: Poesia di Tema for Maria Elena | Vivinfrance's Blog

  2. A Cautionary Observance from Those who Fail

    A wooden footbridge reaches o’er a Cornish beck
    no thing of grace, this beast, but born of walker’s needs
    to shy away from nettles crowding out the light
    and arching bramble vines to trip unwary feet.
    In truth, I climb the stile and plod with weary step
    along the weathered planks that mark the coastal trail,
    and pause upon the central point to gaze with awe
    upon the water fall beneath the timber rail.
    How many folk had slipped and fell into the pull
    of rain’s incessant journey to the distant sea
    without this wooden bridge set sullen into stone
    those fallen to their deaths might have included me.

    follow the acorn path along the coastal trails

  3. The voice of pure dependence.

    This noisy world cannot supply,
    more Holy sound than infants cry.
    For infants sincere sonancy,
    laments her true dependency.
    Weakness calls to one more strong,
    without you near I am undone.

    Autonomy; the devils lie.


    • Kevin, I can’t tell you how happy it makes me to see that you decided to get brave and put your voice out here. You obviously have a natural feel for creative writing. And you know I relate whole-heartedly to the sentiment in this piece. THANK YOU FOR THIS.


  4. Kindergarten: Day One

    She packs her new lunch box
    laces her tennis shoes,
    waits while her mother combs
    her hair, puts in the bow.
    Eager to learn, she knows
    her letters and colors.
    She wants to learn to read,
    to unlock the mystery
    of words, of sentences.
    Whole stories will be hers.

    Will life put out the fire?

  5. My Opinion Is Your Concern

    There was a man who had a thought,
    T’was his and not by others wrought.
    This thought in time brought him much grief:
    The thought had gown to a belief.
    This thought was not by others shared,
    And when they heard it they were scared.
    And once the seed of fear was sewn
    It grew aggression on its own.
    One man’s belief, anothers fear:
    The conflict flourished year by year.
    A fight ensued, a battle won,
    And then a full blown war begun.
    So it continues here today,
    Fighting about what others say.
    And even what they think, we dread,
    “What’s going on inside his head?”
    But wars have solved it not at all.
    Kingdomsflourish and countries fall
    Yet not a single mind has changed,
    Only politics rearranged.

    Can beliefs differ without war?

  6. The Empire Theatre

    Up in Box Twelve, she waves
    a single perfect rose
    at one actor, who saves
    a smile for her: she knows
    after the curtain call,
    they’ll elope at the Ball.

    Intrigue for ingénue.

  7. (I promise, I’ll try to get serious. eventually)


    black plastic mailbox in the sun.
    an oven, with a dull red flag.
    slide in the envelopes of dough,
    but never taste a crumb of bread.

    the summer scent of baked junk mail

  8. Okay, Marie. Here’s my stab at this little number. You know me; gotta tell a story.

    Great Expectations of Amor

    She sat upon a velvet chair
    Anxious to see her betrothed there.
    Tardiness now told her volumes
    About this man who’d sent her blooms
    Of tall, scented crimson roses,
    Without guile or silly poses.
    Coutd it be? Was that him up there
    Standing at the top of the stair?
    Oh, how could love be so fickle,
    As to bring a prince to tickle
    Crowds, yet leave her waiting heart cold?
    Would this be her lot growing old?
    Resentment began to fester
    At thoughts of life with a jester.

    May create false hopes for lovers.

  9. The sound of jack boots all morning prevents me from commenting, but I love the community building going on here. Funny that no one is lamenting the changes at the blog site. Seems we just seem to be writing, reading and enjoying poetry. Apparently, change IS good.

    Great work in the Sunday prompt and with Marie’s form, poets! You never disappoint.


  10. Let’s make up and have a laugh

    Big bright eyes and lips of red
    the nose quite noticeable.
    Hair a mess on top of head
    flower of water is full.
    Big bow tie and floppy shoes
    making children laugh or cry.
    Some will say we’re just big fools
    I agree, that’s not a lie.

    Life is just a big circus.

  11. Sugar Streams from Her Fingers
    bows to Marie Elena Good, Marna Cosmos, Philip Levine and others…

    In Safeway’s industrial kitchen, she
    dips her latex-covered fingers into
    warm glaze; then, thinking of his stubborn F
    grades, moves her hand like magician gestures
    over the coffee cakes. Principal Dowd,
    you’re not being fair. Robbie, you’re killing
    every chance you have. The grocery driver
    can’t stop ricocheting between Shirley’s
    ultimatum and himself—who is who
    he is, like Popeye, damn it. The women
    and men go with their urges piled on top
    like whipped cream spires. Everything they touch
    comes away sticky and faintly sweeter.
    When the man with his lonely hunger bites
    what her glazed fingers spellbound, may he taste
    the soft center between today’s meetings
    and the woman who disposes her gloves,
    punches out and drives home to the escape
    of daytime TV. Holy Creator,
    let our tongues school like fish and find blessing
    in the joined continuation of our
    living substance simply carrying on.

    Everything Is All One Cake.


    PS – Bow to Kevin Puffer, too. We’re feeling along parallel planes.


    Embracing the space
    between words resides
    elusive silence.

    Unspoken feeling.

    ©Hannah Gosselin

  13. Pingback: Let the School Shopping Commence « echoes from the silence


    Again it’s that time of year,
    when summer draws to an end.
    It is time to shop; to spend.
    The ritual is now here,
    I will shop for brand new shoes,
    for paper, pencils, and glue.
    Yet I get looks of “poor dear”
    as I wander through the aisles
    picking through the stacks and piles.
    For years it was very clear,
    school shopping is a “must do.”
    So…what makes it now taboo?

    No kids. But good sales makes sense!

    P. Wanken

  15. In a Hurry

    down the street
    about her
    she didn’t
    notice the
    pole. It said,
    “Hello” with
    a high five
    to her face;
    so she sat.
    Waited for
    the bus and
    rubbed bruises.
    Soaking up
    sights and sounds
    instead. And,
    despite her
    aching chin
    she smiled.

    Don’t rush life.

  16. She Waited For Me to Fail

    I got somewhat distracted.
    She way overreacted.
    I shared a joke with a friend.
    She dove right off the deep-end.
    I laughed and said, “Kiss me ass!”
    She sent me out of her class.
    It wasn’t my fault, that scene.
    She’s just too boring and mean.
    I won’t return to this place.
    She’ll be glad to miss my face.

    Every story has two sides.

  17. Posting 2 for Jane Shlensky:

    Arachnid Night Shift Breaks for Moths

    They work much faster than I can,
    Web in my face and broom in hand
    Building strong strands that stretch and cling
    Spun from each spider’s innerthings.
    Each morning finds them sunning there
    On airy webs stretched everywhere
    Winged dinner beads each spider’s loom,
    Like gemstones strung. Now, where’s the broom?

    Spiders are wired for endurance , OR
    Nature’s creatures work full-time jobs.

    Mothers and Orphaned Children Share a Song

    The cow’s voice is hoarse from calling her calf
    searching over pastures and barns, frantic
    for her young one gone, being sold today.
    From the dogwood tree, a juvenal hawk
    screeches in his loneliness, circling in
    his mother quest, shot for sport. Even birds
    of prey feel loss. His calls scrape at my heart.
    I have my mother’s work-worn hands and I
    imagine her aching for animals
    as I do now, the world filled with orphans.

    We share both earth and heart with animals.

    • I find it amusing that we both chose spider webs, Jane. And I like the idea of your theme being “either, or.”

      “Even birds of pray feel loss.” So very true. Love the theme of this second offering.

      Great stuff, both.


  18. Saturday Morning Culture Series

    “This is no country for old men,” chants one,
    gray Lion, loving his own plum sound check,
    his sweet baritone, rich and ironic.
    Silver hens murmur ” true” into their wings;
    metal chairs creak; programs flutter. Feedback!
    Twenty West Meade ladies clench good white teeth,
    and ten flash back to Woodstock (the movie,
    but some days memory trips and lines blur).
    This one tries to fit a puzzle sky piece
    into the ocean. Blame the careless men
    puzzle makers, liars, chanters of rhymes,
    dead: leaving a woman to become old,
    a crepe-throated cypher the famous man
    assumes came this morning to worship him.

    within the role is a silent actor

    • Oh, this is written in true Barbara style. Thoughts that give one pause, and beg to be read again and again.

      “Blame the careless men
      puzzle makers, liars, chanters of rhymes,
      dead: leaving a woman to become old,
      a crepe-throated cypher the famous man
      assumes came this morning to worship him.”



      • … and I must say, I’m glad you came back with this second offering. We would have missed out.


      • I like using your form this way. The theme coda adds a nifty little opportunity to spin the whole thing contrary if you want. And, of course, I can write a sonnet without being tied into those pesky iambs. (and the less said about the way I rhyme, the better)

  19. Radio job

    fast alseep you
    wake up with a
    start. just a dream.
    its not your shift,
    someone else is
    running the board.
    dreaded dead air
    the fate of some
    the desire
    of none. still you
    wake up sweating,
    the record has
    stopped, just silence.
    you scramble for
    the microphone
    no sound comes out
    you are aseelp.

    dj nightmare

    • Do you miss those days at all, Kelly? Got a kick out of this one! Like my typical, “Have a final exam for a class I never attended” or “Have a concert and forgot my flute” dreams. Amazing the impact these times of our lives have, eh? Heehee!


      • Yes, Marie there are times I miss those radio days. I still get to dabble in it when I do some voice-over work or on-hold messaging. Once radio gets in your blood, I don’t think you ever completely get over it!

        BTW, I absolutely LOVE this form. Thanks so much for creating it!


  20. Someday I Would Like to Meet Ted Kooser

    Old Ted and I’d have lots to talk about.
    Oh maybe not the place and date of birth,
    he from Iowa in 1939
    me from P-A in 1958,
    but we both lived in Lincoln, Nebraska.
    We both word paint the simple things of life
    using clear language and plain metaphors.
    He didn’t have a lot of time to poem
    working his business of life insurance.
    Pulitzer winner, Poet Laureate
    and Nebraska U-Lincoln professor.
    And me a full-time host home provider
    who writes a poem a day and blogs away.

    A shining example inspires sweet dreams.

    • “… paint the simple things of life using clear language and plain metaphors.”

      LOVE THIS! I so enjoy your poetry, Connie. You always make me smile.


  21. Greetings to a Salubrious Day

    The wind across the lough is playful,
    a fine mix of mirth and inversion;
    diversion comes as a daily dose,
    a closer walk with The One Being.
    A cloud pocked horizon lays nestled
    with beams of solar sweetness teeming.
    I’ve been dreaming of a day like this
    for a forthnight and now that it’s here
    I take my pause to refesh, so blessed
    in the dawning of every new day.
    Each more precious than the next for sure.
    A cure for the aches and pains of life.
    Strife vacates and it’s never too late.

    A glorious day to be alive!

    • Oh, oh, oh … love this! The uplifting theme and brilliant use of internal rhyme … excellent! If I didn’t know better, I would think this was penned by my partner.

      “neerwain,” are you Dyson?


    • Dyson, she flatters me again, but I don’t see it. What I’m finding in your work, is something refreshing and new to me. I don’t know how you’ve found us, but I’m sure my partner would agree, we are awfully glad you did!

  22. Marie, LOVE this form, and your poem!

    Here’s mine:

    Osculation Warning

    With powers to entrance,
    His kiss curves heart and soul.
    Embraced in ignorance,
    This bliss hers to befall.
    Amid the dizzy dance,
    Her lips hum quiet, small:

    Keep it simple, Stupid.

  23. ALL:

    I am totally awed and humbled by your Poesia di Tema offerings! Your voices make me feel I created something of worth.

    With sincere thanks,

    Marie Elena

  24. Pingback: Snowfall on the Yorkshire Dales in June « Miskmask

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