POETIC BLOOMINGS is a Phoenix Rising Poetry Guild site established in May 2011 to nurture and inspire the creative spirit.


This week our IN-FORM POET explores a new form devised by our own Salvatore Buttaci. The form is called PUN-KU. Instead of giving an interpretation of the form, we’ll let its creator’s words speak for themselves. From Salvatore’s blog SAL’S PLACE:



Poetry today continues to entertain readers, inspiring poets to write a greater number of poems according to the requirements of established poetic forms. The sonnet, for example, did not die with Shakespeare, Milton, Petrarch and the other masters. It is still being written according to the required iambic pentameter and rhyme patterns set down centuries ago. In most instances all that has changed is that poets write sonnets without the antiquated language of the past.

Because poetry is dynamic, because we are not restricted to reading only the works of famous poets, most of who are gone from the literary scene, modern-day poets are creating new forms.

I would like to add still another new poetic form, which I call the PUN-KU. Here are the requirements for writing one.

(1) Unlike the haiku that allows for a less than strict adherence to the 17-syllable rule, the pun-ku must be exactly 17 syllables long.

(2) It contains only four (4) lines arranged syllabically as follows:

Line 1: 4 syllables Line 2: 5 syllables Line 3: 4 syllables Line 4: 4 syllables

(3) As for the end-rhyme pattern, Lines 1 and 2 do not rhyme. Lines 3 and 4 do.

(4) The pun-ku must contain a pun on one or more of the words used in the poem. The subject matter deals with human nature, is light, humorous, or witty.

(5) The title of the pun-ku can only be one- or two-words long (or short).

Here are two of my pun-ku for examples.


nothing is more


around these parts

than two cleaved hearts



strong lumberjacks

locate forest trees

then saw their bark

despite the dark


In the first example, the pun is on the word “cleaved,” which has two opposite meanings: “to cling together” and “to split apart.” In the second example, the pun is on the word “saw,” which can be defined as “a tool for cutting” and “the past tense of the verb ‘to see.’ ”

You might have fun writing a few pun-ku of your own!

Here are a few sites to visit if you’re looking to learn more about poetic forms. You can also do a search of “poetic forms” or type in a form and search for it.






Thanks Sal! Give Sal’s new form a try.


Marie’s PUN-KU:


Keith’s vacuuming.
He flashes a grin.
And I think, “Yup.
He’s sucking up.”

Walt’s PUN-KU:


She’s had her fill.
She’s sent him packing.
And now the house
has been de-loused.

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56 thoughts on “IN-FORM POET: PUN-KU

  1. Marie and Walt, thank you so much for posting about my new form the pun-ku. I have always believed poetry should be fun and challenging to write, and that the more poetic forms to explore and try one’s hand at, the greater the enjoyment of both poet and reader. I hope lots of poets will write pun-ku. Perhaps in a future posting at Sal’s Place I will post all the pun-ku I find!

    Salvatore Buttaci, author of 200 Shorts

  2. Walt and Marie your puns are superb and the kus aren’t bad either! I’m passing this straight on to my friend Tillybud at http://imnotaverse.wordpress.com/ – she is an adept at wit, puns, short forms et al.

  3. Poetic Bloomings on said:

    Thank YOU for this FUN-KNU poetic form, Sal! 😉

    And thanks to Viv for passing on the word. Can’t wait to see them start rolling in. Should be fun!

    Marie Elena

  4. Blown Pipes

    I start the reel
    but I sound off key.
    Kilted buffoon
    quite out of tune!

  5. Homeward Lassie

    Bright eyes, warm coat;
    missing for days.
    Oh, by golly,
    where’s that collie?

  6. Pied Piper

    So, Scotch whiskey
    is my poison.
    Music’s a drag,
    half in the bag.

  7. Poetic Bloomings on said:


    Marie Elena

  8. She found a blouse
    in the wash–not hers.
    Dirty spinnin’
    foreign linen.

  9. Sal, this is a cool form!

  10. Dinner Inspiration

    Chicken kabobs
    Taken from the grill
    “We have to keep
    Meating like this”.

  11. Hesitance

    “Why marry?” asks
    this generation.
    Couples falter
    at the alter.

  12. Sustenance

    “Starving children
    would kill for a taste!”
    Mum made haggis
    just to nag us.

  13. Concert Paralysis

    He suffered from
    pianist envy:
    he had stage fright
    in black and white.

  14. I bought this place.
    See sign on the door?
    That name you see?
    Well, Wo is me.

  15. David Dick on said:

    Ain’t Bitin’

    My son and I
    Cast time and again.
    Fish were not fooled.
    We both got schooled.

  16. I’m lovin’ these attempts! What a fun form!

  17. I love all these pun-ku posted here! I am seriously thinking of posting an issue of pun-ku at one of my sites. I could add a two-line bio for each pun-kuist: 17 syllable max!
    Would you all be agreeable?


  18. PSC in CT on said:

    Love this form! Kudos for coming up with it, Sal! And thanks to Marie & Walt for highlighting it! :-)) Here’s my attempt: (Sorry for the salty language. Feel free to delete it, if you feel it’s too vulgar. :-O)

    MUSE’S SPAT (A Pun-ku)

    “Dumb witch!” I bitch.
    “Idle shit!” she spits.
    Both lie accused;
    neither a-mused.

  19. PSC in CT on said:


    Which path to choose?
    Consider wisely.
    Some rough patches
    lead to scratches.

  20. Puns are not my forte – I have to listen to too many groany ones from my husband. Hence:


    He rates the bun
    lowest form of wheat,
    Next time he does
    he will be was.

  21. Good ons, vivinfrance!

  22. Great idea, Sal. I’m in.

  23. Chow, Bella

    For safe eating
    with a tasteful twist
    practice good sense:
    use condiments.

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