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  • Fictive Poetry

     Fiction Fangirl updated 3 months ago 15 Members · 33 Posts
  • Fiction Fangirl

    July 26, 2020 at 8:55 pm

    To all passionate and practiced poets on the forum,

    I noticed that most posted poems are personal expressions of some sort.  Being the fiction fangirl that I am, I wanted to ask if there is such a thing as fictive poetry?  In other words, can I write a fictional story in a poem?  Or would readers pull their hair out because the rhythm can start grating on the nerves?

    Here are some examples to illustrate.  These are snippets of notes on various documents or notebooks.  A word of caution that many don’t have a backstory yet.  So requests for meaning may return empty-handed:


    She stood in the creek and longed for the tide to lick her legs.  But the soldiers had lined the synagogue up with beds; filled with men- some lacked feet or had bullet-stabbed heads.  How hot it was, the water a frigid chill tickling her to swim instead.  But it was understood she would nurse the sick boys back to health.  Home she went; wet clothes to shed.


    She left the house half-past four, claiming she had errands, things to explore.  Skipped down the hill and veered off the path.  Took a break to catch her breath.  Watched some pups nipping buds of turnip sprouts.  Some pushed cabbage heads with their snouts- down the road, past the pond.  While the farmer’s wife said nothing- she was always fond.  Kept the dogs like they were another child, it didn’t matter that they were wild.


    Birthday Wishes

    Happy birthday said no one
    as I blew out the candles on my cake
    the one I measured ingredients for
    sifted and poured
    pretending to be ignorant
    of what it feels like to be ignored.


    Okay, so the last one is a poem and not a piece of a story.  But it may turn into a story.  Who knows!  I definitely don’t.

  • Meira

    July 26, 2020 at 9:23 pm

    Wow ff, you have serious talent! If you do have any info on those snippets I’d love to hear! 🙂

    So this is my personal opinion, I would say no, I’m not sure if that would be able to work…

    Though I did once read a book written completely in poem. It was a slightly different style from what you wrote above, but still it was in poem. I regret I don’t remember the name of the book, perhaps someone else will… It was a holocaust story, so true,  a lot of the book was feelings and impressions,  but it was a story as well- it told her story. I enjoyed it… so maybe you’d be able to make it work, ff!

  • Fiction Fangirl

    July 26, 2020 at 9:59 pm

    Thank you for your kind words and honest opinion.  Just what I thought.  Not that I had in mind to write a poetry book like that.  It was fun while it lasted, though.  And the poems are a great writing prompt/exercise to get my brain going.

  • StoryLuver

    July 26, 2020 at 10:17 pm

    That last poem… really, really liked it!

    Like you I’m much more of a fiction fan than a poem gal, but I’m wondering if you meant to separate those first 2 poems line-by-line, or you left it single paragraph on purpose. Formatting makes all the difference, and in poems more than anything, so if you’d reformat it I wonder if they would sound a whole lot better.

    In general I think fictive poems could be a great idea. Have never tried it, but maybe, inspired by you, I will! 😉

    You have a real talent in capturing an emotionally loaded moment in a few succinct lines.

    That last one especially… wow.

    I should try this someday.

  • StoryLuver

    July 26, 2020 at 10:43 pm

    A Poem about one of my characters (inspired by Fiction Fangirl)


    Though I greet and I grin

    And my face is aglow

    And I’m happy-go-lucky

    It is all just for show.

    They are all so naive,

    Have no musag, don’t know

    That in less than a week

    I am going to go.

    • Sherry

      July 26, 2020 at 11:32 pm

      I really like this. As Meira said ‘the build-up and boom’ is fantastic. Now, I’m no poet, though I’m wondering if the first ‘Though’ can go so I’m taken for a ride right at the beginning. Something like:

      I greet and I grin

      And my face is aglow

      I’m happy-go-lucky

      Oh, but it’s all just for show.

    • StoryLuver

      July 26, 2020 at 11:58 pm

      Thanks for the suggestion.

      I would do:

      I greet and I grin

      And my face is aglow

      I’m happy-go-lucky

      Though it’s all just for show.

      (Unless, is that grammatically correct?)

  • Elisheva Halle

    July 26, 2020 at 11:02 pm

    A lot of kid’s stories are written in poem form…that’s what comes to mind.

  • Fiction Fangirl

    July 26, 2020 at 11:17 pm

    Bookworm- do poems have to give over a message and not simply tell a story?  I wonder.  I enjoy the art of storytelling and don’t always have a message to share.  Sometimes it’s a realization.  Food for thought.  A disturbing revelation that leaves you reeling.  I guess it depends on the story genre.  I thought the main point of a story is to get the readers to care to know what happens and why.  At least that’s how I structure my stories.

    StoryLuver, it is my humblest honor to serve as inspiration for new creative expressions.  I laugh because who-wuddo-known I’d try my hand at poetry?  Definitely not Fiction Fangirl.

    Thank you for pointing out my formatting blunders in the first two poems (?).  You see, I originally wrote the poems (?) in a story format but realized that it has an interesting rhythm to it.  I hadn’t noticed that the words were rhyming.  Therefore they appear in paragraph form.  I wouldn’t call them poems per se.  I don’t know what to call them.  Maybe they’re a new form of art.  Either way, I don’t plan on branching out on them.  They’re just a springboard for understanding my stories and get my creative juices running.  But your suggestions are spot-on.

    Gosh.  With all talk of poetry, do you ever feel like the rhyme switch goes off in your head?  Now I can’t refrain from rhyming my sentences while writing.  So annoying!

    Feedback on your poem:

    It starts off kinda nonchalant, then turns cynical, and then goes dark.


    I love cliffhangers like that.  Even if you don’t follow up with an explanation of what happens next (which I urge you to do), it’s just awesome as is.

    *subscribes to StoryLuver’s poetry channel*



  • Meira

    July 26, 2020 at 11:26 pm

    Wow, storyluver, that poem is amazing! The buildup-and then boom…

    All of these poems of characters inspired me to write one for my one of my own characters 🙂

    So thanks ff and storyluver for the inspiration!!

    I gotta say, I’m not really the poetry type… but this is just what came out:

    You try to hold me, to contain me

    To put me in your little cage,

    But I’ll wear silver while you’re in gold,

    And stand firm against your rage.

    I’ll bear the lashes, bear the pain,

    Without a whimper or a sigh,

    Father, you will never break me,

    You will never see me cry.

    When your dying day comes,

    I will leave you on your own,

    Yes, your downfall will come someday,

    And then I will take the throne.

  • Sherry

    July 26, 2020 at 11:39 pm

    Fiction Fangirl, you have a real way with words. Your writing is awesome. It’s punchy, it’s crisp and laced with emotion and meaning. Can we go for seconds?

  • StoryLuver

    July 26, 2020 at 11:52 pm


    Wow, wow, pretty good for someone who’s “not really the poetry type”!

    But then again,  neither am I… or Fiction Fangirl… (so she says) so I guess we’re all discovering hidden talents here!

  • Sherry

    July 27, 2020 at 12:05 am

    Yes! I like how you did it.

  • Sherry

    July 27, 2020 at 12:06 am

    StoryLuver, the above is addressed to you. It looks like the ‘reply’ placed my message right at the bottom.

  • Brocha

    July 27, 2020 at 12:11 am

    May I add two cents? I’d say… why not? I’ve written story-poems that have a message (one example is called Trust and posted under the topic “Someone betrayed me”). Or when my mother died I wrote a poem about a little boy who couldn’t find his mother in the amusement park.

    Don’t most good stories have morals? So… why must it be mutually exclusive? Go for it, girl!

  • Fayge Y.

    July 27, 2020 at 1:12 am

    [quote quote=20460]It was written by Yael Mermelstein. Can’t remember what it’s called, though.[/quote]

    I Promise You.

    There’s also Who Is Annie White (Fish) by Judy Belsky.

    FictionFangirl, I say go for it. Or if you’re writing something and parts just start to lend themselves to fictive poetry, then do it. You can always revisit it.

  • C.K.

    July 27, 2020 at 4:11 am

    Lots of great young children’s books are written in rhyme. (Cat in the Hat!!) Sharon Creech has written some middle grade novels in free-verse poetry. One worth reading is called Love that Dog.  To answer your original question F.F., I think that an entire book written with a similar rhythm could get a little ‘graty’ (made up word alert) becuase of the sing-song that tends to happen when we read something with a rhythm. Free verse gives you more scope, allowing for constant rhythm shifts. You also get to play around with words and even stick in rhyme as you please, but there is a lot more freedom.

    Yael Mermelstein’s book is called I Promise You. (It is non-fiction.)

  • Meira

    July 27, 2020 at 4:25 am

    Ah, I didn’t think of kids books …. FF, I take back what I said, maybe it could work for adults too?

    Right, I Promise You. It’s written in free verse. I remember enjoying it, and it being very well-written.

  • Chagit

    July 27, 2020 at 6:08 am

    I’m all for fictive poetry!! FF, StoryLuver, and Meira- your character poems are awesome!!

    My suggestion is, though, that maybe the poems should be interspersed within the story, as opposed to writing the full story this way.

    (an example of this that comes to mind is the “Tell me the Story of the Parshah” series. It isn’t written in rhyme, but there are poems scattered throughout each book)

  • Esther

    July 27, 2020 at 9:47 am

    FF, I think you’re on to something with fictive poetry!

    Personally I feel the rhyme works better if it’s structured like a poem.  Like your last one – that was great.

    And Meira, I loved your poem too!

    Now I’m remembering something I wrote a while ago for fun and everyone was like, what’s the point?  I guess without realizing it, I wrote fictive poetry…or a children’s book.

    Journey of an Egg

    Damp feathers emerge,

    Shakes herself out,

    Steps over eggshell,

    And looks all about.


    Little Chick starts to eat,

    Takes naps, makes a mess,

    One day, lo and behold,

    She’s a chicken, goodness!


    Our chicken goes about,

    Just as before,

    Only now, you see,

    She eats much much more.


    One morning she awakens,

    And there waits a surprise,

    Beneath her, round & white,

    An egg, before her eyes!


    Old farmer comes in

    Early the next day,

    And to her utter shock,

    Takes that egg away.


    On the truck that egg goes,

    With fellow eggs all in fright,

    At the packaging plant,

    Into cartons, sealed tight.


    Our Egg, once again,

    Goes for a ride,

    At the supermarket they stop,

    And he’s taken inside.


            *       *       *


    Mom looks in the fridge,

    It’s bare, totally empty,

    She’ll have to go shopping,

    To the supermarket it’ll be.


    Pushing her shopping cart,

    She strides down the aisle,

    Pickles, rice, candy & more,

    Fast become a big pile.


    “Oh”, she remembers,

    While standing in line,

    “I forgot to get eggs,

    Now I’ll have to go find.”


    Her hand reaches out,

    Picks a carton randomly,

    In it is our Egg,

    Sitting there sleepily.


    Back in her home,

    Not bare of food anymore,

    The eggs go in the fridge,

    Hidden by groceries galore.


    That very evening,

    As she sits tiredly,

    A small voice calls from bed,

    “Mommy, I’m hungry!”


    Mom stands up, puzzled,

    He ate supper for sure,

    Maybe he’s growing,

    Boys always were.


    Into the kitchen,

    “What on earth,” she thought,

    “could I make for my child?”

    Then she saw what she sought.


    Took out a fry pan,

    Cracked him neatly,

    Beat, then seasoned,

    All done expertly.


    Our scrambled Egg,

    Got put on a plate,

    And our little boy,

    Sat down & ate.


    “Mommy,” he piped up,

    Eyelids starting to droop,

    “Where’s the egg from?”

    “Darling, it’s from a chicken coup…”

  • Fiction Fangirl

    July 27, 2020 at 6:15 pm

    You girls, this has been a surprisingly fun post thus far.  You all have fantastic suggestions and a nice way of sharing your praise and poems and critique.  Gold stars to all of you!  Honestly.  It’s nice chatting with you.

    Anydoo.  For those who wonder what’s the story behind the first two odd snippets, I can share some inside scoop if you’d like.  I currently have a lot of projects open and one of them is conducting research for a historical fiction novel set during the Revolutionary war in Rhode Island.  I haven’t written anything yet because creating a historically plausible storyline takes time ya know.  That doesn’t shut my brain off from spitting images onto paper.  Hence the random rambling poem or other.  The bad news is that I portrayed the protagonist as a nurse working for the British army that converted the Touro synagogue for a field hospital.  A historian got back to me and poked holes in my story premise so the pathetic poems (whatever they’re called) will be stashed aside until rectified to accurately represent the truth of historical facts.

    Chagit, I especially appreciate your suggestion about interspersing poetry throughout a story instead of writing a novel as a solid block of poems.  I thought about that initially.  I think it can work if my main character is lyrical.  Maybe I can sprinkle various forms of poetry throughout the story or allow my character to either think or speak in verse.  I’ll go slow and careful and not heavy-handed.  Keep it subtle and smooth.


    He.  I probably won’t get to write the book for a year.  Amassing research and getting all my ducks in a row will take some time.

    Patience is a virtue, though.

    Is there anyone on the forum who writes, had written, or is familiar with writing historical research?  Maybe we can open up another thread on this.

  • HappiWriter

    July 27, 2020 at 6:39 pm

    Hey! Jumping into this convo…First of all, anyone read “The Pied Piper of Hamelin”? That’s a story in a poem. I don’t see why it can’t be done…
    Also, Doctor Suess…
    I’m sure there’s tons more. I can’t think of anything else off the top of my head…

    I love everyone’s poems!!
    Meira what’s your story about??? sounds exciting!

    FF, I actually began writing a historical fiction short story. I did a lot of online research. I started writing, then nixed the project because I decided it was too depressing… If I would have continued with it, I probably would have discussed it with some people who are familiar with the time and place to make sure there were no historical mess ups.
    For a book, you need even more info because you have so many more scenes, and the story is more complex… The truth is, with anything, the more you know, the better it’ll come out.

  • Meira

    July 27, 2020 at 7:16 pm

    The pied piper!!! I love that story!

    About historical fiction…. happiwriter-my character is from a book I’ve been working on that takes place in Russia (in that area, it wasn’t called Russia) in the 1840s.

    About research, obviously it depends on the time period, but this is what I found when I was starting mine…. These are just my thoughts, and I’d love to hear what others have to say….

    You need to, of course, do some basic research on the time period: main names, dates, places, etc. Also, I found pictures very helpful. Pictures can give you a lot of information. But what I found most helpful was reading other works on that time period, whether it be other historical fiction, memoirs, or biographys. Then, you get the dialogue, day to day life, etc. I found it gave me much more information than reading up online.

  • riva pomerantz

    July 28, 2020 at 2:32 am

    FF, I LOVE IT!!!! For some reason your story-poems are reminding me of Madeline:

    “In two straight lines they broke their bread,
    Brushed their teeth and went to bed.”

    I love the wit and the little unexpected twists and imagery. It’s all so delicious and I am sure you can go further in this. Poetry is a form of expression; it is not bound to truth or even personal accounts. Poetry is a more melodic method of putting something into words and it is completely up to the poet’s imagination. I am reminded of a favorite poem of mine, by the immortal Ogden Nash:

    A primal termite knocked on wood
    And tasted it, and found it good.
    And that is why your Cousin May,
    Fell through the parlor floor today.


    Most of all, I love that you put yourself out there and allowed us to sample a tiny, lip-smacking taste of your talent. There had better be more soon–we’re all very greedy, you know…

  • Fiction Fangirl

    July 29, 2020 at 12:14 am

    Oh my gosh Riva!!!

    How do you always make me smile?  You got a knack for that, lady.  Thank you for sharing your take on poetry, its form, and it’s not-so-ironclad rules.  What fun to toss words around, fling them to and fro, and try out how it sounds.

    And that’s me on poetry periods.  I should’ve discovered this wonderful form of literature sooner.

    All for now.  Until my next post with a piece of fiction folded into sweet summer memories with dark and disturbing undertones,

    Fiction Fangirl

  • Fayge Y.

    July 29, 2020 at 1:49 pm

    To all your poetry wonks, this could be fun.

    Start a thread with a brief description of a novel (to most of us) style and challenge us to produce.
    Something’s been buzzing through my head that I might write as fictive poetry.

    • HappiWriter

      July 29, 2020 at 3:16 pm

      Hey Fayge, this sounds like a great idea!

      Can you start it?

  • Leahle

    July 29, 2020 at 2:38 pm

    FF and everyone else on this Forum –

    1. All your Poems are marvelous! I love them!!

    2. I think you might Need to differenciate between RHYME and POETRY – what I understand under Poetry is the artistic way of expressing Feelings, Messages – Deep stuff – in a rather unusual way. rhyming however, is putting together words, phrases etc. to make them Sound nice, comfortable to the ear with a certain artistic touch. See, Children’s Books are often written in rhymes – but I wouldn’t call that suffisticated Poetry…


    FF, you could definitely try to write a fiction book in Poetry form – Maybe hidden Messages (not spiritual ones but those About the Story) – something like “hints” to what Comes next, or a Play on words… then, you create not just rhymes but also Poetry.


    Don’t take my word for it – it’s my personal initiative not something I looked up or learned…

  • Fayge Y.

    July 31, 2020 at 3:40 pm

    [quote quote=20570]Hey Fayge, this sounds like a great idea! Can you start it?[/quote]


    I’d have to get a book to school myself on these fascinating options.


  • Mindy Friedman

    August 26, 2020 at 1:26 am

    Fiction fangirl, thank you so much for starting this thread. I was going to start a thread with this exact question. I’m actually working on a fictive poetry novel right now. I read the two existing poetry novels (2 in the frum world, there are some others in secular literature) I Promise You and Who is Anne Whitefish and I was inspired to write my own. I’m about 75% through my book and I have no idea if anyone will want to publish it.

    Writing in poem form was very helpful for me as I often get stuck on prose, how to build sentences and paragraphs, ect. Also, my ideas are highly emotional yet lack in structure and plot. In a poem, I am able to harness the power of strong emotions and avoid writing a lot of action. Does that make any sense?

    Thank you everyone that answered in this post! Meira, your poem really caught me by surprise and made me think!

    Leah’la, thanks for differentiating between rhymes and poetry. My book is written in free verse with a lot of focus on emotion and inner dialogue.

    I’d love to get feedback once I’m done with my manuscript. I’d prefer not to post it on such a public forum, but rather be in touch personally with some people. Is that something that’s done here?

    Also, any advice from people who actually published a book? How do I start that process? Which publisher is most likely going to consider a non-traditional novel?

  • Fiction Fangirl

    August 26, 2020 at 1:41 am

    Mindy, hi!  Welcome aboard.  I can’t believe you’re working on a fictive poetry novel!  Is your WIP something you’ve been working on for a long time?  Is it a particular genre?

    If you don’t want to post an entire piece on the public forum for feedback, you can private message any member and initiate a private conversation.  Though it would be fun to see an excerpt of your work on the public forum.

    I do not have any publishing experience so I cannot answer your question of who would publish your non-traditional book.  But I have heard that self-publishing is an option for out-of-the-box literary works.


  • StoryLuver

    July 26, 2020 at 10:19 pm

    It was written by Yael Mermelstein. Can’t remember what it’s called, though.

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