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Just for Fun: Square Poems

Ever heard of a square poem? Neither had I, until today. A square poem is one which reads the same vertically as horizontally, like this example by Lewis Carrol. Composing a square poem is really quite challenging, and fun to boot. (If you think that makes me a nerd, it’s because you’re an illiterate boob. So there.) Here is my first attempt:

The Lord is my shepherd.
Lord, my God all merciful,
Is God the sufficient redeemer.
My all sufficient Savior be;
Shepherd, merciful redeemer, be glorified.

As poetry, it leaves something to be desired, I know. As prose, it’s not much better. Feel free to submit your own attempts. I myself will versify further in the comments.

Posted 2011·04·05 by David Kjos
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Posted in: Je ne sais quoi · Poetry
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#1 || 11·04·05··17:26 || Daniel

Mouth agape in silent wonder,
Agape love tears the wound,
In tears I search around,
Silent the search is longing,
Wonder wound around longing love.

#2 || 11·04·05··18:09 || David Kjos

I am Sam.
Am I Sam?
Sam, Sam am.

#3 || 11·04·05··19:58 || Kim Shay

You realize my hubby might have to try this... I tremble to see what he might come up with :)

#4 || 11·04·05··21:34 || David Kjos

I do. And if he doesn't, I'll call him "chicken." That'll work, won't it?

#5 || 11·04·06··04:26 || Kim Shay

Yes, it will. Poetry is not always his strong suit. When we were courting, and he was living far away from me, he was supposed to be writing letters, and his single contribution to that venture told me that his love for me was greater than a cow, and the cow was a little drawing. So, he could come up with something rather interesting. But he's got a degree in math; maybe the "square" thing will be a help.

#6 || 11·04·06··08:25 || David Kjos

Like "I am Sam" (#2, above), shorter is easier.

Am I blue?
I am blue.
Blue, blue, blue!

Square? Pshaw, that's nothing. How about cubic? This one reads the same right to left and bottom to top:

Do you see?
You see you.
See, you do.

And an ambiguous sonnet to an anonymous other:

Dost thou know that
thou art that one,
know that thou art,
that one art thou!

Be still, my heart! Let not passion overwhelm thee!

#7 || 11·04·06··12:24 || David Kjos

Upping the ante with a square haiku:

A squarish haiku
Squarish poetry singing
Haiku singing verse

A "cubic" haiku:

Love cometh softly
Cometh, tenderly cometh
Softly cometh love

And a square limerick:

A poetry writing young fellow
Poetry wrote with a cello
Writing with a full heart
Young a full chord chart
Fellow cello heart chart mellow

In case you didn't notice, that one begins to break down somewhere near the end. It makes sense, I think, if you define "sense" in the loosest possible way, i.e., nonsense.

I know what you're thinking: "He's no Shel Silverstein."

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