This is the definitive collection of all the newly-devised poetry forms by Wendy Webb, Norfolk Poet.
Descriptions of each form, together with examples, to help you to write in these new poetry forms.
Updated in 2013, including rules for the Star Davidian, and Star Shine.
Short forms, like the Magi; saltire crosses (Andropian); and new variations and recreations of the sonnet (Brentor sonnet, Palindromedary sonnet).
DAVIDIAN, New verse form 2002.
Devised by Wendy Webb
This new poetry form has been developed from the Jewish-Christian tradition. In the Bible the number FORTY has great significance, meaning a very long time; also, the number SEVEN, meaning perfection. The Bible also speaks of a Year of Jubilee, fifty years. The Davidian Poem is launched in the Golden Jubilee year of Queen Elizabeth II. It is named after the first anointed Jewish King David; in the New Testament, Jesus is described as the 'son of David'. The new poetry form, the DAVIDIAN POEM, devised by, is based on the numbers 40 (long time) and 7 (perfection).
English literature has roots in Biblical tradition, Greek and Roman philosophy (Milton, Blake, Herbert, Bronte's 'Jane Eyre', C S Lewis, Tolkien). Much of our poetry is based on iambic pentameter (5 feet, 10 syllables) as in Chaucer, Shakespeare, Milton, Wordsworth and Yeats. Through Shakespeare's plays, blank verse became popular (unrhymed iambic pentameter). Rhyme Royale (seven line stanza) also uses the significant number seven, probably with royal connections (James 6th of Scotland, James 1st of England), although the form dates back to Chaucer.
The Davidian poem uses four lines of 10 syllables (total 40 syllables). The fifth line has seven syllables. The fifth line may either stand alone, or form part of a cinquain (5 line stanza). Syllable count: 10-10-10-10-7.
The Davidian does not need end-rhyme, but you must keep to the syllable count in every verse. You may choose any combination of rhyming styles, (AABBC, ABABC, ABBAC). You have forty syllables "a long time" to present your theme, the seven-syllable line must achieve perfection. You may use a repeating line, write sequentially, or include a famous quote from English literature.
When you begin your poem with the shorter 7 syllable line, it is called a Reverse Davidian. Each verse must be the same.
The shortest Davidian is one verse, there is no maximum number of stanzas, but the distinctive 40 and 7 (10-10-10-10-7) in each verse. The form ceases to be Davidian when mixed with other syllable counts and stanzas.
The author is a UK prize-winner, and has won awards for published poetry (including for the Pantoum form).