By C.B. Anderson Anyone writing formal poetry today has to be grateful for the arsenal of fixed forms—most of them bequeathed to us from masters of the past—that is available to lend structure to poetic ideas. Where would we be without the villanelle, the heroic couplet, or the mighty sonnet? And new forms are still arising, not ex nihilo exactly, but from the native inventiveness of persons committed to writing verse. One such new form is the alexandroid, which was recently invented, discovered, by poet Jared Carter. A great many of these, under his byline, have appeared in various venues over the past few years. (He told me he has “written around six hundred of the damn things.”) Essentially, an alexandroid consists of six alexandrine (iambic hexameter) lines, where each line is broken into four-foot and two-foot segments, with end rhymes occurring in the corresponding segments in an abab rhyme scheme. The short segments should be indented roughly ten spaces. Two divided alexandrine lines constitute a stanza. Let me cite an example of my own: As the Crow Flies The winding paths we tread until ____our bodies die Delay ascent of yonder hill, ____yet crows may fly Directly to that vaunted peak ____on which we yearn To hear the Primal Author speak. ____But we may learn, Along our way, to celebrate ____celestial laws, Imposed or seamlessly innate, ____with corvine caws. The minor segments should begin with a lower-case letter (unless grammar demands otherwise) in order to preserve the integrity of the component alexandrine lines. It can be noted that the major segment ought not to have a feminine rhyme-ending, since this would result in a metrical infelicity. Enjambment—both from line to line and from stanza to stanza—works very well in alexandroids, since this serves to tighten the connections between the whole poem and its several parts. Another example (again written by me, and which first appeared in Indiana Voice Journal): Dyed in the Wool, and Cut from the Whole Cloth for Jared Carter The bard of Indiana is ____a master of The subtle trope. The text is his, ____but such a love For words must come from somewhere far ____away. The less He says, the more his measures are ____the warm caress Of language in its native state— ____epiphanies Presented on a sterling plate ____from Tiffany’s. The alexandroid can be a lot of fun to play with and certainly deserves a place in the canon of received forms. Post your alexandroid in the comments section below.