.

This challenge was conceived by Paul A. Freeman after reading a sonnet in iambic monometer by James A. Tweedie, “Allergies.” Mr. Freeman’s example is below.

Make your own and post it in the comments section below!

.

An Aging Poet’s Lament

by Paul A. Freeman

My mind
these days
can’t find
always
good rhymes
to write.
Sometimes
I might
pen weak
rhyme words
that reek
like turds.
__Though versed,
__I’m cursed.

.

.


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108 Responses

  1. Mike Bryant

    I had to take up this challenge!

    Brave New World or OK, Doomer

    When weather
    Has come
    Together
    In some
    Disaster,
    It’s climate-
    No master
    Can rhyme it.
    Now, science
    Is hate.
    Compliance
    Is fate.

    The ‘Doomers’
    Blame ‘Boomers’

    Reply
  2. Becky Fitch

    L;ve these and will take up the challenge myself as I need to write a poem before tomorrow evening

    Reply
  3. Allegra Silberstein

    Freeman’s poem is a delight …especially the ending,

    Reply
    • Paul Freeman

      Thank you, kindly. The poem came in a flash, but unfortunately those flashes are few and far between.

      Reply
      • Becky Fitch

        Especially in lockdown! So thanks for the challenge.

  4. Julian D. Woodruff

    To write
    My lines
    So tight!–
    The signs
    Of strain
    Are clear
    To all, I fear.
    Should I
    Expand
    And try
    A brand
    Of verse
    Less terse?

    Reply
    • Julian D. Woodruff

      Signs of strain are all too clear, I’d say. The best I can do (not that great) by way of correction:

      The signs
      Of strain,
      I fear,
      On brain
      Are clear

      Reply
  5. Maurice DeLivre

    What is your opinion on this sonnet? I just saw this challenge and thought about writing the form for the first time.

    Arrows of Plague
    By Maurice DeLivre

    Apollo
    Had sent
    Arrows
    With intent
    To rain
    Sickness
    And pain.
    To bless
    Mankind
    For their sin
    And wrong mind.
    Through his plague
    Thus we ache.

    Reply
  6. Troy Camplin

    So far
    Away
    Will play
    The star
    On par
    With day.
    Relay
    This bar,
    This poem,
    This strange
    Attractor
    Whose phloem
    Arrange
    This actor.

    Reply
  7. Jeff Eardley

    I yearn
    At night
    To learn
    To write
    But rhyme
    Is nought
    When time
    Is short
    And so
    The muse
    I’ll go
    And use
    I’ll start
    With “art”
    Then “heart”
    And “fart”

    Reply
  8. BRIAN YAPKO

    This is a very tough challenge! Here’s my attempt:

    The Ghost

    What sprite
    All night
    Must haunt
    And taunt
    This room?
    Of doom
    He groans
    And moans.
    I toss
    Quite cross
    Then shake
    Awake
    To see
    It’s me.

    Reply
  9. Sally

    Writer’s Cramp

    .A year
    I fear
    Since shade
    Fell here.
    Below
    The stair
    Parade
    Of chairs,
    A row
    Of rare
    Wine there.
    No poems
    I write
    Approach
    The light.

    Reply
  10. Anna J Arredondo

    Defeatist

    My friend,
    I fear
    The end
    Is near.
    Since I
    May fall,
    Why try
    At all?
    Why break
    My heart?
    I’ll take
    No part.
    That’s it —
    I quit.

    Reply
  11. Angel L Villanueva

    Sonnets

    Give birth
    To words
    Of worth
    In thirds,

    And end
    your verse
    well penned
    And terse;

    But not
    With prose
    That’s fraught
    With throes.

    Use rhyme
    Sublime.

    Reply
  12. Jarek

    He passed
    Away
    That day,
    So fast.

    Aghast,
    I may
    now pray
    my last,

    For his
    shall be
    the bliss

    while we
    do miss
    him. See?

    Reply
  13. Daniel Kemper

    Time on the Tip of the Tongue

    A steady
    lip,
    a heady
    sip:
    the whiskey
    is
    no risk
    to his
    old tongue,
    but burns
    the young
    whose turns
    go past
    so fast.

    (Rhymes broken over lines written in the most readable, if not the “most correct” way.)

    Reply
    • C.B. Anderson

      It’s your choice, Daniel, how you will go about solving this sort of problem. I’ve seen it done both ways, by some rather notable poets.

      Reply
  14. Paul Freeman

    Journey’s End

    A ship
    my eyes
    viewed dip
    and rise,
    its sails
    unpinned
    in gales
    of wind,
    on seas
    that smote
    with ease
    the boat.
    Men fated –
    Death sated.

    Reply
  15. Sarban Bhattacharya

    Liberals’ Love for Free Verse

    No rhyme
    They pen
    That’s crime,
    Say men,
    Libtards
    Like farce,
    And nerds
    Free verse.
    Meter
    Is strange
    Bitter
    It’s range.
    Tough game
    For them.

    Reply
  16. Maurice DeLivre

    The Words
    By Maurice DeLivre

    A word
    So curt
    When heard
    It hurts.
    Like a knife
    Words send men
    To strife
    Again.
    A careless
    Word breaks
    A heart’s mess
    When spake.
    When we speak,
    Pain we wreak.

    Reply
  17. C.B. Anderson

    Canceled Possibilities

    The knowns
    Are but
    The bones
    Of what
    Should be,
    And ifs,
    A sea
    Where skiffs
    Will ride
    The swell
    Of tide
    Where Hell
    Destroys
    Good boys.

    Reply
  18. Paul Freeman

    Bad Hair Day

    For thee
    scalp itch
    can be
    a bitch.
    You shed
    dandruff;
    it’s said
    that’s rough.
    But this
    grim state
    I miss
    of late.
    Please spare
    some hair!

    Reply
  19. Joe Tessitore

    I Herd …

    Grouchy * the Ghoul
    Follows no rule.

    Doctor of Lies,
    He takes the prize.

    Satan he courts,
    Truth he aborts.

    I wonder why?
    Breathe free or die.

    * a nod to C.B. Anderson

    Reply
  20. Susan Jarvis Bryant

    Swoon

    The moon
    Unfurls.
    A bloom
    Of pearls
    Ignites
    The sky,
    Excites
    My eye,
    With beams
    So bold
    In dreams
    Untold…

    Of you…
    In blue.

    Reply
  21. Evan Mantyk

    The CCP (Chinese Communist Party) Is Easily

    The C-
    CP
    is eas-
    ily
    our great-
    est foe.
    (I hate
    it so.)
    It’s tied
    its strings
    to Bid-
    en’s wings—
    It loves
    Such doves.

    Reply
    • C.B. Anderson

      It would be funny, Evan, if it weren’t so chilling and true.

      Reply
    • Roy E. Peterson

      “The CCP is easily”
      The greatest threat that I can see.”

      Evan, There is no doubt in my mind the linkage with the “great pretender” doubled their own perception of power along with those of us like you who understand the gravity of the situation. Your poem is an accurate reflection of the current most dangerous external threat. You are both wise and poetically adept!

      Reply
  22. James A. Tweedie

    In Any Language

    One, two,
    Three, four,
    Je tu
    Amore.
    A bee,
    A fish,
    Ich Lie-
    Be dich
    A dove,
    A cow,
    I love
    You now
    It’s true,
    I do.

    Reply
  23. Joe Tessitore

    The fix
    Is in.
    Biden
    Will win
    So place
    Your bets
    And pass
    The gin.

    Reply
  24. Anne Hiltner

    Dear Joe
    I know
    you read
    your mail
    but why
    don’t you
    answer
    a plea
    from jail?

    Reply
  25. Beverly S Stock

    Pan Cakes

    Some just
    Dream of
    Cake and
    Others
    Bake it
    happen.
    I don’t
    bellyache
    instead
    I try
    to make
    no bake
    pan cakes.
    I kneed
    the dough.

    Reply
    • jd

      Love the clever ending, Beverly,
      and the other flipped phrases. I don’t really
      know the rules of the form or the rules
      on this forum but if the form demands (?)
      two syllables per line, complaint would
      work. (Can you tell I’m one of those rule-
      freaks?)
      jd

      Reply
  26. ray boyd

    May I
    be part
    of why
    the heart
    of those
    who sing,
    Who chose
    to cling
    to song
    to right
    all wrong,
    can plight
    all truth,
    all ruth.
    ,

    Reply
  27. ray boyd

    Out there
    so few
    who care
    to do
    what needs
    to be.
    Those deeds
    that we
    have seen
    as right.
    I ween
    to fight
    is not
    their lot

    Reply
    • Mia

      As I return to this page in the last day of August I find myself loving
      both your poems. They are great and it seems to me growing more pertinent as time goes by.
      Thank you.

      Reply
  28. Julian D. Woodruff

    I sing
    aloud
    from cloud
    nine. Bring
    me back
    to earth,
    though mirth
    there’s slack.
    (I’ve al-
    so tried
    cloud ten—
    unmol-
    lified
    again.)

    Reply
  29. John Freeborn

    How can
    my rhyme
    attain
    and climb
    the lof-
    ty height
    of grand-
    eur’s light?
    And how
    illume
    the time-
    spun tomb,
    save if
    I trace
    the mas-
    ters’ grace?

    Reply
  30. BDW

    The Beast
    by Bud “Weasel” Rice
    “Adam,,,what hast thou wrought?”
    —Joseph Salemi

    Like as
    an S.
    he has
    finesse,
    and bides
    the dawn;
    he hides
    his yawn.
    But snabs
    a stray,
    and grabs
    the day…
    to feast—
    the Beast!

    Reply
  31. Joseph S. Salemi

    BDWhatever

    He can’t
    compose
    to save
    his nose —
    not verse
    and not
    a line
    of prose.
    All he
    can do
    is preen
    and pose,
    count syll-
    ables
    as read-
    ers doze…
    and still
    he comes
    ici
    and crows.

    Reply
    • BDWhatever

      Ah, Swami Salemi hath ope’d his jaw, excoriatingly.
      He doth not like my mono sonnet’s ess apparently.
      He spouts out cancel culture trash. He states I cannot write,
      “not verse and not a line of prose”. Doth he believe his tripe?

      I usually don’t join in such kinds of activities—it’s not my thing. But something about the form, its shape, and how it compared to iambic heptameter, appealed to me; and as I leaned back in my chair, I began composing. The form reminded me of a snake, and so became my topic. [By the way, the reason I became a literary critic, over two decades ago, was because my poetry has continually been rejected and attacked. It seems one must continually explain one’s motives and one’s art in this era.] Anyway, the snake grew; and it was quite an enjoyable composition. Of course, there were turns and slides along the way; but, as it is a short poem, it was over and done with rather quickly. At this point in time, I prefer the tennos and dodeca, as allowing for more expansion, but avoiding prolixity. Anyway, here was that “sonnet”.

      Like as
      an S.
      he has
      finesse,
      and bides
      the dawn,
      he hides
      his yawn.
      But snabs
      a stray,
      and grabs
      the day…
      to feast—
      the Beast!

      I really enjoyed writing the first quatrain, with its surprising simile embedded in the simplest words, but for the last “finesse”, the lone two-syllable word in the poem, a technique nicely practiced by Emily Dickinson (who was in my mind, as I composed).

      In the second quatrain, in the process of making the poem, I went through so many phrases, I could not list them all, though the rhymes were secured. The second quatrain, in similar simplicity, moves with two verbs and their objects. Perhaps the picture is unappreciated by the dozing reader, and yet I found the elementary phrasing pleasing to my taste.

      Moving to the sestet, I was torn between two possible 3rd quatrains:
      “But snabs/ a stray,/ and grabs/ the day…” where an onomatopoetic neologism, suggesting sna…[ke] is used and Horace’s commonly phrased cliché is semi-disguised, led by an abrupt “But” indicating the quickness of the snake’s bite… or the more ordinary process “to squeeze/ a stray,/ and seize/ the day…” Finally, the couplet suggests a wider meaning, that I thought could be aided by Mr. Salemi’s clipped quote. Actually, because he seems offended? perturbed? when the poem is next published, I shall drop his last name, and simply attribute the quote to Joseph S.

      Reply
      • Joseph S. Salemi

        When your poem “is next published”?

        Dream on, Brucie. That’ll be the day.

      • James A. Tweedie

        Bruce, As you say, I must have been dozing.

      • BDW

        Old Rip Van Tweedie, living near the weedy, sandy dunes,
        I must admit I did not know that he was dozing too.

      • BDW

        Did I forget to post this on March 12, 2021, or was I simply cancelled again, like Theodore Seuss Geisel?

        I did change one item of “The Beast” when the poem was “next published” on March 12th 2021, I changed the quote’s attribution to “Swami Salami”, as only seems appropriate.

    • jd

      It’s “ici” that throws me off due to
      ignorance, I guess. The rest rings
      clear and true.

      Reply
      • A. K.

        “Ici” is “here” in French. 🙂 Sometimes I find myself using what little French I know just because the syllables are different and I enjoy the sound better! Haha! Such as “avec” rather than “with.”

  32. ray boyd

    Will
    two
    still
    do?
    One
    more?
    None?
    Four?
    Pick
    nix?
    Tick
    six?
    Now
    how?

    Reply
  33. Julian D. Woodruff

    Rather than diminishing, as Mr. Boyd has done, I thought of expanding: iambic monometer all with feminine .. excuse me! … weak endings. Why didn’t I realize the thing would be in essence dactylic, with an initial anacrusis?

    Scary Pair

    It’s Biden
    and Harris—
    I’m hidin’!
    Embarras-
    sing faces
    demeaning
    high places—
    I’m keening!
    The pair just
    pursue their
    ambitions;
    we’re there just
    to rue their
    decisions.

    Reply
  34. ray boyd

    Which
    laws
    pitch
    pause?
    How
    few
    now
    due?
    Wie
    sehr
    me
    dear
    be
    clear

    Reply
  35. Julie Desmond

    Emboldened (Alone on a Winter Trail)

    When skis
    Bemoan
    March breeze
    Has thrown
    Glass swill
    Across
    The hill
    You toss
    Your gaze
    Admire
    The haze
    Inspired
    Recall
    Your place
    And fall
    With grace
    The snow
    Will know

    Reply
  36. Paul Freeman

    End Game (or Not)

    Our fun,
    Ray Boyd,
    is done.
    We toyed
    with words
    that flew
    like birds.
    A few
    soared high –
    each foot.
    Now I
    shall put
    this thread
    to bed.

    Reply
  37. Frank De Canio

    Video Lover

    I see
    you must
    hate me,
    or just
    for fun,
    you put
    it in,
    then out
    again.
    Don’t tease
    my friend,
    but please
    be kind –
    rewind!

    Reply
  38. ray boyd

    My task?
    In touch
    to ask
    how much
    to post?
    What is
    the most?
    This quiz
    is so
    by this
    I know
    and miss
    slips, plus
    the fuss

    thanks … bye … loved the experiment

    Reply
  39. Ryan Watch

    Roses

    Roses
    Divine
    Roses
    Are fine.
    Like lips
    That kiss,
    That drips
    With bliss.
    Roses red
    Are souls
    That spread
    Love whole.
    Thus, the rose
    Proposes.

    Reply
  40. Mia

    Lockdown woes

    No longer
    free,
    I
    must
    wear
    mask,
    sanitiser,
    gloves,
    a visor,
    No contact
    Pass by
    Cross over
    the street
    stay back
    Take jab
    or stay
    indoors
    No travel
    Cover face
    Bare arm
    can’t
    See why
    Or where
    To go
    eyes sting
    tears stream
    Too late
    To turn
    Back
    To protest
    Muzzled
    Puzzled
    I write
    To reach
    The light
    Envious
    Of birds
    That chirp
    And fly
    but I am,
    I think
    I am,
    still alive

    I am not sure if this conforms, in fact feel certain it doesn’t, but it worked in getting my thoughts down on the current situation. Monometer by me is a bit monotonous…
    so I am especially in awe of all the joyous poems here, so good to read.
    thank you all.

    Reply
  41. Sasha A. Palmer

    Redbirds

    The trees –
    still bare,
    yet “leaves,”
    the glare
    of which
    can blind,
    bewitch
    the mind,
    adorn
    the snow.
    This morn
    I know:
    they sing –
    it’s spring.

    Reply
  42. Andre Peltier

    A Sonnet in Some Monometer Lines

    To sing
    of spring
    and all
    the things.
    So soon
    the blooms
    will fill
    our rooms.
    The pet-
    als shed
    and then
    we fret.
    Autumns
    a bum.

    Reply
  43. Rohini Sunderam

    These are all so good, but here goes:
    They said:
    “It’s love,”
    She said.
    “Not love,”
    He said.

    “Above,”
    She read.
    “All else
    I dread.”

    “It’s false”
    He said
    “Your fault
    I bled.”

    She said.
    He said.

    Reply
  44. Roy E. Peterson

    The Bee in the Beehive
    By Roy E. Peterson

    The bee
    In the
    Beehive
    Was not
    Alone.
    He was
    Just one
    Of the
    Bees, and
    They called
    Him, “Drone.”

    “Come Drone,
    I need
    Something
    Said the
    Queen Bee.
    I want
    You to
    Give me
    A taste
    Of your
    Honey.”

    Drone took
    A dab
    From the
    Honey
    Filled comb
    That was
    Contained
    In the
    Buzzing
    Sweet home.

    He flew
    To the
    Queen Bee
    To give
    Her the
    Honey.
    Made from
    A rose
    Out where
    It was
    Sunny.

    As he
    Waited
    In line
    To serve
    Honey
    With Drones
    He thought
    He would
    Change his
    Name to
    Ramon.

    Reply
  45. Jan Darling

    THOUGHT SPORT.
    Jan Darling

    Your dreams
    Are lost
    In schemes
    Embossed
    With tears
    You shed
    And fears
    You dread.
    Your heart
    Beats still
    Then starts
    To chill.
    All sound
    Is drowned.

    But hear!
    The sound
    Of cheer
    Is found.
    Your thought
    was lost
    not chilled
    with frost.
    Free now
    To sing
    You vow
    To wring
    From storm
    Reform.

    Reply
  46. Mia

    Tried so much to write something happy or funny
    but managed the opposite. tragic

    The
    crescent
    Moon
    winks,
    smiles
    and smirks,
    bares its
    sharp
    pointed
    blades
    the
    enemy
    stalks
    its prey
    and
    waits
    for
    thick
    velvet
    darkness
    to wield
    the sickle,
    a fragile
    rose
    weeps
    a lone
    star
    dims,
    a flash
    of red
    leaps
    to reap
    the spoils
    of war

    Reply
    • Mia

      Perhaps I should have explained that the theme of this is
      the invasion of Northern Cyprus in 1974 by Turkey
      But here we are in 2021 and it makes me think of Afganistan.

      Reply
  47. Mo

    Ha! You snagged me with this challenge.

    2021

    A time
    To flip
    Our world
    And now
    We have
    Gone on
    To “1984.”
    Report
    The news
    As per
    Their views.
    No facts
    To weigh
    Them down.
    So sad
    They get
    Their way
    Until
    It will
    One day
    Be much
    Too late.

    Reply
  48. jd

    Iambic Monometer Sonnet

    I like
    the form
    but would
    prefer
    as start,
    a tome
    with hints
    that comb
    the rules –
    para
    meters
    would help
    this a-
    meteur.

    Reply
  49. Mo

    How ’bout the sonnet..

    We seek
    What’s true
    “News” speak
    No clue

    Away!
    They lied
    With truth
    Denied

    Respect
    Is gone
    Inspect
    Those pawns

    Reveal
    What’s real

    Reply
  50. Christopher Buckley

    Trenched

    Through dark
    A glass,
    I hark
    And pass,
    To days
    Before
    These ways
    Of war.
    Shimmer
    That pool.
    Dimmer
    And cruel.
    It dies.
    As I…

    Reply
  51. Niece de Bruce

    Tonight
    I found
    this site
    around
    My search,
    Unwise!
    Research
    Bruce Wise.
    My dad’s
    sibling,
    his adds
    quibbling
    and verse
    perverse!

    Reply
  52. J D Wallace

    A Novice Poet’s Retort

    Paul’s poem
    query
    makes me
    weary.
    While words
    escape
    to big
    to make.
    Each quick
    attempt
    I do
    resent.
    Cast out
    Freeman
    You are
    Demon.

    Reply
  53. Abby

    I write
    a rhyme
    with slight/
    no time.
    I have
    no gift
    for half
    or fifth
    of a
    meter
    that’s a
    beater
    in this
    challenge.

    Reply
  54. Lucia Haase

    This world
    I see
    unfurled
    for me

    becomes
    my pen
    that drums
    of when

    I think
    or swim
    or drink
    of whim.

    By Light,
    I write.

    Reply
  55. Mia

    Inspired by ici and avec as you can see, after all if I can’t write something noteworthy in iambic monometer why not write one in French, but tres jolie

    Ici
    avec
    moi
    bonjour
    bonne
    chance
    fromage
    de pain
    du vin
    bonheur
    mon chou
    bonsoir
    c’est tout
    desole

    Reply
  56. Ryan Watch

    Portrait of a Face

    A face
    Divine
    Is traced
    In lines.
    The strokes
    Intersects,
    Evokes,
    Reflects
    The face
    Clearer
    Than any
    Mirror.
    What we see
    Is artistry.

    Reply
  57. Ryan Watch

    I had such a pleasurable time writing these iambic monometers!

    By limiting the meter to just one feet, the challenge became a ingenious exercise to squeeze the creative ability of the poet. Having read the other different poems written by numerous talented poets, it makes my own seem like the work of an amateur.

    Dilettante

    How tough
    To write
    A task
    So rough.
    My peers
    Submit
    Their skits
    With cheer.
    The words
    I drew
    Are too
    Absurd
    And flat.
    That’s that!

    In the end though, I am glad to have participated in this challenge and learn a new poetic form in the process.

    Reply
  58. Lucia Haase

    Medieval Episode

    A cloud
    afloat
    may shroud
    the moat.

    The knight
    that sleeps
    finds light
    he keeps

    in dreams
    of her
    that seems
    a blur.

    His rhyme-
    Love’s time.

    Reply
  59. Becky Fitch

    This is so good as it makes brilliant use of the few syllables allowed and paints a good image at same time.

    Reply
  60. Ayo Dioha

    Home Soil

    A man
    His plan,
    His fate
    To make.
    But no–
    They know
    He’s good;
    They’re crude.
    Nige-
    Ria’s home
    Where right
    With might
    Goes loam,
    You see.

    Reply
  61. Kathy Bahr

    I wrote
    arrow
    so fast
    go past
    Cover-
    is dew
    morn hung
    hundredth
    arrow
    is cast
    Blasted
    night bed.
    becloud
    lover
    he drew.

    challenge was conceived by Paul A. Freeman

    Reply

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