Last week was the first I’d heard of the Square Poem or the Square Stanza. It is an utterly fascinating concept and [not-surprisingly] quite hard to pull off.
The trick is that the poem should read the same vertically down the page and horizontally across the page. Obviously then, and also to make it a true ‘square’, the number of words per line must equal the number of lines. This form is attributed to Lewis Carroll – you can read his creation here: The Society of Classical Poets.
After a zillion tries, here is what I came up with. This is 3×3 square poem:
Until life ends
life is love…
Here’s where it shows what I mean about the poem reading the same way down the page as it reads across the page
Here is another one – this time, a 4×4 Square Poem
Pain is sullen companion
is persistent distracting rhythm
sullen distracting relentlessly punishing
companion rhythm punishing me
Try writing one yourself. Remember only that the more words you strive for per line, the harder it becomes to write something that makes sense.
There are other mathematical forms of poetry – and also what is called the ‘Classic’ Square Poem [or the ‘Syllable’ Square as opposed to the Carroll Square] – where the number of syllables per line equal the number of lines in the stanza. Read more about the various forms in the links in this post.
Have fun experimenting! I did…