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Faceted Diamond

Type:  

Structure, Metrical Requirement, Other Requirement

 
Description: 

One day while he was feeling particularly perverse, Poetry Renewal poet Cory S. Sylvester came up with the idea for a poem that would be three poems in one. He was inspired by the Diamante for the shape, but the rules are all his own.

Here’s how to write one:

  1. The faceted diamond is fifteen lines long. Although fifteen is the number Mr. Sylvester set, theoretically, it could be any odd number of lines. For practical purposes, it probably needs to be between five and twenty-three lines. Getting shorter than five lines doesn’t make much sense given the structure, and it becomes very difficult to format more than about twelve words as one line, so twenty-three lines is probably the upper practical limit for a normal publication.
  2. The poem is syllabic. It has one syllable in the first line, two in the second, and so forth until it has eight syllables in the eighth line for the fifteen-line version, then the number starts descending back down to one.
  3. In the odd-numbered lines (with odd numbers of syllables), the whole line is part of all three poems.
  4. All of the syllables/words in the even-numbered lines are part of the main poem. This main poem is just read in order, line by line, as if there were nothing unusual about the poem.
  5. The first half of the syllables in the even-numbered lines are part of the second poem. The second poem is read as the first line, the first half of the second line, the entire third line, the first half of the fourth line, the entire fifth line, etc.
  6. The second half of the syllables/words in the even-numbered lines are part of the third poem. The third poem is read as the first line, the second half of the second line, the entire third line, the second half of the fourth line, the entire fifth line, etc.
  7. All three poems must make sense.
  8. Usually, a faceted diamond is presented centered on the page. This allows the varying number of words to give it a diamond shape. For ease of reading all three poems, this can be formatted with a break in the middle of each even-numbered line. This break can be either made with spaces or with some sort of cæsura mark (// or |). To help the reader’s eye, the start of all lines and the start of the
Attributed to: 

Cory S. Sylvester

 
Origin: 

American

 
Schematic: 
x
x x
xxx
xx xx
xxxxx
xxx xxx
xxxxxxx
xxxx xxxx
xxxxxxx
xxx xxx
xxxxx
xx xx
xxx
x x
x
 
Rhythm/Stanza Length: 

15

 
Line/Poem Length: 

15

 
Examples: 

 
See Also:  

Diamante, Sept, Septet II

 
Status: 

Incomplete

 

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