Limerance: A Lanterne*
if it’s love,
but heart skips for
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*The Lanterne is a shape poem, centered on the page to resemble the shape of a Japanese lantern. It originated as a nature poem, also called “shaped whimsy”, created by 20th century American Lloyd F. Merrell and described in Pathways for a Poet. The foundation of the shape is similar to the Crapsey Cinquain but with fewer syllables per line. The verse form can be found on line at Instant Poems for Kids. It can also be found, spelled Lanturne, at Shadow Poetry.
This can also be written in a chain. As with most chained verse since the Ancient Greek Echo Verse, the first word of the last line of the previous stanza becomes the first word of the next stanza.
The Lanterne is:
- a pentastich, a poem in 5 lines.
- syllabic, 1-2-3-4-1 syllables per line.
- is composed with no punctuation and no rhyme, each end-word should be strong.
- centered on the page. Since this is a concrete or shape poem, the length of the word on the page factors into the equation, syllable count is not enough to determine the selection.
- title optional.