Poetry Society of Tennessee

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Saturday, February 1, 2014


The pirouette is a 10-line poem with 6 syllables in each line; no rhyme or metric pattern is required. Lines 5 and 6, called "the turn-around," contain the same words in the same order, but the punctuation and capitalization may vary. The turn-around must be sharp, taking the thought in a different, hopefully opposite, direction.

The first example below is from “Our Daily Grind,” a small collection of pirouettes written by Chuck Belcher, creator of the form. The second example was written by the blogger, F. Bruce.


“Just like the good old days,”
I tell my wide-eyed kids.
“Abraham Lincoln ate
this way, and that is why
      we dine by candlelight.”
      We dine by candlelight
because the lights were cut.
My wife don’t say nothin’.
If my piece wasn’t hocked,
I’d rob a liquor store.


I'm going to see Mom
for a couple of days.
She's still there on the farm.
I'll pack just a few things,
       the bare necessities.
      The Bare Necessities
is where I strut my stuff
 to make a living in
this gawd-forsaken town.
Mom thinks I wait tables.




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