Poetry Society of Tennessee

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Saturday, February 1, 2014


The cameo, correctly defined as "a thumbnail sketch," is a 7-line syllable-count poem invented by a member of Poets Roundtable of Arkansas (PRA). No rhyme or meter is required. The message is limited to one sentence. Syllable count per line is 2-5-8-3-8-7-2, for a total of 35 syllables. Take care not to use two thoughts separated by a semicolon. In fact, it's a good idea to avoid using the semicolon in this form.

Tangible subjects may work better than intangibles in this short format, but try both experimentally.  Line endings should be strong.  End the lines where pauses and stops occur normally in our language. Never break a line in the middle of a grammatical structure. This is demonstrated in the examples below written by the blogger, F. Bruce. 

Best of luck in writing the challenging cameo.

SPIDER (tangible subject)

brilliant architect,
producer of multiple silks
for weaving,
traps the fly on his web's wet lines
and walks himself on the dry.,

BOREDOM (intangible subject)\

seeps into my bones
wraps my central nervous system
in cotton,
obfuscating concentration,
canceling motivation,

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