Monday, April 17, 2023

Day 17 - “Pensee Poem” for “30 Poems in 30 Days” for #NationalPoetryMonth

Here’s a poetry form that I really enjoy. I basically use it every year. I had so much fun with this Pensee poem when I taught school. It’s amazing what the students come up with. Let’s see what y’all can do with it. You need to follow the directions exactly – more counting of syllables but no rhyming required. I even created a little fill-in-the-blank chart to help you out! Cheers!!

How to write a “Pensee Poem” ~ “pensee” is a French word that means “a reflection or thought.” It is a five-line, structured poem that does not rhyme. Each line has a specific number of syllables and addresses a specific part of the poem ~ see box below.

The thing to watch out for is to follow the pattern, including WHAT should be expressed on each line, using a SPECIFIC number of syllables ~ and remember – THIS poem does not rhyme.                              




Line 1

Subject (2 syllables)      


Line 2

Description (4 syllables)  

Our liberties

Line 3

Action (7 syllables)              

Granted unto us by God

Line 4

Setting (8 syllables)      

Outlined in our Constitution

Line 5

Final thought (6 syllables)      

Thank you Founding Fathers


This is how the above example looks as a poem: 

Our liberties
Granted unto us by God
Outlined in our Constitution
Thank-you Founding Fathers      

      © 2014 Stephanie Abney


And a couple more examples from previous years:

So full of love
Throwing their arms around me
As we snuggle on Grandma’s couch
I lead such a charmed life

                               © 2018 Stephanie Abney


Ice cream
Cold, smooth, and sweet
Makes its way to my tummy
At the end of a trying day
For now, all is just fine.

                              © 2016 Stephanie Abney

So, these are a few of my examples, but you get the idea. So, go ahead and try several ~ perhaps one about an emotion, an animal, one of your favorite foods, a time of year (holiday/season), an event, or something in nature. What comes to mind?

PLEASE REMEMBER ~ any poetry found on this blog, written by me, is my personal property and may not be used without my permission, other than sharing it as an example in a lesson or to read it to someone. The same goes for any poems that are shared in the comments of this blog or elsewhere online as a result of this challenge. They are the creative property of the person who writes them. These poems are their original work and no one may use them without their permission. It is understood that they own the copyright to them as soon as they create them and especially once they post them. Thanks so much!

*** Also, if you choose to post your poems on your own blog or elsewhere on social media ~ that’s awesome. But PLEASE don’t just copy and paste my daily instructions, but rather post your poem on your blog or your FB wall or wherever AND LINK BACK TO EACH DAY’S SPECIFIC BLOG POST for others to come here to read the instructions. I’ve spent considerable time researching the poetry forms and writing them up to share with you. Thanks for respecting my work.

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