7 x 7 poems

photo of leavesI recently heard Pauletta Hansel, a wonderful Cincinnati poet, read some of her work. A series she read introduced me to a form I’d never heard of before: the 7 x 7, also known as a “49-er” by some. The form is simple, 7 syllables per line, 7 lines. I really loved how her 7x7s packed so much in a small package.

Playing with a very concise form is challenging. I’ve started a series using scientific words that I have been collecting for a while in my interesting-word junk drawer. (I knew I’d find a use for them.)
Here’s one:


there’s a word for everything
that one means “grow toward light”
plants tend to keep life simple—
born with a mission, they sprout,
burst from their seeds knowing how
they might blossom, but not why—
no questions asked, they just grow




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  1. #1 by Mary Ellen McCarthy on January 29, 2015 - 1:18 pm

    Absolutely loved it. Can’t wait to read more. 7 X 7. You are so talented!

  2. #2 by Elaine Olund on January 30, 2015 - 9:06 pm

    Thank you, Mary Ellen! I’m having fun with it, and if you have any favorite science words–send them my way and maybe I’ll make them into a poem. I might have actually learned more science in school if I had written more poems…though I’m not sure my grades would have improved any!

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