“aab…” Poetry Mystery Form–Try It!


The Mystery

Last fall, I discovered an aab, ccd, eef…poetry form when I was working on my Mt. Rainier poetry book and I gave it a try. Because I enjoyed working with it, I attempted to dig up the information about it to share with you, but can’t find it anywhere. So here, from memory, are the instructions for the “mystery” form and my example.

aab, ccd, eef…Mystery Poetry Form

The basic unit of the form is a stanza consisting of a couplet (two rhyming lines) followed by a single unrhymed line. That third, unrhymed line is often a new thought–a conclusion, a comparison, a summing up, or a twist on the couplet.

This type of poem can be a single stanza in length or as many stanzas as you would like to make it. The rhyme scheme for any stanza in this form can be completely independent of the rhyme scheme of the first stanza, thus my description–aab, ccd, eef…

My Example


Like water trickling ever downward without being taught,
You experience life’s moments ceaselessly through thought.
Writing is thinking.

Like opening your front door to the street,
You note cars, the weather, and people to greet.
Writing is noticing.

Like a jeweler creating with pearls and gold,
Idea meets idea and a story is told.
Writing is connecting.

The hardest part of writing–“What shall I say?”
Is something you do every waking second of your day.
Writing sings the music of your mind.

“I get by with a little help from my friends.”*

As I am still recovering from my blasted concussion, I have given up on my search for the name of this form. If you know what it is called, could you please share with me and your fellow readers in the comments below?

Thanks so much! I hope you have enjoyed your National Poetry Month.

*The Beatles