Reblog: Finding Clarity | Sally Cronin

Ken Gierke picked an excellent theme for us all to work with this week, “finding clarity.” I loved the creative bursts of energy we all felt from his words. You all worked hard this week! Sally Cronin’s poem, “Finding Clarity,” that captured the very essence of the theme.

Congratulations Sally Cronin, from Smorgasbord Blog Magazine, you get to select next month’s week four, themed prompt! Have fun!

Finding Clarity

brain strives
day and night
to find a sense
of understanding
about this world of ours.
Dreams often open pathways,
clear of the wakeful detritus,
leading our minds in a direction
to that sweet spot of perfect clarity.

©Sally Cronin 2020

This Etheree poem is a perfect example of following through with your theme. There is a natural rhythm to Sally’s words, but there is no meter or rhyming, which is important to exclude. Etheree are written in short bursts or phrases with complete ideas.

It’s never a good practice to carry your thoughts from one line to the next. Try to complete one thought per line to establish a continuity to your theme, as in Sally’s poem above.

Image by Kranich17 from Pixabay

The Etheree is a little-known poetry format, comprising ten lines with graduated syllables; created over twenty years ago by an Arkansas poet named Etheree Taylor Armstrong. (

The Etheree is a Syllabic form, unlike the Japanese poetry we usually write. It’s comprised of ten lines: 1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9/10. It is unrhymed and contains NO meter. It’s a flexible form that allows the poet’s creativity to shine through.

Literary shares the definition of meter:

Meter is a stressed and unstressed syllabic pattern in a verse, or within the lines of a poem. Stressed syllables tend to be longer, and unstressed shorter. In simple language, meter is a poetic device that serves as a linguistic sound pattern for the verses, as it gives poetry a rhythmical and melodious sound. For instance, if you read a poem aloud, and it produces regular sound patterns, then this poem would be a metered or measured poem. The study of different types of versification and meters is known as “prosody.”

The first line is a monosyllabic word; the second line has two syllables, and so on, until the tenth line with, ultimately, ten syllables: 1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9/10. Etheree poetry usually focuses on a single subject per ten-line stanza.

The Reverse Etheree

A Reverse Etheree is the opposite. It has 10 lines, but the first line has 10 syllables, working its way down to only one syllable. Again, the poem is unrhymed but has rhythm and meaning.

A Stacked Etheree

A Stacked Etheree is two Etherees stacked on top of each other totaling 20 lines in all. The syllable count per line is 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10. This style is also unrhymed but has rhythm and meaning. The Etherees may also be stacked with this line count: 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1.

The new challenge is up tomorrow!


    1. And it seems like everyone’s definition of clarity is different because it’s such a personal subject. Collectively, our clarity should focus on saving our planet and our people. I pray that happens. ❤


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