How to Write a Shadorma Poem

As of December 1, 2018, I’ve added the Shadorma form to our weekly challenge. Many thanks to Jane Dougherty for the suggestion.


“The possibility exists the shadorma is not a historical poetic form as it is alleged to be by those who have recently revived and popularized it. There is no evidence of extant early Spanish poetry using this form.

Further, the word shadorma does not appear in Spanish-language dictionaries, and no examples of the early usage of the form appear in poetry textbooks or anthologies. Further, there is no literary criticism regarding its history in Spanish literature.

Considering this, the alleged history of the shadorma may be a modern hoax or the poetic equivalent of an urban legend. However, the shadorma has been used by many modern writers and is a popular writing exercise in creative writing programs and workshops.”


Clearly, someone created it with the intention of poets using the form. It’s not unusual for poets to create their own forms and to name them. The famous beat poet, Allen Ginsberg, never went for the Haiku. Instead, he created an “American sentence” form that was comprised of ONLY one sentence, 17 syllables, end of story. Minimum words for maximum effect.

So, let’s experiment with the Shadorma poetry form.

The Shadorma is a poetic form consisting of a six-line stanza (or sestet). Each stanza has a syllable count of three syllables in the first line, five syllables in the second line, three syllables in the third and fourth lines, seven syllables in the fifth line, and five syllables in the sixth line (3/5/3/3/7/5) for a total of 26 syllables.

When writing a Shadorma I would concentrate on a specific subject. The brevity of syllables is perfect for that kind of structure.

A poem may consist of one stanza or an unlimited number of stanzas (a series of shadormas).

“The Shadorma is a Spanish poetic form made up of a stanza of six lines (sestet)  with no set rhyme scheme. It is a syllabic poem with a meter of 3/5/3/3/7/5.

It can have many stanzas, as long as each follows the meter. Little is known about this poetic style’s origins and history but it is used by many modern poets today. This variation of the haiku, which is evident by its syllable pattern, can be seen in use in many writing venues.”

Poetry Forms: Shadorma 

Here is my example of a Shadorma poem:

The Triskele

Celtic crest
past, present, future,
triple self
number three
life cycles that never end
life, death, and rebirth.

© 2018 Colleen M. Chesebro

The Triskele is an ancient Celtic symbol which represents the cycles that never end: the journey of life, death, and rebirth that is always in motion, neverending.

Read more about the history behind this symbol at

You ready? Let’s write some Shadorma poetry!

7 thoughts on “How to Write a Shadorma Poem”

    1. Thank you. Ginsberg was my favorite poet in college. I wrote a fabulous paper about him. I should share it in bits on my blog. Well, actually, I really enjoy all of the Beat poets. I would have made a great hippie. LOL! I love this poetry stuff. You should join in, Robert. You are most welcome. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you, Coleen. I love seeing how people work with the challenges. Ginsberg’s Howl is a great achievement for its use of American English; it’s a wonderful, expansive poem. I’m preparing a book of my poems and I’m the process of organizing and revising the material. I’m also designing the book cover and learning how to publish; and on top of it all there’s, trump who takes up too much time. I really wish he’d go away so I could have a full life! LOL!

        Liked by 1 person

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