Poetry challenge: Sept

This is a challenge I am throwing out to all and sundry. The sept, I learned from Doug, the Elusive Trope, is a poetry form of seven lines following the syllable pattern of 1-2-3-4-3-2-1. It isn’t as tricky as it sounds so do please have a go.

The theme is hands, with the van Eyck detail as a prompt if you like.

Jan_van_Eyck_003This is my attempt. Post yours in the comments or if you post it on your blog, as a link. Get creating!



love fading

my misfortune

misplaced hope

bruised heart


Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

54 thoughts on “Poetry challenge: Sept”

  1. Here’s mine, inspired by my amazing little daughter…
    Take my
    Hand and go
    I’ll be your guide
    Your support
    Be brave

  2. My Hands touch your skin softly,They work for you and even so, They fight for you. My Hands holding yours for giving you Love, forever!

      1. It was out of the blue jane, E.P stand for my name,Edwin Patrick, thanks for your compliments.

  3. The historian in me took over and I had to check out the full painting of “Arnolfini Portrait.” “It is considered one of the more original and complex paintings in Western art because of the iconography, the unusual geometric orthogonal perspective, the use of the mirror to reflect the space…” [wiki]


    gesture: fides
    the business

    1. I saw this painting when I was a child and remember being astonished at the ability of the artist to portray so many different textures and on such a small canvas. Your interpretation is masterly too.

  4. Thanks. Having moved relatively close to NYC, I hope to have a chance to engage some of works. I think in the past when I have had the opportunity to view his (and his contemporaries’) works I wasn’t mature enough to appreciate them, even though I was an adult. Self-absorption and emotional shut-down, whatever the reason, robs one of so much beauty – whether in a forest or gazing on painting Eyck.

    Your expression captures beautifully the singular moment of desolate acceptance of a relationship’s end.

    1. I hope moving closer to the big city has positive benefits for you. You’re certainly right about self-absorption being better than blinkers for blotting out everything but one’s own navel. Thank you for the complimentโ€”it’s the ultimate letting go, I suppose.

      1. I’m not sure about syllables much but here’s what I came up with:

        Heart holds
        Tight what my
        Hands fail to. I
        Tonight fight
        For my

        If I’ve got the syllables wrong, apologies in advance. ๐Ÿ™ˆ

  5. I was intrigued by your poetry challenge and elusive trope’s contribution to this great way of writing a poem. I love The Sept. I started out writing just ‘one’ last night but as I was falling asleep, my muse woke me with different words, so I wrote them down. When I saw them this morning, I began working on a post for ‘the secret keeper’ but as you will see when you look at my post, I ended up writing two more. One of which at the last moment, I discarded, and replaced with a new one. I hope you find the three an example of the idea of The Sept. Now that I have started using this style, I believe I will be writing more and posting them. Is this by any chance a challenge, singular, or something you plan on continuing? Whatever your choice is, I leave the link to my offering below. Thank you for this exciting way to express poetry. If you do continue, when would one look for the next prompt? jk ๐Ÿ™‚ ps. Thanks elusive trope & Jane Dougherty for the pleasure.


    1. Thank you for your enthusiastic response! I’ll post all of the entries tomorrow and post a new challenge on Wednesday. The Sept really seems to have fired the imagination, so I’ll maybe keep the same form with a different theme next time. I know I enjoy writing to a prompt so I’m assuming others do too. As long as there are takers, I’ll keep on challenging ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. Alright! That’s fantastic. It certainly has challenged my imagination. Yes, definitely to the different theme. You should see what elusive trope posted today. I just visited his blog. Truly inspirational. Prompt have some sort of magical power contained within them. Gets right by any feelings of hesitation in the mind. I asked elusive trope the same question: Did you or did he create The Sept? Sorry for my confusion. Will look forward to Monday and to Wednesday for what you come up with for us to face with our imagination and dictionaries in hand, actually the apps on my laptop. Thank you for creating this prompt. It is so much fun and it also touches the deeper emotions as well. ๐Ÿ™‚

      2. The first reference I saw to this form was on Elusive Trope’s blog. I don’t know who ‘invented’ it, but it wasn’t either of us. I enjoy Ronovan’s Haiku challenge, and this Sept form lends itself to the same kind of thinking.

      3. So, that’s the mystery. Someone in time passed this forward for us to find and use in our own way, in our own time. I love Ronovan’s Haiku Challenge. It begins my week on a high note. Those two words. Always surprised. The Sept form does move in the same thinking category.

        I am not trying to draw you in but on Monday about 7 weeks ago I created a Writing Prompt Challenge using (5) words. You can choose what form of poetry you want to write in or you can write a short fiction/flash fiction. Either method is acceptable. It leaves open a variety of choices from week to week, always different styles to change to, making the challenge a touch different every time, including the (5) words change with each week. Choosing the words is rather mystical. A secret. I don’t make them up inside my head. Anyway, they are usually one or two syllables at the most, so Haiku is often easy to fit them into that form. Always synonyms are acceptable. There is a great deal of personal choice. The only thing set is the use of the (5) words. I love doing it so I will be posting those (5) words every Monday. If you ever want to give it a try stop by ‘the secret keeper’ all are welcome.

        I wasn’t trying to influence you either direction. It’s fun doing puzzles. I think that is what they are, ‘word puzzles.’ Find words that work with the words already chosen or prompt chosen within an idea.

        I have to say, my favorite book to read when I was a kid was the dictionary. I will say no more. I learn so much from words. Putting them together, even more most times. ๐Ÿ™‚

      4. One of my favorite books still is the dictionary, though nowadays I get most pleasure out of the etymological dictionary.

        Your challenge sound like fun. Iโ€™m heading over your way right now. Since there are still Sept coming in on the Hands theme Iโ€™ll leave it open until tomorrow, then new theme on Wednesday.

        Jane Dougherty https://janedougherty.wordpress.com/ The Green Woman


      5. I know what you mean about etymology of words. I am always asking my partner the origins of certain words or phrases. The phrases absolutely fascinate me on how they got started. The sense of them. The same with word origins. I know it is fascinating.. Did not realize there was dictionary specific to this study. Now I have a whole new adventure to pursue.

        I love the Spelling Bee they run every year. We always watch. Those kids are so bright. I loved being in spelling bees when in the younger grades and in HS I would love doing the spelling bees in Latin Class. They actually taught Latin once upon a time. I did rather well. I have retained enough to help me with words and origin.

        Isn’t it all just completely absorbing and fascinating. Cheers to the Dictionary, Thesaurus, and the Etymological Dictionary, too. E.D. will be my new lesson book. TY for mentioning it.

        Looking forward to Wednesday and what the new theme will be. For my most recent writing prompt I used The Sept as the structure for telling my story with the (5) words. It even surprised me what I ended up writing. Started out with something completely different as the subject matter and it took a turn when I looked for the image, suddenly the poem did a transformation. Spooky!

        ps. What is The Green Woman? Did I miss something?

      6. Iโ€™m glad Iโ€™ve introduced you to a new passion ๐Ÿ™‚ Iโ€™ll send you my poem tomorrow. My blog got a little cluttered today. Good for you writing another Septโ€”Iโ€™ll have a look at it when I post. The Green Woman btw is my fantasy trilogy. iโ€™m supposed to be an author but keep forgetting the be all and end all of blogs is supposed to be about plugging books. I should take it out of my email signature when I reply to blog postsโ€”I hadnโ€™t realized it showed up every time! There, gone.


      7. I should have been investigative and discovered your Trilogy. Somehow I had a feeling it might be something similar. Thanks for filling me in. My partner & I both love fantasy. She writes fantasy & sci-fi & about dragons. When I’m writing fiction, I write in a cross between fantasy and the supernatural. Not the nasty kind of supernatural, though. Ghosts mostly and spirits. But I also love a good mystery, so they all somehow combine. Poetry is my way of expressing everything else. Though at times there is a touch of the supernatural or mystical in that too.

        I put my partner’s books up on my blog. She is the one who has been published. I did post a novel I wrote on my blog a short while back. A chapter and a poem relating to the chapter, every week. I am writing the sequel in the form of a screenplay presently. It may be bit of everything I mentioned above, and the ending is not know even to me. I have written multiples so I won’t know how it ends until I get there. I did have a breakthrough over the past few days giving me a tremendous insight into what is going to happen in the closing act and scenes, Surprised even myself.

        I look forward to your poem. Will let you know my response after I read it. I am behind so I am playing catch up.

  6. Just discovered your challenge! Lovely idea and hope it keeps going. Here is an attempt of mine! Very best wishes! TJ

    My Hand
    My true love
    And in my palm
    You will find
    My heart

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