I invented this game during Paul Violi’s poetry workshop “Romantic Rebellion.” Two examples of the Abracadabra—“Four Reviews” and “Four School Subjects”—are presented below. Read the rules, check it out, and play along!
The player chooses a general topic and four subjects within the topic (e.g. Critical Reviews: Theatre, Book, Food, Film and School Subjects: Math, History, English, Science.)
The player writes four poems—one for each subject (these together make the Abracadabra.)
The poems are written in Dactylic meter—each foot has three beats: Stressed, unstressed, unstressed. ONE, two, three, ONE, two, three. It’s like waltzing. (NOTE: This rule can be broken. If you find a meter better suited to your purposes, you must use that one.)
The rhyme scheme is ABCB. You may write as many quatrains as necessary—but less is more!
The player must use each letter of the alphabet in order throughout each of the four poems. You do not have to use one letter per line, only in order.
In the A-Z words, you may not use the same word twice in the Abracadabra. (This rule can be bent. For example, using “X” to mean “crossing out” is not the same as using “X-” as the prefix for “X-axis.” But try and stay diverse.
* Editor’s note: Click MORE to view Luke’s poems and play along – leave your magic poems in the comments box. Have fun!