Septone – a Throwback Thursday for National Poetry Month

To all my poetry friends and friends who are poets: I confess, I did not remember what a septone poem is.

Here is a great definition I found at Mr. Kelly’s Place, a Weebly blog by an Ontario, Canada, educator.

A Septone poem consists of 7 lines of simple, just-for-fun, unrhymed verse. Authors commonly use their 7 digit home or cellular phone number (no area codes required) as the digits in the phone number help to establish the number of syllables the author will use per line (assume that zero requires ten syllables). There is no set topics with Septones and students are encouraged to create a story with a beginning, middle and end.  Because of the limited lines and syllables, the author has to get right to the action and may have to cut out certain words (a, the, as, ect.) in order to get their ideas across.

When I discovered that a Septone is often built from a phone number, it was my natural choice for Throwback Thursday! Thanks to the Septone in my eight grade poetry notebook, I now remember what our phone number was way back when. [And yes, it had a cord, hung on the wall, and a rotary dial.]

Terry’s Throwback Thursday Septone

This week I didn’t include the actual poem – the scan was too faint. So I’ll share the illustration!

septone illustration

7 “Ma, can we go to the beach?
7 Can I go dig in the sand?
6 Come down to the water!
5 the water’s too cold.
3 I’m hungry.
9 Let’s walk down to the water for some
1 shells.”

Although I have updated previous poems from my notebook. This is going to remain an historical piece relegated to Throwback Thursday.

With everyone having their own phones these days, you could have your own Septone Poetry Festival!

Resources for Writing Septone Poems

Other than educator websites, I could not find any great resources for writing septones. If you know of one, please add it to the comments!

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