By Robert Wynne

Our first form is called a Reflection. It’s a rhyming, syllabic form I created in 2005. A Reflection is 14 lines long, and each line has a required number of syllables as well as a place in the rhyme scheme. The syllable count is based on the first 7 prime numbers, counting up to the center of the poem and then counting back down, as follows:

Line 1 – 1 Syllable
Line 2 – 2 Syllables
Line 3 – 3 Syllables
Line 4 – 5 Syllables
Line 5 – 7 Syllables
Line 6 – 11 Syllables
Line 7 – 13 Syllables

Line 8 – 13 Syllables
Line 9 – 11 Syllables
Line 10 – 7 Syllables
Line 11 – 5 Syllables
Line 12 – 3 Syllables
Line 13 – 2 Syllables
Line 14 – 1 Syllable

Each pair of lines which have the same number of syllables must rhyme, so Line 1 will rhyme with Line 14, Line 2 will rhyme with Line 13, etc. and Lines 7 and 8 will form a rhyming couplet in the middle of the poem. The stanza break after the 7th line is optional, but it can heighten the reflective visual effect of the form. I usually identify the poem as a Reflection in the title, but that is not a requirement either.

The tightness of the form lends itself well to sudden linguistic and thematic turns, and the duality of the overall presentation tends to heighten the flow from beginning to end. Here are 2 examples of the form, 1 with a period at the end of the first stanza, and one in which the stanzas are enjambed:

Reflection on the Paradox of Sweetness

how honey
slides down your throat, wide
as air you take for granted
but sweeter, like photographs found long after
memory has given up on all but the future.

Water would like to remind you that the world’s sutures
are wearing thin, tectonic plates roar laughter
and tremble flowers planted
to question God ― Why
doesn’t He

Reflection: Aubade with Yawning Moon

tired sky, shook
like a sheet to droop
over horizon’s line, warms
us with thoughts of sleep. We slip inside, connect
crystal glasses in the shortest song with a refrain,

drink each other like fine wine. The moon’s sure we’re insane
but she dreams of things we’d still never expect:
open hands, flesh’s brief forms
like clouds, time’s slow stoop,
fate’s lost book,