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A nonet is a type of poem which has nine lines. The nonet poetic arrangement comprises of an unusual format, where the first line is made up of nine syllables, the second eight, the third seven and continues, until the final one (9th line) which features only one syllable.

The nine line poem can feature any subject or theme, and rhyming is not compulsory. However, it's vital that a nonet poem flows smoothly and tells a complete thought.

You can also write a nonet poem in a reverse format. Here, you write the first line with a single syllable, 2nd line with two syllables and keep ascending to the last line which comprises of 9 syllables.

Additionally, you can combine the two nonet formats to form a two-stanza poem. If the first stanza comprises of the reverse arrangement, you will write the second using the usual nonet format, and vice versa. It's advisable to vary the themes in the two stanzas to make the writing more poetic and exciting. For instance, you can use the subject of hate v/s love, past/future, optimism v/s pessimism, life v/s death, sorrow v/s joy, etc. The themes don't often have to be contrary to one another; you can opt to convey a metamorphosis, growth, and progress – from one subject and into the other.

Below is an example of a nonet poem to enhance your understanding.

"The Child in Me"

There is beauty all around me (9 syllables)

Everyone is so sweet and kind (8 syllables)

When love is budding inside (7 syllables)

My world is full of bliss (6 syllables)

I know you are there (5 syllables)

Little child in me (4 syllables)

Joyful (3 syllables)

Honest (2 syllables)

A nonet has nine lines. The first line has nine syllables, the second line eight syllables, the third line seven syllables, etc... until line nine that finishes with one syllable. It can be on any subject and rhyming is optional. line 1 - 9 syllables line 2 - 8 syllables line 3 - 7 syllables line 4 - 6 syllables line 5 - 5 syllables line 6 - 4 syllables line 7 - 3 syllables line 8 - 2 syllables line 9 - 1 syllable



I wish we didn't have to stay here.
The only good part is lunchtime,
eating and playing handball
instead of doing maths.
I don't like history
or geography.
I can't wait
for the

© Copyright Suzanne Honour 2002-2003

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