Apr 21, 2011


The Kwansaba is a non-rhyming form that consists of seven lines of seven words per line and each word can not include more than seven letters unless it's a proper noun.

It's based on Kwanzaa, the African American holiday that celebrates seven principles, or Nguzo Saba, created by Dr. Maulana Karenga. Each day of Kwanzaa emphasizes a different principle: unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity, and faith.

At first I thought this form would be a breeze, after all there’s no rhyme or syllable count and there’s only seven words per line. However, I kept wanting to use words that were more than seven letters. Go figure. :-)

We seek that special harmony of self,
That shared, and yet unique, spirit inside
That sends us forth to help our kin,
To build each other up in love,
Rising above trouble in heart and mind,
The first step in building a nation
Free of strife and strong of soul.

Storm clouds of the mind rush in
Logic and reason flee before the tempest
Words will cut and twist and writhe
While dark shadows bleed into the light
Ache for which there is no cure
Waiting on the edge of the abyss
For that final free fall from grace.


Tara Tyler said...

used it, thanks for the prompt =)

C R Ward said...

For all my whining about how hard some forms are, I really prefer to write using a form than using free verse.