Skinny Poems with the Poetry Princesses [Poetry Friday]

Happy Poetry Friday! Welcome, everyone! (Wondering what Poetry Friday is? Click here.)

So, this month, our Poetry Princess challenge was a skinny. I was excited because I saw some of these at Margaret Simon’s blog a while back and wanted to try them.

A Skinny has 11 lines, and lines 1 and 11 can be any length. They use the exact same words, though the order can be rearranged. Lines 2, 6, and 10 are identical. And all lines, except the first and last, are ONE WORD ONLY. The Skinny was created by Truth Thomas in the Tony Medina Poetry Workshop at Howard University in 2005.

I wrote three this month. The first was inspired by a loved one who is starting to struggle with memory loss.

A skinny poem by Laura Purdie Salas

Next up, a poem inspired by two friends who have each lost a child.


And, finally, just because we need a breath of light and cuteness after those devastating topics:

Make sure to check out the posts of my Poetry Sisters. I love this form and seeing how we each approach it differently!


Liz and Sara may join in next week!

Click here to see all our previous Poetry Princesses collaborations. 

And the fabulous watercolorist Michelle Kogan is hosting the Poetry Friday Roundup this week. Click through to find a lot more beauty of all kinds!




33 Responses

  1. Laura, I have never heard of a skinny poem. I really like the concept and your poems are heartbreakingly (is that a word??) beautiful. Loved the kitty poem, too! Thanks for turning me on to 15 word poems and now this type.

    1. Thanks, Dianne–I was only aware of the form recently myself! It was a really fun challenge. (I don’t go by Laurie, but I’ll answer to just about anything said with kindness, so no worries!)

  2. Wow, you packed some power in a few words with those first two. These look simple, but I know they took some time and thought. Looking forward to trying them myself..

    1. Thanks, Cindy. It was satisfying to try to capture a big topic in a small form. I hope you like writing them!

  3. Despite their sadness — or maybe because of? — I love the first two. Such concepts, grappling with loss and remembering how we remember…

    1. Thanks, Tanita. I like how the form almost demands pauses if you write it a certain way…works well for difficult topics!

  4. Perfect, all three of them! I love how the topic for each works so well with the form. Ruth,

    1. Hula hoop poem? I missed that one. I did note the inventor of the form in my post…wondering if you thought you were eating on a different post?

        1. Oh my gosh, I’m so lame! I wrote these two weeks ago and made the images and did the blog post a week ago and totally forgot the hula hoop mention. Lord! Thanks, Laura!

  5. I love how the skinny form worked for all of these topics. It’s a fun form to try. You made the form work for you in the first two, pauses and she… We stopped a bit to think. Kittens are just too cute and fluffy.

    1. Thanks, Margaret. I loved when you shared yours and your students’ on your blog!

  6. Laura, you’ve done such a brilliant job with these! I love them all, and they all touch my heart. Thanks for taking the lead with this!

  7. You showed expertise here, Laura, inspiring me to try one. The first two poignant topics seem to call for few, but just right words & you wrote them! How hard to express what we want to say about those. The sweet kitten one, too, is all we need.

  8. I like the way you rearranged the words in the last lines of the first two. All three are brilliant, but those first two. Wow.

  9. I wrote one!

    One Winter Night
    By Dianne Moritz

    Do you remember our love igniting that night…
    our love igniting that night. Do you remember?

  10. Such a strong skinny your “Memory” poem is Laura, and I like the parallel metaphor of nature being paused with the loss of memory in your first poem. What a fun cuddly skinny,–adorable image and poem! Thanks for your kind endorsement too.

  11. I like the sensitivity in both your “Memory” and “Decline” skinny poems–and the parallel metaphors in “Decline with nature. The kitty skinny is purrfect. Thanks for your praise too! (this may be the second posting of my comment ‑hope it isn’t)

  12. I like the sensitivity in both your “Memory” and “Decline” skinny poems–and the parallel metaphors in “Decline with nature. The kitty skinny is purrfect. Thanks for your praise too!

  13. Wow! All three of these are amazing in what they pack in just a few words. Those first two are heartbreaking. I love those fluffball kittens. We have four (now 3 since one found a new home) fluffy orange tabby kittens skittering around our back door.

    1. Thank you, Kay! Oh, kittens. I love cats–best of luck in placing your kitties. Wish my husband wasn’t so allergic to cats:>(

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