Archive for the ‘ImproVerse Poetry definition and discussion’ Category

Why And How I Write: CyranoWriter’s 7+ Years Of Poetry, Prose, Photography And Creativity

May 8, 2016

More than 7 years ago, in January, 2009, I heard a poet read at President Obama’s first inauguration. I thought: “I can do that!” And so I started.
Making a goal of writing and posting a poem or creative piece every day, I put my creative thoughts into this blog. Most are short poems, which I try to make into Haiku (they are in the sense that they are 5/7/5). Some are longer. Some are free verse. Some are prose pieces. Some are silly. Most are serious and observational.

All of them feed my soul.
(Here is a great piece from Dead Poets Society / Robin Williams)

During the more than 7 years since then, I’ve written more than 6500 poetic and prose pieces. Along the way, I’ve discovered / invented three different types of electronic media poetry: ConTEXTing, IMprov, and ImproVerse. Each of these three has to do with an electron delivery method (phone texting, Instant messaging or IMing, and improv voice recognition.)

Some of the pieces are “romantic” in nature (I’m currently single, have been for nearly a decade, so these writings talk about the pathos of that state). Others are observations of either nature or human nature. Many deal with the issues we all face daily. And still others are just thoughts and musings, prompted by my observations of what is happening around me. Some are augmented by my photography. Most are left for you, the reader, to visualise in your mind. All of these reflect how I see the world, and what living and observing and just being means to me.

My hope, my dream, is that people will read my work and “see new”. They’ll think about how they see or what they feel about the things I see and feel. And, most importantly, I hope my writing, day after day after day after day, will inspire others to simply see, to observe the amazingness happening around them, and to capture it in whatever form or style they choose.

People tell me “I used to write. I wish I could write more. I need to write more.” To them — to YOU — I say: “Do.” Because, 7 years ago, I heard another poet. And then, I did.

PS: My work is in chronological order, with the most recent writings immediately following this post. If you are looking for a particular subject or topic, type in some key works in the “Search” bar (above right), and it should bring up all my writing related to that topic. “Prince Charming” seems to be a popular search!


Inventing A New Poetry Form: ImproVerse Poetry

September 6, 2012

Modern technology allows (and sometimes forces) new styles of creativity in the written word. Previously, readers of this blog have been introduced to IMprov poetry (where the writing happens spontaneously during an Instant Messaging, or IM, chat session), and ConTEXTing poetry, where the writing occures within the 160 character limits of a phone text message.

Recent advances in cell phone voice recognition technology have lead to the discovery of a new poetry form:
ImproVerse Poetry.

Simply put, ImproVerse poetry is when the poet creates either an instant message or an email and, using the dictation function on the cell phone, speaks (improvs) a poem into the phone and sends it without editing. The rules for this form follow both the rules for IMprov poetry, in that the integrity of the rough idea of the verse needs to remain intact (thus the “Improv” part), and ConTEXTing poetry, in that the number of characters should not exceed the 160 character limits of a text message. (Although modern advances in cell phone technology do allow for more characters, the messages will still split. In order to maintain the look/feel of one piece, the writer should self-enforce those limits).

However, if the writer decides to create a longer piece, (a sonnet, or even free verse, for example) that exceeds those cell phone character limits, ImproVerse does allow for that choice. The main guiding factor behind the ImproVerse style is the ability to create and compose in an improvisational style, with minimum rework in the published piece.

It is important to note that ImproVerse DOES allow for some editing to take place. This can be for one of two reasons:
1) The editing helps the ImproVerse fit into some other form or style. For example, I may have thought I ImproVersed a haiku (5 syllables/7 syllables/5 syllables), only to discover that my last line had 6 syllables. The rules of ImproVerse allow me to correct that error.
2) More importantly, editing may happen because of technology errors. The dictation function on most cell phones (especially, Android users are quick to point out, on iPhones!) does not always capture the meaning. IF the writer can figure out what they meant in the first place, they are allowed to make those corrections to reflect the original meaning.

To show both forms of editing, for example, an ImproVerse I sent that says:
When you have a red top you could wave at the V formation of keys and hope they don’t Bottomview was edited both by shortening it AND by correcting the dictation errors, to read:

Having a ragtop/
lets you wave at the geese V,/
hoping they don’t bomb.

(I did some additional editing and created an even better haiku; you can see both here at

Hopefully, using technology to think creatively and capture creative thoughts will encourage more people to observe, think, capture and share their thoughts in a meaningful, creative and thought-provoking way to benefit us all.