Shadow Poetry Logo
Home Poetry Types Japanese Poetry Handbook Poetry Guide Resources Bookstore
Introduction   |   What Is Poetry?   |   Poetry Quotes   |   Traditional Poetry Forms   |   Invented Poetry Forms

Invented Poetry Forms:

  bullet   The 7/5 Trochee
  bullet   A L'Arora
  bullet   Alliterisen
  bullet   The Alouette
  bullet   The Blitz Poem
  bullet   The Brevette
  bullet   Cascade
  bullet   Christ-in-a-Rhyme
  bullet   CinqTroisDecaLa
  bullet   Clarity Pyramid
  bullet   Constanza
  bullet   Con-Verse
  bullet   The Compound Word Verse
  bullet   Decuain
  bullet   Diatelle
  bullet   Duo-rhyme
  bullet   Epulaeryu
  bullet   Essence
  bullet   The Florette
  bullet   The Florette #2
  bullet   Grá Reformata
  bullet   Jeffreys Sonnet
  bullet   Joseph's Star
  bullet   Harrisham Rhyme
  bullet   HexSonnetta
  bullet   Inverted Refrain
  bullet   LaCharta
  bullet   LaJemme
  bullet   La'libertas
  bullet   Lannet
  bullet   La'ritmo
  bullet   La’Tuin
  bullet   Lauranelle
  bullet   Lento
  bullet   Licentia Rhyme Form
  bullet   Line Messaging
  bullet   Loop Poetry
  bullet   Mini-monoverse
  bullet   Memento
  bullet   The Mirror Sestet
  bullet   Mirrored Refrain
  bullet   Monchielle
  bullet   Monotetra
  bullet   Musette
  bullet   Nove Otto
  bullet   Octameter
  bullet   Octain Refrain
  bullet   Octelle
  bullet   Oddquain
  bullet   Paradelle
  bullet   Parallelogram de Crystalline
  bullet   The Pictorial
  bullet   Pleiades
  bullet   Puente
  bullet   Quadrilew
  bullet   RemyLa Rhyme Form
  bullet   Rictameter
  bullet   Shadow Sonnet
  bullet   Spirit’s Vessel
  bullet   Staccato
  bullet   Swap Quatrain
  bullet   Synchronicity
  bullet   The Tableau
  bullet   Tri-fall
  bullet   Trijan Refrain
  bullet   Trilonnet
  bullet   Trinet
  bullet   Triquain
  bullet   Triquatrain
  bullet   Triquint
  bullet   Trois-par-Huit
  bullet   Trolaan
  bullet   Vers Beaucoup
  bullet   Villonnet
  bullet   Wrapped Refrain
  bullet   Wrapped Refrain #2
  bullet   ZaniLa Rhyme


The Puente, a poem for created by James Rasmusson, and is somewhat similar to the Diamante. Like the Diamante, you start with one aspect of a topic or issue and then, line by line, work toward another aspect. In the center is a line that bridges the two aspects together.

The Puente is also tenuously similar to the Zeugma (affectionously called a Ziggy) which, on the Shadow Poetry web site is defined as: “A figure of speech in which a single word is used in the same grammatical and semantic relationship with two or more other words, usually a verb or adjective.”

I considered the name 'bridge', and then with help from my bilingual step-daughter Mira Conklin, decided to use the Spanish word for bridge which is “puente”. Introducing a poetic form that uses the Spanish word for 'bridge' is also timely since we're trying to come up with a 'bridge' to and from Mexico that is both compassionate and rational.

The idea of poetry as a bridge was also inspired by our dear friend Connie Marcum Wong who is putting together an anthology called “A Poetry Bridge to All Nations”.

The form has three stanzas with the first and third having an equal number of lines and the middle stanza having only one line which acts as a bridge (puente) between the first and third stanza. The first and third stanzas convey a related but different element or feeling, as though they were two adjacent territories. The number of lines in the first and third stanza is the writer’s choice as is the choice of whether to write it in free verse or rhyme.

The center line is delineated by a tilde (~) and has ‘double duty’. It functions as the ending for the last line of the first stanza AND as the beginning for the first line of the third stanza. It shares ownership with these two lines and consequently bridges the first and third stanzas.

In the puente you have overlapping couplets. I refer to these couplets as the processional couplet and the recessional couplet taken from the same words used in the wedding ceremony.

In the development of this poetic form, the 'cardinal' poem from which all the others came was inspired by Mira who walked the 'migrant trail' in Mexico as part of a group of twelve Americans who wanted ‘to explore the root causes of northward migration’. Mira’s trip is cogently presented in her blog ‘La Travesia de Mira’ from which I borrowed much to write "To find a Better Life".

Example #1:
To Find a Better Life

“I can’t read or write
but experience taught me
wrong from right”
were grandpa’s final words as Roberto
began his journey on the migrant trail

~to find a better life~

he’d suffer hunger, thirst
and blistered feet to
leave the Mixteca world
of the Zapotec to become
a stranger in a strange land.

Copyright © 2008 James Rasmusson

In this poem you can simultaneously relate to the bridging section as saying:
"..he began his journey on the migrant trail to find a better life.."
" find a better life he’d suffer hunger, thirst and blistered feet…"

Another free verse example is “Summer Winds.”

Example #2:
Summer Winds

Monkeys in jungle treetops
one another clutching trembling
listening for leopards below
while wind rocks the treetops
and smells of primal life

~with the promise of relief~

we listened to the summer winds
to birds chirping and the rustling of prairie grass:
gripped by a crippling angst
yet still grateful
our ordeal had come and past.

Copyright © 2008 James Rasmusson

Again, you can simultaneously relate to the bridging section as saying:
"..and smells of primal life with the promise of relief.."
"..with the promise of relief we listened to the summer winds.."

A free verse example that has a total of only seven lines is my poem “Equipoise”:

Example #3:

Let dejection be a sobering draught
to wash the tongue of thought
with nectar bittersweet

~of wishes lost and gained~

let contentment be a cozy coat
to shield you from the raging storm
of worldly wealth and power.

Copyright © 2008 James Rasmusson

You can simultaneously relate to the center section as saying
"..with nectar bittersweet of wishes lost and gained.."
".. of wishes lost and gained let contentment be a cozy coat.."

Jan Turner has written an excellent example of the rhyming Puente with rhyme scheme
aabbcc d ddeeff.

Example #4:
Secrets in the Attic

The attic smelled of heat and stale perfume
as she ascended to the rustic room
that held old relics, chests and books from where
the centuries of dust collected there.
An antique desk was beckoning to her,
and in a hidden place where papers were

~she came upon a letter quite perchance~

and so began this eerie happenstance.
For what she read would put her in a trance
that kept her still for most the afternoon:
her great-great-grandfather in a platoon
of secret service had unmasked a coup
that only France could, through his team, undo.

Copyright © 2008 Jan Turner

Another variation could have been to rhyme the bridge with the last two lines of stanza 1, 
which would follow a rhyme scheme of aabbcc c d,d,e,e,f,f.

I found that in reading a Puente poem aloud it’s most effective if the reader puts in a slight 
pause after the last line of the first stanza but no pause in reading the recessional couplet. 
This helps the mind ‘feel’ the recessional couplet. My mind automatically hears the processional 
couplet with or without the pause.

  Back to Top

Introduction   |   What Is Poetry?   |   Poetry Quotes   |   Traditional Poetry Forms   |   Invented Poetry Forms
Home Poetry Types Japanese Poetry Handbook Poetry Guide Resources Bookstore
Copyright © 2000-2013 Shadow Poetry | Privacy Policy | Contact Us