How to Write a Nonet Poem

If I read a book and it makes my whole body so cold no fire can ever warm me, I know that is poetry. – Emily Dickenson

So it has been awhile since I have done a post on how to write poetry, there are just so many different things that I want to share with you about writing, but today I am back with another how-to. Today we are going to explore the nonet poem.

It is syllable based poem. For some reason I prefer to write poetry based on syllables rather than upon rhymes, although I do enjoy rhyming poetry.

I was not able to find anything about the origin of the nonet poem. However, I did learn that nonet is a word used to describe a group of nine musicians, I have no idea if that has anything to do with the origin of this poem though.

So let’s talk about what a nonet poem is. So it has nine lines.  The first line has nine syllables, and each line after that has one less syllable until you get down to a single syllable.

It is nice if you can make each line a complete thought, but that does not always work especially when you get down to when you have only one or two syllables per line.

Another thing is to focus on only the important words in the poem. There is not a lot of room in this sort of poem, so every word has to count.

The first thing to do when writing a nonet poem, or really any poem, is to decide upon a topic. Figuring out a topic can be harder than one thinks, at least, if one is me. For a nonet poem the topic can be absolutely anything. After some time of consideration I have decided to write about a jacaranda tree I saw today.

Once you have a topic it is a good idea to jot down some ideas of what you want to say in the poem, or you can just plunge right in. Today I feel like the ideas are all part of some bigger whole that must come all together, so I am just going to try to write it without writing any ideas down.

After quite a bit of playing around with the words, here is what I wrote:


Walking I see a majestic tree
Green and purple twine together
Purple flowers, autumn leaves
Flowers beneath my feet
Flowers above me
Bright in greyness
Purple light
From the

So that is my nonet.

Nonets are a very versatile form of poetry. They can also be written the other way by starting with one syllable and working up to nine.

I’ll go through this version as well, but I will go through it a bit quicker. This time I am also writing about flowers, but I can’t remember what their name is right now. However that does not mean that I can’t write about them.

Again I am not going to go into the idea writing stage. If you want to, feel free to. I guess I’m not in the mood for outlining today.

So here is my reverse nonet:

Fire Flowers

Like fire
On a green bush
Flames of red, orange
Bright life against the green
Colors in a darkened day
Flames that are life instead of death
Bright in a world where the sky is grey

So that is how it turned out for the reverse one.

Another fun thing that you can do with nonets is first write one nonet and then write a second stanza using the reverse nonet. I’m not going to demonstrate that today though.

I hope that this has helped you to learn to write nonets, and given you a new idea in writing poetry. If you have not tried writing a nonet poem before, you might want to try it since it is a fun and fairly simple kind of poem to write.


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