How to Write an Azby or I Really Wanted to Create My Own Poetic Form


I have always wanted to create a poetic form, and I have realized that the way I wrote Black Smile could be a form.

So I would like to introduce you to the newest, coolest, twenty first century, straight from the mind of a gooey-minded girl, poetic form – Azby.

Azby is a playful and flowing form and a great form to attempt if you are a beginner at writing poems using forms (check out my post on The Freedom of Poetry in Form if you are wondering why you should even be using forms).


1)      Length: The Azby is flexible in length. It could be as short as three stanzas or as long as 27 stanzas. It always has to be an odd number.

Each stanza consists of two lines (Every stanza is a couplet except for the last stanza).

2)      Rhyme: Each stanza is a couplet (a couplet consists of two lines that rhyme). The rhyme scheme is aa bb cc dd ee and you keep going as long as you want (but you have to stop at zz).

You can use full rhymes and half rhymes (half rhymes are those rhymes that may look like they are meant to rhyme on paper but don’t really rhyme, or have the same fluidity, when spoken)

In the last stanza, the first line rhymes with the stanza above. The last line is a standalone line to give a sense of finality to the poem.

3)      Progression: Ask a question. An Azby is a perfect form for going through your thoughts, delving into a subject, exploring an idea.

To see my first (and best) example of an Azby, check out Black Smile.

Here is my second attempt at my new form:


You See, Mother Thought He Was Great


Dress me in orange and cuff me to the stove

Convince me that this is what real love



this what it means to be his?


Dishes piled upon dishes?

Screaming, crying babies?


I cook and clean from dusk till dawn

While you stretch your cat-like frame, and yawn


But you got me like the slaves of old

With a ten carat surrounded by gold


My finger, weighed down by the weight of forever

Pointing and waggling at my happy ever after


Still, I shouldn’t complain,

I got what I wanted, I got your last name.


And who is really to blame?

(my mother)


I would love to see other attempts at the Azby. If you try it out, please post it in the comments.

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Oyinkan Braithwaite


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June 2019
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