Category Archives: German Poetic Forms

Schuttelreim: Poetic Forms

Poetic Form Fridays are made to share various poetic forms. This week, we look at the schuttelreim, which is a German couplet form.

The schuttelreim is a German poetic form with the following guidelines:

  • Couplet (or two-line) poem or stanzas.
  • The final two words of each couplet exchange initial consonants (see example below).

There are no other rules for line length, poem length, subject matter, etc.

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Play with poetic forms!

Poetic forms are fun poetic games, and this digital guide collects more than 100 poetic forms, including more established poetic forms (like sestinas and sonnets) and newer invented forms (like golden shovels and fibs).

Click to continue.

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Here’s my attempt at a schuttelreim:

For Your Thoughts, by Robert Lee Brewer

If you offer a penny as some sort of mind fee,
I'll dart in and out of intentions until you find me.

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(Note on the example poem: As you can see, "mind fee" is reversed to read "find me" by swapping the "m" and the "f" of the final two words in each line.)