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  • Writer's pictureManju Howard

How to Write 6 Poetic Forms with a Fairytale Twist

Updated: Jul 17, 2019

Hi! Please welcome Author and Poet Gayle C. Krause, who's sharing her fabulous fractured fairytale poems.

Have you ever written a Cleave Poem or Ghazal? Thanks to Gayle, we’ll learn these two poetic forms and several others.

Gayle's giveaway has ended. Congratulations to Nancy Derey Riley for winning!

Here's Gayle!

Thank you, Manju, for having me on your blog. As a former Early Childhood Education teacher, I, along with the children that I taught, absolutely loved fairytales. And of course, children love rhyme as well, so I combined my two passions to create ONCE UPON A TWISTED TALE, a poetry collection of “fractured fairytales.”

Fractured fairytales happen when a familiar story has been modified with twists and turns in such a way as to make readers laugh at unexpected characterizations, plot development, or contrary point of view. And to create these stories in various poetry forms was quite a challenge. But I did it and I’d like to introduce my new poetry collection will be released on June 18, 2019 form Clear Fork/SPORK Publishing.

A “good” poetry collection incorporates various poetic forms. Today, I’d like to discuss and share six of the forms I used and several lines from the various poems in mine.


A poem that usually consists of two consecutive lines that rhyme and have the same meter. Bewildering Snows combines The Snow Queen and Snow White.

Bewildering Snows

Everyone knows the Snow Queen was mean,

The vilest sorceress you’ve ever seen.

She’d fallen asleep in her cradle of ice

When a blundering prince woke her up in a trice.


A poem of any length composed of 4-line stanzas. Where the 2nd and 4th lines of each stanza serve as the 1st and 3rd lines of the next stanza and the last line of the poem is the same as the first. Brambles, Stalks, and Thorns combines Sleeping Beauty and Jack & The Beanstalk.

Brambles, Stalks, and Thorns

Thorny vines surround a tower.

Briar Rose lies fast asleep.

The guards possess no power,

Still, none pass through the keep.

Briar Rose lies fast asleep.

A golden harp plays by her side.

Still, none pass through the keep,

Yet the prince hunts for his bride.


A shape poetry particularly set on the page to enhance the poems meaning. Meant to look like subject of poem. The Unattainable Sky Palace is free verse written into the form of seven flying swans. Integrating The Seven Swans, Snow White, The Ugly Duckling, and East of The Sun , West of The Moon.

The Unattainable Sky Palace

A hunter spied from a clump of bushes near a lake.

With a whirring of wings, he thought the ducks

were retuning to nest. He strung his bow

and readied his arrows.

But seven beautiful maidens, clad in feather

robes alighted on the banks.

They removed their feather coverings to bathe.

Loop Poetry

The last word of first line is the first word of the second line and so on until the end of the poem. The Zig Zag Path incorporates various fairytales.

The Zig Zag Path

Magic hidden in the forest,

Forest filled with danger.

Danger of a clever wolf,

Wolf, who is a stranger.

Cleave Poem

A poem read three ways, down the left column, down the right column, across both columns for 3 different poems. Wolksteak Dinner is a combination of Hansel & Gretel and Snow White.

Wolfsteak Dinner

Don’t cry. Sister,

I’m here. I’ll protect you

We’ll find the path as we go home

together, hand in hand—

through the forest. Wait! The Wolf

Following the trail— smells our scent.

Gingerbread crumbs Let us lead him

to show the way to the Candy House.


A poem made up of a chain of couplets that has a refrain of 1-3 words that repeat an inline rhyme that precedes the refrain. Roots in 7th Century Arabia. The Magic of The Night combines Pinocchio, Puss in Boots, The Princess and the Pea, and The Frog Prince.

The Magic of The Night

A boy made of wood is misunderstood.

His tall tales and fibs spring free, in the night.

With each lie, his nose lengthens and grows,

For the truth and his words disagree, in the night.

ONCE UPON A TWISTED TALE is currently available for pre-order on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Indie Bound, and The Clear Fork Publishing website.

As a Master Educationalist, Gayle C. Krause has taught Children’s Literature, creative writing, and storytelling techniques at the secondary and post-secondary levels. She’s a member of SCBWI, the 12 x 12 Picture Book Challenge, and was a member of The Poets’ Garage for six years. She also has served on Angie Karcher’s National Rhyme Revolution Committee, choosing the best rhyming picture book from 2015-2018. You can follow her writing journey at Gayle's website.


Since all of my picture books are in rhyme and this is my first poetry collection (with more to follow), I’m offering one commenter, who shares this post on social media, their choice of a rhyming picture book critique or a signed copy of ONCE UPON A TWISTED TALE. (Book will only be mailed within the U.S.)

Thanks, Gayle!

For those not familiar with Sub Six, we are a Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Support Group. Members support each other through encouraging comments, submission tally sheet and monthly prizes.

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