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Writing

What Is a Nonet Poem? How to Write a Nonet

Written by MasterClass

Last updated: Jan 24, 2020 • 1 min read

Oftentimes, the pleasure of writing poetry comes from finding creativity within a rigid structure. Whether it’s a haiku, senryu, acrostic, or cinquain, a poem with a strict set of rules can produce inventiveness and beauty. Such is the case with the nonet, a poem which must adhere to a narrow and specific structure.

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What Is a Nonet Poem?

A nonet is a nine-line poem. In the nonet form, each line contains specific, descending syllable counts. The first line contains nine syllables, the second line contains eight, the third line contains seven, and so on. The last line of nonet poetry contains one syllable. The nonet is a poetic form that can contain any rhyming scheme and cover any subject matter. Due to the simplicity and popularity of the nonet structure, many poetry websites and publications have yearly nonet poetry contests.

How to Write a Nonet

The structure for nonet poetry form is as follows:

First line: 9 syllables
Second line: 8 syllables
Third line: 7 syllables
Fourth line: 6 syllables
Fifth line: 5 syllables
Sixth line: 4 syllables
Seventh line: 3 syllables
Eighth line: 2 syllables
Ninth line: 1 syllable

Example of a Nonet Poem

Here is an example of a poem that fits the definition of nonet poetry:

My father and I run through the woods
Breaking branches and scaring birds
We are kings of the meadow
Princes of babbling brooks
My father and I
How I long to
Run again
Run with
Him

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What Is the Difference Between a Nonet and an Etheree?

The nonet is similar to the etheree poetry form, which consists of ten lines. In the etheree, each line’s syllable count increases as it goes along. The first line contains one syllable, the second line contains two, and so on until the final line.

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