Wedding: an elfchen poem

The poetry challenge from W3 Poetry Prompt this week, is to write an Elfchen poem.
Was ist das? Was ist ein Elfchengedicht? Keine Ahnung!

What is an elfchen?

It’s a German poetry form!—and Poet of the Week, Sadje challenges us to write it. (Did anyone else think it might be a poem about elves?)

Sadje’s prompt guidelines
Write an ‘elfchen’ poem;
Extra challenge: write a second elfchen poem, which opposes the first one.

Elfchen poetic form
An elevenie (German: elfchen) is a short poem with a given pattern. It contains eleven words which are arranged in a specified order over five rows. Each row has a requirement that can vary.

The Elfchen
(Elevenie in English)

The elfchen (elevenie) is a short poem with only eleven words. How hard can it be? 
However, Sadje sets a challenge to write two poems, causing the need to write the vast number of twenty-two words. Double the amount! The second poem is to oppose and contrast the first elfchen poem.


The format of the elfchen poem lays out something like this: 
Line 1.     One word (a noun) representing a subject or theme.
Line 2.     Two words (verbs) expressing action related to the subject. 
                 What does  the first word do?
Line 3. Three words (verbs) expressing action related to the subject.
Line 4. Four words (a phrase) presenting a thought or further description.
Line 5. One word ( a synonym or summary) that reflects or wraps up the poem.


I title my first ever elfchen poem WEDDING. An elfchen poem does not require a title. It is a minimalist, concise expression of an idea or emotion within a structure of a simple eleven words (no wonder I find it difficult!). I’ve titled mine (for filing).
Sadje has asked us to write two elfchen. The second poem is opposing the first.
We went to a happy wedding this week and I’m in too much of a cheerful mood to want to contrast and cloud such a joyful occasion with the opposite. (Anyway, this poem has nothing to do with my beautiful friend whose nuptials we celebrated in a wonderful musical gathering.). Rules are rules, so I wrote the opposite poem (even though I didn’t feel inclined.) I am very obedient. However, I placed the negative poem first, as I want to end on a cheerful note.

WEDDING | Abstract: Digital art©️Lesley Scoble
Splitting apart
Walking out, away
Goodbye to all that.
Joining together
Walking down aisle
“I will” “I will”

Lesley Scoble, May 2023

If you know the work of the German abstract artist Gerhard Richter (a German artist for a German poetry form!) you may notice I’m having a touch of the Richters! I am trying to achieve a hint of his style in my illustration, painting. (Lol. No chance!—it needs a lot more scraping and abstraction). I love his work. Who knows, one day I may paint an enormous abstract canvas just like he does! Never stop dreaming, is my motto.

Here is a real Gerhard Richter at the Tate Modern, London. With an admirer offering the work a rose. Appropriate for a wedding, don’t you think?

A rose for Gerhard Richter at the Tate Modern, London | Photo©️Lesley Scoble
Thank you Sadje for this interesting poetry prompt! Thanks as always to David, Skeptics Kaddish.

27 responses to “Wedding: an elfchen poem”

  1. Your painting is stunning! I can see the couple in there. I love abstract art, I make some pieces myself. The poem is lovely too, the lightness of the second one is just perfect.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: