Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Carpe Diem's "Little Ones" #10, Dutch 'Elfje' in another way, shaken not stirred

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

In the 'ghost-writer'- post by Jules she spook about the Dutch poetry-form 'Elfje' and I thought maybe it's a good idea to make a Carpe Diem's "Little Ones" episode about that 'Elfje', but I love to bring it in another form say "shaken not stirred" ... how?

Well I have understood that the original 'Elfje' has five lines respectively with 1, 2, 3, 4 and 1 word(s) (which makes it together 11, or eleven) a nice poetry form I think. Look for more on this poetry-form at: simply elfje

As you all know I love to 'break' rules which are given for a lot of poetry-forms, and so there are rules for 'Elfje' too, but those rules I will ignore for this post. I love to challenge you to write a 'syllables-counted-elfje' which means that I love to challenge you to write an 'Elfje' with in the first line 1 syllable; in the second line 2 syllables; in the third line 3 syllables; in the fourth line 4 syllables and in the last line 1 syllable. That kind of 'Elfje' I call "shaken not stirred"- elfje.

Credits: fench (dutch website)

Of course I have given it a try myself and this is what I wrote, and it wasn't easy. My first ever "shaken not stirred"- elfje:

watching me
behind the fench

(c) Chèvrefeuille

Well ... I hope that you will take this challenge .... and I am looking forward to your responses on this post, this 10th episode of our "Little Ones" feature. Have fun, be inspired and share your 'Elfje' or your "Shaken not stirred-elfje" with our Haiku Kai.
This episode of "Little Ones" is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until April 27th 11.59 AM (CET).


  1. Chèvrefeuille - great idea. I must say you are the most innovative person I know!

  2. My friend and I have taken the Elfje to many new 'adult' forms. Acrostic, Storytelling, mirrored pairs, duos, triplets, quads... It is fun to break the rules.

    I didn't know them all when I did my first Elfje series (my first ever Elfje about two years ago) - you might enjoy:

    March 15

    His Story

    she saw
    her beloved die
    tried to warn him

    ever foolish
    strode on confidently
    as any other day

    who strikes
    Caesar to death
    Brutus on the ides


    A trio of Elfje, with thanks to Catherin van Vliet-Saivers (who introduced the form to me).
    Process notes: I wrote the last verse first, but felt there was more of the story to tell -
    however briefly. I hope I kept up with the spirit of this Dutch form of using only 11 words to tell a tale. So I used 33... but then I also often write haiku in series :)

    1. Jules
      I think I must have been introduced to the Elfje by Catherine VanViet-Saivers about the same time as you... and saw how creative YOU are with them: new 'adult' forms. Acrostic, Storytelling, mirrored pairs, duos, triplets, quads...
      and it was nice to have a change of pace in writing...
      different forms for me, fit different situations and using the spirit of the Elfje for story telling is unique and challenging... and satisfying.
      Am happy to see you here spreading the Elfje word :)