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The History and Explanation of the Etheree Poetry Style

Updated on May 23, 2017

The Poetic Creator

Etheree Taylor Armstrong (Feb. 12, 1918-March 14, 1994) was a Hot Spring County, Arkansas poet. She was born in Arkadelphia, Arkansas, but spent many years living in Magnet Cove.

She was a member of several poetry societies, including the Poets Roundtable of Arkansas, Intercontinental World Poetry Society, the Fossils Historians of Amateur Journalism, Authors, Composers, and Artists, and the United Amateur Press. She was a founding member of the Malvern Poets Club as well. Her poetry has been published in more than 30 languages, has appeared in the Congressional Record, and in Readers’ Digest. In 1967, she published a book of her poetry entitled The Willow Green of Spring.

Today, Armstrong is known for a particular form of poetry she created that carries her name.

A Simple Etheree

An Etheree is a 10-line poem in which each line follows a syllable count that matches the line number. For example, the first line has one syllable, the second has two, etc. The poem is unrhymed but has rhythm, meaning, imagery, and sometimes an underlying second meaning.

The Reverse Etheree

A Reverse Etheree is just the opposite. It still has 10 lines, but the first line has 10 syllables, working its way back down to the final line having only one syllable. Again, the poem is unrhymed but has rhythm and meaning.

A Stacked Etheree

A Stacked Etheree is two Etherees stacked on top of each other totaling 20 lines in all. The syllable count per line is 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10. This style is also unrhymed but has rhythm and meaning. The Etherees may also be stacked with this line count: 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1.

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      Tamara Moore 3 months ago

      This is a new poetry style for me to learn about and am glad that I found your wonderful article!

      Thank you!