Whittled Words – Magic 9 Poem


Welcome to the weekly series, Whittled Words. A series highlighting the innumerable types and styles of poetry to challenge any creative wordsmith. This week’s selection:




The Magic 9 is a newer form and relatively unknown. In fact, I couldn’t find a creator of the form, though it appears to have been inspired by a poet misspelling the word ‘abracadabra’.

This 9-line poem doesn’t have any rules as far as meter or subject matter–just a rhyme scheme: abacadaba

That’s right! Just remove the r’s from “abracadabra,” and boom! This 9-line form allows for fun and expression without the stress of length or meter to individual lines.


Examples of Magic 9 Poems:



by R J Clarken


The aegrotat is a clever and very useful note
because it’s a document which states
that a student is too ill, with (for example) the flu or a strep throat
and therefore, cannot sit for an exam, along with his or her fellow classmates.
No need to study the gerund or Newton’s 2nd Law or even the asymptote
when a single piece of paper can simply get one excused from this chore,
thus leaving said pupil more time to devote
to the pursuit of online games, sleeping in and other worthwhile endeavors.
While it may get one’s teacher’s goat, the aegrotat most assuredly gets my vote.



by Mike Gill

Depression is more than a dent in the ground.
It’s more than a few days in a sad mood.
Think instead of a thousand pound
Weight sitting deep in your soul
And you have to listen to the constant sound
Of your mind telling you lies and sometimes
You wonder if any light can be found.
You have to look in the mirror and tell that dude
That his is not a feeling to which you are bound.



By Brad Osborne

Do not act like you have no clue

I see easily through your practiced veil

You know exactly what it is you do

This torrid and playful game

Pretense of love not true

Bewitches me and draws me in

The ache and want in me renew

I resist your efforts to no avail

Helpless I fall into you


I hope you have enjoyed this entry to the series, Whittled Words. I look forward to your comments, and if you dare, maybe share your own Magic 9 poem. Thanks for reading!


15 Responses to “Whittled Words – Magic 9 Poem”
  1. beth says:

    I love the story of how this poetic form came to be, that in itself if magic !

  2. Francisco Bravo Cabrera says:

    So abracadabra… Interesting and very informative Brad. I always learn something new and that is very good!

  3. Jim Borden says:

    that’s a clever way to remember the rhyming scheme! your poem reminds me of the song Maneater by Hall&Oates for some reason… 🙂

  4. jonicaggiano says:

    So funny I remember that song Maneater as well. An interesting point on how this type form was developed. A lovely piece about the the bewitching way someone can play games and one can fall for it anyway.

    Lovely piece and again you have taught this ongoing pupil something new. Thank you Brad. I am sending love and warm hugs. ❤️🤗💕Jonikins

  5. Paul Szlosek says:

    Congratulations, Brad, on another remarkable edition of “Whittled Words”! Your magic nine is excellent and shows you have really mastered this form (as you always do with every poetry form).

    I hope you don’t mind but I’ve actually done quite a bit of research online about the magic nine and would love to share a little more information about this form with you and your readers. The first mention of the form on the internet appears to be in 2015, and it is sometimes credited to the poet Divena Collins. My interest in the form is primarily because of its extreme similarities to another form which appears to be totally unknown on the net called “The Magic Poem” (which to the best of my knowledge predates the magic 9 about ten years). The magic poem was invented by Mel Dark Deer, a poet from Northeastern Connecticut who frequented the poetry venue I ran in nearby Southbridge, Massachusetts known as “The Poets’ Parlor”. She created it in response to one of our frequent Poets’ Parlor challenges, in this case, to invent a new poetry form (unfortunately I did not keep proper records, but I believe this was sometime between 2004 and 2006). Like the magic 9, Mel’s form was directly inspired by the word “abracadabra”, but instead of removing the “r”s, she decided to incorporate them into the rhyme scheme, with the “r” representing “refrain.” Thus she came up with an eleven line poem in which the third line is repeated as the tenth. I am sorry I don’t have any of Mel’s own original magic poems, but as an example, here is one that I wrote (as a tribute to the poems of Lewis Carroll):

    The Beezle-Weezle-Wob (A Magic Poem)

    When Autumn leaves are falling
    In the deepest darkest wood,
    Beware of the Beezle-Weezle-Wob
    A-slithering and a-crawling
    In search of its meal of human skin. 
    Its huge slug-like appearance is appalling,
    Drooling bubbling corrosive slime
    (Its cry mimics a teething baby bawling).
    If your paths cross—that wouldn’t be so good.
    Beware of the Beezle-Weezle-Wob
    If it ever decides to come a-calling…

    —Paul Szlosek

    Thanks so much, Brad, for allowing me to blather on….

    • Brad Osborne says:

      Thank you for adding such a rich history of this form and the Magic Poem originations. As a fellow lover of forms, I encourage you to jump in any time and share your wisdom. The Magic Poem has piqued my interest now and is on my list. Thank you for sharing your work with my readers! Stay well, Paul!

  6. kristianw84 says:

    Gahh!! I love your poem, and this form!

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