Cadralor, A New Poetic Form

Cadralor, A New Poetic Form


About Gleam Journal

Gleam is a journal wholly devoted to the new poetic form, the cadralor. Co-created by three of Gleam’s editors in August, 2020, the cadralor consists of five short, unrelated, highly-visual stanzas. The fifth stanza acts as the crucible, illuminating the gleaming thread that runs through all the stanzas and bringing them together into a love poem. By “love poem,” we mean that the fifth stanzaic image answers the question: “For what do you yearn?” Please see sample poems and editor statements on the cadralor to get a feel for this new form. 

Cadralor: The Rules of the Form

The cadralor is a poem of 5, unrelated, numbered stanzaic images, each of which can stand alone as a poem, is fewer than 10 lines, and ideally constrains all stanzas to the same number of lines. Imagery is crucial to cadralore: each stanza should be a whole, imagist poem, almost like a scene from a film, or a photograph. The fifth stanza acts as the crucible, alchemically pulling the unrelated stanzas together into a love poem. By “love poem,” we mean that your fifth stanza illuminates a gleaming thread that runs obliquely through the unrelated stanzas and answers the compelling question: “For what do you yearn?” 

It is left to the poet’s discretion to decide how much, if any, contextual connection or linguistic connection will exist between the stanzas. The more unrelated in context, the sharper–riskier–the poem. Ultimately, the more unrelated the stanzas, the more successful the poem will be as a cadralor: they contain oblique connections that are illuminated by the fifth stanza. End punctuation between stanzas is also at the discretion of the poet. 

Ready to write your own cadralor?

About Us

Gleam is a journal wholly devoted to the new poetic form, the cadralor. Co-created by three of Gleam’s editors, the cadralor consists of five short, unrelated, highly-visual stanzas.

More About Cadralor

Get In Touch

If you are interested in submitting your own cadralor poem or if you have questions, you can reach out to our Gleam email. We look forward to hearing from you!

Call for Submissions

Meet the Editors

The cadralor was co-created by:
Lori Howe, Editor in Chief
Christopher Cadra, Senior Editor
Mary Carroll-Hackett, Contributing Editor

Meet the Editors

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