The Elfje form originated in The Netherlands where it is used to teach young children to write poetry. The word Elfje means ‘Elven’ or ‘Fairy’ poem (from ‘Elf’ meaning ‘elven’ or ‘fairy’ and the sufix ‘-je’ meaning ‘little’). The form consists of 11 words spread over 5 lines.

An ‘Elfje’ counts as five sentences.

Line 1: One word. This word symbolizes a colour or feature. The word symbolizes the atmosphere.

Line 2: Two words. These are something or someone with this colour or feature.

Line 3: Three words. Giving more information about the person or the object. You describe where the person or the object is, who the person or what the object is, or what the person or object is doing. This sentence usually starts with the word ‘he’, ‘she’ or ‘it.’

Line 4: Four words. Here you are writing something about yourself in relation to the person or the object. This sentence is your conclusion.

Line 5: One word. This word is called the ‘Bomb.’ It is the essence of the poem.

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