100 poems in a day

Melanie K bubbles

On 22nd November 2013, Claire Trevien recklessly agreed to write 100 poems in a single day in order to raise money for Refuge. That’s more than she usually writes in a year. Below are three of our favourites.


Message in a bottlenose dolphin*

for Tori



*Scientists believe that this message is in the fact The Great Lost Bottlenose Dolphin Poem which was thought to have been destroyed by the Tiger Shark faction during The Great Dorsal Insurrection of 210. It is a pioneer of the arion, named after the dolphin Arion who carried a human poet (which humans, confusingly, have decided to call Arion) as part of his own performance. The arion form uses the full range of phonetics with each line needing to adhere to a particular type. While modern variations have played with the volume and wavelength of each utterance, they keep to this general order.



The Learned Pig


Poem Fallen Off a Cliff*

For Edge Hill Uni Poetry Yr 3


swchambackle ruckruckruck
Tsiiiiiiiiizsssssssss karkak

*This poem was found on the shore, having fallen off a cliff shortly before. It was quickly chewed by the sea, and while the puncture marks make it hard to read, we are glad to see that it was successfully translated in the sea’s language. Translation is meant in a loose way here, it is more of a version of the poem, and it can in turn be translated back into human language as such:

We drag our teeth along the sand
Our body recycles its kills
Sunlight tries to pierce us



The Learned Pig


Poem Inside a Cider Bubble*

For Lindsey



*This poem, which was found inside a cider bubble, tells us all we need to know about their mating rituals. This is a slightly unusual variant of their courtship quatrains, in that the shorter-form of the Z is present. The Z is absolutely key, making the absence of the K more conspicuous and therefore emphasizing the fuzziness of the bubbling. Traditional quatrains would only use the longform, so this demonstrates that this particular poem is a rare example of monogamous courtship, bubble to bubble.


Click here to donate to Refuge, via Claire’s JustGiving page.

Image credit: Melanie K


The Learned Pig

Claire Trevien

Claire Trévien is the author of The Shipwrecked House (Penned in the Margins), which was longlisted in the Guardian First Book Awards. She co-edits Sabotage Reviews and Verse Kraken and has been published in various magazines and anthologies including Magma, Best British Poetry 2012 and The Forward Book of Poetry 2014.