Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Formal Considerations

Sorry for my silence yesterday, friends. I was recovering from my days in the desert, and needed some away-from-the-computer time. But I am back today with a great article by Matthew Zapruder about the history of poetry and how it relates to his history as a poet.

His essay got me thinking about my time as a student, both in grad school and before. I went through a similar phase of experimentation with rhyme and form, and wonder if others have had the same experience. Did you start as a free verse star, or did you slog your way through form beforehand?

And does form have a place in today's poetic culture? My grad class on form was presented to me in this way: Just write the damn thing, and don't worry about being good, because it's going to suck, but you have to do it. But I find contemporary poets who use blank verse, rhyme, who compose in groups of three or four lines. How does form make its way into your work?

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