I Finally Wrote a Form Poem and Understood

So I submitted my poetry portfolio, like all have or are in the process of doing, and I submitted a form poem. I didn’t think I was any good at form, but I found that the reason I liked this poem was because I discovered that it worked best in this form. I had a stanza of poetry that I really loved and then when it didn’t fit into another poem I was frustrated, because I really loved this one stanza. So I tried it in a few forms and found that the prose and style of it dictated exactly how it was going to be written. I started with this stanza:

emotional collateral collects

excess balls of fabric

under the arms : between the thighs

in secret

I found that there were obsessive, repetitive syllables and a condensed feeling that maybe I needed to work out. So I decided that a good way to do that would be the Pantoum. I felt that the “under the arms : between the thighs” felt like a chant and that to repeat it over and over would be effective for the poem. I also found that this chant-like line when standing next to itself could gather a momentum. I really liked the idea of this so I ended up with this Pantoum.

assailant

emotional collateral collects

excess balls of fabric

under the arms : between the thighs

in secret

excess balls of fabric

mote coated throat

vein eye carousel-mare jolt

mote coated throat

paralysis of pedagogy

gray eye carousel mare slows

under the arms between the thighs

PARALYZED

under the : between the

under the arms : between the thighs

under the : between the

under the arms : between the thighs

under the arms : between the thighs

under the arms : between the thighs

under the arms : between the thighs

under my arms : between my thighs

silent lady-like etiquette

under my arms between my thighs

where emotional collateral collects

and now I’m starting to understand how these forms can be generative and helpful!

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