There is a math to poetry: a counting of lines, a REcounting of memories, an arithmetic of the heart (no pun intended).
I despise math.
Whenever we learn about and discuss iambs and stresses and syllables, it feels like I’m playing around with a currency that is foreign to me. I focus on the visceral, the obvious, the sound of a piece…and content…but when it comes to lines, I still have a really hard time with parsing them out and making some sort of numerical sense to it.
I’ve been toying with numbers of lines in a stanza, line length, line placement…but usually I go by how I FEEL rather than what makes sense (not surprising, this is how I go about nearly everything in life). If one stanza FEELS like it needs 5 lines and the next needs only 4, should I craft another line for the sake of mathematical sense and consistency or should I throw caution to the wind when it comes to form?
I tend to go with the latter. How do you know what kind of form your poem should take? Do you tend toward logic or feeling in this regard?
(Also, I’ve been on a family-stress-induced Thanksgiving bender for a solid 3 days so don’t mind my incoherence).