I think – or I like to think, that I am a visual and highly conceptual person. In this sense, form matters in my writing because it provides a way to block up and organize my ideas, whether it’s a progression of emotions or a story. Personally, I have found traditional forms such as haikus or meters a bit stifling, possibly because I do not have much practice with them but I can appreciate the form and structure they bring to poems as literary devices. As Szirtes says, “verse is not decoration, it is structural”. In his piece “Formal Wear: Notes on Rhyme, Meter, Stanza & Pattern”, he says several things that caught my attention.
The first of these was that ‘language is a very thin integument or skin stretched over a mass of inchoate impressions, desires and anxieties’ which connected with something else states in the piece, ‘poetry is the triumph of meaning and structure of chaos and meaningless’. In a world where there are a myriad of coincidences but also such a vastness that at times, nothing seems to make sense, the idea that poetry can bring order to the chaos of it all, seemed like a novel idea. Szirtes connects all sonnets and by extension all poetry on a higher plane by saying that ‘all sonnets share communion with other sonnets littering the landscape’, extending his idea of all art sharing a single space. I think it’s a widely held belief that art is in a separate world of its own from the rest of the world and what Szirtes says connects everything, which I found very interesting.