Szirtes & Form

Upon reading Szirtes, I was startled to realize that form doesn’t even cross my mind when I write a poem. I think I can mostly owe this to the fact that I rarely ever sit down and write a poem all at once. A poem is composed over several sessions in my writing process. I’ve always seen form as a limiting factor, however Szirtes proves that it can be quite the opposite. Form is all about establishing a pattern and then being able to break it. This is what brings forth the “reassurance, progress, and delight” of the poem that we all strive to find when we compose our poetry (Szirtes). Pattern is meant to be broken.

Going forward, I think this can be extremely applicable to my poetry. Much of my poetry focuses on a repeating phrase and this can get monotonous at times. Instead of falling in that trap, it can be rewarding to establish that repeating pattern and then surprise the reader with a change or break of that pattern. That especially helps to strengthen unexpected content and subverting expectations. It’s also important to remember that form exists to reflect content. The form should add meaning to the words. That being said, form is definitely something that I want to be more conscious of when writing.

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