Mike Snider's Formal Blog and Sonnetarium :
Poems, mostly metrical, and rants and raves on poetry and the po-biz.
Updated: 1/24/06; 10:17:35 PM.



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Monday, December 13, 2004

A little while ago I said I wanted to try something longer, and figured I needed some trial invocations to the muse. Well, here's the first one:

Just think of how we've played together, making
Our little songs, sometimes for fun, sometimes
In earnest when I knew my heart was breaking,

Though you knew better, soothing it with rhymes —
Sovereign placebo for a sap like me,
A guy who openly weeps at baffled mimes

Exploring walls nobody else can see
And thirty seconds later roars at a pun
Or a banjo-player joke — easily

Amused, that's me. And — what — my point? But hun,
That is the point. I never follow through.
A sonnet is the biggest thing I've done,

Done over and over, and I'm asking you
To help me — isn't that your job? — Oh God,
I'm sorry, please, it's not your fault, I'm blue,

I'm down, I'm not myself, I feel a fraud
And, baby, you can always make things right,
So, listen, sweetie, it's really not so odd —

I want to write an epic. Let's start tonight.
In terza rima, 'cause we like rhymes, you know,
And there'll be murder, but let's keep it light

And have the ghost not mind too much and show —
What? — you say there's no ghosts? But you're a shade —
Oh Christ. I didn't mean it. Please don't go!

When I'm alone, I'm always so afraid
I'll freaking never write another line,
But baby, you and me, we've got it made —

We're tight. Together, darling, we just shine —
Is that a smile? Oh, it'll be so fine!

Drafts at the Draft House.

Here's Denise Levertov (from this interview) on enjambment in what she called open forms:

When writing in open forms, "enjambment" is irrelevant; although some people don't realize this. Some poets break their lines in places which throw a quite undesired, heavy accent onto a word that commences the next line, for example. But this practice of enjambment in nonmetrical forms is really a useless practice. In tight metrics it provides relief from the monotony of metrical patterns, but when one is writing in nonmetrical forms, then the line takes on a more intense function than it ever did before. So the whole concept of "enjambment" just gets in the way of the real function of the line.

And here are several recordings by William Carlos Williams, including an entire reading, where you can hear him entirely ignore his beautiful line breaks, pausing only for punctuation.

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