Sunday, October 23, 2011

Departure From Form


For some time, I've thought of the poetry project I'm working on (conceived several years ago, started actual work on it last week) as a corona of Spenserian sonnets.

That's a conceit I've had to dispense with ... I've been unable to shoehorn what I'm trying to get in there, in there. Close, but no cigar.

My Spenserian sonnets keep turning into near-Spenserian (that is, Spenserian in rhyming scheme and three quatrain + one couplet form but otherwise Plain Jane) quatorzains.

It's a meter / syllable count problem. Even if I admit of novel syllable-counting schemes, a line that comes off in the meter I'm trying to get often varies between nine and 12 syllables rather than the 10 of a formal sonnet.

I admit defeat. Quatorzains it shall be.

By the end of the year, I plan to have an e-book available (cheap, maybe free) including the poems and an essay on why a reader whose tastes generally run the narrow range between TS Eliot and the Beats is, as a writer, obsessed with such a particular discipline and form.

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