Tag Archives: formal poetry

Poetic Forms

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A tangent to symmetry focusing on poetic patterns.

The marvelous thing about humans is that we come at things from remarkably unique viewpoints. While Nathan may throw symmetry at you in the form of fractals or novels or reciprocity (a diverse mix of topics on its own), symmetry makes me think of poetic forms. Poetic forms vastly vary in the ways they come about–for instance, Lewis Carroll’s square stanza can be read both vertically and horizontally to the same effect.

Then there are forms like the sestina, which is my personal favorite. The sestina spirals the same six words around in each stanza with a new order each time. It often ends up being more subtle then you might imagine–the end words coming back in different ways each time and sometimes even in homonym form. Yet they continue to reappear and create a sort of aura for the poem.

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