tossing off about form
I envy writers skilled enough
to compose formal poems
who toss off sonnets or
forms I scarcely can pronounce
much less execute.
So I set myself to writing
a formal poem (and have yet
to manage it seems).
No matter the form I fail
often by the first line
to concoct anything presentable.
I find my success hinges at this point
on creating my own form, which I have done:
a baganellestina, consisting of three stanzas,
each of which must begin with the word
pecker. The poem must contain the name of the form,
baganellestina, at least twice. Each stanza must be composed
of a different number of lines, in no case less than seven nor more than twenty-six.
The first stanza should serve as an introduction to both the form and the poem itself.
The second stanza should in some way indicate the structure
and formal requirements of the poem,
and the third stanza—which, like the two preceding it, should begin with the word
pecker—ought to digress tangentially from the subject of the poem thus far,
and while prolonged technical explorations of Indo-Syraic archaeology may inexplicably be juxtaposed with casual mention of data acquisition and the seven deadly sins, these latter may at no time be enumerated,
nor shall revelatory details from the personal life of the poet be divulged.
The poem must once and only once violate its own form
and should in every case with a verb conclude.
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Poems from Other Days