Poem 54 Editing

Couplets, the classic poetic form, has always been an issue for me. The first few work, but the ending I always end up cheating with enjambment and wasting the form.

There is little to be said about a decomposing poem, unless that’s the point. If your form decomposes, which is different than if you suprose the reader with change, then you should have never used the form in the first place.

Let me explain.

A form is a challenge, right? So you put up a challence and answer it with a poem. If you put up the challenge and the poem fails to deliver, you lose. This is again different than posing a revised sestina, or a revised sonnet, and atill different than establishing a pattern and adding value by pulling the rug out.

I am talking about what happens here, and in so many of my other works, where the morter falls out and the bricks start to crumble. We would call this enjambment from an analytic lense, but from the writing side it is a mistake until you make it valuable.

I was once told by a visiting poet that the use of enjambment should be a suprose to the reader. Like if a poem was going to say something negative and turned it around. That the young poets use it like a gymic, that the young poets overuse it because their poems aren’t very good. That the young poets are trying to hard to break the rules.

He was right. I had to go back and really reconsider my use of enjambment, like sincopation in music.

So in this poem, the new version allows a little better for the challenge of couplets with the controlled use of enjambment. You can see the difference, like you can in much of my work. It’s not just the poem at stake but the respect of a form. Don’t be lazy.


Choose forms wisely, they can challenge your work or make you look foolish. If the poem begins to decompose with enjambment, reconsider the form or work harder to make the lines fit with meaning. If there is so much muddiness that you feel you’ve chosen the wrong form, then revise the poem. If there is mudiness because you were too hasty with your writing then the solution is simple.

Please Join the Conversation

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s