I am a big picture person. I have always been and it gets me into trouble with those little-picture skills assessments we have to endure (always) and the when I get a top side view I always take the opportunity to see something I might have otherwise missed.
This poem is the perfect example to relay my newest discovery.
Poem 73 is a twin. I spoke of the idea of sister peoms back in my editing of 49 & 50 but thought perhaps it was an isolated incident. It was not. In fact, the more and more I look these over, the more I see the twin poems popping up everywhere.
So, what makes a twin?
By twin I mean the paired idea and another element to make them inform each other. I am sure all poets experience this phenomenon. Though I am not sure how they all treated it in the past. For example, Whitman had several similar poems, all linked by this sense of Singing. I am not sur if I would call this twinning or just a phase (like my own fish phase). Sometimes this happened with poets across collections, of course Moore and Bishop both have “Fish”. Having a twin poem is a powerful message, bound together by their natural gravity, both poems are made more interesting and poignent with the use of their outside information. It almost undermines the idea of capital P Poem, but again the body and the conscious are two necessary parts of a more effective whole.
So that takes us back to this poem and why it is so important. First of all the editing went very well. There are a few times I thought it was in my top fifteen poems. It was not, sadly, and neither was it’s twin, but top twenty to be sure. So, there’s that. I loved the inspiration, and the temporal link to its twin. Written around the same month, and one about me and my roommat/twin EK, they complete a circle of meaning far greater than could be achieved on their own. They are almost the yin and yang of poetic assembly, swirling around each other like fish (damn I will never get away from these fish).
The importance of twins, and their relevance in my collection might seem small now. but if almost all of my poems have a twin it might become more relevant in their final stages. Like sibblings, they will change and grow, but their connection will stay relevant.
Why have you never heard of this before? Because very likely I am the only poet on the internet who puts up every rough draft, mad thought, and random poem-let that pops into my head. Because forgiving a few stray drafts in my “earlier” years, this will be a whole, living collection and maybe the only one of its kind, and finally, not many poets take this kind of journey with their work in an overall sense. So you get the picture. Get a bird’s eye of your collection and you sill start seeing twins too, though I doubt anyone has as much spare time as me. Haha.
So the twin and the trajectory are yet to be seen, I like the direction this is going, so keep an eye on twinning, I will try my best to call it out as often as it happens. (I think Charlie Sheen came up with his own definition of Twinning, though that is not the same thing as this one, lol.)
The poet will be likely to carry the same idea over several poems. This is what I call a phase. The poet may write the same poem twice in different ways, this is what I call twinning. Twin poems are powerful because they exist within themselves outside of themselves. A strong interlocking symbiosis, the sum is greater than its parts, like a chapbook and a poem, like an anthology and a poet, like a culture and a society. We are all twins of something, these poems prove it.