16.16: Poetic Structure: Part II
Your Hosts: Mary Robinette, Dan, Amal, and Howard
How does a poem happen?
Absent an external structure, what makes a thing a poem?
The key word in that question may be “external,” because ultimately the poem on the page will be the implicit definition of its own structure—even if it borrows a “non-poetic” structure from another form.
Structure is as structure does. “Unstructured” is just a way to say “I am unfamiliar with this structure,” or maybe “I don’t believe that this structure is fit for poetry.”
And that might be a thing you are currently saying. After all, “blog post describing a podcast episode” is definitely a structure.
Does the embracing of that structure make this thing into a poem?
If this thing is a poem, how did that happen?
- “Girl Hours” by Sofia Samatar (via Stone Telling magazine),
- “The Hill We Climb,” by Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman (YouTube from the Biden/Harris Inauguration)
Credits: This episode was recorded by Marshall Carr, Jr., and mastered by Alex Jackson.
Homework: Write a poem inspired by the form with which you’ve chosen to structure it: take a numbered list of things, and use that numbered list to write a poem inspired by the list, and also organized according to that list.
Thing of the week: The Space Between Worlds, by Micaiah Johnson.
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