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?

Liner Notes:

  • 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. 

Play

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.

The Space Between Worlds, by Micaiah Johnson

WX RSS: A Quick Tech-Team Update

Howard here.

Lemme lead with this: we’re aware of the problem, and the person who is most likely to be able to fix it has been alerted.

The problem? At some point in the recent past the Writing Excuses RSS feed stopped working with several podcast aggregation services. I could speculate wildly as to the cause, but I shan’t. My lane is clearly defined, and I’ll be staying within it.

Yes, yes, I know. I am listed as the technical contact for the RSS feed. Ten years ago that seemed like a good idea. Perhaps in light of the current crufterchuck we will update some of that information, but the pressing issue is getting the RSS feed fixed.

Thank you for sticking with us. We’re still putting up new episodes each week. In fact, just yesterday we recorded an eight-episode mini-master-class on interactive fiction with James L. Sutter and Cassandra Khaw. It’s great stuff, and we look forward to the day when you’ll get to listen to it.

Hopefully you can listen via your favorite podcast aggregation service. We’re still working on that part.