On Poetry… Form

So back to Glyn Maxwell On Poetry (it’s been a while I know, but all sorts of other things have got in the way like seven books of Game of Thrones). He begins this chapter by saying “You master form, you master time.” Yes time again, that enduring preoccupation, and then two pages later: “You master form, you don’t master time.” Yes, also true.

This chapter is about the left margin, the centre-aligned poem, the length of line, indent and repetition (which is never repetition, each separate same word has different meaning in a poem; say “Never, never, never, never never” and see. There needs to be some way of affixing the poem in the whiteness and often the left margin is it — the “fixed string’ for the music (page 56). Continue reading “On Poetry… Form”