a form(al) education

i started my workshop yesterday: Rattling the Cage, a month-long online workshop on formal poetry. our first assignment was to write a blues poem or a villanelle. i’ve been taking time to write everyday, so last night after zuzu went to bed, i took my notebook out to the sunroom and started working on my assignment. sometime later, bryan came in and asked “so, want to watch some olympics, you’ve been out here two hours” — i had no idea i’d been writing that long! i had no idea forms could be so engrossing and enjoyable and not utter and complete hades to write!

my first experience with form was writing sonnets in my mfa program and i was not a fan. partially that might have been that meter is hard for me. i’m not good at hearing it and it takes me a long long time to write it. also i think i was just so keyed up and nervous about being a first semester mfa student–surrounded by such incredibly talented classmates, such incredibly talented professors–that i froze up doing something outside my comfort zone.

i’m old now though and writing outside my comfort zone is not so scary. especially since the only people who are critiquing it are faceless internet-people who i’ll probably never meet.

villanelles are not as villainous as i supposed they were. i’ve written two so far and i think i’ll write another one before the end of the week. they are terrible but you can read them if you want (again, via email–these will not be publicly posted ever.)

i’ll keep you posted on how the rest of the workshop goes; anything that has me writing two form poems in two days is worthwhile

6 thoughts on “a form(al) education”


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