This week’s poems are fixed forms: forms with tight constraints on variables like number of lines, meter, line-length, rhyme, or line ending words. First, sonnets: by three sixteenth century authors participating in the vogue of writing long sequences of sonnets devoted to (mostly) unrequited love, and then by four twentieth century authors who use the form to different ends. Second, villanelles: another poem by Bishop, and one by Martha Collins (a wonderful poet who lives hear Harvard Square). Finally, a poem that invents a new form, initially as a tribute to Brooks and now used by other writers. Hayes has a weekly column in the NYT Magazine featuring a poem by someone else that he likes with a few sentences about why; if this tickles your fancy, check it out.
This is an expansion of the questions in the first poetry analysis.
Questions to ask about a poem: if they seem boring/trivial OR too hard/confusing to answer, they might not be the most revealing questions about a given poem. But all are worth trying!
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