of a poem is part of its meaning. Form's
a way to get the poem written. Formalist
poets rely on form
to get from
beginning to end. Inventive poets alter form,
often they reform
my iMac to transform
poems into sestinas, an old French form:
six end words repeat seven times each to form
thirty-nine lines. My poems are performances
experiment. In my formative
years I wore form-fitting
dress. I refused to conform.
Here I've upped the ante, heightened form's
challenge: Are there form
words enough to inform
this peculiar form
of sestina where every line contains form?
Some poets are misinformed.
Some poets are uninformed,
and pour formulaic
verse into formaldehyde
vials aligned on Formica
Not thirty-nine lines? A mere formality.
-- Florence Cassen Mayers
From McSweeney’s [June 29, 2005]