The other night I went through my writing folder to see if I had any poems in progress that might hold some promise. This folder holds the poems that have been semi-abandoned, that is, they weren't working but I liked them well enough to hold onto them, thinking something might click for me weeks or months down the road. I throw out nothing, no matter how vile the first draft might be. Most of the drafts in this folder do not, in fact, ever amount to anything, but every once in a while I come across a draft and wonder why I abandoned it. I see some promise in it. Or I find a line that's the very one I need in another draft.
What I found this week was an unrevised draft, one I'd completely forgotten about. I don't know if this draft will amount to anything, but the form is intriguing, and I might like to give it another whirl. I can't, however, remember where I came across this form. I think it's an invented form. I love invented forms. I'm hoping that one of you can identify the name of this form and possibly even be able to tell me where I found it.
I wrote down the instructions for the form:
1. Begin with a line from a poem by someone else. (I suspect that the original instructions might have directed me to draw from a sonnet and then create a sonnet. My draft is 14 lines long and my first line is from a famous sonnet.)
2. Having chosen your first line, you must now repeat one word from that line in each successive line of your poem. For example, my first line was "Let me not to the marriage of true minds." I then decided to repeat "not" in each of the following lines.
3. The final two lines must rhyme.
Now while I love invented forms and rules, I also like to break the rules, so although I'd decided to use "not" as my repeating word, I also decided to use variations of the word. I first brainstormed a word bank: knot, nod, nut, nude, null, knotty, nub, but, cut, lot, mutt, knotted, nit, knit, gnat, note, net. Then I wrote the draft using a number of those words.
Does anyone recognize this form or know where I found it? Anyone feel up to giving it a try?
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