Monday, November 27th, 2017...4:58 pmhrbekm

Poem: Organic Form

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Organic Form

[organic form: A concept that likens literary works to living organisms forming themselves by a process of ‘natural’ growth. The doctrine of organic form [. . .] argues that in an artistic work the whole is more than the mere sum of its component parts, and that *form and *content fuse indivisibly in an ‘organic unity’. It rejects as ‘mechanical’ the *neoclassical concept of conformity to rules, along with the related assumption that form or style is an ‘ornament’ to pre-existing content. It tends to be hostile to conceptions of *genre and *convention, as it is to the practice of *paraphrase. Carried to a dogmatic conclusion, its emphasis on unity condemns any literary analysis as a destructive abstraction; this attitude is sometimes referred to as organicism.]

. . .

My mind lingers on the phonetics of your name
as if it’s a verse of poetry,

because there was a memorable metre in your voice:
a soundtrack to lost sensibility.

You fit with me like imperfect rhyme
my organic form and your outline —

so my judgment went on hiatus to paint you
in pleasant characterization,

and you floated like a line of free verse
across my horizon of expectations.

But flashback should be your last figure of me,
or else I’ll die to false fantasy,

because your whispers threatened a romance
that would put us through domestic tragedy.

. . .

Question for Solmaz Sharif: What is the relationship between your work as your originally plan it and the final versions of published works? Do your initial concepts or intentions change through the process of creating and editing? How so?

1 Comment

  •   Professor Seiler
    November 29th, 2017 at 12:39 pm

    Melanie–this is a terrific couplet (and couple) poem, and somehow your use of a literary critical lexicon emphasizes the sadness of it. Well done, and thanks for sharing the piece.

    What is it that makes you curious about Sharif’s editing?

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