Monthly Archives: June 2016

In the Poem, Music Makes Meaning


The Herbertian Way

9781447231042Cousin Coat_4

How is meaning of a poem heightened by its music? In Bill Herbert’s manual, Writing Poetry, there’s an interview with Sean O’Brien about the composition of O’Brien’s poem, ‘Cousin Coat‘.  We learn from this that early drafts were written not in the rhymed iambic pentameters readers know, but in free verse. Why the change? Continue reading

How to Write a Glosa

Ever imagine that a medieval Spanish poetic form could help you get to grips with poems you admire? I’m exploring the use of the glosa, a courtly form that steals a quatrain from another poet’s work to structure a poem of your own, in the course of which you create a glosa – or gloss on that poet’s work. Tangling with with your chosen poet may allow her or his subtle influence to inform your tone and expand your expressive range. Continue reading