Bound verse, ironically, is quite unbound,
For writing it you have nothing to say,
Since sense comes after you have sought a sound
As line by line you pace your measured way.

Perhaps a general notion of a theme
Sets off your march across the empty page
As your mind slides into a state like dream
Or like a spooky spell cast by a mage.

The form itself provokes this impetus,
While something in your brain seeks cogency
As each line finds its sonic terminus
Where sound and sense seem destined to agree.

The paradox is that by being bound
Your verse allows new vistas to be found.


Alan Nordstrom is a Professor of English at Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida. He is the Society’s 2012 Poetry Competition Winner.

Featured Image: “Clipper Ship ‘Golden West’ of Boston, Outward Bound”  by William Bradford.


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2 Responses

  1. Reid McGrath

    My sentiments exactly in “Creativity Requires a Cave,” Alan, although you say it much better than I do. I have been meaning to write a poem like this for a while: a sort of meta-poem which is an explication and instruction-manual on how a poem is manufactured. But you have beaten me to it! Bravo! It is good to see your name on here again. It has been a little while… No?


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