An Ode to Form



We choose to write in metered length

And eschew the freedoms of prose

For in the form, a greater strength

Than what unbridled words compose


And though there’s work in meeting rhyme

It is a poet’s true duty

Repeated sounds in rhythmic time

Create a lyrical beauty


We write in a restrictive style

Making even harder our work

For we believe that all the while

It is where practiced talents lurk


So, forgive us the forms we hold

And the lilting words given phrase

Counted meter and rhymes so bold

Is how we wish our art portrayed




33 Responses to “An Ode to Form”
  1. Matt P says:

    Yes, forms! I love forms. It is art at its best.

  2. beth says:

    and forms are lovely – an arrangement of words and sounds that become music in the poet’s hands

  3. Jim Borden says:

    I agree; I have trouble calling some “poetry” poetry if it doesn’t rhyme and have a rhythm to it… well done!

  4. jonicaggiano says:

    Hi Brad I wrote a long response and then it disappeared so I don’t think it went out. Anyway well done. I thought it was a very cleaver poem about poetry and form. It was very well done. It made me smile even before my first cup of coffee which is no small feat. It does take a lot of work writing a great poem with excellent rhythm and form, etc. I totally agree. However I also agree with what you said about finding beauty within the words. I love free form poetry and find that it’s name suits it well. It frees us up to be completely lead by emotions and expression. I know you feel the same way because we love some of the same poets. I really enjoyed your poem. Love, hugs and prayers for safety coming your way my friend. Joni πŸŒΈπŸŒΊπŸ˜˜πŸ’•

    • Brad Osborne says:

      Thank you so much, Jonikins! Glad to know I got to you before your coffee…😁 I, like you, enjoy the beauty that can come from free form poetry or prose. My only concern is for the ‘poets’ who completely avoid form poetry because they find free form so much easier to write. Everybody does, believe me. But writing only free form eschews not only the structure form poetry, but also the grammatical structure of prose. It is the grey area, where little is required other than pretty words. If free form poetry is someone’s only claim to being a poet, than everyone who can write the language is a poet. I know there are a lot of free form ‘poets’ out there rolling their eyes at me right now, but it is what it is. Thanks for all the love! ❀🌹

      • jonicaggiano says:

        Hi Brad you make a good point. You also do make me smile and I like that. I love my nickname Jonikins. This too, brings me joy. I agree that most poets that are talented can write in many forms however for me if someone is incredibly talented at free form and their words draw me in and invoke a strong emotional response, I am going to keep reading. So my question is should they write in a different form if they have found their niche? I don’t see why not. I just know what I love and enjoy so that is what I seek. I admire your discipline Brad. When I wrote Paso Fino and it was published by Spillwords I was beyond thrilled and it took a while to write. It was a five minute read and it told a story which a friend said made her cry. So I felt like I had done well plus I love their magazine and you are in their magazines fine work, so you must as well.
        Forgive me if I am wrong but I think what I hear you saying is that it is an injustice to the poet themselves if they don’t experiment or work with different forms of poetry. You are extremely talented with your rhythm and rhyme which takes structure, discipline and time. I appreciate you, your work and your friendship. I have to come up with a cleaver nickname for you. Coming to you bright eyed and bushy tailed (as my mom use to say) from North Carolina wishing you lots of love. 🌸🌺❀️Jonikins πŸ’–

      • Brad Osborne says:

        Hey Joni, I understand what you are saying. I do not deny the art beauty that can be derived from free form poetry. And I know many poets, including some I would consider friends, whose niche is free form poetry. I, myself, have written free form poetry and have included it here on my blog. And I would agree that most of what you find on Spillwords listed as poetry is free form. And there are exceptional poets there. I do not want to dismiss or take away from the art they create. My only concern is when that is all an artist does. Most true artists I know are creative by nature and they seek out multiple disciplines in which to express their art. Those who have found a gift for free form, even those with a unique talent for it, limit themselves by doing what they know and what is easiest. I think as artists, we must challenge ourselves, expand our talents, and sometimes work in mediums or styles that are not dead center in our comfort zone. If someone writes only in free form and nothing else, then I think they are doing their creativity an injustice. If I were to complete a paint-by-number painting and it was beautiful, would you see the beauty in it? Of course, you would. But if that was all I ever painted, would you begin to question how creative or talented my painting maybe? Probably. It is all about personal choice and preference, as in any creation or interpretation of art. To the beholder, we simply like what we like. But for the creator, to become single-minded in our expression because it is what we know, what we are good at, or just the easiest, will not allow us to grow and find even greater ways to share our art with the world. Do not think of it as seeing free form as something less than, but if that is all someone writes then I we be left to wonder why that is. Thanks for your question. ❀🌹

      • jonicaggiano says:

        You are so welcome. That is why I sing, dance and write in multiple styles so I do understand what you are saying Brad. Thanks for taking the time to write such a comprehensive response. Hope you are having a lovely day. Hugs and love πŸ’• coming to you from Jonikins. πŸ˜˜πŸŒΈπŸŒΊβ€οΈπŸ’•

  5. kristianw84 says:

    You are the only person I know who can write a poem about the art of true poetry, and I love that about you! ❀

    I wrote a comment and then forgot to hit send. Lol. I should have just gone back to bed this morning. I have been off my game all day. I almost broke my hand while walking through my house, and it still really hurts. Then, I started out the door to take trash out to the curb only to realize I forgot to put on pants. πŸ€¦β€β™€οΈπŸ€£ My poor neighbors…

    Anyway, I want to thank you for introducing me to so many different forms of poetry. You have inspired me to go out of my comfort zone and write more poetry that stays true to form and rhyme scheme while pulling the reader in with beautiful words. It seems to come so natural to you. You definitely have a gift, my dear. You are always such an inspiration!

    • Brad Osborne says:

      Sounds like a rough day. Here is to hoping that tomorrow is the best. Thank you, my friend, for your very kind words. The inspiration has gone both ways, for sure! I am all for taking the trash out with no pants on. A poignant way to thumb our noses at societal expectations. You are such a non-conformer! Stay well and stay positive! ❀😘

      • kristianw84 says:

        Haha! I really am a non-conformer!! Not a terrible day, just one of those days where my body can’t seem to match my brain. Thank you, dear!! ❀😘

    • Brad Osborne says:

      Oh, almost forgot! Not that I need to ask, but make sure you read tomorrow’s post. I wrote it with you in mind!

      • kristianw84 says:

        Awww! That’s so sweet, and yes, I visit your blog daily! πŸ₯°β€πŸ˜

      • Brad Osborne says:

        I now you do and I felt silly to remind you, but I guess I was just looking for a subtle way to let you know you are a part of the inspiration that drove the verse. Now, let’s both hope it is good! 😘🌹πŸ₯°

      • kristianw84 says:

        You don’t ever have to feel silly telling me anything. I am so grateful for you & I have no doubt the poem will be marvelous! I have yet to read anything less than marvelous from you. πŸ’‹πŸ’‹

      • Brad Osborne says:

        You are either super, super considerate and kind, or you are borderline delusional. I know that not everything I write is good, but I appreciate your undying support and love! πŸ€—πŸ˜˜πŸ’•

      • kristianw84 says:

        I am not denying that I am borderline delusional, but it is not because I think everything you write is superb. 🀣🀣 I’m sure many of your followers would agree with me!

  6. jomz says:

    I couldn’t agree more! I also prefer poetry with rhyme and meter. Great post!

  7. Oh, you are fabulous aren’t you? What a beautiful poem my dear friend. Form did not stop you to enchant all of us. I don’t say that lightly. It is a great poem Brad.
    “So, forgive us the forms we hold
    And the lilting words given phrase
    Counted meter and rhymes so bold
    Is how we wish our art portrayed”

    Oh, yes. A wonderful ode to form. A delight!

  8. Totally agreed, I guess the definition of poetry is in many ways about the elegant flow, while rhythmic poetry has always been my style too, I feel some writers can bring the magic without ryhmimg as well, all that matters is how the words reflect each other to make a beautiful art. Wonderful writing Brad 😊

    • Brad Osborne says:

      I agree, V! Rhyming is but one of the tools in a poet’s tool box. And beauty can exist in many forms. I have always loved your writing and look forward to reading more. Thank you!

  9. jupitergrant says:

    Magic. Your skill with all poetic forms is awesome xx

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