A Negative Freedom: Thirteen Poets on Formal Verse


Among the many reasons poets choose to write formal poetry in the 21st century is an intuitive distaste for the imitative fallacy. To write about chaos, one need not write chaotically. It’s only a minor paradox to say that discipline and constraint unlock freedom. Steele goes on to say that form-minded poets are assumed to believe that “the universe is a nice, neat, orderly place.” On the contrary, he says:

I suspect that most people who write in forms feel that the obvious disorder and chaos of the world afflict us intensely, coming 

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