This will not impress you unless you try it yourself.
My poet friend shared this with me because he knows I like poems that do cool things. This one is a Square Stanza, Futility Closet by Lewis Carroll. It’s unique because it reads the same both across and down:
Kudos, Lewis Carroll! I’m convinced it was the shrooms.
So the other day, I decided to challenge myself and write one of these poems because I’m the kind of weird obsessive person who does things like name the 50 states within 2 minutes because I saw them do it on Friends.
All I can say is, it seems easy until you do it. But it’s FUNNNNN, especially if you’re like me and are intrigued by puzzles because you think you can conquer them all.
Lewis Carroll’s made more sense, but he was part genius and, well, I was just procrastinating more important things.
And just because this post is boring, here’s something you don’t see every day:
Yes, that’s a girl sitting on a camel, strolling through a parking lot in downtown Lubbock, TX. 2011.
I don’t even wish I were kidding. It’s a CAMEL for goodness’ sakes. That’s awesome.
6 thoughts on “Square Poems”
Well, Lewis Carroll’s poem didn’t make sense in line 5! “I would her will be pitied!” I would it not understand… pity…
Just my honest opinion, might be harsh.
I think yours made sense through and through BUT, you’re right, I like his better. But only because, after reading 3-4 of your poems, I’ve discovered all but one of those I’ve read somehow hint at a broken heart. That’s perfectly ok but if not even your imagination can heal, how will YOU? Also, how will you ever surprise your audience? Sure, people tend to read an author because they write a certain way or about certain things. Except, writing now has to compete with youtube, trash tv, and a million other things to get someone’s attention; you sure as hell wouldn’t want to become predictable or boring.
The camel, in contrast, is really interesting. Too random for an honest poem, but interesting. Your options to keep ME interested (I can’t pretend I represent a demographic) means you incorporate some randomness next time you write a poem. Again, writing about a broken heart’s fine, but you could write about the emotion without any characters (no “him” or “her”), you could write about the heart that mended (and hopefully real life will soon follow), give it a new twist (maybe she broke HIS heart), make it something different (happy ending? they usually suck… but not if they’re surprising and believable – so hard to pull off), etc.
Thanks for the feedback. I will say as far as these poems making sense, you really should give a shot. It’s easier to see how it gets complicated after you’ve tried it yourself! I’m sure you’d come up with something very creative, too.
IN regard to the topic of a broken heart, I guess there’s a redundancy in that theme because that’s when I write poems. I’m not a poet and therefore not inspired to write because I’m really happy or because I’m moved by springtime colors or what have you. Plus I LOVE to read depressing poetry and therefore like to write it.
HOWEVER this particular poem’s inspiration is not about a broken heart; it’s about a girl who has just realized she’s pregnant from a guy whom she loves but who doesn’t love her, and she’s not going to tell him about the baby. it effectively changes her future but he goes on unaffected.
though it might see like it, not all poems are strictly first person accounts 🙂
Well, I usually blame the theme of my writing on things I’m feeling or thinking about. I also usually assume other people have the same flaws I do (one of my flaws).
I love it when you can ask people about their writing. I’ve unanswered questions about most things I’ve read! 😛
I love to experience the storms
love to feel the rain and
to feel the thrill that’s thunder
experience the thrill of wet sand
the rain that’s wet. Wind and
storms and thunder, sand and lightning.
Kudos!! great job!
I was trying to find this poem after having seen it a while back, and happened upon your post.
Almost a year late here, but I wanted to try clarifying the fifth line “Futility Closet”… “I would her will be pitied,” actually does make sense. The speaker would, by the woman in question, be pitied. The same message is reiterated in line six, in more straightforward language. “Cursed be love! She pitied me…”