Arc Poems–After Circle Poems

Recently on Instagram, I posted this poem.

After reading Quait journal’s Issue 2: circle poems, I was inspired to write poems in circles. Only, the poems I had read were already doing that and doing it well. So, I chose to break away from the circle for my poems.

The first way to play with the form was to add movement. Like any shape or image drawn, a circle can look totally static. A text in a circular poem becomes a circle and the circle becomes a line of poetry, but neither becomes visually dynamic until someone disturbs the page to read it.

Adding movement to a circle itself would result in the poem not needing the reader to manipulate it; neither would the poem expect or have to comment on such a need. But, to guarantee the reader would interpret movement, there would have to be process, change.

The next decision was to use the arcs of circles and to place them in a triptych. Three semi-circles could create that necessary process in reading from the first to last—with three lines, there would be a series of stages that could build, diminish, shift, slip, fall, climb, turn, drop and even emote correspondence with each other and their lingo-context.

I thought it would be interesting to show how my writing in this form began with the images below. I used a pencil compass to outline the triptychs of circles that guided me as I wrote. It took a while to break away from composing in complete circles and to see where text would be legible or confusing, but I think it worked out.

Check out After the Pause, Vol. 7 issue 2, to see a couple of these poems, which I dubbed modern haiku.

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