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Poetry: Comfort in Form

In the editor’s introduction to issue 17 of Spillway, themed “Crossing Boarders,” Susan Terris comments on the number of poetry submissions received “in exacting poetic forms.” She explains, “In these pages, you’ll find five sonnets. A sonnet, historically, is a little song; and you’ll see this volume is threaded with them, many more small songs of 10-16 lines. We also have a villanelle, a pantoum, several invented forms unique to particular poets. In addition, we have Asian forms of haiku, tanka, and haibun. Why all these poetic forms? I have a facile answer: the greater the danger (and all borders are fraught with danger), the more form works to add control and comfort to an out-of-control and uncomfortable world.”

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