Why Use Poetry Forms?

Poetry forms are often seen as archaic or irrelevant. When you first start attempting them, they seem to have too many obscure rules. But as a form of constrained writing, they can force your writing into new and different directions.

  • Terrance Hayes says this of form:
Put it this way, if you were in a breakdancing competition against yourself, but said, OK, I’m going to do everything with a straitjacket on, you are automatically going to win because you are doing all the moves but now you have another barrier, and us watching you can see you being less free shows us your skill – just how free you actually are. Forms allows me to get freer. I know what I’m pushing against and I need that otherwise I’m a bird out of a cage.
from 'Dinner with Terrance Hayes' in The White Review

This page modified on 10 Jun 2021 at 11:37