Naming rights? (SOLSC)

Last night I wrote a poem. I got the idea for the form from thinking about Paul’s snowball poem. I liked thinking of another way to play with the words.

But …  Is it that simple? Can I really have created a new form? Just like that (snap of fingers)? That seems impossible.

But …  What if it’s true? What if no one ever had that idea before? What does that mean? I get to name it, call it some trying-to-be-clever thing that no one (maybe no one) ever called a poem before? That really does seem impossible.

But …  That doesn’t mean I didn’t take some time today to think of names. I thought immediately of using numbers, or using the word for “syllables” in some language other than English. I thought I should use an African language, but which? And besides, isn’t that obnoxious?  And pretentious?  But I couldn’t make myself set it aside, so I apologize.

I have a few now that I like, and maybe you can help me choose.  Here is tonight’s poem:

a language,
a way to talk,
share myself with you,
a shield.
This frozen,
calm hides all terrors,
you back,
holds me back.
I am smiling
and saying nothing.

And now for the voting:

Let me know what you think.  I’m open to other suggestions, too!


12 thoughts on “Naming rights? (SOLSC)

  1. Paul

    The poem your poem made me think of:

    Fair Warning

    I keep a lunatic chained
    to a beam in the attic. He
    is my twin brother whom
    I’m trying to cheat
    out of his inheritance.
    It’s all right for me
    to tell you this because
    you won’t believe it.
    Nobody believes anything
    that’s put in a poem.
    I could confess to
    murder and as long as
    I did it in a verse
    there’s not a court
    that would convict me.
    So if you’re ever
    a guest overnight
    in my house, don’t
    go looking for
    the source of any
    unusual sounds.

    Alden Nowlan

    As for the “name game”, I love it! Have you researched the apparent impossibility that this is an all-new form? I’m very curious now…either way, your names are awesome and fun and meaningful. I think it should be yours to claim regardless. 🙂


  2. Paul

    And also — I love your poem. The last two lines are brilliant, as is the main idea here (counter-intuitive wisdom). I’ve been so hemmed in with my test-driving of set forms, I think I’ve forgotten how to create a sweet line break just because I want to. Bravo!


    1. Thanks, Tara! I’m not sure why I had a preference for the Yoruba words over the Twi and Wolof. I looked at several other languages, too, the Yoruba just resonated with me.


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