Everything’s Fine

The other day I was wondering what to write for my weekly blog post. Nothing was coming to mind. So when in doubt, I usually search the internet for an unusual genre of writing to experiment with, which led me to the following article: “11 Obscure or Little-Known Types of Poetry Forms. I was familiar and had experimented with some of the poetry forms before (e.g., found, ghazal, sestina), but others I had not. Here is the complete list of all 11 poetry forms:

  1. Aubade
  2. Concrete
  3. Didactic
  4. Eclogue
  5. Ekphrasis
  6. Found
  7. Ghazal
  8. Gnomic
  9. Occasional
  10. Palinode
  11. Sestina

While trying to decide which one to experiment with, I thought, “Why not try them all?” This seemed like a good creative, mental challenge. Then I thought, “Why not write a poetry sequence?” I had not written one ever since I started working on “Eight Way of Saying Qatar two years ago. (Someday I will resume work revising the sequence. Inshallah.) I tentatively titled my new sequence, “A Sequence of Obscure or Little-Known Types of Poetry Forms,” and began writing.

As I tapped at my keyboard, my muse led me to work on a found poem, based upon an email I recently received from the US Embassy in Doha. I then tried to work on an occasional poem and started investigating aubade, eclogue, and gnomic poetry. However, as I wrote, my muse kept directing me towards matters of the present rather than the timeless. I normally have steered away from US and global politics in my blog, but apparently a critical mass had accumulated to the point that I couldn’t ignore it from my oasis in the Gulf, so I needed to acknowledge the zeitgeist of the moment.

I tinkered with an eclogue and subverted the form to be a conversation between militia members instead of shepherds. The idea required more research, so I put the poem on pause and began working on a gnomic poem. Now I was clearly committed to mining the moment for creative material, so I retitled my sequence, “Untitled: A Sequence of Obscure or Little-Known Types of Poetry Forms Written during the Month of October amidst the 2020 Coronavirus Pandemic, Three Weeks Prior to the US Presidential Election of the Incumbent President Donald J. Trump and the Challenger Former Vice President Joe Biden.” There’s a nice subtlety to the sequence title. 

After researching gnomic poetry and discovering the work of Saint Kassiani, I found my inspiration for my gnomic poem and finished a first draft during one Saturday morning sitting. Time to work on the remaining poetry forms. But before that, I decided on a title to my sequence, “Everything’s Fine,” a reference to the “This is Fine” meme taken from KC Green’s webcomic.

Image source

So, for the foreseeable future, I will be working on poems for my project, “Everything’s Fine: A Sequence of Obscure or Little-Known Types of Poetry Forms….” You can return to this blog post, and I will post the links to the sequence entries below, or you can check the Writings tab on the Opusculum homepage to find the entries as I write them. You decide, and I hope you enjoy. It’ll be fine.

  1. Aubade
  2. Concrete
  3. Didactic
  4. Eclogue
  5. Ekphrasis
  6. Found
  7. Ghazal
  8. Gnomic
  9. Occasional
  10. Palinode
  11. Sestina (and a Tritina)
Photo by Tiffany Tertipes on Unsplash

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