On Writing

Poem 100 – Duplex for Childhood

Duplex for Childhood

Childhood waits in a long line.
The door is mostly closed.

The door opens on its own time.
A little girl scoots forward. 

My little girl is eager & afraid. 
The past is jagged shadows.

Her shadows live in the present.
I see my hand knock on the door. 

There was no door in the bathroom.
His anger swelled skin. 

Skin that swells tells a story.
Even when it’s not your own skin. 

The door is made of skin. 
Childhood waits in a long line.


NPM – 100th POEM!

Goodness! Can it be? I’ve written one hundred poems so far?! Thank you to poet master Dorothy Mahoney for giving me the skinny for today’s poem on a newer form of poetry called a duplex. Created by poet American poet Jericho Brown mostly by accident, the duplex forms takes its styles from a mish-mash of the sonnet, the ghazal and the blues.

“Jericho Brown introduced the poetry world to the duplex form with the publication of his 2019 collection, The Tradition, which includes several poems written in this style. In an interview, Brown revealed that the form came about when he was trying to “gut the sonnet,” as he wanted to create a “disparate couplet” and move the repeating lines of the sonnet closer together. In the end, the duplex became a sort of hybrid between the sonnet, the ghazal, and the blues.

The poem starts with a couplet, then the second line repeats and the poet adds a new line, following this structure until seven couplets form the poem. The last line of the poem repeats the first, with an increased or changed resonance that the rest of the poem’s context provides.” Info from this link.

To write ‘Duplex for Childhood’, I printed out a copy of Brown’s ‘Duplex’ and made some arrows to figure out what he did. Then I tried to mimic the super strong first line that Brown conceived, and went line by line to try to use the proper form. I’m not sure it’s correct?! But, it sure was a good challenge. I like thinking ahead to the fact that the beginning of the poem is also the end. It puts a circular, infinite kind of pressure on the words.

I also struggled with the pronouns. A shift in the pronouns from line to line made a huge impact in Brown’s poem. I tried to do the same in mine. If you’re up for it, try writing a duplex poem today!


2 thoughts on “Poem 100 – Duplex for Childhood

  1. On Sat, Apr 10, 2021 at 12:20 PM VANESSA SHIELDS, writer wrote:

    > Vanessa Shields posted: ” Duplex for Childhood Childhood waits in a long > line.The door is mostly closed. The door opens on its own time.A little > girl scoots forward. My little girl is eager & afraid. The past is jagged > shadows. Her shadows live in the p” >

    Like

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