Experimental Poetry Form: pear

Today’s experimental poetry form is called pear.  It based off of layout on the page.  The form is centered on the page to make the design easier.  It generally looks as follows:

*
*
**
**
**
**
** **
**  **
**    **
**             **
**               **
**                    **
**                              **
**                                  **
**                                       **
**                                                   **
**                                                        **
**                                                             **
**                                                                 **
**                                                                   **
**                                                                    **
**                                                                     **
**                                                                     **
**                                                                     **
**                                                                  **
**                                                             **
**                                                         **
**                                                    **
**                                             **
**                                        **
**        **        **

 

The general idea is to have a poem in the shape of a pear.

Here is an example poem:

up
in
an
oak
tree
pears
were        there.
No            one
knew              why
or                    how
they                        got
there                              but
there                                 they
were.                                      It
seemed                                               odd
but                                                     they
were                                                        good
and                                                               so
no                                                                    one
gave                                                                      it
much                                                           thought.
Then                                                                       one
day                                                                       the
last                                                                      pear
was                                                                    picked
and                                                                 none
grew                                                            to
take                                                     its
place.                                           For
years                                     acorns
were       hopefully       planted.

Poem with an explanation: Apples from orange trees

She picked an apple,
from the orange tree,
and fed it to a wolf.

The wolf then went,
to find a deer,
and told it of lake.

The deer then went,
to find the lake,
and drank all of the sand.

And in the sand,
it saw acorns,
that fell from the pine trees.

It planted one,
in the water,
and stood beneath the moon.

And in the dark,
the tree grew orange,
with apples on its stems.

She picked an apple,
from the orange tree,
and fed it to a wolf.

 

This poem is surreal and a little like a fairy tale.  The general idea of the girl, with the animals that behave like people, is part of the fairy tale.  In each stanza, there is at least one element that is surreal.

In the first stanza, the girl picks an apple, from an orange tree.  This is surreal.  It is also a little play on words, because the tree is colored orange, rather than having oranges on it.  Then, she feeds the apple to a wolf.  This is surreal, because a wolf does not eat apples.

In the second stanza, the wolf goes, and finds a deer.  Rather that eating the deer or even telling it of the apple from the orange tree, it tells it of something that seems completely unrelated, a lake.  This is all surreal.

In the third stanza, the deer goes to lake, but rather than drinking the water from it, it drinks the sand around it.  This is surreal.

In the fourth stanza, the deer finds acorns in the sand.  This is surreal because acorns would normally be in a forest.  Additionally, these acorns, did not fall from oak trees, but instead pine trees.  This is also surreal.

In the fifth stanza, the deer plants an acorn, but not in the sand, but in the water.  This is surreal.  The deer is standing beneath the moon.  Up to this point, readers may have thought the poem was in daytime.  This adds to the fairy tale element of it.

In the sixth stanza, the tree from the acorn grew in the dark (as opposed to the light).  The tree also came out colored orange, with apples on its stems.  This, again, is all surreal.

The last stanza, is like the first, and brings circularity to the poem.  It also shows that what the wolf told the deer was actually related to its experience.

Poem with an explanation: Eyes and a wolf

Eyes closed,
     seeing.

A wolf follows,
growls,
snarls,
and at the moment,
     falling off a cliff.

 

Eyes open,
     darkness.

A wolf follows,
growls,
snarls,
and at the edge of the cliff,
     a bridge appears,
     and then a glen.

Peace.

 

This poem is surreal in nature.  It expresses an idea through imagery that has an imaginative quality.

The literal explanation of the poem, is that someone is having a dream.  The dream has a very bad situation, that is not just bad in the short term, but bad in the long term.  Then in the poem, the person wakes up, still fells the negative long term feeling from the dream, but then realizes it wasn’t real, and relaxes.

The first stanza, is a contradiction.  The first line says “Eyes closed” the second line says “seeing”.  This is meant to set the tone of the surreal poem.  In a literal sense, it describes the person dreaming: their eyes are closed, but they see the dream.

The second stanza describes the bad situation in the dream.  The bad thing in some way hounds the person (a wolf follows), gets to the person and increases the dread (growls, snarls), and when the bad thing happens there is a short term negative impact (at the moment) and also a long term negative impact (falling off a cliff).  The bad feeling comes from something that does not end when it first happens, but it continues.

The second half of the poem, is separated from the first half.  It starts with a mirror stanza of “Eyes open, darkness.”  This stanza mirrors the first stanza, but in this case, it describes the person being awake.  Their eyes open, but because it is night, they see darkness.

The next stanza has the same first three lines as the second stanza (A wolf follows, growls, snarls).  This is meant to show, that when the person first wakes up, they feel as if the dream was real, and the bad thing is still there.

The next line in the stanza shows a change.  It keeps the cliff image, but instead of falling off, as in the dream, the person starts to come to a realization that the dream was not real (a bridge appears), and then they are in a place where they feel better (a glen).

The person realizes the dream was not real and that they are alright, and so they feel peace.