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Mirrored Poetic Form

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I cannot for the life of me remember what the technical term for this is, but I have recently become fascinated by mirror poetry – where the first stanza is mirrored in the second. I read a poem of this form in Lucy Burnett’s book of poetry Leaf Graffiti and it’s incredibly clever. I attemped my own version and found it to be very infuriating. I’m not happy with the poem and this is by no means a finished version but if you give this form a go you will realise just how stressful it is to try and write a poem that works well and can be reversed. I have even more respect for Lucy Burnett after trying myself.

Oval – v. the mirror

By Lucy Burnett

 

I’m wearing no clothes. Right this minute, now,

my eyes averted down as though i am ashamed.

Centred in my parents’ room – the door is shut –

a certain sign, a symbolic line of suture. My scar is

six inches long, its darkened, slightly crooked smile

which makes me tilt my head like nurses do.

I slowly stroke the bruises of my swollen side

as I try and figure if the dent I feel is really there.

My skin appears to droop and sad around my fingers

in contrast to the fullness that I felt before.

My fingers knead my new-found lack of symmetry,

a half-aborted womanhood. The doctor promised me

‘the woman left will end up working twice as hard’.

I wonder, catch my own reflected eye, what if?

 

I wonder, catch my own reflected eye, what if

the woman left will end up working twice as hard?

‘A half-aborted womanhood’, the doctor promised me,

my fingers need my newfound lack of symmetry,

in contrast to the fullness that I felt before.

My skin appears to droop and sag around my fingers

as I try and figure if the dent I feel is really there.

I slowly stroke the bruises of my swollen side,

which makes me tilt my head like hurses do.

Six inches long, its darkened, slightly crooked smile

a certain sign , a symbolic line of suture. My scar is

centred in my parents’ room – the door is shut –

my eyes averted down as though I am ashamed.

I’m wearing no clothes. Right this minute. Now.

 

And here is my attempt…

Polarized

ripened flesh, a fruit ready for peel.
that smell like plucked buds or white linen, of
dry lips cracked like burning wood.
the moment I’ve been hoping for.
I thought I heard you say, “this is
the point of no return.”
the short carpetgap boiling between our feet
at room temperature. we reduce to
less than brief clothes could contain. feverish
silence, like sweat it sticks. vulnerability in
a question asked in shapes. the night now
blackened, enlarged, outgrowing all. my words
staccato, splintering into your eyes,
held in lockstare. heart pulses
pushing and pulling to a full stop.
fingertips meet magnetically.

 

fingertips meet magnetically,
pushing and pulling to a full stop.
held in lockstare. heart pulses
staccato, splintering in two. your eyes
blackened, enlarged, outgrowing all my words.
a questioned asked reshapes the night. now
silence. like sweat it sticks. vulnerability in
less than brief clothes could contain, feverish
at room temperature. we reduce to
the short carpetgap boiling between our feet.
the point of no return.
I thought I heard you say, “this is
the moment I’ve been hoping for.”
dry lips cracked like burning wood.
that smell like plucked buds or white linen, of
ripened flesh, a fruit ready for peel.

I welcome all comments and criticisms 🙂

Also, if you liked this post here are some other awesome poetry posts…

 

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