©2022 Michael Raven
There are times I feel like I have no business writing and posting my writing online.
One of those times was yesterday, elsewhere, when someone paid me what I assume they meant as a compliment. It was for the following bit of doggerel I had written:
shoe dangling while she writes verse in the park unable to tear eyes away
“Nice septolet,” was the comment.
I’ve made it no secret to anyone visiting this site that I once paid more attention to form, but that I’ve gone out of my way to forget most of it. Useful stuff, but ultimately, not something that drives me to write. I draw no inspiration from trying to match established poetic form — even metered and patterned rhymes, arguably the most basic of poetic forms, are something I generally avoid, and almost everything is free-verse anymore (with the rare haiku) This was a form I had never encountered before, however.
I looked it up, wondering what I had stumbled on in accident. Believe me, there was zero intent other than to play around with an image playing pong in my head.
A septolet, for the equally oblivious is: a poem consisting of seven lines containing fourteen words with a break in between the two parts. Both parts deal with the same thought and create a picture.
Knowing what it means, I can see that I should have grokked it had something to do with 7 (at least) and maybe inferred some of the rest, but… Someone actually counted lines and words in this bit of off-the-cuff drivel!
And, while I am honored to receive the praise and the effort it took to make that assessment, “nice septolet”…
Goodness, I most assuredly am absolutely the last person who would attempt such things by intent.
And it makes me wonder if I should hang up my poetry beret — my “berry” as one waiter at a posh “European-inspired café had referred to it when I wore one “back in the day”, which only made me laugh and almost fall out of my chair while doing so after I had to ask multiple times what he had said, only to realize I had heard correctly each time (we pronounce it “bear-ay” or “burr-ay”, stuck in the middle of nothing as we are in Minnesota). Another story from my wayward youth…
I will say I wanted to correct this person’s understanding. I had not written a septolet, I wanted to inform them — I had written a bit of drivel that had already exceeded my attention quota.
Nervous laughter ensues as I look for some woodwork to fade into.