Playing in the Duplex

When I read The Tradition by Jericho Brown, I was drawn to his duplex poems. I was fascinated by how slight changes in the repetition of a line could completely change and deepen the meaning of both lines.

Inspired by Peter’s prompt at dVerse Poets Pub to attempt a circular poem, I thought I would try my hand at a poem inspired by this form.

I found a great post on the Poetry Foundation website by Jericho Brown From the Archive: Pulitzer Prize Winner Jericho Brown’s “Invention” in which he talks about how he invented the form and what its boundaries are.

bokeh photograph by Maria L. Berg

The Total Eclipse

In the woods, the villain is stronger
changing allegiances, spending the night

I change allegiances and spend the night
to bury the things I’m holding tight

I replant the things I already have
that felt truly special in the other house

I felt truly special in the other house
stronger than the hero passed out in the car

Passed out in the car in protest of me
to shine a light on how dark I can be

And I can be dark, a total eclipse
when eclipsed by absurd rejection

The rejected change allegiances
in the woods, the villain is stronger

I don’t think I totally got it, but I’m glad I gave it a try. The poem went in an interesting direction.

9 thoughts on “Playing in the Duplex

  1. Thanks Maria, what an intriguing piece and such a clever form – I so liked how the meaning shifts between lines – altered by punctuation, placement and tense. The imagery is striking – ‘In the woods the villain is stronger’ ; ‘the hero passed out in the car’ – and as you say, the repetitions and alterations deepen and intensify. A lovely write – and a form worth exploring.

    Liked by 1 person

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