Form and Content-Freedom Within Constraint/Limits

Two Types of Freedom- Anarchic Freedom    vs.   Freedom Within Parameters

  • absence of external impediments
  • will of the individual with no barriers to restrain it
  • teenage angst- pushing boundaries that have always been in place
  • absence of law
  • financial freedom

Apply this freedom to an activity, or sport, or genre of music.  Imagine a game without constraints-would it be fun to play? Would it be fun to talk about? Could you judge excellence? Would it be…anything?

Form and Limit allows for creative space to work within! When Form changes, so do possibilities

Case Study NBA Tactics

Check out highlights of the NBA in 1970-71, before a 3 point line was introduced

  • Big men are dominant
  • Lots of midrange jumpers off of screens
  • Inside out game
  • In the late 70's the 3 point line was introduced
  • A decade later the dominance of big men began to wane
  • 3 decades later there are arguments to only shoot 3 s


  • limitation is determination (limits give us structures to work within)
  • will is informed by reason and respect for others
  • teen satisfaction-working within boundaries to provide meaning (activities, music listening)
  • law adopted as an external expression of self regulation

What does this have to do with Poetry?


1st line: 2 syllables

2nd line: 4 syllables

3rd line: 6 syllables

4th line: 8 syllables

5th line: 2 syllables

Assignment: Read the example, and then create your own concrete poem. Do not choose a simple object such as a circle, pencil, or a table. Mark will be based on thoughtfulness, creativity and completion. Use your time wisely in class (/15).


“Stop it !!”

She Screams at Me-

I look in to her eyes;

Pain, Fear, Anger and Frustration


Take aways

  1. Form is important because it gives a context for creativity
  2. Think about the poetic forms as forms-ask yourself how you can best use the form provided to create something meaningful to you or for a particular audience
  3. Double check the form at the end to make sure you observe it