April 12, 2017: Poetry Writing Prompt – Desmond Kon

This poetry writing prompt submitted by Desmond Kon.

Today, we get to attempt a beautiful new form, the anima methodi.

Conceived by Desmond Kon Zhicheng-Mingde and Eric Tinsay Valles, the anima methodi is a 16-lined poem, comprising two stanzas of eight lines each. The structure has been quaintly called the twofold binate octave.

Two words or phrases are repeated anywhere within the first binate octave, and the same mirroring effect (with the same or different pair of texts) is done for the second binate octave. There remains continuity across both stanzas, with the last line of the first stanza moving seamlessly “across the stanza break as dovetail” into the first line of the second stanza. The stanza break may also locate the poem”™s volta, as with the sonnet, for which, according to Phillis Levin, “the volta is the seat of its soul”.

The twofold form achieves some manner of dialectical play between both stanzas, along a theme or image or allegory or some other literary trope. The poem must also feature some meta-sensibility, in underscoring this form as contemplating “the spirit of the method”. In Jungian psychology, the anima is understood as an anthropomorphic archetype of the unconscious, the seed from which creativity manifests.

A more distinct discharge of this form is called the methodus animae, translated as “the way of the soul”, for the anima methodi that speaks of the contemplative state of mind.

Bonus #1: Write about some process you care about, like painting or calligraphy or gardening. Or putting on your Cosplay makeup.

Bonus #2: Write about something mundane, like making your morning coffee or putting on your shoes.

Bonus #3: Submit your anima methodi to squircleline@gmail.com for their upcoming anthology on the form. For submission guidelines, please see: http://www.squirclelinepress.org/anima-methodi.html

If you write a poem from this prompt, post it as a comment underneath the prompt in the Poetry Super Highway Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/poetrysuperhighway

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