Tony Hoagland describes the formal strategy of the “composite poem,” a poem that alloys and amalgamates bits and bytes of the objective and the subjective worlds into a loose kind of composition. The composite poem is a speculative form that does not explain or over-mediate the connections between its parts — it has a modernist heterogeneous kind of “dissheveledness” about the way it presents reality. Nonetheless, the composite poem must have a kind of internal rigorousness; it seeks to harmonically arrange its many tones and samplings, to organize it into a credible, believably disorganized yet persuasive form. Examples of the composite form are drawn from the work of Robert Hass, Spencer Reece, Anne Carson, and most especially Tomas Transtromer.
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