Keith Inman: Mirette form

Keith Inman has won the 2015 Poeteer Award from The Ontario Poetry Society. This annual honour is presented to the poet who creates a new style of poetry. Inman calls his new form a Mirette (meaning a small mirror).

Judge, Elana Wolff, called the Mirette, ‘delightful… The new form is demanding, but the rules are clear and the poems “Famine’s Feast” and “That Sweet Fermenting Nectar” are lyrical and engaging. The challenge is aural, structural, and semantic.’

An example would be the following published in The Saving Bannister XVIII, 2003:

Famine’s Feast

The sparrow hawk swoops, glides
up to the high wire
clutching his harvest mouse

Their spare row crop stoops outside
under the skies fire
crutching their hard-set house.

The rules for the Mirette are simple. Usually two stanzas long (more are optional), the poem must rhyme completely as reflected metaphor: The sparrow hawk, Their spare row crop; harvest mouse, hard-set house, and so on. The style is not end rhyme or mid rhyme, but whole stanzas rhyme with following stanzas. All forms of rhyme are acceptable, including slant, and stressed.

Another example, from Inman’s 2009 chapbook, A Stone with Sails, published by Sigilate Press in their trilogy of Niagara Poets Hanging on a Nail, is his poem based on the cruelty of gossip:

That Sweet Fermenting Nectar

Butterflies cue in the ears of flowers ⎯

Black-eyed Susan withers
in the corner.

Other flies move in
and the air sours.

Inman is presently working on a book of Mirettes that reflects the devise of our times.

We look forward to more Mirettes and congratulate him on winning the 2015 Poeteer Award.

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