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The Formal Impulse

John Pidgeon

John Pidgeon uses the classic style of a sonnet to “address the darker side of life’s experiences—death, war, loneliness [and] disillusionment” in the most recent publication from Parallel Press. In The Formal Impulse, Pidgeon states the following regarding life’s inevitable occurrences, “there are things we do not want to know, / that circumscribe the transcendental trust. / There are places we don’t want to go.” His contemplations about various experiences will leave the reader desiring more.

John Pidgeon is a product of the graduate writing program at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. His credits include Poetry, Poetry Daily, The Formalist, Rosebud, The Journal of the American Medical Association, The Wisconsin Academy Review, and The Journal of Nietzsche Studies. He lives in Green Bay with his wife, Marianne, and their five children.

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The Formal Impulse

Is more than the lean Apollonian
instinct to influence
the lush strut and dance
of those hopelessly Dionysian.

It isn’t on the outside looking in,
stopping up its own breath;
nor some decorative wreath
for a stanza solid as a tombstone.

It sure as shit is not some quaint, witless
anal-retentive stricture.
But rather, an aperture,
a structure of meaning. No more, no less.

If verse was born of song,
we should not fear to sing.