Out of all the poems we have read in class “Swept Up Whole” by Kay Ryan confuses me the most. Not because of the words that are used, I actually find the poem to be quite beautiful when you read into it, but because of how short it is. It is literally five lines, eighteen words, and five very short sentences, yet it is still considered a poem. This confuses me greatly because it makes me wonder what a poem isn’t. To me a poem is something that has at least two stanzas set in a definite form, like haiku’s or a prose poem. This poem doesn’t have that. It feels like a few sentences were just written, chopped up into lines, and called a poem. Don’t get me wrong, I love the message of unity and relief that this ‘poem’ is showing, I just wish that it was expanded or given a different structure. Heck if I just rewrite it like this:
swept up whole,
atomized. The wind
recongeal. It’s a
Then I consider it a poem. I just really don’t like the form that Kay Ryan used for this piece and I can’t understand why he would choose this form instead of using the form he used in his other pieces like “Mirage Oases” or “The Pass.” Anybody else find this annoying or confusing?