The Cleave Poem

There is a new style of poem afoot—the Cleave Poem. Dr. Phuoc-Tan Diep created the Cleave Poem as a way of describing his life. Since the word cleave means both separate and together – to cut and to meld—the poem is designed to be both two separate poems and a third poem which is complete when the lines of the two poems are read across the page.

It is a fun and challenging poem to write. First write two poems, one down the left side of your page, the other down the right side of your page. They sit side by side, independent of each other.

The third poem is read across the page, left to right, combing the two poems. This third poem melds the thoughts from poem left and poem right into a new poem—elaborating on the sentiments in the left and right poems—making them one whole poem as if two separate poems never existed.

Here is the left and right attempt at a Cleave Poem. Although punctuation can be used, my ADD kicked in and I said, “A pox on that—No worries—they’ll figure it out.”

            Present                                                                   Past
Embracing the warmth of the sun            I danced with new found friends
Raising our hands in joy                            We laughed amidst our sorrows
The journey forever continues                  As we share our youthful adventures
While time caresses our hearts                Dreams of the future we told
I dance with the love of my life                 While embracing our Coming of Age.

Here is the third poem, cleaving the left side and the right side together.

                                             Perfect

Embracing the warmth of the sun I danced with new found friends
Raising our hands in joy we laughed amidst our sorrows
The journey forever continues as we share our youthful adventures
While time caresses our hearts dreams of the future we told
I danced with the love of my life while embracing our Coming of Age.

Well maybe a couple of commas and periods would be good.

 

 

4 thoughts on “The Cleave Poem

  1. John C. Mannone

    I recently discovered this form and find it appealing. I had great success with writing them. The Internet has not been helpful to me in learning markets interested in this form. Do you have any suggestions. I am particularly interested in literary journals (on lie is fine); I am not particularly interested in posting my work in a blog. Thank you so much!

    Reply
      1. John C. Mannone

        Thank you, Rosalind, but that site was my starting in finding you. I thought you knew that The Cleave has been closed for quite some time (http://cleavepoetry.wordpress.com/submissions/) If you know any good venues that post this kind of poetry, that would be helpful. Where have you submitted yours? I have broadened my search for experimental-friendly venues, but usually those journals have something else in mind when they say they’ll accept experimental poetry.

        Many thanks
        John

        Reply
        1. Roz Post author

          It was my first ever cleave poem. If I run across a site that publishes them, I’ll let you know.

          Reply

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