By Jan D. Hodge

An eclectic mixture of shapes and matters populate Taking Shape—Jan D. Hodge’s full-length number of carmina figurata (sometimes known as formed poems, trend poetry, or determine poems). Hodge’s many masterpieces comprise depictions of a saxophone, a Madonna and baby, a mixture piano/guillotine, and different silhouettes of wonderful hassle and aspect. those poems are usually not in basic terms visually wonderful, also they are sonically appealing, and hold a transcendent freedom whereas conforming to either illustrative and metrical constraints. Taking form is a visible dinner party of encouraged poetry.


Are now not all published formal poems formed poems? The sonnet, the hymn, the sestina, and the ghazal all have attribute shapes similar to bins that confine their topics. In Jan D. Hodge’s Taking form the topics have burst from their cages and confront us instantly with what they're. Then the phrases they're made from can demonstrate their internal beings. The lengthy closure of “Spring” describes easy methods to learn those poems. i've got lengthy identified what prayer is, yet I by no means knew what one gave the impression of till I learn “Madonna and Child.”
— Fred Chappell, writer of The Fred Chappell Reader

Here is an ideal matching of shapes and poetry. via a wide-ranging array of matters and tones, Hodge’s mastery of language inside such difficult constraints is really notable. Syntax and rhythm, metaphor and image (see for example “The one who acquired Away” or “The Lesson of the Snow”), conversational snippets and quatrains, are unusually nuanced. Even the occasional poems—wedding, elegy, Valentine’s day, Halloween, Christmas, an early morning poetry reading—find new issues to assert and notable how you can say them. those poems gift interpreting back and again.
— Robert J. Conley, writer of Mountain Windsong

Jan D. Hodge is the grasp par excellence of carmina figurata. In Taking form you’ll see such word-pictures because the chinese language ideogram for spring; a harpsichord poised sooner than a guillotine; a nonetheless existence with quill pen and ink bottle, T-square and drafting triangle. extra striking nonetheless, Hodge types a few of the elaborate pictures with metered language—in one case in medieval alliterative verse! In a poem approximately baseball Hodge writes, “forgiveness/ is the simplest/ we dare wish for during this bruised international/ the thinnest/ probability that shall we us someway/ slide domestic free”; the following “only by way of grace . . . do we be safe.” Hodge understands of grace, his poems are filled with grace, and Taking form, like grace itself, is a present of utter beauty.
— Vince Gotera, Editor, North American Review


Having grown up in a letterpress print store in small city Michigan, Jan D. Hodge obtained his BA and MA levels from the college of Michigan and his PhD from the college of recent Mexico, the place he wrote his dissertation on Charles Dickens. He taught at Rockford (Illinois) collage and at Morningside collage in Sioux urban, Iowa. His poems have seemed in Iambs & Trochees, American Arts Quarterly, outlined windfall, and plenty of different print and on-line journals.

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