See Tupelo Press to read the poems for March 7, 2014 by scrolling down to “Day 7/Poems 7” and of course, to read my poem, Resolutions / by John C. Mannone.
The backstory is as follows:
Back in December, I got an idea for this poem as I thought about the approaching New Year. I do write down my writing goals that are short term, achievable and measurable, but I do not make “New Year’s resolutions” or promises. I resurrected my brainstorming notes, and this March, I wrote the poem, “Resolutions,” in the voice of a woman who had been abject.
As an aside, as a peculiar class of people, we poets should stretch themselves. We think outside the natural box, we emotionally invested ourselves in our poems so that we can disregard (to an extent) the gender we represent, or for that matter, any other demographic indicator. They become secondary to the force of the poem.
“Resolutions,” is arguably a list poem, or at least a variant of it. So the narrow structure, nearly continuous, feels natural for this poem. (But understand that lists can be in any format that the poem demands, including prose poems.) The break is intentional because the first part of the list echoes what not to promise, while the last part echoes what the narrator will promise. It reflects an emotional turning point in the narrator, especially since she had been held captive to so many things her divorced half had imposed.
The anxiousness of the narrator is accentuated by the short lines, which make for some interesting line breaks.