Ft. Lauderdale, Fl USA
Does the poem have to have that 6 6 11 structure?
No, the poem can have any structure you like
And anyway where does 6 6 11 come from? If we're talking syllables I make it 7 7 11?
Me, too. Maybe critical mass uses new math??
And what does CM mean by "beats", does beats mean syllables as he/she seems to imply by mentioning 11 in the final lines? I thought "beat" usually referred to the stressed syllable of a foot, but it's quite rare to use that term isn't it?
I agree with you. Perhaps CM is a beat poet? I'll let him explain what he means by beats.
And do we have to write in a specific meter?
No, but the meter needs to be constant for the fluidity of the poem. Use iambic, trochaic, anipestic or anything you like, but stay with it throughout the poem.
And I thought it had to be about our town (Moose?), or can a beginner have a bit of latitude?
You didn't have to get to Moose's poem to see a deviation there. check out the tongue-in-cheek names CM used! Moose is, well, moose. His home town is reported to be on a distant planet
Oh, and one last thing, have I missed something about Poe? CM mentions that even Poe couldn't write lines of 11 beats, is there something particularly difficult about this that I need to know before trying?
No, there is nothing particularly difficult about 11 syllable lines. Poe probably wouldn't write 11 syllable lines because...he wouldn't want to!
Good questions, moonbeam, showing a lot of thought on your part.