Study Guide

Circe's Power Form and Meter

By Louise Glück

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Form and Meter

Free Verse

"Circe's Power" is constructed in free verse, meaning there is no regular rhythm or fancy pattern going on. The poem consists of eight stanzas, most of which have three lines in them.

Enjambment features largely throughout the poem, and at times our eyeballs are so strained from moving quickly back and forth that we can't help but think Circe is playing a trick on us, or is showing us readers her power. Often, she makes us hustle back and forth from the end of one line to the beginning of another.

There are several lines that do not end in enjambment, so the sentence finishes up when the line ends. For example, the first line features a complete thought and sentence, "I never turned anyone into a pig." When this happens, we feel like Circe is being honest with us and is really trying to get something off her chest, but you might disagree. We quickly learn that Circe is about as moody as a mood ring, and the lines in this poem are not always consistent.

Visually, the poem looks to us a bit like a string of islands, which reminds us of the fact that Circe lives on the island of Aiaia. The poem also looks very organized and orderly to us at first – that is until we actually break it apart and realize that it is pretty disorganized. Because Circe's voice is such a key player in this poem, we wonder if the poem visually mirrors the thoughts and emotions in her head.

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