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Having the form forcefully in mind allowed him to shape the content of the poem without the mnemonic aid of writing. This is interesting for several reasons. First, Borges’s experience gives testimony to the fact that form and matter are one. They can’t be separated except in pedagogical or expository reason. He has a form in mind and he adapts his matter to this form. He is able to give shape to his thoughts, images, and emotions through the form he has chosen. More structured forms are more easily remembered; that is, 32 Formal Matters in Contemporary Latino Poetry their more identifiable meter and rhythm work as mnemotechnique devices—devices that are also present in the epic-length oral poetry such as Gilgamesh and The Odyssey.

Here, Ortiz reads over the poems to show how they map a more complex diasporic Cuban experience and identity, or Cubanidad. ”9 Put simply, Ortiz focuses on content at the expense of form. And while Campo’s poetry does tell a story (some more directly than others), Ortiz’s focus only on matters of content separates content from form—deforming, if you will, the poems. Otherwise stated, Ortiz narrativizes Campo’s poetry. This same impulse appears through and through all the other scholarship on Campo, albeit pulling on different narrative threads and thematics.

Segmentation is at work in fictions of all formats: written, visual, aural, and otherwise. That said, the principle of segmentation is potentially more interesting as a way to understand how poets create objects that more or less loosely or rigidly educate the reader’s senses and guide the reader’s cognitive emotional response. This proves much more interesting and productive than an attempt at identifying what poetry does in an identification of words, rhythm, and meter as somehow uniquely its DNA.

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