Sort of disorganized, so I’ll keep this to bullet point.

  • Poetry is a multitude of forms, some of them age old, and some of them have yet to be created.  But, just like there’s no “universal shape” for poetry in general, there’s no universal formal consideration on what it takes to create a long poem.
  • Epic and “Long Poem” are not the same thing.  Epic is has formal considerations that begin with Aristotle’s Poetics taking various shapes throughout the centuries.  But, to be specific, Epics usually begin with an appeal to a muse, and it details the exploits of some sort of hero or central figure.  A “Long Poem” is a vague term describing length; therefore, an epic is a type of “Long Poem,” but a “Long Poem” is not a type of epic.
  • Other forms can take the form of diary or journal — A.R. Ammon’s Tape for the Turn of the Year, for example.
  • Numbered sequences and collages may not be the same thing.   Ferlinghetti’s A Far Rockaway of the Heart and Williams’ Patterson are fundamentally different beasts.
  • Sharon Old’s The Father is a sequence disguised as a book of poems on the topic of her father’s death by cancer.
  • After the proven worth of collage poetics, it’s quite possible that a long poem or sequence can have almost every type of formal variation, so long as it helps illustrate an over riding theme.
  • Epics tend to be narratives; sequences can be a series of inter-related lyrics.  There’s a huge difference

As for my own “Long Poem” — 64 pages, and it’s seeming to be a half-assed narrative collage.