“LETTER 19: THE AUDION AMPLIFIER AND ITS CONNECTIONS” by Carol H. Jewell incorporates sentences from John Mills’ Letters of a Radio-Engineer to His Son (1922). Please click here to read.

About the poem and the process of composing it, Carol writes:

I chose to write a pantoum, my favorite form, but right off the bat I had trouble, because the first four lines were not originally mine. I had to take those lines from a letter, and somehow make them relevant for me. The poem purports to be about the audion amplifier, but the repetitive lines slowly modify to become about the narrator’s wish that they had had daughters, and not sons. I especially like poems that don’t end up where they began. I love it when a pantoum has a mind of its own and I just follow along, sometimes adapting the rules.