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A polarized guide-collection-mode near-field scanning optical microscopy (NSOM) technique was used to characterize clearly the periodic intensity modulation and multimode propagation within a polymeric optical waveguide by selecting the polarization component. The polarized NSOM technique revealed that the periodic intensity modulation along the waveguide axis has a polarization property whose electric vector is perpendicular to the waveguide axis, and that the period of intensity modulation nearly equals the wavelength inside the waveguide. The intensity modulation originates from a standing wave caused by a resonator formed between the entrance and exit facets.