National Poetry Month.10

Everything matters:  spacing, patterns, repetitions, punctuation, line breaks

Everything matters: spacing, patterns, repetitions, punctuation, line breaks

“The organization of white space and ink or the vocal tones that signal “poetry” are instructions to reader or listener to enter the changed consciousness that poetry asks.  Each element of a poem is expected to be meaningful, part of a shaped and shaping experience of a whole:  a word’s placement on the page is significant, not accidental; sound qualities matter, even punctuation is thoroughly alive, responsive to itself and its context. . . . form signals us, in reading it, to listen for concentration’s transforming arc.”
— Jane Hirshfield, Nine Gates Entering the Mind of Poetry: Essays

“I believe every space and comma is a living part of the poem and has its function, just as every muscle and pore of the body has its function.  And the way the lines are broken is a functioning part essential to the poem’s life.”
— Denise Levertov, The Poet in the World

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