Line as space, air

Can I just say that I’m so excited we’ve finally strayed from lines breaks and white space as a topic of suspense/tension!? I’ve been stuck there for so long, reading every poem I’ve come across as a form of suspense, since that’s where my mind has been locked for so long, even before Prof. Lytton’s class on the line!

The first two poems in this section, Burnett’s Refuge Wear, and Nezhukumatathil’s Two Moths finally broke the suspense that I’ve been making for myself. Thank goodness, because I thought I was starting to lose hope. These poems utilized white space within the lines, which adds breath into the poem instead of at the end of the line. These poems used white space in a way that was better for promoting cohesion versus tension: combining ideas by juxtaposing them next to each other with white space.

It was just so refreshing to get out of the field of suspense. I feel so much less tense.

twitter and texting linguistics

So, we all know that twitter is notorious for having a character limit of 140 characters, which isn’t much at all. But, with the talks of doubling the character limit, what does that do to the line?

The benefits of having it at only 140 characters means that users get straight to the point, forcing their ideas to be clear and concise and worthy of the attention of their followers. I think this is similar to what we do as poets, and connects to what we had been discussing in class about making the words we use have impact. If we were to follow a prompt that limited how many characters we used, how would we use our words differently? Would it make a difference if we took the same poem and allowed ourselves to double the character count? I believe that this would result in two very different poems, however they would still be related. I believe that the poem with less characters would get to its point quicker, and would have less “fluff”.

Similarly, with texting and technology, I believe our communication is abbreviated to get thoughts out more efficiently. The point of texting is to communicate quickly, forcing us to get information and “lol”s out by abbreviating and getting to the point. It also gives us a specific audience every time we send a text to a singular person or group of people. It utilizes vernacular and diction that is unique to culture and context, much like our poems do. Also, the texting “line” is predetermined by the amount of space we have on a screen, and the lines are usually divided for us, depending on what kind of phone or device we are using. I think this coincides with Twitter’s 140 character system in that it’s predetermined by others, and forces us to conform to the space allowed, much like a prompt we might do in class. What would we do if we had more control over how long our texting lines were? Is this the question we ask ourselves every time we write a poem using a prompt versus a free write?