The other day in class we were discussing Adrian Blevins and how he “praises the sentence.” This has made me think a lot about whether or not I believe in the sentence or the line. I think the answer is both–how can I chose one over the other? I create sentences in poetry all the time–not necessarily as much as “lines” per say, but sentences do play a part in poetry. While lines allow for more creativity and format, sentences can be considered lines–can’t they? I feel like I’m not making much sense. But aren’t both of them essential to writing poetry? In my opinion, all sentences are lines but not all lines are sentences.
Later in the article, Blevins talks about how sentences are given meaning every single time we read them, ”
[sentences] take on a whole second, third, or hundredth life, saying many things at once in a multitude of shapes and forms.” Yet in my “Understanding Poetry” class with Doggett, we talk about how words are signifiers in a semantic system. Words don’t actually carry meaning because they signify something different for each person. These conflicting views have made me think a lot about how I view language.
As a creative writer, I like to think that words have meaning. One day in class I believe it was Christy who said the words “molasses sludge” run together. I was questioning that statement–according to Eagleton’s pov–how could the words run together if they don’t actually mean anything–they are just signifiers for a universal “sludge” that no one has ever seen? But in my opinion, they certainly do. I agree that words conjure up different images for different people, but I don’t think words are meaningless.
My AP US teacher always would say “Remember kids, words mean things.” And while that memory brings a smile to my face, I agree that they certainly do.