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.

2 Replies to “Line as space, air”

  1. I really like how you relate the line to the poem, “Two Moths”. The line breaks didn’t feel suspenseful at all to me when reading the poem. Instead, the lines felt like they were drifting along, even when that drifting was in contrast with the themes of the poem. The way the lines were more towards the center of the poem too, adding space on both sides of the lines as well as the spaces within the lines, I thought added concepts of space and air to the poem.

  2. White space is awesome.

    It reminds me of having too much space on a big couch.

    You can sprawl out and lay across it, or you can take up one small cushion and tangibly feel the space beside you; in the same way, the line can be a soft cushion, using white space to float the reader along in an airy and dreamy manner, or it can be an effective tool to make readers aware of suspense and the power of isolation.

    I think white space as suspense is great (I might use it too often, actually), but I do agree that there is something really cohesive and almost relaxing about Nezhukumatathil’s floaty lines.

    It’ll be really cool to study & experiment with using white space in our discovery of the line.

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