Conventionality

After reading TC Tolbert’s “Gephyromania,” I have to say that I feel completely liberated. Not only did Tolbert test convention reading format, he continually redefined the meaning of words, even the title. Breaking through the conventional walls was extremely exciting to see, not only as a reader, but as a writer. I loved seeing a brave poet, who was also clearly technically precise, redefining the space of poetry, the definition of words, and what a collection of poems could be. 

TC Tolbert’s collection made me question what I was comfortable with in poetry. I’m drawn to uncoventional poems, which is interesting considering that I’m more used to fiction, a style of writing that doesn’t have any room at all to play with formatting, and other technical devices. I know that there are those who feel very strongly about traditional formatting, and I understand the need for those forms to be preserved. But I’d like to stress that poetry can test boundaries in a way that no other genre really can. That’s what makes poetry so deceivingly simple: the words may be less on the page, but everything counts, even the small formatting choices. Poems comes in literally all shapes and sizes, and can be shadowed through contextual details. Poetry is an art form that is unconventional compared to other writing styles, and can also be “unconventional” in its own genre. For these reasons, I am drawn to poetry. 

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