Sunday, June 14, 2009

Punctuation?

I stumbled upon this poetry site where members review each other's work. Its called Mosiac Musings.

The poem I read had a discussion following it about punctuation and spacing in poetry. This is subject I often thought of when I was writing my own poems. I would use various methods (including italicizing, punctuation, lines breaks,etc) to try and get the reader to hear the poem in their head they way I intended it.

What do you do? How does you typography affect your poetry? Is it even a consideration for you?

13 comments:

caroleesherwood said...

i obsess about it. typography. and my line breaks vary dramatically draft to draft and often end up right where they started. i struggle with punctuation, too -- think i use too much of it. and i wish i were more creative when it comes to spacing (stanza breaks, indents, that kind of thing). but yes, it's something i'm aware of constantly!

Karen said...

I, too, obsess about the punctuation and line breaks. I write the poem as I want it to be heard, then I remove the punctuation, change the line breaks, and try spacing into stanzas. I agonize over this and always wonder if it should have been different after all.

Dorla Moorehouse said...

Line breaks are very important to me, but punctuation not so much. I tend to use punctuation as I would in prose, and don't really do anything artistic or innovative with it. But I am fastidious about my line breaks, and will play with them a lot until I am sure they are right.

Tony Renner said...

i pay more attention to line breaks than punctuation... i do like commas, though; semi-colons as well...

sometimes i capitalize and sometimes i don't...

-- tony

Crafty Green Poet said...

I think line breaks are very very important and i spend a lot of time thinking about them. I am minimalistic about punctuation in poetry to be honest.

susan said...

PWB,

Dorla posted your link for our weekly Little Lov'n Monday prompt. Readers drop links to post they think deserve some lov'n.

Lawrence Gladeview said...

black sheep-guilty as charged! punctuation is an afterthought while i am writing a poem! i do enjoy italicizing words and playing with line and stanza breaks in order to show animation. but as far as periods after every line/stanza i toss that right out the window. i will however place a period for punctuation at the end of every poem. comas and semi-colons sometimes make their way into my poetry when i feel the mood is right. and don't even get me started on capitalization, in case you haven't noticed from THIS post, hardly ever!

Jessie Carty said...

punctuation and line breaks are an after thought for me as well. i write all my first drafts in prose poem format and then as i read them out loud to myself i decide where the breaks and punctuation need to go to make the poem visually sound like i'm reading it :)

great topic!

telmcg said...

I rarely use punctuation and hardly ever use capitilization, although I take line breaks extremely seriously. If there is anything italicized, capitalized, or punctuated, you can rest assured it was intentional. I think everything needs to be in its poetic place for a reason...

DeadMule said...

I use and like standard capitalization. there was only one e.e.cummings, and I ain't him. :) For the most part, I use the same punctuation as I would in prose, probably a few more dashes. Lots of commas. Few sentence fragments. Carefully placed. Line and stanza breaks, as well as italics, matter to me. Indentation not so much. It's a pain in HTML. Seems kind of gimmicky anyhow, unless its used sparingly. I mean, I indent about as often as I use rhyme (except slant rhyme). But that's just me. What works for one poet might not work for another. Rules are made to be broken by people who actually know the rules.

magewing said...

it matters, even for any poet for whom it doesn't matter that itself matters, and the poem lives its own life with each reader for whom it matters in the connection to the poet and in connection to the poem and to their own sense of the punctuation and the spaces and the capitals and like how dress matters as much as what is underneath even if we say we don't care, and it's especially annoying when some of the supposedly most institutional so-called "poetry" organizations and publications and websites don't give a damn and shrug at using their own ideas about they typography in place of what the poet intended, meant, created

Nguyen Duc said...

Line breaks are very important to me, but punctuation not so much. I tend to use punctuation as I would in prose, and don't really do anything artistic or innovative with it. But I am fastidious about my line breaks, and will play with them a lot until I am sure they are right.
Sightline Payments Kirk Sanfordonline casino

Inheritx Solutions said...

I really like the thoughts and ideas you've shared to people.
iPhone Application Development