The Line

Theory and Practice. The place for discussion and links.

Moderator: Greta B

The Line

Joined: 28 Nov 2014, 14:40

05 Feb 2018, 20:01 #1

As noted in the thread on the Beach ("You Tilt into the Electric Age"), I am starting a thread on the line. Here is post from the Beach for starters:

As for the shape, I am trying to learn to score poems the way I speak them. I italicized speak in the prior sentence because I raised my voice there as I typed it--saying the words aloud. I am reading Sound Ideas: Hearing and Speaking Poetry by Fran Quinn and B. Eugene McCarthy. Fran lives here in Indy and I took a workshop from him a few weeks back. He is trying to get me to listen to the emotion in my own voice and to get that on the page. He suggests that I read poets such as late William Carlos Williams (the three-part line), Charles Olsen (projective verse), Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Paul Blackburn, Hilda Morley, and Denise Levertov--not for their ideas, necessarily, but for the way they phrase their lines--taking line breaks seriously. 

As part of my training my ear, I have been listening to taped readings of poets (PennSound has a large collection of recordings of poets reading their own poems.) It has been enjoyable. I have also been reading poems aloud to my room, finding the voice, if I can. From this exercise I have come to feel that much of my own poetry gets hung up in ideas more than emotions.That is to say, I am much more comfortable with my ideas than my own feelings—they are the content out of reach for me. That's what I want to get to. If line breaks will help me get there, well. I'm all for it.

Any thoughts to add to this? I will be back with quotations from various sources on the line.