Poetry is a metaphor you can never trust, because it will pull the rug out from under your feet as soon as look at you. Many people like that.

The Coming of the Toads

A poem is a composition, an arrangement of parts. Or a rearrangement, or a disarrangement. Poets build things, edifices, structures, often claustrophobic, and the reader must throw open the windows to breathe. But just as often the poet tears structures down. Then the poet is a demolition worker swinging a sledgehammer, pulling on a pry bar, claw hammer hanging from the tool belt.

The parts of a poem are most often words, but not only words, and sometimes no words. The spaces in between the words, the distances between lines, the s p a c e s between the letters, e v e n, are also parts, part of the composition. The reader must wear a hard hat, walking through the poem, the construction zone, and steel toe boots, and ear plugs.

Or a poem may have no words, no alphabetical features, a nonliterate composition. Concrete Poetry contains many examples…

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  1. Pingback: Poetry Workshop: Ideas and Results « findingtimetowrite

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