Alec Nevala-Lee

Thoughts on art, creativity, and the writing life.

The space between the stanzas

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In a short multistanza poem, the poem generally tends toward a greater density the closer the number of stanzas accords with the number of divisions of action or intellection which the poem undertakes. That is, the number of stanzas into which the poem is divided should itself express something; the number should not give the impression of being accidental…Another way of saying the same thing is to suggest that the white space between stanzas means something. If nothing is conceived to be taking place within it, if no kind of silent pressure or advance or reconsideration or illumination or perception seems to be going on in that white space, the reader has a legitimate question to ask: Why is that white space there, and what am I supposed to do with it?

Paul Fussell, Poetic Meter and Poetic Form

Written by nevalalee

May 19, 2018 at 7:30 am

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