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Re: Arranging poems on pages???
- To: BOOK_ARTS-L@LISTSERV.SYR.EDU
- Subject: Re: Arranging poems on pages???
- From: charles alexander <chax@THERIVER.COM>
- Date: Fri, 20 Feb 1998 09:34:15 -0700
- In-Reply-To: <199802201539.IAA10418@pantano.theriver.com>
- Message-Id: <199802201638.IAA17974@SUL-Server-2.Stanford.EDU>
- Sender: "Book_Arts-L: The list for all the book arts!" <BOOK_ARTS-L@LISTSERV.SYR.EDU>
And I think what is particularly important is the last bit here, that it is
the "authors" who have done these imaginative things. Many design decisions
in a poem, sometimes all of them, are made in the act of writing and
editing, and while a designer may indeed translate such notation into a
typography, the typography absolutely has to honor the authorial intent.
One of the most harrowing cases of this not happening had to do with
publishers/designers setting the work of the great poet Robert Duncan (d.
1988) from the late 1960's to 1970's. Because of this, Duncan chose to have
one of his most important books, and the last, I think, to come out in his
lifetime (since then, Selected Poems and Selected Prose and other works
have come out, and the U of California Press is now in process of readying
an 8-volume Complete Writings), printed in a typewriter font to exactly
represent his final typed manuscripts of the poems. And, strangely enough,
they still read beautifully. But Duncan was a poet who practiced
"composition by field," and certainly not one who wrote at all times with a
set left margin -- although sometimes he did.
At 10:34 AM 2/20/98 -0500, you wrote:
>Most poetry is formally arranged with a set left margin and the right margin
>established by how long the lines are. Poems are usually set in the middle of
>the page, single spaced, with double spaces between stanzas. There is,
>much experimentation with the placement of poems; concrete poems can be
>ged in shapes, several very short poems can be placed on a page in a visually
>pleasing design, or a single short poem can be centered on the page with alot
>of white space around to let it breathe. Visit a poetry bookstore and just
>at all the different possible ways; be sure to check out books of
>some of those authors have done very imaginative things. good luck, karen