Chunk 7

Relineated to emphasize endrhyme, the poem might have looked something like this:
In the wake of horrible events                                     a
each act or word                                                             b
is fortified with added significance,                            a
unabsorbable as nutrients                                            a
added to the outside of food:                                       b
it can’t do any good.                                                       b
As if significance                                                             a
weren’t burdensome enough.                                       c
Now the wave-slapped beach                                       d
rocks not just made to talk but made to teach.        d
Notice that the pacing of Ryan’s short, primarily dimeter lines is completely destroyed in by this example. The rhyming pair rocks-talk is subsumed to the stronger end-rhyme of beach-teach. Notice that the pacing of Ryan’s short, primarily dimeter lines is completely destroyed in this example. Conventional wisdom dictates that shorter lines create speed and urgency within a poem. In Ryan’s work, they tend to have the opposite effect: they slow down the reader down with, their lub-dub heartbeat, only punctuated occasionally by a third beat for variety’s sake. The This pacing effect is works in poetry the way that somewhat like the lingering cinematic “beauty shot” or slow pan across the field of vision works in cinematography. Ryan’s linebreaks and pacing invite the reader to slow down, to see what she sees, to think about what she is saying. In this, the poems invite meditative reading in the strictest sense of the word.

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