Monday, April 6, 2009

The Architecture of Poetry

In Breaking the Alabaster Jar, a collection of interviews with poet Li-Young Lee, Lee elaborates on the craft of poetry with a stunning metaphor comparing poetry to architecture. Just like in architecture, he said, poetry is not so much about the materials you use (bricks/mortar, or words), but about space. You can use the same physical materials to create a number of different structures, but it's the use of space and silence that make the creations unique. In many ways, space and silence are what distinguish poetry from prose. Poetry is an excellent and meditative way to experience the lovely silences in life, to slow down and explore the spaces in language.

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