How Should Poetry Look? The Printer's Measure and Poet's Line

How Should Poetry Look? The Printer's Measure and Poet's Line

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I inventory printers' rules of thumb and consider their application to the first page of four iconic publications in English: Shakespeare's Sonnets, Gray's Stanzas Wrote in a Country Church-Yard, Whitman's Leaves of Grass, and Eliot's The Waste Land. To establish the history of the layout and page design for English and American poetry from the Early Modern period to the Modern period, I indentify and discuss assumptions about poetry on the page that readers have lived with for four hundred years. Contrasting examples from contemporary poems are also considered. Comparisons for analysis are presented through a matrix of attributes which includes type face, graphic elements, spacing, indentation, page size, and pagination. Printing manuals and histories of printing make some rules explicit. Additional evidence is culled from the record of printing practice at presses, as well as the testimony of poets, printers, editors, and publishers. This account of the shape that poetry took in print leads to a consideration of possible shapes that it may take in the future after print.The prospect of reviewing hundreds of manuals for rules about setting poetry demanded a strategy to focus on the most important records. Fortunately, secondary sources about the catalogue of printing manuals have guaranteed that theanbsp;...

Title:How Should Poetry Look? The Printer's Measure and Poet's Line
Author: Jean Alice Jacobson
Publisher:ProQuest - 2008

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