June 22, 2012

Poetry Friday--Using the Page

I'm attracted to poets who use the layout on a page to give motion or meaning to their poems. For example, here's a short poem by Octavio Paz:

                not on the branch
in the air
                  not in the air
in the moment

Doesn't the irregularity of the lines bring to mind the flickering maneuvers of a hummingbird in flight? (A great excuse for including the hummingbird video below!)

Here's another use of space with a haiku by Marlene Mountain:
my neighbor's rooster hops the          i throw

How much fun is that? Of course, a forced use of space can get pretty gimmicky, but, all in all, it's a simple tool that poets can utilize to add dimension to their work.

Join Amy at The Poem Farm for this week's Round-Up.


  1. Thanks for sharing these two great poems, Diane! I recently put up a hummingbird feeder and am enjoying closer looks at those "moments."

  2. I've heard about a number of people who are watching hummingbirds this year. I have yet to see one in my yard, but then again, if I'm not wearing my glasses I can't see much of anything in detail!

  3. Oh, I do love that Paz poem, and the Mountain one made me grin. I could just SEE it! Amazing what spacing can do. Happy Poetry Saturday!

  4. I love that Paz poem...and the Mountain one really made me smile. I could SEE it! Amazing what spacing can do. Happy Poetry Saturday!

  5. Yes. I love that jerky eye movement required to see the hummingbird poem. Really nice. Thanks.