What is the defining characteristic of poetry? That the lines don’t go all the way to the end of the page? That the words and their music launch us into another sphere of attentiveness and sense? Something outside the poem that drives the poet? From what is its meaning made?
There are some responses to those questions proposed in this late summer issue of PQ, and some of our artwork has been chosen to explore the idea of white space—the space around the words (in poetry), around the more quickly identifiable forms (in visual art), around the sounds (in music), around the body (in dance), and, perhaps, around the experience (in life). White space, which of course can be any color or none, is the way what’s there is shaped by what isn’t there.
One’s management and awareness of white space creates much more than just form in poetry. Some say it’s the definition of poetry, that the words are not just a continuous thread in the space-time of imagination where we can hang our summoned images, logics, and associations—like prose—but that they are placed in a kind of visible space that wraps the entire verbal unit and defines some of poetry’s other operative characteristics: the caesura, the line, the volta, the stanza. How cool is that?
PQ likes to focus on the cool stuff about poetry and poets. Enjoy this late summer issue, read the poets we’re featuring, and become one of our contributors. Click submit.