the lovely line break club: dana goodyear

few poetic devices thrill me as much as powerful line breaks. i try to use them in my own poems to give the reader something other than what’s expected or to give dual meaning, and when i find them in other poets’ poems, it always delights me.

today on my lunch break, i started reading the oracle of hollywood boulevard by dana goodyear (it’s this month’s selection from the rumpus poetry book club). immediately, i found some great line breaks, and it gave me the idea to launch a series of posts dedicated to line breaks: no particular schedule, just as i find them and feel like highlighting them.

here are a couple of great examples (go buy dana’s book to read more!):

“We were digging the bed when a woman
appeared at the gate, her face torqued red,
crying openmouthed and silently. Did you know
Angela, she said. Angela is dead.”
(from the poem “NEXT.” i love how the last two lines of this excerpt work together, but also independently.)

“Do you still love me? Now what
kind of question is that.”
(from the poem “ABUNDANCE.” Spectacular how “now what” poses both as part of “now what kind of question is that” AND as its own question, the ultimate question.)

and so dana goodyear is the first inductee into the lovely line break club! sorry comments aren’t open, but feel free to join a discussion on my facebook page (the post is public, but feel free to send a friend request if we’re not connected already).