The Poetic Line: AND
The line is the possibility of the sentence opening and closing
like a valve, like a heart, like a voice, as time passes.
The line is all the other sentences we didn’t say and choices we didn’t make, hovering.
a dog stole along mountain
that phone whispered beside page
this cloud spread above all sea
One city sat below each window
Another woman swam over any day
The horse walked across the field.
Sometimes the line stops when and where the sentence stops.
This is how the world ends.
When the sentence ends at the end of the line the sentence is absolute. A world is created with its limits: its bounty and its waste. The line/sentence stakes a reality. Reality may be the point of departure from one world to another.
The world begins at a kitchen table. No matter what, we must eat to live.
Joy Harjo, Perhaps the World Ends Here
I am poisoned with the rage of song.
H.D. Orion’s Song
When the line allows the sentence to continue it is like the child storyteller, capturing her parents' attention by saying AND . . . . There is more to come and there is another part and there is no end to my story unless I end it because it is only for a moment that I can hold back the sea to tell you this life, and to point to this one day, and this one sound and how other things were happening at the same time and you don’t want to miss any of this that I am telling you and I don’t want to miss you and me.
The line slows the sentence down. Something gives us pause as we pursue an end point, something we had not counted on.
I CAUGHT this morning morning’s minion, king-
dom of daylight’s dauphin, dapple-dawn-drawn Falcon, in his riding
Of the rolling level underneath him steady air, and striding
High there, how he rung upon the rein of a wimpling wing
In his ecstasy! then off, off forth on swing,
As a skate’s heel sweeps smooth on a bow-bend: the hurl and gliding
Rebuffed the big wind. My heart in hiding
Stirred for a bird,—the achieve of; the mastery of the thing!
Gerard Manley Hopkins from The Windhover
The line is a breath, spoken across a breath and read in a breath. Is there another breath?
Write a two or five or ten line poem in which at least one sentence ends at the end of a line.