Neil Hester

All poems © Neil Hester unless otherwritten

Name:
Location: North Carolina, United States

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Typo(logy/graphy)

INTJ. That's my personality, based on the rather interesting Jung-Myers-Briggs Typology Test. Obviously, it's not totally accurate; I switch frequently between introversion and extroversion, for example. However, it hits a lot of things pretty squarely; I'm self-confident, perfectionistic, direct, and imaginative. I also have a problem with romantic relationships... actually, I haven't had much experience either way in that area, but hey ~_^ I'd suggest giving the test a go; the result is not that important (take it as a grain), but can be entertaining and perhaps a bit self-revealing. Here's an explanation of the different terms (among other things) for the test.

And now... the other part: typography, syntax, and spelling. In poetry, these things can accomplish interesting things (whether they be good or bad). First, a couple past bits- my personal punctuation hierarchy for line ends in poetry (from shortest to longest):

~~~

none, hyphen(ated word), comma, semicolon, colon, period/!/?, dash/tilde, ellipsis, stanza break

~~~~~~~

...and ~Til~de~, in regards to my usage of the "~" as a punctuation mark. And now, let's look at a few poems with unique typology (for better or for worse):

~~~

The Oxford Book of English Verse

Henry, from Nancy.
              to Christmas. 1926.
              browned ink. limned paper.

              bought. Smart & Mookerdum.
              booksellers. Rangoon.

by Nancy, for Henry.
              for British in Burma.
              no knowing. to come.
              between. all war.

              Henry finds. only dates:
              Wordsworth: 1770 - 1850
              Tennyson: 1809 - 1892


Henry reads. them all.

to Nancy, off Henry.
              the book. returns.
              death railroad. down Kwai.
              Major Dunn. delivers.

              “a good chap. held fast.
              to ends. Henry did.”

              Henry: 1901 - 1943


so Nancy, no Henry.
              well versed. rests down.
              dog-eared.
              those times.
              that won’t book.
              their becoming.

              still a while, far away.
              for Nancy. anyway.

              Nancy: 1904 - 2001

By Jason Sanford

~~~~~~~

Notice how the choppy lines create a great deal of impact; short and lower case. Also, the indentation singles out the "Nancy Henry" lines, and the dates give a distinct (and meaningful) timeline. The form here is brutal and conveys quite a punch (punch-conveying~ oh boy).

LAEvaside: Boy, I love HTML formatting for poems like that one. [/laevaside]

Now, let's look at another one:

~~~

a violent prson

is marreed 2 a changling

th changling can adapt
can sumtimez radikalee b
on her his gud side evreethings
going swimminglee sumtimez
get whn he she runs out
uv prsonas masks goez 2
th closet n thers nothing

hanging ther can b myself he
she thinks thn thats th feer
that th punishment will cum
fr sure if he she cant leev her
him self fast enuff breeth b
call her him n start packing

him her self is alredee enuff
is alredee fine is alredee all ther
can go now can b now she he is
sew flexibul now who 2 trust or
2 find discovr

a mountin sliding in2 th sand
sumwun who wud stay yu cud
with hold n they cud find yu they
wudint leev n yu wud bcum all
ther with them not that

thers anee all ther

th changling writes lettrs 2 her him
selvs in th ambr waves n touchinglee
with love keeps th nite

by bill bissett

~~~~~~~

Yes! I didn't have to add those aggravating HTML indentations to this one! ...Unfortunately, that's the extent of my positive feelings towards this poem. Supposedly, his credo is to "lift the poem off the page into sound or even into some happening that attempts the total involvement of the senses". Strange spelling and spacing doesn't do that: it's just annoying. Dan Schneider did a TOP on this guy; check it out.

~~~

r-p-o-p-h-e-s-s-a-g-r

~~~~~

l(a

le
af
fa
ll

s)
one
l

iness

By e.e. cummings

LAEvaside: The title that normally goes with this poem is "l(a...(a leaf falls on loneliness); I'm not sure if that was originally given by e.e. cummings, so I neglected to put it at the top. [/laevaside]

~~~~~~~

A couple of the most famous e.e. cummings poems, the typography is extremely effective and unique. I don't believe anything more needs to be said, so let's move on to a parody of Ron Silliman's New Sentence:

~~~

The New New Sentence

is endless, spiral, scrolling, and flexible, goes where it wants, following the brush, following the pen, reeling off its sidebar parenthetical remarks (which when read out loud by Clifford Geertz, each layer of embedded parentheses being read in a softer and softer voice, until some deeper, most important layers are barely audible) with gusto, yet finding its way back to its central point, eventually, if obliquely, before skirting off again into another parallel associative digression, long-winded, perhaps, but unapologetic to the post-Hemingway short-attention-span generation who like their sentences to be short and sharp and bitter (not knowing that irony itself is not a way of life, but only a tool of instigation), making no concessions to the reader that cannot track along, and eventually winding its way towards conclusion, having said a great deal (full of sound and fury) about very little (signifying nothing), very quietly coming to its close, having spread its wings to encompass the world, and now roosting at last on a cliff overlooking a quieted airless planet whose geologic plates ceased lubriciously floating and bumping against each other eons ago.

By Art Durkee

~~~~~~~

Check out this entry, The New New Sentence, for a better understanding of The New Sentence (which I think is fairly ridiculous). For William Carlos Williams, just check out this TOP; now, here's something of my own:

~~~

Here Cold They Be?

“They’re gone, they’re gone, all gone!”
“Speak, boy, what are gone?”
“The s, the s, they’re missing, sir!”
“Hh? ...By god, the s! Er,
Never mind! Yo rn for help– go, go!”
“Srely, sir, I know, I know!”

“Come now, boy, hand me my axe!”
First one, then a thousand lumberjacks
Took many swings, made many cuts
For thirty years...

“Attention! After thirty years, our fears
Are through, our luck has turned! –But,
A price is paid; ‘tis often so.
This for that, you kno.”

By Neil Hester

~~~~~~~

It's not idiosyncratic like cummings or bissett; however, it expresses a better (if sparing and specific) reason to leave letters out of words. Really, I could go on for quite a while longer on typography, syntax and such (because there are a lot of peculiarities out there), but this post is rather long already. Here are a couple more entries with somewhat unique jazz in them (though it's still not much compared to the above poems): that said, take care 'til next~

~LAEvanesce

LAEvaside: Three self-links... yay for self-promotion. And on top of that, three asides in one post... [/laevaside]

3 Comments:

Blogger SempreArioso said...

How did you come upon the test at the beginning?

8:44 PM  
Blogger LAEvanesce said...

I think I read about typology on Jess or Art's blog... can't remember for sure, though.

9:20 PM  
Blogger AnoNick said...

A very long post ;-)... but cool... I found the Bissett poem annoying too, but the cummings one was... wow. Henry and Nancy was perfectly pitched, generated quite an effect. And yours was cool too... :).

About the MBTI, I've given several different tests from several sites, and although I doubt the validity of the test (like I doubt everything else...lol), it did give a pretty accurate description of my personality as in INTP.

Here's some good, critical info on the MBTI: http://skepdic.com/myersb.html.
:)

8:04 AM  

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