Poetry is a broken language

In poetry, by definition, the making of lines is the breaking of lines (in this way poetry’s deeply unlike prose, the units of which are sentences, defined grammatically by their completeness). Poetic language is language in which meaning refuses to be single-minded: the transitivity of meaning splits, as we mean more than we intend. More like evidence than judgement, the well-crafted poem can present several versions at once; it is the site of possibility.

Heather McHugh

Broken English: Poetry and Partiality (1993) 

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