Compression: Jennifer Schomburg Kanke


“William Carlos Williams once said that a poem is like a machine, everything with its role to play and nothing unnecessary. In this sense, compression in poetry becomes a tricky thing because the reader must trust that the poet is not selling them a lemon, that if the reader is going to enter into the images of the poem that those images can take them somewhere, that the machine is fully operational. Thus compression is the most vulnerable art form, leaving the poet open to scrutiny and the reader susceptible to trickery.” — Jennifer Schomburg Kanke

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