A Note on Poetry, Breath, Lines and Punctuation


From the beat of the heart to the beat of a line of poetry, there is a natural harmony between verse and the rhythms of the body. In a fascinating blog post for the Life of Breath project, poet and writer Dr William Wooten explores how the acts of breathing, reading and writing inform one another. 

“The rhythm of breathing, like the rhythm of the heart or the movements of the body in action, is one of those basic rhythms of human existence that, however distantly or closely, inform the rhythms of verse. As I compose, as I say my lines over to myself, my breath is going in and out in a way I’m barely conscious of but which may exert an influence, however small, on the rhythms of what I write.” Continue reading on the Life of Breath blog.

If you’re interested in how poetry and breathing relate to one another, come to the inaugural Arts of Breath lecture on Breath, Pulse and Measure in 20th Century American Poetry on 15th November, where Professor David Fuller will explore the works of Charles Olson. 

The Arts of Breath public lecture series poster

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