On the Idea of The Line in Poetry, and the strength of Sound

I’m trying to write poetry now in which almost all if not all of the punctuation is in the language. 

Having this in mind returns me to the line and the time when the line predominated, the counting out of syllables to produce a sound, the time before poetry became more the matter of sight it is now. Now it seems—that time between the time I began writing poems in 1972 and the present day—a poem has to look good primarily, and how the poem sounds is secondary.

My instinct, that noble antenna, says the change, as gradual as a glacier, is part of a larger change, an evolutionary phenomena in which sight, the mother of Appearance, is becoming the dominant sense. How a poem appears—does it appear to be a poem? Yes it does so it must be—is as or even more critical to the reception of the poem by the reader, should there be one, than the sound of it as the sound of it is constructed primarily by how the sound of it sounds line-by-line and secondarily by how the lines look.

Writing by sound and making sure the sound emerges in one line that leads to another is energizing and impossible—rather it’s me who is energized by the impossibility. It’s not that difficult to write poems, though it is very difficult to write poetry.

 Screenshot of the poet’s manuscript in progress, in which the poet attempts to simultaneously bring back the line as the dominant unit in a poem and to build a line by the quality of its sound. 

Screenshot of the poet’s manuscript in progress, in which the poet attempts to simultaneously bring back the line as the dominant unit in a poem and to build a line by the quality of its sound.