Semiotics and Poetry: Toward a Taxonomy of Page Space

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The article attempts a provisional taxonomy of the use of space via analysis of work by three contemporary New Zealand poets—Alistair Paterson, Alan Loney, and Michele Leggott—and is contrasted with Berry’s work. Though a discussion of the use of line and space in any number of contemporary poets from New Zealand and elsewhere—Robert Sullivan, Lisa Samuels, Jen Crawford, Mei-mei Berssenbrugge, and so on—might yield interesting results, the work of the three poets discussed is especially susceptible to semiotic analysis. It denotes a range of experiments with page space and its intersection with form over long practice and is closely connected with Olson’s ideas. Loney and Paterson are both much influenced by Olson—Loney notes the impact of The Maximus Poems on his writing (Wood), and Paterson’s poetics is informed by it. Leggott was influenced by Louis Zukofsky, another poet who made significant experiments with page space

Original languageEnglish
Article number34
Pages (from-to)224-245
Number of pages22
JournalAntipodes: a global journal of Australian/New Zealand literature
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2018


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