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Wednesday, 3 November 2010

On Typos In Poetry

Typos - beauty mark or cancer on the face of our poetry collections?  What poet does not turn to their poem, their bio, in a journal, to see if it has been blighted?  What book, no matter how carefully screened, vetted, pruned, pried at, inspected, and glowered upon, does not seem to smuggle in a typo, or two?  Like bedbugs - where do they come from?  Something there is in language that does not love perfection - or at least, in type-setting.  Even with a slew of eyes on the text, they come in, unwanted visitors, stowaways, thieves of our ideals, mocking us, belittling the book.  Or, should they be read as delightful imps, welcome scallywags?  Reminders of our flaws, modest interlopers, gadflies of marring benevolence?  Either way, what you print is not always what you get, or what you wanted is not always what's inscribed.  Eyewear is riddled with them, so is the wider world.  Let's dunce.
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