Monday, July 19, 2010
Poet: Kindle "screws everything up."
Link to July 19 San Jose Mercury News article, "Kindle cruel to poetry".
Excerpt: Billy Collins, one of the country's most popular poets, had never seen his work in e-book form until he recently downloaded his latest collection on his Kindle.
He was unpleasantly surprised.
"I found that even in a very small font that if the original line is beyond a certain length, they will take the extra word and have it flush left on the screen, so that instead of a three-line stanza you actually have a four-line stanza. And that screws everything up," says Collins, a former U.S. poet laureate whose "Ballistics" came out in February.
When he adjusted the size to large print, his work was changed beyond recognition, a single line turning into three, "which is quite distressing," he adds.
Poetry, the most precise and precious of literary forms, is also so far the least adaptable to the growing e-book market.
OK, did anyone else have the same song pop into your head?
"Cruel to be kind,
in the right measure..."