I thought this quote was immensely helpful, not just in the aspect of writing, but in the aspect of slamming. I’ve only been in one real poetry slam, and with that I learned quite a few things about “reading your audience,” or “pause for the words you want to really sink in for your listeners.” But I never thought of punctuation in the art of body language. Poetry slams are all about inviting your audience into your poem, having them live it, experience it…feel it. And with that comes the punctuation of the poem in all the forms Mr. Baker mentioned.
And as far as writing goes, man. He hits the nail on the head.
When we carefully place an ellipses next to a statement or a question, it’s more than likely you want the reader to know you’re character is trailing off. But that doesn’t mean we can write,
Annie, we have to get out of here…” Mark trailed off.
I think that sends off a redundancy alert, because the reader already knows he is trailing off via the ellipses. These dots represent his body language (in a way). Same goes for exclamation points, or when we italicize something in dialogue. When we use a hyphen to [most of the time] show the speaker is getting cut off. There are so many ways we use punctuation to exhibit body language, and you probably don’t even know you’re doing it yourself! 😛
So, the next time you’re writing, think about what Mr. Baker is saying. The next time you go out to a poetry slam, watch how the poets perform. Does their way of speaking exhibit any punctuation you would see in writing? I challenge you all to do so! ❤
Have a fantastical day~