Reading poetry on a Kindle or phone

I don’t know whether it’s a new feature or I’ve just never noticed it before (more likely the latter), but Kindle1 has a Landscape Mode! This is much better for reading poetry, because it doesn’t mess with line breaks anywhere near as much.

I also recommend flipping to landscape mode on your phone. Poets spend a lot of time deciding where to break lines, and you lose a lot of the impact of a poem if you lose those.

Of course, I still prefer reading poetry in a traditional book. That’s still, by far, the best experience.

  1. I’ve got a first-generation Paperwhite. 

Poetry and the death of culture

We are a people now illiterate in a way that is unprecedented for the human race. We can decipher linguistic signs on a page, but we have no songs and immemorial stories in our hearts.—Anthony Esolen, Public Discourse

This paints a pretty bleak picture, but I think it’s probably accurate.

The question is, how do we get those stories and songs back? How do we work them into the soil of culture again?

I’m reading Makoto Fujimura’s book Culture Care: Reconnecting with Beauty for Our Common Life at the moment, and it might have some answers. I’ll report back when I’ve finished it.