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Martín Espada Writing Styles in We Live by What We See at Night

Martín Espada
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"We Live by What We See at Night" is written in free verse, which means the line length varies according to the changing moods of the poem rather than being determined by a set number of metric feet or syllables, as in formal verse. In this example, Espada uses fairly short lines throughout, which help slow down the speed of the poem, perhaps matching the quiet and contemplative voice of a man recounting a fond memory. If the lines were longer, stretching across the page, the poem would seem to gain more momentum, building up a chant or prayer-like effect. Espada chose to break his lines earlier, perhaps in order to create a slower effect and isolate the images, in turn emphasizing each further.

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This section contains 124 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy the We Live by What We See at Night Study Guide
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Poetry for Students
We Live by What We See at Night from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.