EBooks and poetry do not go hand in hand. With the ability to zoom in, change fonts and change text size on eBooks, you run the risk of losing meaning. Imagine changing the spacing of an Ezra Pound poem, whose visual presentation is part of the work.
Craig Morgan Teicher at Publisher’s Weekly blogged recently about his dismay when trying to read an eBook version of Allen Ginsberg’s Collected Poems and found the liniation was all messed up. (See the above photo).
From Publisher’s Weekly: “Ginsberg broke his poem into what he called “strophes,” those long lines that hark back to Whitman. The indentations you see above are meant to indicate that the line keeps going beyond the end of the page, until the next left-justified line. Ginsberg was careful in his liniation, and part of the poem’s impact is in seeing that “who” sticking out again and again on the left side of the page. The digital version pays no mind to this whatsoever. What we get is not the poem itself, but a kind of poor transcription of it.”
How do you think that poetry can be saved?