Mesoamerican civilization The term Mesoamerica denotes the part of Mexico and Central America that was civilized in pre-Spanish times.
This is intended as a discussion thread for the mechanics of using punctuation. Anyone is free to reply, disagree, explain or comment as they will. Special thanks go to members WordWhizz and Jeremiah who made the suggestion for the creation of this thread as well as helped to provide a significant portion of the initial content.
Since Wordwhizz drafted the bulk of this, I am choosing to use his original post as the anchor for this conversation. Many people feel very differently about the use, or non-use, of punctuation in poetry.
Some feel it should be used to emphasize, as signposts to breathing and pausing, or to merely maintain correct grammar.
Other people may feel that line breaks are enough to convey an intended pause. Punctuation has the unique role of being able to significantly alter the way we read a written work; it can hinder some poems while enhancing others, and may do both in various places in a single work.
Anecdotally this happens often: I have a friend who is a highly capable bush poet with a whole stable of prestigious competition awards, yet she is tearing her hair out because one judge says her work is spoiled by too much punctuation, so she changes it all and the next judge says it should be punctuated.
The simple answer is - there is no simple answer.
Really, it is a question of deciding how you feel about your own poetry, and what suits your style best. To this end, experimenting with different punctuations may lead to the feedback you desire on what really seems to work best for you. As an editor I am a stickler for punctuation in prose, but over the years I have noticed much of the long-winded writing that required multitudes of commas, semicolons and colons is no longer fashionable and most people have lost the art of punctuation.
The strange thing is that we hardly miss it. For me, apart from a few wasteful commas most punctuation is still necessary. So why do I use very little in my poetry? As poetry is often a collection of phrases neatly strung together, punctuation may be guesswork at best.
In single word lines it becomes mostly unnecessary, if not intrusive. One school of thought says that line ends are automatic pauses. That is mostly true and can be used to great effect.
However, enjambment can argue against that. Mostly, I let the poem decide. If I have a poem with dialogue in it, I use a few quote marks without too many of the usual concomitant commas.
If I need to emphasize pauses within lines, then a judicious dash, or a suggestive ellipsis seems to do the trick, but overall, I try not to leave too many flyspecks across my work; especially, a proliferation of line end commas and full stops periodswhich I think looks awful.
I look forward to a plethora, a barrage, of interesting comments from all you poets in QL land. The ways in which we read punctuation may differ significantly from reader to reader.
When I am reading a poem, I read the punctuation as a part of the words, inseparable when used well to the benefit of the piece and highly irritating when it serves to impede the poem. This section is highly subjective to my own experiences but finding the right punctuation is imperative if you plan to use it in your poetry.Journalism, like any profession, has its own language and specialist words which practitioners need to know.
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Pre-Columbian civilizations: Pre-Columbian civilizations, the aboriginal American Indian cultures that evolved in Mesoamerica (part of Mexico and Central America) and the Andean region (western South America) prior to Spanish exploration and conquest in the 16th century.
The pre-Columbian civilizations were extraordinary.