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Spaces: A Poetic Form

by Brian Strand

Gael Turnbull (1928-2004), a Scottish doctor/poet first created this imagist 'Spaces' form in his Collection 'Briefly (1967).

SPACES is a two-line poem (& an integral title) with a larger than normal 'space (or gap) between the two lines, as the unseen line. Turnbull noted this 'space', as a pause or hesitation or even a temporary dislocation of attention.

This  'missing' unsaid line, is a classic & specific example of imagism & is provided by the reader inserting his imagination thereto, thus making the form participatory &uniquely variable to each reader.


An imagist form that demonstrates its unique interplay with the reader.

Catch 22

a window pane shatters


nobody makes a home run


Note in Amplification

  • The first line provides a 'happening' that can provoke a scenario for the reader to imagine the missing (blank ) line & thereby provides a pause as a 'happening' to evolve.
  • The last tangible line is a pertinent observation by the poet on the 'event' previously described in the poem.
  • The integral title summarises the poem or dilemma in the event or happening.