This line about a newspaper editor from Carlos Ruiz Zafon’s The Angel’s Game is an example of two things that I think poetry must do: surprise and balance. Though Zafon’s book is a novel, like many novels, it is full of poetic lines . . . and in this case–poetic insight. At the same time, he surprises the reader, he also offers a balance of ideas.
The charges still held,
And he waited for the day his life
Would be taken in exchange
For $800 and a life ended
In the robbery gone wrong.
No one visited him,
A man no longer needed
In the family. Even his lawyer,
Who petitioned the supreme court,
Asked only for a 30-day reprieve OBO.
with a 2nd set of leaves.