Ode for the Lights Above the Arby’s: Reading Welcome to Night Vale Through the Lens of Poetry
This chapter examines the poetics of Night Vale—the manifold ways in which it uses poetic forms, style, and diction to subvert expectation and mark passage into the liminal world of poetic thought. These “intrusions” disorient the listener, rejuvenating the show’s trademark strangeness. Through diverse forms and strategies, from the bastardized haikus that open each episode to the powerful sense of lineation that defines the host’s staccato delivery, Night Vale draws on the inherent unfamiliarity of poetry to place breath, motion, and tension at the forefront of the audience’s experience. In this way, the language of poetry becomes the language of oddity, a defining feature and indispensable tool for creating and maintaining uncertainty.
KeywordsLanguage Poetry Rhythm Uncertainty
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