How do you hyphenate 'luminous' over two verse lines, 'lumi-nous' or 'lumin-ous'? Help.


Some dictionaries give hyphenation points in their definitions. Merriam-Webster is one such.


  • 3
    In addition to this sage advice, because it's verse, the versifier has the option of hyphenating any word wherever it will serve the verse's or author's purpose. – user21497 May 18 '13 at 8:30
  • In fact, if it serves their purpose, the versifier even has the option of hyphenating it lumy-nous. – Peter Shor May 18 '13 at 17:09
  • In general, punctuation in poetry is to used very, very, sparingly. Especially punctuation thats silent. as cummings and antin have pointed out repeatedly. – John Lawler May 18 '13 at 18:54

In poetry, the sound is even more important than anywhere else.

So the answer to your question depends on how you say it.
If you must hyphenate, for some reason, make the hyphenation represent the sound.

  • If you end the line with /m/, hyphenate after M
  • If you end the line with /n/, hyphenate after N
  • In general, hyphenate after the last sound in the line.

I.e, never mind official punctuation rules.
This is poetry, and poetry does what it must.

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