Poetry can have stricter rules than prose -- you remember yesterday, the graphic about the sonnet? And all my complaining slash inability to write a good one?
Or, a poet might break free of all the rules in his/her verse. Maybe he/she might even make up new rules slash not know the rules and hence ignore them.
Back in the day at IPFW, I'd tell my writing students, that before you start breaking the rules, you have to know them. (That seemed to be a challenge slash lazy impossibility for some students.)
Rules can change, as we were reminded by slash delighted by slash mortified by this article from The Chronical of Higher Education by Ann Curzan. It's about how the slash is morphing from a slanty bit of punctuation into a nuanced conjunction:
Two weeks ago, one student brought up the word slash as an example of new slang, and it quickly became clear to me that many students are using slash in ways unfamiliar to me. In the classes since then, I have come to the students with follow-up questions about the new use of slash. Finally, a student asked, “Why are you so interested in this?” I answered, “Slang creates a lot of new nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs. It isn’t that often that slang creates a new conjunction.”Read the rest of the article here, and be sure to read the comments, as they are just as interesting as the article.