- The Best Prose Poetry | Five Books Expert Recommendations
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- The Penguin Book of the Prose Poem
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Cervantes never composed otherwise, and even Boccaccio, in other respects so prosaic, decorated his collection with inset songs. In this sense the novelist might be acting as a sort of historian, folklorist, or cultural critic; the song or poem does not appear free of charge but rather demands context, which is often a close cousin of interpretation.
It hardly need be said that in the novel the poem can be deployed in an endless number of ways, ranging from artifact to spell. In these two books, the first a diary, the second a novel, numerous characters within court society compose poetry. This is at once a pastime and a kind of networked system of communication and signification, permitting simultaneous epistolary address and reference back to the system, to its histories and commonplaces.
Through the poems interspersed in The Pillowbook and The Tale of Genji we learn not merely the emotions and motivations of characters, but also how they deal with the problem of writing and how they deploy it, whether as lure, dissimulation, entreaty, or gift outright. For writing is not only unnatural, it is also and of course a means of obtaining and manipulating power.
The lack of Romantic mysticism or medieval intrigue is made up for in prosimetrical works that take the poem as an item capable of varying and destabilizing contemporary prose to ends at once aesthetic and political.
William Carlos Williams meanwhile locates an American identity through improvisation and excess, re-describing both prose style and the capacities of verse through various modes of excerption, appropriation, and apostrophe, after a fashion that belies his reputation as a rigorous reducer of words into machine-like things. If it does not exactly promote the joy of romantic love, then it demonstrates the power of an encounter of another kind, between precise syllabic poems and a tumbling, rushing onslaught of prose.
Like Cane , Spring and All is a comparative text; it invents new terms and tastes by way of contrast and association. Above I have supplied three reasons, and though I like them fairly well, they do not, in the end, as is probably to be expected, exhaust all my thinking and feeling about varying, combinatory writing styles. I may care most about a mixture of styles because it allows the paranoiac in me to comment on the conservative literary not to mention educational systems that I fear linger in our world, in spite of—and sometimes even paradoxically by way of—the iconoclasm of modernist heroes et al.
Verse is not just, to my mind, a form with various technical appurtenances, since it has a long history and specific social functions inputs, outputs ; like prose, it seems to me at times a sort of system, with myriad institutional nodes. Authors A-Z. Featured Authors. Articles, Games and more Penguin Shop Penguin Shop Book bundles. Penguin gifts. Writing workshops. View all.
The Best Prose Poetry | Five Books Expert Recommendations
Events Podcasts Apps. Contact us Contact us Offices Media contacts Catalogues. Hardback Paperback Ebook. View more editions. Although most poetry is written in verse, structure alone does not define poetry. So we can take the other elements of poetry and then reshape the writing into sentences and paragraphs. Prose poetry…is essentially a hybrid or fusion of [prose and poetry].
Books - Series Description
On the map it is precise and rectilinear as a chessboard, though driving past you would hardly notice it, this boundary line or ragged margin, a shallow swale that cups a simple trickle of water, less rill than rivulet, more gully than dell, a tangled ditch grown up throughout with a fearsome assortment of wildflowers and bracken.
There is no fence, though here and there a weathered post asserts a former claim, strands of fallen wire taken by the dust. To the left a cornfield carries into the distance, dips and rises to the blue sky, a rolling plain of green and healthy plants aligned in close order, row upon row upon row.
Prose poetry can be traced back to the haibun, a Japanese form of prose poetry seen during the 17th century. Western prose poetry emerged in the early 19th century as a rebellion against traditional poetic structures.
The Penguin Book of the Prose Poem
Throughout the 19th century, poets continued to embrace the form. Lovecraft, and Gertrude Stein. Burroughs, and Robert Bly, to name a few. However, prose poetry was not embraced by all. Eliot opposed prose poetry, arguing that it lacked the rhythm and musical patterns of verse. Why write prose poetry? Why would a poet favor sentences and paragraphs over the traditional structure of verses and stanzas? It depends on the poem and the poet.
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Your creative vision for a poem might involve a big block of text that is dense rather than the wispier structure of lines and stanzas. Your poem might tell an abstract story that you feel reads better in paragraphs as opposed to verse. Paragraphs result in a different flow than lines and stanzas, and the prose structure might provide the reader with a better feel for the rhythm of your poem.