Prose poets
#1
British Authors Before 1800: A Biographical Dictionary said of 18th-century Gothic novelist Ann Radcliffe that "her prose was poetry and her poetry was prose. She was, indeed, a prose poet, in both the best and the worst senses of the phrase. The romantic landscape, the background, is the best thing in all her books; the characters are two dimensional, the plots far fetched and improbable, with 'elaboration of means and futility of result.'"

Are there any writers whom you like more for their language than their plots? More pertinently, what distinguishes a prose poem from a verse poem? Is it length, rhythm, narrative, vocabulary, etc.?

[Image: Radcliffe,Ann.jpg]
Ann Radcliffe approves this thread.
"We believe that we invent symbols. The truth is that they invent us; we are their creatures, shaped by their hard, defining edges." - Gene Wolfe
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#2
What distinguishes a prose poem from a verse poem? Is it length, rhythm, narrative, vocabulary, etc.?


I have no idea, Jack. I've had a few published, but I don't know what they are, or why. I've never worried about classifications though. I write without worrying about what someone else will call it.

Not much help, I know. The prose writer I admire, totally, is Thomas Pynchon. His prose is poetic - but he was/is a poet as well as a prose writer.
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#3

Formatting, punctuation, what the publisher decides to call it...
I am not sure if it's possible to categorize it,
but I am sure it doesn't really matter that much.
Well, ok, maybe to librarians?

Though, thinking about it, the real problem (original sin if you want) is
that "free verse" was classified as poetry. If not for that, there would be
no need to fuss about prose-poems.


P.S. Pynchon's "The Crying of Lot 49" is whatever it wants to be.

P.P.S. Nice to see you around here Mr. "Heslop" Smile

almost terse
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#4
(09-04-2014, 01:02 PM)rayheinrich Wrote:  
Formatting, punctuation, what the publisher decides to call it...
I am not sure if it's possible to categorize it,
but I am sure it doesn't really matter that much.
Well, ok, maybe to librarians?

Though, thinking about it, the real problem (original sin if you want) is
that "free verse" was classified as poetry. If not for that, there would be
no need to fuss about prose-poems.


P.S. Pynchon's "The Crying of Lot 49" is whatever it wants to be.

P.P.S. Nice to see you around here Mr. "Heslop" Smile


Likewise, Mr. HeinrichSmile You and your kittyBig Grin
"We believe that we invent symbols. The truth is that they invent us; we are their creatures, shaped by their hard, defining edges." - Gene Wolfe
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#5
(09-04-2014, 05:48 AM)just mercedes Wrote:  What distinguishes a prose poem from a verse poem? Is it length, rhythm, narrative, vocabulary, etc.?


I have no idea, Jack. I've had a few published, but I don't know what they are, or why. I've never worried about classifications though. I write without worrying about what someone else will call it.

Not much help, I know. The prose writer I admire, totally, is Thomas Pynchon. His prose is poetic - but he was/is a poet as well as a prose writer.

"If you can't tell if it is poetry or prose, boy... then it is prose!"

Geoff Farrington. Senior English Language tutor. Guisborough Grammar School 1960
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#6
From the TV show "Almost Royal" ---

"How can you tell if it's poetry or prose?"

"It usually says on the front of the book" ---character of Poppy Carlton
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#7
Franz Wright has some exceptional prose poems in his newest collection of poems titled "F" that you all might enjoy. I particularly enjoyed his poem "Medicine Cabinet" but be warned, it is anything but peachy.
"Where there are roses we plant doubt.
Most of the meaning we glean is our own,
and forever not knowing, we ponder."

-Fernando Pessoa
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#8
Although I'm pretty sure he never wrote poetry, I've always found the rich descriptive language of Golding's Lord of the Flies to be incredibly poetic -- not to mention his fine touch with metaphor and allegory.
It could be worse
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#9
Oh good, another chance to ramble senselessly and tangentially...what fun!
___________________________________________________________________________________________________

The difference between poetry and prose is the intent of the writer...if they are good enough to be aware of such Smile

Prose with randomly truncated lines is of course the description of Prose-poetry for the rest. There is also the smell test, but most people don't have a nose for literature. It's like music, unmusical people can generally not distinguish anything more than just basic chord progressions. They might as well be deaf when it comes to recognizing 7th's, sustained, diminished chords, et. al... They are only able to digest the most fundamental aspects. A musician will hear all these other things that most people don't, and so they will have a richer appreciation of more complex music. It is like the difference between crayons and oil paints, and most people read and write in crayons. In the past we made people go to such things as art appreciation, or music appreciation, and it was required, not an elective. At some point in time we became tooo utilitarian (I blame it on the modernist) for such things to be regarded as valuable since "...you don't need them for/to get a job, so what's the point?" It's like someone standing in front of an impressionistic painting and saying "I don't get it, why is everything so fuzzy"? If you say it's light, he will be no further along than before. The reason is that appreciation of art does not come quickly, unless of course you are preforming it. I didn't like opera until I was in an opera. After that I loved opera, especially Mozart. I sang the count in the "Marriage of Figaro", which had these five or six person choruses where everyone is singing at the same time, and they are singing something different from everybody else, but if you take it in as a whole it somehow becomes one song. It is even more impressive when you see it from the inside, that is when singing a part. You can see how everyone's part is intertwined in an overwhelming way. It was very eye opening for me. The point? If one had an accurate definition of prose-poetry, most people wouldn't have the background, or awareness to understand the definition, those who can understand the definition don't need one. As with any art form, there is no shortcut. Of course many people would take as true a definition that said,

"To be prose-poetry it must at least contain 25% of known poetic tropes and truncate the line when an optimal phrase, within a sentence, concludes."

Go forth and write "prose-poetry"! "OH-man!"
__________________________________________________________
"Are there any writers whom you like more for their language"

Two Science Fiction writers who are as good as the best writers in any other genre: Terry Goodkind, and J.V. Jones.

Dale
How long after picking up the brush, the first masterpiece?

The goal is not to obfuscate that which is clear, but make clear that which isn't.
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#10
Prose poems are poems without line breaks. I think the one of the main forerunners for its popular use today was that french guy charles something or other who did all those poe translations.
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#11
Prose poems have seagulls, don't forget seagulls, and the ocean's roar, don't forget the roar (it's easier to just copy Katy Perry lyrics BTW).

dale the aw-shucks
How long after picking up the brush, the first masterpiece?

The goal is not to obfuscate that which is clear, but make clear that which isn't.
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#12
i wrote a long reply to the question then lost it :9.

my simplified version is:
prose is prose and poetry is poetry. somewhere between is a grey area where one becomes the other and vice versa. i found Tolkien's prose to be pretty poetic. what is the difference? style is the difference and all the attributes style brings. of course i could be talking out of my bottom again
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#13

A modest proposal to improve our currently ambiguous wordage nomenclature.

The terms 'prose-poem' and 'poem-prose' ('poetic prose' is a misnomer) seem
to have nudged the terms 'poem' and 'prose' into several of the various
overlapping realms of the Ambiguities*.

While it has been proposed that this uncertainty be alleviated by renomering
'poem' and 'prose' to 'poem-poem' and 'prose-prose'; this solution, in my
humble opinions, is far too simplistic. What's required is a more precise
system of designation.

Specifically:

That the numbers from 00 to 99, designating percentage and representing the
quantity of various qualities possessed by the entity in question, be prefixed
to the universal root designation 'wordthingee'.

For purposes of example, we'll use the following seven qualities (more will
certainly be required): 'poem', 'prose', 'canticle', 'fiction', 'lies',
'non-fiction', and 'mostly nonsense' (and yes, I realize that the qualities
'poem' and 'mostly nonsense' are largely redundant, but bear with me):

A pile of wordage loosely labeled 'prose-poem' could now, after detailed
analysis, be classified as a '49-57-05-93-89-02-99 wordthingee'.

Another heap of wordage previously labeled 'prose-poem' and erroneously
equated with the '49-57-05-93-89-02-99 wordthingee' above, could now,
upon further inspection, be labeled a '49-56-05-93-89-02-99 wordthingee'.

I look forward to the intellectually formidable discussions that will, of necessity,
result from their disparity.

Sincerely,
your ever supposititious,
Ray



*The Ambiguities are first mentioned, albeit metaphorically, in the Theogony of Hesiod.
As no one has yet to determine their names, they remain in that all-to-problematic
category of undiscovered Greek gods and/or Sumerian proto-deities.


almost terse
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#14
(09-07-2014, 05:38 AM)rayheinrich Wrote:  
A modest proposal to improve our currently ambiguous wordage nomenclature.

The terms 'prose-poem' and 'poem-prose' ('poetic prose' is a misnomer) seem
to have nudged the terms 'poem' and 'prose' into several of the various
overlapping realms of the Ambiguities*.

While it has been proposed that this uncertainty be alleviated by renomering
'poem' and 'prose' to 'poem-poem' and 'prose-prose'; this solution, in my
humble opinions, is far too simplistic. What's required is a more precise
system of designation.

Specifically:

The numbers from 00 to 99 (designating percentage) and representing the
quantity of various qualities possessed by the entity in question be prefixed
to the universal root designation 'wordthingee'.

For purposes of example, we'll use the following seven qualities (more will
certainly be required): 'poem', 'prose', 'canticle', 'fiction', 'lies',
'non-fiction', and 'mostly nonsense' (and yes, I realize that the qualities
'poem' and 'mostly nonsense' are largely redundant, but bear with me):

A pile of wordage loosely labeled 'prose-poem' could now, after detailed
analysis, be classified as a '49-57-05-93-89-02-99 wordthingee'.

Another heap of wordage previously labeled 'prose-poem' and erroneously
equated with the '49-57-05-93-89-02-99 wordthingee' above, could now,
upon further inspection, be labeled a '49-56-05-93-89-02-99 wordthingee'.

I look forward to the intellectually formidable discussions that will, of necessity,
result from their disparity.

Sincerely,
your ever supposititious,
Ray



*The Ambiguities are first mentioned, albeit metaphorically, in the Theogony of Hesiod.
As no one has yet to determine their names, they remain in that all-to-problematic
category of undiscovered Greek gods and/or Sumerian proto-deities.



makes sense to me. Thumbsup
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#15
Ray,

academicians will love you, there is nothing they like better than to quantify things.


In Sumer there were originality 40 ambiguities, but while in Egypt, a Nile crocodile manages to eat four of them before they awake. So then there was only 36 ambiguities, and at least half of them are insane. This leaves 18 ambiguities, and half of them will not talk to the other half because they disapprove of the English language as it in itself is one big ambiguity and so they would be put in the place of being lessor ambiguities. So they have all gone south. Of the 8 that agreed to work with the English language, 5 are so silly one cannot contain them long enough to use them. This leaves only 3 in the English language:
the intentional and unintentional, which always leads to confusion. There is a third, but I can't call it to mind just now.

"Is that a foot?"

"No, that's a nail"

"It looks exactly like a foot to me!"

"You realize that I'm not talking about a measurement?"

"Yes, I knew that...oh wait, you are referring to those things that are at the end of the toes."

"So you see that it is a nail and not a foot?"

"Of course, of course, I just needed my perception cleaned."

"I usually recommend alcohol wipes for that."

"Well on that we will have to disagree, I prefer to take mine orally."

"Oh sure, but I thought you were under the age?"

No, I'm not under the age, I don't even know what an "age" is to get under it."

"Uh huh, I think you need to drink more."

"Well I would certainly agree with that. By the way do you know about ambiguities?"

"I know one."

"Which one is it."

"The grammatical ambiguity."

"What's that?"

"What's that lying in the road a head?"

"Wha, I dun get it."

"Just keep drinking and you'll either get it, or quit caring. Oh before you trundle off,
there is the comedic ambiguity."

"Waz dat?"

"Where a joke depends on ambiguity to be funny, like the "Smith" joke in Mary Poppins."

"Whadat?"

"It goes like this:
I know a man with a wooden leg named Smith.
Oh yeah, what is the name of his other leg?"

"Idon getit"

"Oh well you are probably to young to know about Mary Poppins,
but I'm sure you will do well."

"Thank you." (exit stage left)

Oh, I forgot to tell him about sarcastic ambiguity."
How long after picking up the brush, the first masterpiece?

The goal is not to obfuscate that which is clear, but make clear that which isn't.
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