Thursday, 21 April 2016

What is Prose Poetry?


Anthony Howell tries to make sense of it:
There is a “throughness” to conventional prose. With it, we travel on through one sentence to the next, and we are building something by going towards it. The writing may well feel “transparent”—we are simply looking through it at the sense. With prose poetry...each sentence comes at you from its own direction. Each is its own whole, an atomic sentence. That is, it may differ from the previous sentence as much as one atom may differ from another. We don’t experience the same drive to get anywhere. This strategy may be used by “language” poets in a particularly abstract way, dislocated from meaning; but in the case of these intense prose poems, a story is being collaged together, a vivid story that hangs together in a disconcerting way, as one might concoct an image of a cow from many different images of cows.

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