Poetics and Poetry Discussion


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Mary Morstan Female, 54, New Zealand (7/4/2013 4:39:00 PM)

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But, with all due respect (and I know what you're trying to say) , Jefferson's right: poems are written in lines/verses while prose uses the sentence (if that wasn't the case, FW would be taught as poetry) . Further, a passage of prose, taken from a novel or short story, is part of a greater whole: we need to read the rest of the work to find the context, and in that work we read on and on to get to the end - while in poetry we read to the end and then back up the page. Moreover, poetry also attempts to go beyond words, to silence or revelation.

Re Joyce, I said he would eat you for breakfast because you said his experiment with language in FW was poetry (“his prose is poetry”) – he was trying to get beyond that, to create the language of the night and the unconscious. He also made a distinction between his poetry and prose (his poetry is formal, and not, imo, that great – some nice ones though) . In fact, in response to criticism of FW he brought out Pomes Penyeach. You can also listen to him read from FW online – he doesn't read it like poetry either. The sound of the words - in both prose and poems - was extremely important to him, however, and so yep it's lyrical. And Jefferson, did you know you can hear Tennyson recite online too?Thought you'd be pleased...

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  • Jefferson Carter (7/6/2013 11:57:00 AM) Post reply

    M, I suppose I'd like to hear Tennyson recite, as long as it wasn't " riflemen, look to your butts...." ! What I'm simply trying to get Lamont to SEE (fat chance) is that poetry does not mean an inherently superior kind of writing.

    Whether a prose passage is taken from a novel or short story is irrelevant. It's still organized by paragraph and is PROSE, neither inherently more mundane nor expository than poetry. Check out all those " prose poems" (what I call, more logically, " poetic paragraphs" ;) . I believe, unlike you (?) , GOOD prose also attempts to " go beyond words, to silence or revelation, " as all wonderful writing does.

    I know I sound pedantic, insisting on these distinctions, but I don't think we can have useful discussions of poetry or prose until we can agree on our terms.

  • Lamont Palmer (7/4/2013 7:08:00 PM) Post reply | Read 1 reply

    When I said FW was poetry, I meant in an essential way, not literally, as of course, its written out in paragraphs and is meant to be prose. -LP

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    • Jefferson Carter (7/7/2013 12:08:00 PM) Post reply

      Yeah, I get you, but it's that meaningless word " essential" that's a puff of flatulence....

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