Sunday, May 08, 2005

Poetry vs Prose

When I'm writing prose I feel like I'm doing a whole different thing from poetry. How I write poetry and prose is related in terms of word choice and sometimes even structure (I like framing devices, for example.) But what I feel when I'm writing a poem is nothing like what I feel when I'm writing prose. When I'm writing poetry I'm, on the one hand, trying more consciously to deal with sensation and texture and the sounds of words and the feel of them in the mouth than I am when writing prose. This has something to do with emotion. But on the other hand, I'm less comfortable with emotion for the sake of emotion when it comes to writing poetry. In prose, I don't mind getting at emotion just because I feel like it. In poetry, I want an invocation of the emotions to do something specific.

3 Comments:

Blogger jenni said...

Interesting post. I write very little prose, a few shorts here and there. But I have noticed a difference in consciousness--for me, poetry is almost like chanting, or a mental rhythm closer to hypnotic. When I'm really inside my "zone" i barely register anything outside, someone can ask a question and I won't hear them, it's a little trance-like. Prose, for me, is more anchored in reality. i'm more conscious.

10:16 PM, May 09, 2005  
Anonymous Jamie said...

I've always thought that poetry was part game, where prose more like an essay. The goal of prose is to get an idea across in whatever way you deem to be most effective. The goal of poetry can be similar but there's still the underlying "game" -- not just getting the idea across, but doing so in a specific structure.

I find that poetry can be more challenging but also more frustrating, if I feel that the constriction of poetic formatting is impairing my ability to get the idea across. And reading prose vs poetry can be the same way: sometimes the message of the poem is lost in the structure. I end up thinking what clever formatting that was and not really getting the message it was trying to deliver.

4:06 PM, November 12, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I find when writing prose, which is a laborious activity usually of lengthy duration, to be the desire to ‘lead;’ where as in poetry, though created in a shorted span of time, the desire to ‘inspire.’

Let me explain. A writer of prose produces a writing that takes one where they wish you to go. This is never accomplished in a straight forward way, but wanders through page after page of, though maybe interesting and associated to the story, fill. It is an entertaining, a leisure of sorts, leaving the reader with nothing to do but follow. Very little, if any, mental activity is needed in its consumption. Another attribute of prose: it is a written ‘verbosity.’

Prose is the written form of understanding assessable for the greatest number, a singular entity. Poetry has three distinctive lives. There is the poets life, it is his essence, his ‘hardcopy’ of self and its trip; the public’s life when it is provided for its perusal; the life discovered by one how reaches a successful conclusion, making it their own; who uses it to express their thoughts. It matters not, how it is defined in any of its lives; the poet’s private, the public’s unknown, and the discoverer’s its use.

The poet, in varied constructs, provides a ‘map’ of thoughts and says enjoy the trip. Here we see a major difference in the activity necessary in the creation of the writing and the mental activity necessary to reach the successful conclusion. More can be written in a poem than in most works of prose, therefore the artist (poet) must use, when called for, whatever element of their art is best suited to so do.

In prose as in poetry, I am very particular in the rhetoric used, expecting each word and or group of words that fulfill an explicit intent. First I am a poet.

12:13 PM, April 12, 2008  

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