Monday, April 26, 2004

Interesting topic, Nate.

I think once we decide meter is not the distinguishing characteristic of verse, it becomes almost impossible to make any sort of adequate distinction. In fact, in the recent past, fiction has very often been more metrical than poetry. I think this is more a question of convention than any thing else. If you call it verse it's verse, if you call it prose it's prose. If you call it prose verse you confuse the hell out of everybody but fortunately everyone is too embarrassed to say anything.

I think your idea of it being freer is intriguing, although I wonder if it's merely an illusion. Still if it's an illusion that helps you, all the better. If you were setting out to write in prose, perhaps it would feel freer to write in verse. And, in fact, line breaks have made their way into fiction as well. I think it probably has more to do with how you want to approach tradition tahn anything else. I've never written any prose poems, although I never consciously set out not to. I think I haven't done it because I feel like I have a hard enough time convincing anyone that what I'm writing is poetry anyway so I better at least have line breaks.

Do you think that its universal that prose poems come out more lyrical? Maybe that's only true for you. I feel like with a lot of the bad prose poems out there, being in prose makes them more flat.


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