Author Topic: A Question of Poetic Prose, Structure and Form.  (Read 634 times)

Odd Greg

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A Question of Poetic Prose, Structure and Form.
« on: July 15, 2008, 03:15:27 AM »
My question concerns your opinions on poetic prose. By that I mean both its structure and its current acceptability. Over the years, I have written a number of songs. Ballads, mostly. The rules of lyrics are somewhat less strict than those of poetry, although the two forms are sisters of a kind. The rhythm and rhyme in lyrics often follow the arcs set by the melody or the beat. Fine poetry follows much the same idea, yet a lyric may bend and stretch or shorten certain lines or even stanzas.

Some of the finest works of prose also employ forms of poetry where the words and their rhythm represent as much of the meaning as do the phrases. I am sometimes sent into a mild trance by some authors who are able to make the words seem to sing. And yet there is no rhyme, no presupposed or predetermined scheme. No fixed rhythm, either, other than a continually evolving and engaging heartbeat. To me, that is prose taken nearly to perfection.

In the case of poetic prose, I find that I sometimes structure the words in the form of poetry, even though many of the preconceived rules of poetry are challenged. My question may be a foolish one, as I have not had any formal training in either writing or the history of poetic forms. My problem, however, is nonetheless real.

On first encounter with structured forms of poetic prose, many readers are confused. Is this a poem? Of course, not all poems require or need a set rhyming structure. Rhythm is another matter. It is paramount and important in the extreme. So are the words and the phrases. Each ‘stanza’ must stand on its own, self contained, and yet properly further the train of thought from an origin to a destination. Not unlike most forms of prose. Yet I wonder about the validity of structuring poetically expressed prose in the form of evenly divided stanzas.

What are your thoughts, views and opinions? I am curious.