I never saw a purple cow, I never hope to see one:
These corrections, painful as they may feel in the short run, are a necessary part of the process in capitalist economies.
Although the analogy will not please everyone, the rhythms of literary criticism often appear to move in comparable ways. With respect to poetry, interest in the formal patterns of verse has been enjoying a bullish stretch for perhaps a decade now, and it is time for a correction.
In this case, what needs correction are some of the ways that readers of verse try to connect their observations about the formal patterns of that verse with what they think it is trying to say to them. The need for correction is, from one point of view, a happy one because it follows from a rediscovery of the formal patterns of verse by readers who twenty years ago might well have dismissed any concern with those patterns as trivial, frivolous, self-indulgent, bourgeois, or even pernicious, when that concern threatened to steal attention from more important matters, usually social or political.
During this stretch of renewed attention to poetic form, the term "new formalism" has emerged to label a grab-bag of critical approaches and confuse itself with the New Formalism of some poets in the United States during the s.
The correction I have in mind does involve a "should"—how could it not and be a correction—but it has only one "should" and it waives the right to pronounce on any others. There is no statement here about what poems should say or how they should say it; about whether "I" should be anchoring a poem or whether all anchors should be weighed in favor of decentered subjectivity, about whether poems should produce the illusion of coherence or whether they should incline toward indeterminacy and the thwarting of coherence; about whether they should engage politics explicitly or whether they should avoid politics altogether, to the extent that doing so is ever possible; about whether they should appear in lines of print or whether they should use new media to explode conventional habits of reading; whether they should be funny and playful or earnest and sincere; whether they should confess the pain within or witness the pain without.
In fact, there is no statement here, and no assumption, that a reader of poems should pay attention to the formal patterns of verse at all. There is not even a statement or an assumption that reading verse is something everybody or anybody should do.
As far as the argument here is concerned, those who write poems or read them may do so in their own ways, same as they eat or kiss. What they may not do, or should not do, is to speak to others in lazy, inaccurate ways about what they have how to write a poem in prose form example or what they have written.
The reason for this "should" is simple: Furthermore, lazy inaccuracy misleads others, and misleading others, knowingly or unknowingly, is not acceptable, except perhaps in the case of a white lie or in the case of omitting information that cannot help people and could well hurt them, neither of which is relevant here.
This last sentence directs itself to those who teach or who are being taught to teach, whether that teaching takes place in classrooms or in pieces of writing aimed at showing others something.
The way you write poems or read them on your own time is your business; the way you teach people who are depending on you for right guidance is mine and everybody else's in the fellowship of literate people. When it comes to talking about poetry, the stakes of misleading and being misled are both very low and very high.
They are very low in comparison with misleading or being misled about how to perform an emergency tracheotomy; when it comes to talking about poetry, laziness and inaccuracy are unlikely to kill anyone.
But they are high precisely because relatively few people care about how to talk about poetry, placing a much greater burden on those few who do. The people you teach, whether in person or in writing, may never have the benefit of another teacher who can clean up the mess you have made in their minds.
What is worse, they will pass your mess on. Truth be told, "you" includes me, for I, too, have been guilty of making and passing along messes, both in the classroom and in print, and to the extent of that guilt, these remarks constitute a palinode.
The imagined scene of mess-making goes something like this: In the case of someone deaf or reading silently, the possibility of perceiving some interiorized sound shape in the mind's ear will depend on whether the silent reader knows enough to be able to convert the alphabetic signs of a language into phonemic equivalents.
In the phrasing Virginia Woolf used to describe the challenge faced by Lily Briscoe as she works on her painting throughout To the Lighthouse, the problem is how to connect the mass on the right with that on the left.
In the case of talking to others about poems, one mass consists of feelings, thoughts, expressions, ideas, concepts, statements, arguments, questions, commands, appeals, hymns, prayers, instructions, descriptions, monologues, dialogues, flatteries, satires, complaints, laments, elegies, memorials, charms, invitations, seductions, riddles, curses, invectives, jeremiads, valedictions, narratives, chronicles, dramas, catalogues, addresses, interjections, expletives; the other of sounds and, where writing or printing is involved, visible features of format, some of which may have implied auditory consequences, such as italic font, some of which may not, such as capital letters at the beginnings of lines, some of which are ambiguous, such as not-so-radical enjambments in verse in which enjambment is the norm.
Of course we want to connect these two masses, those of us who talk to others about poems or who listen to others talking about poems or who read their writing about poems, especially now, when it is possible and acceptable to attend both to big things in the world that poems partake of and to little things poets do when they arrange the sounds and sights of language.
It is not the desire to connect the two masses that needs correction; it is the way of doing it. For too many of us the default setting is to think and say that the mass consisting of formal patterns is the shadow and servant of the mass consisting of the paraphrasable gist.
But most of the time it is not, and when it is, we are in the presence of notable, often celebrated, exceptions. There are important precedents in Western poetics for treating form as the lackey of content, or if not the lackey, then the deferential and subordinate helpmate.
A full genealogy would have to include Plato's Socratic frettings, in books two, three, and ten of the Republic, about the degraded status and potentially nasty side effects of mimesis; Aristotle's rehabilitation of mimesis in chapter four of the Poetics as one of the two pleasure-giving instincts from which poetry springs, the other being the instinct for harmony and rhythm; Horace's advocacy for verisimilitude in Ars Poetica; and Boileau's imitation of Horace in L'Art Poetiquetranslated into English by Dryden and imitated in turn by Pope in Essay on Criticism written ; published Pope's essay gave us the handy, aphoristic formulation that continues to exert such pervasive influence, whether consciously recognized and embraced or unconsciously absorbed and transmitted: An Introduction to Poetry, first published in and now available, having been edited by others, in a fourteenth edition, which still sells briskly on Amazon.
One might like to think of it charitably as a stimulating hyperbole, but there is no evidence that Fussell thought of himself as exaggerating.
Nor is there evidence that he and those who solemnly repeat Pope's maxim feel the playful nudge of "seem," which receives what Halle and Keyser would have called a stress maximum in "must seem an Echo," as though seem were italicized and the line were admitting, ''It isn't really an echo, but in the aesthetics of neoclassicism, for the sake of harmony and concord, one should strive to feign that it is, in the same way that one strives to feign ease and naturalness in the midst of artifice when dancing a minuet.
True, she could only speak when spoken to, but she got even in the end. It would be both unfair and mistaken to suggest that only those under the influence of Augustan neoclassicism could see form as secondary and subordinate to content, the former silently reflecting the latter's bright light like a dead moon.
Thanks to an oversimplified misreading of Emerson's statement in "The Poet" mostly written in but published in that "it is not meters, but a meter-making argument that makes a poem" Emerson was arguing that meter by itself could not make a poem, not that meters should be discardedtwentieth-century fictions of organic form based on free verse tended to play out various versions of the all-caps commandment attributed to Robert Creeley by Charles Olson in the essay "Projective Verse" This page explains how to write a haiku poem, and offers haiku examples and prompts to inspire you.
At the bottom of this page, you'll find links to more CWN pages about poetry. At the bottom of the page, you'll find haiku examples from our visitors. The prose poem: everything else Most importantly, free verse does not mean that anything goes; it simply gives writers the freedom to create forms of poetry that suit their individual purposes and styles.
At the earliest stage, literature invariably takes the form of poetry, while prose is a much later creation, because prose develops with matured age. Poetry is out and out a product of imagination, while prose is the fruit of intellect. Distinguish A Poem From Prose By Looking For Line Breaks And Stanzas -> Source How To Write A Rhyming Poem 12 Steps With Pictures Wikihow -> Source The Best American Poetry Guest Bloggers -> .
Whether you are attempting to translate an epic poem into a more accessible format or rewrite a more traditional poem in a way that is easier for you to understand, converting poetry to prose allows you to turn a poem into something more straightforward and readable.
Normal everyday speech is spoken in prose, and most people think and write in prose form. Prose comprises of full grammatical sentences, which consist of paragraphs, and forgoes aesthetic appeal in favor of clear, straightforward language.