Poetry for the Prosers


Intentionality of words is something poets speak of often and value highly. And I think us authors of prose should attempt to cultivate the same efforts of word-smithery. For a poet, each word and grammatical mark – even individual letters sometimes – carries the potential to affect the entire poem and the way a reader views or hears it.  Part of the poet’s genius is in the sound manipulations he or she can create in the reader’s ears.

But can prose manage that?

Considering length it would be difficult to contribute that much care to each mark on the page as many poets do. But what about some of the longer epic poetry like “Paradise Lost” or “The Divine Comedy” (see also “Beowulf,” “things by Homer,” “Canterbury Tales,” “The Waste Land”…) Some of these are probably longer than the last book you read. Continue reading

Not fantasy, but will sure take your brain to other worlds

Look what I found today!

comprehensive list of all the poetry collections that have won the National Book Award since 1950. This is a rich resource of thought that I hope to one day get through in its entirety even if it takes me the rest of my life.

Poetry isn’t my first love, but every couple of months, my need for it is rekindled, and I set the novels aside to find joy in short collections of words I don’t usually understand. What’s got me so giddy about a confusing mire of abstraction? I can’t always explain it. Some poems don’t touch me at all; others hound my soul for days. Sometimes a line or couplet of words will hit me in a way that makes me feel like my life is not/can not be the same after. Continue reading