Saturday, December 24, 2011


JH: I never had mentors outside of books. It is indeed no easy task to become a better writer of sentences. To me, a prose poem is a poem that just happens to be in prose. What is the structure of prose poems if not the words themselves? One exception could be punctuation, which can provide the space that line breaks provide in verse. Another exception could be paragraphs. Often, your prose poems are several paragraphs long. How would you compare stanzas and paragraphs? Also, is there structure without space (separation) as there can be structure without repetition?

AHB: John Ciardi, or someone like that (someone much quoted as an authority but not so much someone we look to for the poetry itself), said (effectively, ie, I'm just about making it up) poetry snaps into shape whereas prose can be constantly whittled. I form paragraphs both semantically and visually. If it feel like the thought has changed, I move to the next paragraph. I also break if the appearance of hte word block looks too imposing. I have no problem with endless prose blocks but some pieces want air space. There can be structure without space but that can really be imposing. I'm thinking of ancient Greek and Roman writing with no spaces, which often can be rendered in multiple meanings. The reader, allowing for a modicum of interest, will find a structure. You, by the way, having been writing poems of single sentences.


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