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June 15th, 2012 / 3:23 pm
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Prose Poetry etc

‘All which is not prose is verse; and all which is not verse is prose.’ (Molliere)

‘The prose poem has the unusual distinction of being regarded with suspicion not only by the usual haters of poetry, but also by many poets themselves.’ (Charles Simic)

‘From the reader’s view, a poem is more demanding than prose.’ (Mark Strand)

‘My own formal literary education has not accorded much regard to what in English are referred to as ‘prose poems,’ and I am not at all sure what the genre is supposed to entail.’ (W.S. Merwin)

‘However, if a poem can be reduced to a prose sentence, there can’t be much to it.’ (James Schuyler)

‘There is a shorter distance from the unconscious to the Prose Poem than from the unconscious to most poems in verse.’ (Michael Benedikt)

‘I wish our clever young poets would remember my homely definitions of prose and poetry; that is, prose=words in their best order; poetry=the best words in the best order.’ (Samuel Taylor Coleridge)

‘A poetry freed from the definition of poetry, and a prose free of the necessities of fiction.’ (Russell Edson)

‘The prose poem is a useless whore.’ (Aoody Wallen)

‘I had long since given up, however, on the notion of reading a long and complex prose poem.’ (Mark Roberts)

‘But I look upon my ultimate form as being a poetic prose. When you read it, it appears to be prose, but within the prose you have embedded the techniques of poetry.’ (Story Musgrave)

‘The prose poem as a lantern, an illuminated container, casting images and phrases needed but barely understood.’ (Martha Kinney)

‘Marriage – a book of which the first chapter is written in poetry and the remaining chapters in prose.’ (Beverly Nichols)

‘I’ve been writing a lot of prose poems. And I probably have a dozen I can live with. Many of them are comic; there are several that are serious. The first one I ever wrote was in Amsterdam. It was a long time ago, I would say thirty years ago. My wife had gone off with a friend, and my kids had gone off to get stoned, and I had time. There was a park named Vondelpark, named after a poet, and I went there. I’m a guy who writes a lot. I enjoy writing; I feel I should be writing, keep my hand in it. So I started writing something, and I wrote a little piece about a Dutch doctor that I knew and loved. And it was the first good prose poem I ever wrote. And then I wrote a couple more, and they weren’t any good (I published them, but they stunk).’ (Philip Levine)

‘It has often been observed that the repercussion of poetic language on prose language can be considered a decisive cut of a whip.’ (Eugenio Montale)

‘When prose gets too stylized and out of control–and Stein is sometimes a good example–when you don’t know what the hell is going on, then it’s kind of boring.’ (Rick Moody)

‘The last few months I’ve been obsessed with taking photographs of miniatures inside of ice cubes.’ (Matthea Harvey)

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