Exercise: fiddling with prose poems

As this semester has continued, I have found more and more that I’m very interested in examining how form (or a lack thereof, formally) can lend to the idea or message a poem is trying to convey.  I keep circling back to prose poems, primarily because they both befuddle and intimidate me.  I want to work through my stuck-ness on them, and on form in general.  I’ve yet to attempt this prompt myself, but break isn’t quite over yet, so we’ll see where I land when I do.

Prompt: Take a lineated poem you’ve written and re-write it as a prose poem.  Don’t just remove breaks; find a way to make the poem function in its new form.  Try to retain the original tone that the lineated piece had (unless, of course, the piece is pulling in a different direction.  You can follow that, too. Or do both. See what happens). Put the lineated & prose piece side-by-side. What differences do you find between the two? How did the poem change when you couldn’t use line breaks or form to help tell the poem?

One Reply to “Exercise: fiddling with prose poems”

  1. I think this is a really great idea for an exercise! Usually in my case, and I know Juliana spoke about this as well, the hardest part is putting words on the page. For this prompt, you’ve already got words on the page, and for all we know in doing this activity we might branch off and complete an entirely different poem based on one idea that came about from preexisting writing. I think I’m going to try this and see if it leads me to something I never would have expected.

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