Finding Poetry in Anything

Last week I listened to SUNY Geneseo Alumni Stephanie Iasiello’s lecture, Righting and Re-Writing: The Neo-Slave Narrative and the Novel. I have always loved going to these events because I’m so curious what others who got their B.A. in English decide to do after college. I will admit that a few elements of her lecture went over my head (since I know nothing about the Neo-Slave Narrative), and I had to take some notes to keep up. But besides being totally in awe of how smart she was, I also was so intrigued on how she connected a poem and a novel in her lecture.

It got me wondering how poems and other works of writing are intertwined. I really think one can use poetic language in a prose piece. At times, I don’t even understand why there is a divide in writing! I know people can easily, and definitely, argue against me on this. However, sometimes as I’m writing pieces of fiction or nonfiction I just want to break out into poetry.

A few of the poems we have read so far have broken out into prose. I love when this happens because I always think, “Why not?” Why can’t there be more interweaving between the different styles of writing? I think it would be so cool to pick up a novel at Barnes and Noble and see this type of writing inside. Googling around, I do realize that there are books like this. However, I wish it were more mainstream, more popular.

Perhaps one day I’ll be the one to make it a widespread phenomenon!

2 Replies to “Finding Poetry in Anything”

  1. Ah, I’m so sad I missed her lecture. Stephanie was my TA in my Engl 170 with Doggett. I went to her office hours on a weekly basis to get help on my response papers. She was always so well-spoken! It would have been great to hear her.

    Anyway, I like your point about the interweaving. If we’re in an era of multi-media art, why not multi-genre? You can have a piece of visual art coupled with audio, but why not blend and mix two types of genres? I think lyric essay is lovechild creative nonfiction and poetry, but you don’t see collections of lyric essays hitting the NY Times Bestsellers. Then again, you don’t really see a lot of literary writing hitting those lists anyway…

  2. This was a really great post! I’ve definitely had the same thoughts about writing. I personally like to (attempt to) write novels, and sometimes I get completely absorbed in the way the prose is flowing, but other times I can’t seem to do anything that isn’t poetry, even when I’ve tried to set a deadline for myself about finishing a chapter. Although I’ve yet to include a poem in any of my stories, I have used poetry as a tool to help me think more about the characters and what they want. If someone can have a spotify playlist to supplement their poetry, why not have poetry to supplement their prose?

    There seem to be such strict lines around what we can and can’t do as writers in specific genres and I’m glad I’m not the only one that’s gotten frustrated with them!

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