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Sunday, October 30, 2011

What does 'prose poem' mean to you?

Heard Michael Dennis Browne today, reading and commenting on the poetry of D.H. Lawrence...that's right!
He was a great poet, much of life and death and looking at life through the perspective of creatures often
couched in spiritual terms.  In fact the program was at Plymouth Congregational Church, part of their "Literary Witness" series.  Worth the trip into town.  I hope they have more poets...

This week, prose poetry...and what is it that makes it so?  The "vibration" that MDBrown says a poem needs? A developing image or metaphor that 'stays with you'? It doesn't necessarily have the rhyme or rhythm or line structure of a more traditional poem...although I think there is definitely movement, almost breathless, and/or a grand extolling, hm?  TSmith says it's often about place...I think I hadn't heard that before writing this one in class.  What do you think makes prose poetry??

Here's a draft I wrote in class last week: 
Missing the Old Guthrie
a prose poem
by Shirley Smith Franklin

Why abandon that charming building of candy bright light, light and the various concentrated attentions of the elite, the effete, and the earnest hardworking and student come seeking salve and salvation for tired souls, excitement for energetic minds, exposed under glass to entice or distance the man or woman on the street, the messenger and the driver passing under the grasshopper bridge, the man under the freeway holding a crudely lettered cardboard sign.  Why not, retaliates the stark new building across town, hurling the names of its plays like flames against the sky; why not stage a warren of dim corridors even more complicated, dark and diverse, why not stadium seating outside a proper bar in an architectural interlude more like a giant beak, brooding over flowing dark waters.

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