Before sharing this week’s (completely and totally optional) idea, I want to take a moment to thank everyone who participates in Poetry Thursday for all you’ve brought to the project. Liz and I look forward to the coming months, when we plan to roll out even more exciting elements that we hope you will enjoy.
I also want to thank Liz for everything she’s brought to the project, including the original idea, which she shared in February 2006, of inviting bloggers to share poetry on their blogs. This week marks the one-year anniversary of Poetry Thursday, and what better way to celebrate it than to give Liz a shout out to let her know how much we all appreciate her sharing that invitation on her blog, an invitation that has gone from a few brave people starting to talk about and share poetry to more than 200 participants making Poetry Thursday the community it has become.
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This week’s (completely and totally optional) idea is prose poetry. I have to admit, as I pointed out on my blog last week, that I’m not entirely sure what a prose poem is. I know there are writers who detest the form and don’t think of it as a true form of poetry. I know that when I have asked several poets to define it, they’ve either been unable to provide a definition or have made it clear they wanted to change the topic.
I also know the basics about prose poems: They have no line breaks, and in that way seem more like prose than poetry. However, they employ the tools of poetry (e.g. metaphor, imagery, rhyme, rhythm) to convey whatever is being conveyed.
It’s clear prose poems walk a fine line between prose and poetry, but beyond their basic definition, what makes a prose poem a prose poem? What makes one a success and another a failure? Writing a prose poem certainly isn’t as simple as removing all the line breaks from a regular poem. It’s also not as simply as writing a short prose piece with a little bit of heightened language. We might know a good prose poem when we see one, but writing one can prove to be incredibly challenging.
This week, you might want to take a look at prose poetry. If you are familiar with this form, you could share your definition of it or talk about what ingredients result in a successful prose poem. You could also discuss why some writers regard this form with such contempt. If you are new to prose poetry, you could look into this form and share what you’ve learned about it. And, of course, you can always write a prose poem and share it this week (or anytime in the future) as your Poetry Thursday contribution.