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Madrigal

Thunderstorm

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I have some trouble writing prose... it just doesn't come naturally. Everything I write wants to be a poem. So I figured I'd start writing some prose poetry and work my way up. These are only exercises... so if someone asks, I didn't write it ;).

On Monday I tied my shoes and the door I swung,

The air was calm, the growth of darkness had begun,

And I looked up, the stars were bright

Though not so clear as yesternight.

I lifted up my left, my right, quicker

I ran through the light, the lined lamp?s flicker

Marked the way, the sidewalk firmer

Than yesterday, so I made my legs limber.

Halfway through the jog I saw a flash

I heard a thunder first, the crash

My ears did hear, but on I went

As the winds picked up and started to vent.

I turned into a dead end, the wind

Ran through my hair, and like mint

The air went down my throat

While the tree above me like a boat

Did swing its branches ominously.

And they snapped so hard, I was so scared.

How quickly had my luck turned--

What was a harmless jog became a hunted

Voyage through thundered street.

And the winds picked up and light

Flashed above, no longer was I limber;

I remember my fear of its timber.

I never arrived home, for God

Reached down that night;

I was hand-picked.

Maddy (:

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Well, the definitions of prose poetry and poetic prose aren't quite... defined. I guess I should've called this narrative poetry. From what I understand prose poetry is poetry with narrative and prose elements, while poetic prose is prose with poetic elements: such as heavy use of metaphors and figurative language. I've been trying to write poetry that doesn't need too much explanation these past few months, trying to make the crossover from poetry to prose. Hopefully I'll achieve this someday, as my brain tends to think in rhythm and rhyme.

Maddy (:

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Well, the definitions of prose poetry and poetic prose aren't quite... defined. I guess I should've called this narrative poetry. From what I understand prose poetry is poetry with narrative and prose elements, while poetic prose is prose with poetic elements: such as heavy use of metaphors and figurative language. I've been trying to write poetry that doesn't need too much explanation these past few months, trying to make the crossover from poetry to prose. Hopefully I'll achieve this someday, as my brain tends to think in rhythm and rhyme.

Maddy (:

I'd think a prose piece that was loaded with accidental-on-purpose rhymes, alliterations, flowery metaphors and the like would be delightful, as long as it didn't take itself too seriously, and the form itself would prevent that.

An unsolicited suggestion: perhaps instead of inching your way toward the goal, you could just jump in the pool, and see if you sank or swam. If it doesn't work, just abandon it and try again. I think that's what most of us do with all our writing.

I find I learn a lot with everything I write, whether it's successful and gets posted or goes, willingly or not, into the recycle bin. You'd probably find the same thing: simply trying is a great learning experience.

C

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I'd think a prose piece that was loaded with accidental-on-purpose rhymes, alliterations, flowery metaphors and the like would be delightful, as long as it didn't take itself too seriously, and the form itself would prevent that.

An unsolicited suggestion: perhaps instead of inching your way toward the goal, you could just jump in the pool, and see if you sank or swam. If it doesn't work, just abandon it and try again. I think that's what most of us do with all our writing.

I find I learn a lot with everything I write, whether it's successful and gets posted or goes, willingly or not, into the recycle bin. You'd probably find the same thing: simply trying is a great learning experience.

C

I've actually done my fair share of 'trying'. I'm somewhat successful with short stories, but both my flash fiction and my novels always slip into the poetic... and I don't like that, as it makes me feel self-obsessed. I've thrown quite a few chapters into the recycle bin as a result of this annoying self-awareness. I guess what I'm doing is trying to find that fine line between pure narration and self-indulgence. I'm a bit tired of, as you say, jumping into the pool, as my efforts to write a novel have always resulted in time wasted. So I'm now doing various things to get accustomed to narrate things instead of just throwing whatever comes to mind into paper. (Understand that writing poetry to me comes as naturally as writing this reply... it's as simple as answering a query or replying)

My goal isn't just to write a good story. My goal is to be content with what I write, and therein lies the challenge. And, of course, I thank you for your suggestion :). Perhaps I will do both, if I find the time.

Maddy (:

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My view is that 'poetry' and 'prose' are ways of describing locations along the same spectrum. How we perceive the world and how we write about our understanding of it results in locating our work somewhere on that spectrum, and I find for me that is a shifting location depending upon what I am trying to communicate. Like Maddy, I lean toward expressing my perceptions "poetically" and I think that is because the words themselves beguile me into making them dance to act out my message.

James Merkin

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Wouldn't it be possible to allow it to drift into the poetic, then simply fix what you dislike in the editing process?

C

That's some technically EXCELLENT advice, but I'm too stubborn for that. I'm too proud of what I write, and every suggestion or comment about my prose being too poetic stings like hell-- mainly because it's stuff that I already know. The first story I ever wrote was out of a wish for inclusion... I wanted to be a writer and not a reader, but it turned out to be the story I'm most ashamed of, since it didn't come from the heart... it came out of caprice. I tried alluding to a sex scene and used the word 'erection' (which I find extremely distasteful when I write it, but somehow acceptable in others' works) way too many times. Coincidentally, it was the most relatable story... but then again that was its purpose.

Anyway, back on topic. I need to learn to accept criticism first, and for that I'll need to 'learn to learn'. I've always done things on my own-- I've never taken an art, poetry, or voice class... the three things I most like about myself I'm a bit unwilling to... change?

So, in conclusion, I need to get rid of this silly voice in my head that tells me I'm too good for advice.

Maddy (:

(see? I even found a way to excuse myself from taking your advice)

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