Prose Poetry: Presumptions
Soren Kierkegaard was a Danish Philosopher of the early 19th century. He emphasizes the contradictory and comical nature of life. In a proverb, we can say every coin has two faces on the opposite side. To make life easy, simple, and worthwhile, embrace faith in God. So according to Kierkegaard if you are accepting God, then also accept the absurdity of life. Truth doesn’t lie in the traditional morality, if one doesn’t find it justifying on the subjective level then it should be opposed. According to Kierkegaard “subjectivity is truth and truth is subjectivity.” Though objective facts are important, it is more important than how one relates oneself to those matters of fact. Kierkegaard philosophy fuels postmodernism, absurdity, and existentialism. It is really interesting to scan prose poetry in the spectacle of Soren Kierkegaard and WB yeats. Prose poetry is the combo of prose and poetry. Here we see prose and poetry straddling between two lines. Line breaks and enjambment are effaced here. Prose and prose poetry both are written in blocks. Then what differs between both of them?. According to Jean-Paul-Sartre “Poetry creates the myth, the prose writer draws its portrait.”
Portrait or prose brings pictorial representation, approachable to mundane eyes while poetry brings deep, subtle, abstract, intriguing myth which needs sheer like eyes that could read between lines. JB Yeats was the father of the famous Irish Poet, WB Yeats. His opinion is far sharper. In a letter, he wrote to his son WB Yeats —
“I take up some lines of poetry and say I will explain them and make the effort, always to end in giving it up. No explanation is possible. There is nothing to be done except to read out with the friendliest voice the lines I started to make plain. What can be explained is not poetry. It is when the powers of explanation desert him that the poet writes verse.”
According to Wb Yeats– “Poetry is incantation”
Then again we think, what is the actual meaning of incantation?
According to ‘A poet’s glossary’ by Edward Hirsch, incantation means– A formulaic use of words to create magical effects. Incantation derives from a Latin word meaning “to consecrate with charms or spells,” and, indeed, charms, spells, chants, and conjurations all employ the apparatus of sympathetic magic.
So if you rely on this definition then Yeats would have said–prose poetry means charms, spells, chants, and conjurations full of mystery and myth created in a horizontal box.
Prose poetry doesn’t mean simply prose, as many fragments, micro tales, and paragraphs try to leap into the category of prose poetry. I think Yeats would have denied them to be included in the category of prose poetry.
Though WB Yeats never wrote prose poems and his contemporary Eliot was a diehard opponent of prose poems.
And what Soren Kierkegaard would have said about prose poems?
He formulates – where is life, there are contradictions. So life is comical.
And as Prose poems are oxymoronic, combined of contradictory verse and prose, so prose poets are pots of sense of humor.
These are just presumptions!
Dr. Pragya Suman
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