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Reprobates Debate: Prosetry

Sat Feb 2, 2013, 10:51 PM

Exactly what it sounds like

—okay, not really. Most of you have lovely consciences and kiss your mothers every night before bed, I'm sure!

But the rest of us are gonna have some fun in the meantime.

No quotes necessary. Just debate.

My background isn't in literature at all, but being a hardheaded, opinionated bundle of joy, I get off to this kind of thing. I'm inviting all of you to chime in on an issue that surely has no right answer, regardless of whether or not you've studied it or experienced it or whatever. It's the Internet, dude.




So what the hell is prosetry, anyway? Actually, that's exactly what we're here to debate. While Wikipedia has an article on prose poetry, it's got nothing for either 'prosetry' or 'proem.'

And because something as simple as asking you all whether or not you think 'prose poetry' is Option 3 to prose and poetry would be boring (yes/no questions? Ugh, never!) I also demand to know who gets to define it. Is it the author? The critics? A select group—an Academy—whose role it is to preserve the sanctity of the French language stylistic and genre classifications in creative writing? How about the people who make magazines, or the people who keep these things running through small donations or give those lovely endowments to their alma mater?

Should 'prose poetry' exist as a separate category? Regardless of your answer to the first part, who should be making the official decision? (And what exactly would an official decision be, anyway?)

} the topic



the {
rules

Ad hominem arguments automatically get a :icondickkickplz:. Look, I don't care what the fuck you were thinking. It's not cool and it's not productive. The point of me doing this in a journal is to create a safer space for those of you who are intimidated by the forums or don't generally feel comfortable supporting an argument on logic alone when everyone else is going around citing their sources (like a boss).

That said, you can be as Wikipediatastic as you like. Dude, citing sources is awesome. I'm making this very informal so it's not necessary, but if you've got books or stories or poems to reference, by all means do so! Even better if you can link to a place they're available online, for those of us who spend all day staring at a computer as our brains slowly seep out, but whatever. I'll make that library trip if I have to. Also, don't link to your own work. No, non, nope.

Last rule: by posting here, you are inviting anyone to challenge your views. If you have a serious problem making conversations like a grownup when someone doesn't agree with you, this is not the place for you. See above, re: ad hominem dick kicks. I can and I will. But please don't be afraid to be the minority opinion! I'm planning to Devil's Advocate everything—to the point where I refuse to reveal what side I fall on until pressed on it—so you've got at least one supporter. Maybe.

I'll argue with you, too. :eager:



You deserve a break from tightening up your entry for the Alternate Universe contest, so here, break your brain over some totally pointless stuff :dummy:

And yes, I made some updates to the THE RULES so read them again.

What is prosetry, should it have its own category, and who should make that decision? Define your terms, get your sparring gear on, and let's go!

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:iconatheshya:
Atheshya Featured By Owner Sep 8, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
I tend to think of "prose poem" and "prosetry" as being synonyms, personally.

I actually would prefer a category of prose poetry/whatever you want to call it.  It wouldn't have to be a third option to prose or poetry - as the majority opinion implies, it would work well as a subset of poetry.  The reason I want it is essentially this really selfish desire to be able to search for prose poems on the site and actually find them.  I've seen several things here that I think fit the category, and I find them really interesting, but the lack of a searchable category for them makes it difficult to find more similar things.  It would be great of me to post an example here, but apparently I am not liberal enough with favoriting.  Ugh.

I would say that prose poems can have a narrative aspect, but are more focused on the words and emotions involved.  They also tend to be fairly short, about the overall length of a poem.  But I'm not an expert of any kind.
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Sep 8, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
This came up on the gallery restructure journal, but we need to be able toto define it consistently and as a genre it's just not that established.However, we encourage people to use it in their descriptions our keywords cause those are searchable, so no need to abandon all hope!

It sounds like you're defining a poem in this last bit, though, do what is the prose aspect?
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:iconatheshya:
Atheshya Featured By Owner Sep 9, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
I've searched the keyword - it's how I ended up here.  There's surprisingly little under the keyboard, actually.

Prose poems don't seem to be as minimalistic as poems often are.  The way the sentences are constructed fits the syntax of normal prose.  Poetry doesn't do that.  It'll be made of half-sentences floating about, or all strung together but still not really seeming quite like a sentence someone could just say in normal speech.  Of course, we can all read poetry, so this isn't a bad thing, but it seems like prose poems allow for a further extrapolation upon an idea than poems do.

Genre is pretty consistently difficult to define though.  I concur that prose poems are less well-defined than most genres, but definitions of literary categorizations of any kind tend to be really subjective.
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Sep 9, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Also prose poem, etc? It's not that widely spread overall, tbh. I've seen like three pieces where the author called it that, and even so, there wasn't a firm argument for why it wasn't one or the other.

Okay, so syntactically it's more prosaic, but in terms of content and word choice it's more poetic?

Depends on how old, I think. We've had centuries to figure out speculative, tragedy, romance, horror, etc.
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:iconatheshya:
Atheshya Featured By Owner Sep 9, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
I might need to brush up on my searching skills - searching "prose poem" in my experience just searches for "prose" plus "poem," so basically everything in the lit category.

And yeah, that's what I'm saying.  I have no trouble believing its a subcategory of poetry, but it's one I like.  At least... I like what I've seen of it on this site.  What I'm describing is a style I've seen a lot here, but NOT in prose poems elsewhere (which I haven't read enough of to have a good idea how to classify.)

Yeah, but I'm sure those took a while at first.  Even now I hear "is it fantasy or science fiction?" debates reasonably often.
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Yeah, the other issue for me is da practices vs everyone else... like visual poetry, normally that means what we call concrete here but people get much more creative on this site.

Got any links? I've noticed a shift to use of the word speculative instead.
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:iconatheshya:
Atheshya Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
FINALLY found one in the DDs for today - chapav.deviantart.com/art/Peac… seems to count for me. It starts seeming fully prose, and the format (paragraphs and punctuation) are prose, but the actual flow is poetry.
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I'm impressed you saved this :giggle:

But he calls it a poem, too, and shouldn't prose be defined by more than an absence of line breaks? :eyes: Ok, it would be stupid to say that people don't see paragraphs and immediately jump to prose, but the reverse of that is that all it takes to make a poem is line breaks. Which I would hope we're not going with.
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(1 Reply)
:iconpencil-wolf:
Pencil-Wolf Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2013  Student General Artist
I certainly think that prosetry is a real thing, and my personal definition of prosetry is such:

It has the paragraph structure of prose, and the story-telling or essay-like approach like prose, but reads like poetry, and has certain elements of poetry that prose generally does not have (such as a definite rhythm, rhyme, patterns, repetition, and some stanzas).

It is definitely arguable, in this case, what is prose, what is poetry, and what is prosetry? What rules would be set in place to distinguish prosetry from poetry and prose? Well, I believe that is the beauty of it. There wouldn't have to be any rules to prosetry. It could almost become a sort of stream-of-consciousness, without having to stop and recognize grammar and basic sentence structure. It, I believe, could become more raw than either poetry or prose.
When it comes to distinguishing them apart from one another, all that really matters is the author's final word and what they call it. Besides which, if it's in a paragraph format (with perhaps some stanzas), it should be relatively easy to interpret by the reader. For instance, I call this fabulous work [link] by ~towards-eternity prosetry, and instantly recognizable as such because of the loose sentence structure, lack of capitalization, paragraph format and poetic way of writing. Where as this piece [link] by the same author is poetry, because of the stanzas. Basically for me, the real indicator is format.
Truly all this, though, is my personal opinion and how I define prosetry. I've really got no sources to back it up.

Though prosetry isn't a legitimate term yet, I do believe it has the potential to become one, simply because prosetry is really a specific type of poetry format, like concrete poetry, and other fixed forms. Though others may be skeptical about it, to me, it's a real thing.
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:iconactsofart:
ActsofArt Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I basically agree with this.
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:iconpencil-wolf:
Pencil-Wolf Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2013  Student General Artist
^^
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Hm, have you read stuff like Faulkner or Joyce? "Stream of consciousness" is a well-established literary prose style (although it sounds like what you're really talking about is "free writing" which is more of its own thing).

Here's the question though, what stops that from simply being poetry that has abandoned the use of linebreaks? And what about novels that use a ton of poetic language? (By the way, 'Requiem for a Dream' drops most punctuation - however I would definitely call it prose because it's extremely narrative oriented.)

So is this really something that can be defined as a whole separate genre, or is it something that has to be done on a case-by-case basis?
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:iconpencil-wolf:
Pencil-Wolf Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2013  Student General Artist
No, I haven't read Faulkner or Joyce but I would have to agree that "free writing" seems like a much better fitting term. I'm not exactly a literary expert. ^^;

I think that it can be most classified by a sort of sub genre. It is, in my opinion, prevalent enough to be worthy of a sub genre instead of a case-by-case basis, but not prevalent enough to be considered it's own separate genre. Also, good point on the novel side. In that case, I believe a lot of it could depend simply on the writer's style, rather than format (what I tend to indicate by). As I said in my original comment, I would think that the actual classifying is up to the author, and what they decide, or to the audience, if the author's one of those who like to leave it for them to interpret.

(Sorry for the incredibly late reply! ><; )
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
:)

Hm, but subgenre to what major category?

No worries!
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:iconpencil-wolf:
Pencil-Wolf Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2013  Student General Artist
I think it should be under poetry, but that's because I see it as a more poetic form. It could be argued either way, though.
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Yeah, it's confusing. :O
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:iconpencil-wolf:
Pencil-Wolf Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2013  Student General Artist
XD Certainly that, if nothing else.
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:iconxlntwtch:
xlntwtch Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2013   Writer
Hell, there's a writer here who also labels work "Phoetry" - a combo of a photo and poetry.

Back to prosetry (and late, as usual) one of the first pieces I wrote here I wanted to put in a prosetry category because there was a lot of rockin' rhthym and rhyme in it, not even intended, but there. I couldn't because there isn't any such choice.

I know a few clubs groups who have a "Prosetry" category in drop-down menus, but it's still not available on dA.

If groups have a category for it, why not the whole lit site?
Are we really gonna stick to Wiki, that great encyclopedia in the sky, to which many can add an educated entry any time? Or a dictionary? How about the Urban Dictionary, also open to many?

We're writers. We make shit up. Why not "Phoetry" and especially "Prosetry" as well, "devil's advocate"?
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:iconxlntwtch:
xlntwtch Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2013   Writer
I can try ;P

I don't think it's in a "super niche" anymore.
If it shows on menus at bigger lit clubs, like #Word-Smiths, then it's not in much of a niche.
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Going off the fact that there's like 100 million writers out there, though, I think that is still pretty niche. And I'm more taking the whole Internet into consideration, not just dA. :P
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:iconxlntwtch:
xlntwtch Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2013   Writer
Then you should more clearly define "writer."

Some think they're writers, but they aren't, especially on the "whole Internet."
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Ha, truths. So what definition of writer do you think we should adopt for these purposes?
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:iconxlntwtch:
xlntwtch Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2013   Writer
My definition would include:
Someone who writes every day, no matter if they keep to a schedule or not.
Someone who studies writing through in-person writers' groups, through reading, and learns about publication, too.
Someone who not only says, "I'm a writer," but who actually writes everyday, somewhere, even in a journal, diary, or for homework for a writing class.
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Haha, I don't fit any of those things. But to be fair, I think writing is something I do rather than something I am.
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:iconxlntwtch:
xlntwtch Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2013   Writer
Hey, those were all active verbs in my definition. [!] They all mean "do."

PS. How many windows do you keep open on your computer? You move mighty fast...
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(1 Reply)
:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Ahhhh I think I've seen that. Visual poetry, just embrace the term. :P

If it's super niche, though, does recognising it officially help or hinder?
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:iconxlntwtch:
xlntwtch Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2013   Writer
:lol: I forgot to hit "reply" again. My reply is above your statement and question.
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
:salute:
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:iconvespera:
vespera Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
*sits in the background chanting FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT*

LOL I requested that they do some sort of prosetry/prose-poetry category in the suggestions thread a while back. I'm kinda hoping this debate means they're considering it.
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
:lol: this is actually just the most contentious thing I could think of at the moment.
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:iconvespera:
vespera Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
I feel so warm and fuzzy right now ;)
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
:giggle:
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:iconthe-monoblos:
The-Monoblos Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2013  Professional Writer
Poetry is great - there are loads of different types of poetry - each of them so unique and so clever in lots of different ways.
Prose is also great - there are loads of different types of prose too - each is so unique and so clever in lots of different ways.

I know, let's merge two great things together and see if it will create one amazing, unique, so clever in many ways thing! Hey I've got another great idea! - If anyone thinks my argument sounds like it's based off words and ideas that come from 20 minute sitcoms and is thus completely spontaneous like everything and everyone else in life let me know - because that's the point. It's like we just label it one great thing because it covers so many great things and it will re-define the entire nature of both prose and poetry because your one submission involves the miracle of both!

For me it's not 'what it is' as much as it is 'what we've made it'. If we look back through history we have epics such as Homer's Iliad (& of course the Odyssey) and we have Dante Alighieri's 9 levels of hell just to name two (well, three) epics - which would now be retitled as "prosetry". Prosetry, which Google, Firefox, IE, Ms Word, Open Office & a whole bunch of other stuff such as the Oxford English dictionary is telling me is actually not a real word. Don't get me wrong it's a completely logical way to see something which encompasses both prose and poetry as 'prosetry' but doesn't just reek of the feeling that we might not actually know ourselves what we've written. We might not actually know what sort of prose, or what sort of poetry something goes in that we give it a name which we feel safe with because we know it will overlook everything.

In many respects the two are just so similar. I write novels and when I write I try to use as much imagery in my novels as I can - I try to add as much as feeling as I can to my novels, I try to draw people out with their feelings if I can. I may also challenge something which is going on the world, put a bit of myself into the novel. Everyone who knows poetry I would assume also can see how imagery may be very important in poetry - some of shakespeare's sonnets are amazing for imagery. Poetry will use metaphors just as Prose does. Prose may use a narrative arc just as many areas of poetry do and to look at something which may look at elements of both and define it as being only one is very hard - if even possible.

I actually don't think we can define poetry or prose as being unique - each, to some degree, will always bounce off or work with the other in my opinion. People borrow ideas from one to use in the other or vice versa. To call something prosetry though is where I think the line should be looked at - maybe not drawn but definitely that is where it should be looked at. I could write a novel and have one chapter as a poem - does that hereditary element make it something called prosetry? At the same anyone could write a haiku in the style of prose - but it could still be a haiku because of the power and the placing of the syllables. Again, should that be something called "prosetry" and, going back to my earlier point - do we make up our mind about "is it X or Y or even Z" on the spot - do we actually know what we're going to be writing before we write it?

Of course we should always have an idea but things will always change - I understand that, literature is constantly moving on - in the times of Homer's Iliad any contemporary Prose and Poetry would be non-existant. It's our minds that have changed since then - as people we have changed the way that we think. In today's world, where the media and the internet have so much in our lives such a thing as "prosetry" exists and it really is for everyone to look at and have their own opinion about but, again, is it "what it is" or is it "what we make of it"?
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Hahahahaha, ouch. I will say that the mashup that resulted in 'situational comedies' - fka 'sitcoms' turned out well. It's not exactly common, but it is possible that there's something in in-between niches worth exploring.

I've argued this before and I'll do it again - I don't think you can retroactively apply the term to a work that existed before the categories even split. As far as we know, during Homer's time epic poetry was the only genre of written creative work that existed. We call it epic poetry out of convenience but it's really just 'this is it' or 'transcription of an oral tradition' or something.

I think plenty of prose and poetry incorporate imagery and narrative; the idea is that there's a middle ground where, for instance, something is written in a prose format but with very poetic language and poetic devices (poetry without linebreaks? Possibly, but presumably it also has enough prosaic elements to make things complicated.) And yeah, someone else mentioned ditching the notion of prose and poetry being two discrete things. Which I kind of like, but at the same time I also prefer things like genre divisions so I know what to expect.

Ha, yeah. So perhaps it doesn't even matter in the long run. I think the boundaries are shifting even faster than in the past.
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:iconhavetales-willtell:
HaveTales-WillTell Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2013  Professional Writer
If (as *Goldfish-In-Space appears to imply) prosetry = poetry + story, wouldn't that pretty much include every epic poem ever written?

The dividing line, if one exists, has to be elsewhere.

Can a cleverly-crafted six-word story qualify? I recently posed this very question, and the response was an incredibly-definite maybe. How about a traditional poem (such as a sonnet or terza rima) with plenty of enjambment, rewritten without any line breaks to tip the reader off? Same thing.

The answer may very well be that there is no definite answer: maybe the boundary is as muddied as the edge of a fractal, where there's a consensus that one piece may qualify, whereas its near-identical twin doesn't.
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
My comment about original epic poems was that you can't really call them out as one or the other when the other didn't exist (at least not in any surviving form) - it's like trying to claim some kind of distinction of 'traditionally published' back in the early Renaissance when all printing was done through small presses and generally with patronage. Trying to introduce 'self-publishing' as a term in 1400s Italy doesn't work because it just doesn't make sense.

Hah, although in the case of the six-word story couldn't you say it comes down to the author and how they've presented it? Even in six words you can choose to employ terseness (Hemingway) or go with a more poetic style that incorporates imagery or is even straight-up a haiku. And (quoting this for the third time, I should really figure out who said it - I think it was *ShadowedAcolyte) linebreaks are a hallmark of poetry, not a required or defining characteristic.

And to add to that, is there even a need for a consensus?
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:iconhavetales-willtell:
HaveTales-WillTell Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2013  Professional Writer
Just because the term didn't exist back then doesn't rule out that it could be retroactively applied. After all, concrete poetry used to be called visual poetry, and may one day be known as typographic poetry instead.

Isn't the whole point of this discussion about whether Hemingway's terseness, or a tricolon like Caesar's "Veni, vidi, vici", qualifies as poetic?

Not necessarily a consensus per se; but by posting this, you're at least attempting to plot out the central section of the bell curve.
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
But that's a shift in the actual term, not the creation of a new term because the category itself was added.

It wasn't actually about that at all! It can be, though. I think it depends on whether you consider minimalism itself an aspect of poetry. I would argue that's not enough, and that Caesar's quote falls into an uncomfortable middle ground because it was a spoken phrase at a time when prose wasn't really used outside of commentary or history.

Wellllll. Assuming dA is a valid place to find a bell curve, which I would say it's not.
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:iconhavetales-willtell:
HaveTales-WillTell Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2013  Professional Writer
My point is that concrete poetry evolved away from visual poetry; so that now, when we look back at at Herbert's four-century old Easter Wings [link] it doesn't stop us from applying the more modern label. If one wishes to argue that epic poetry is indeed an early example of prosetry, simply saying that prosetry didn't exist back then isn't a sufficient counter-argument.

But going by Coleridge's definition of poetry as the best words in their best order, couldn't I argue that "For sale: baby shoes, never worn." (or Lomelí's "¿Olvida usted algo? ¡Ojalá!") has reached that pinnacle? Could you change or rearrange any of the words to make the message tighter or the meaning clearer?

It's more likely to produce a valid result than a totally random sample, which makes it a better place to at least begin your search.
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Ah word. Hmmm. I mean, 'concrete poetry' is more a subset of 'visual poetry' than a whole new thing. So I still don't think it's a perfect comparison.

By Coleridge's definition, all amazing prose is poetry. :stare: I think that definition is suspect.

Unless I were seeking more professional opinions. Which in this case I'm not, but the percentage of pros on this site is pretty low.
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:iconhavetales-willtell:
HaveTales-WillTell Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2013  Professional Writer
But it's also a subset of typography. So it's kind of like fanfic: neither fish nor fowl. Or rather, it has elements of both fish and fowl. So what then should we call it? Both 'seabird' and 'flying fish' are already taken.... :hmm:

Not quite: the entire quote shows that Coleridge clearly saw a distinction, and favored poetry over prose. But that brings us back around to the original point: where should the line be drawn, or should it even be drawn at all?

At least the sample space here is self-selecting: barring any bored miscreants and unintentional trolls, those who follow you (or lit CVs in general, or who post on the Lit forum) are likely to have some sort of informed opinion about writers and writing. Never underestimate the power of crowdsourcing.
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Sooort of...lot less emphasis on the font selection and manipulation than typography. But point taken, it's kind of in there.

Only because he was a poet! :evileye:

Haha, that's true.

Wait, is there such a thing as an unintentional troll?
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(1 Reply)
:iconsaintartaud:
saintartaud Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2013  Professional General Artist
I've always viewed prose poetry as a subset of poetry. This is usually the context in which it is studied and how it arose, lyrical prose not withstanding.

The thing that's difficult about these discussions is that the distinction between forms isn't really so distinct. The current division between poetry and prose is defined by the move from Romanticism on to more emphasis on lyrical poetry, as opposed to narrative traditions, like the epic and so forth. Probably the shift away from epic verse to novels/romances as the dominant storytelling medium plays into this as well.

There's more I could say about history/function, but I don't have the time to ramble on further about it. Hit me up for more thoughts later if you're curious. I imagine it's in line with some other responses, I just have decent knowledge of the progenitors of the form.
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Oooh. I would love more details, so yes, go on! I mentioned it at the top - I'm not well-educated in literature.

I think that we've had a lot of time for the divisions between prose and poetry (yeah, definitely Romantics onward) to solidify, and part of this happened as a result of serialized prose in newspapers/periodicals as well as the straight-up novel, so they are valid today, at least for the purposes of this discussion and probably also ones relating to contemporary trends. However, could the paradigm be shifting again back into something that's less clear?

Also I would note that the Athenians expected all storytelling to be performed. Prose gets read aloud occasionally, but it's very different. Thucydides, Xenophon and Herodotus seem to be a possible dividing point in early prose vs poetry, but do you know how they were regarded then? I'm not sure any information on it survives.
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:iconsaintartaud:
saintartaud Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2013  Professional General Artist
Gah, screw browser tabs. I just lost a bunch of text.

Anyway, I'm not confident in my knowledge of the Greeks, but you're more or less right. Prose seems confined to history and philosophy, which suggests that it was primarily informational in character. I would say that historically this tends to be the case, although sacred texts can blur this somewhat, as verse forms were used a lot. But again, recitation, singing, et. al.

And honestly, I'm not exactly sure where I was going with all this. Presumably some discussion of early prose-poetry, especially Rimbaud's "Season in Hell." I think that kinda signals what is still distinct about prose-poetry. I don't know if we're shifting towards less clear divisions, only because that would suggest we've veering away from prose novels or what is definitely poetry, which I don't notice is really the case. Beyond perhaps very insular avant-garde/experimental realms and a few outliers. I would say the situation is more or less like visual art, where abstraction and conceptualism didn't destroy representational painting. Instead, we simply have more viable options and new strategies for the use of traditional routes.
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Aw fuck! Firefox can recover text, depending. I've gotten back half-written notes before.

Well, sacred texts were generally oral knowledge, no? I also don't know exactly who the audience for Thucydides or Herodotus were, beyond something something Peloponnesian War hey-can-we-drop-this-stupid-conflict and primarily Athenian most likely due to the system. (Xenophon comes off as more journaly. I know his prose wasn't as highbrow, anyway.)

So I haven't liked any Rimbaud so far, and I've barely touched on him. I should give that a try.

Hmm, that sounds like a good compromise. If it doesn't matter outside a niche, let the niche do whatever it likes...but then what should we do if something in there manages to wade into the mainstream?
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:iconsaintartaud:
saintartaud Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2013  Professional General Artist
Yes. But my point was that sacred texts serve a different function than epics, drama, lyrical poetry and can be more informative. Anyway, I don't know who the audience for Herodotus's histories was, but the little I've read is clearly written as an attempt at being a factual (or nearly, hah) account of things. So the intent is easy enough to guess, and it's different from the epics, etc.

What Rimbaud have you read? Translation might be an issue, unless you can read French.

I don't know what you mean with that last question. Let it be? Read it? Decide what we think about it? I'm not interested in policing people's tastes, nor am I one of those "omg degradation of the language" sorts.
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neurotype Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Ahhh. Hm, so are we talking sacred texts like the Mysteries or what? Cause I just realised that most of the examples I'm thinking of are still like...Homer and Hesiod. We barely have fragments about stuff like the Eleusian Mysteries - and even those weren't supposed to exist, so examplesplease. :B

I know some French, my vocabulary isn't the hottest but I could handle it otherwise. `tiganusi linked me so I figure he knows what he's on about.

Oh gods, those 'omg degradation of the language' sorts. Well, okay, so to try and rephrase that: within the niche, people can call it whatever they like. But let's say that a piece of 'prosetry' suddenly goes huge and shows up everywhere - do we now accept the original niche's term of 'prosetry' or do we push it into an existing category just for commercial purposes?
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saintartaud Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2013  Professional General Artist
Orphic hymns, for example. Not Greek, but the Rigveda would be in a similar vein. There things were probably passed on orally first, not written, and used ceremonially. Like I said, these things are written in verse, but they served a different function. That's really my only point. It's pretty easy to argue (and I would) that art, music, and storytelling arose out of religious/ceremonial practice, nonetheless you do see a division in function after a point (which goes w/general increase of complexity and division of labor as you reach civilization).

Like I said in my initial reply, prose-poetry (I really hate the term "prosetry" haha) is still treated mostly in the context of poetry. There are actually people who argue that some novels and short stories are prose-poetry, but this is not the widely accepted view. For instance, while I would agree that the prose in Portrait of the Artist... is often closer to poetry in that the language overrides the function, it still fits well into the bildungsroman format and is concerned with telling a full story in which a context is built, yadda yadda. I recall more recently there was that verse novel about werewolves(?) that was ultimately just a novel in an unusual form. I'm sure there was some marketing aspect to selling it as a novel and not as poetry, but it still seemed (from general reception) to be treated primarily as a novel by critics and readers.
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neurotype Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Ohh okay. Yeah, if I remember correctly the Vedas are all in kind of chapter-verse formats, similar to the Bible. But when were they written down...this is kind of embarrassing, I don't know the answer. :B I mean, the Bhagvad Gita technically has a known author, if you accept that Vyas wrote down both the Mahabharata and the Gita itself (although I'm sure these are from older oral traditions). Anyway, without more data I won't agree for sure but I like your hypothesis.

Haha, seriously, I'm not a fan of it either. Which throws a wrench into any discussion of legitimising its use. Anyway, I'd imagine trying pretty hard to sell something as a novel instead of poetry.
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