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February 2, 2013
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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

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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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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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
Atheshya Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
FINALLY found one in the DDs for today -… seems to count for me. It starts seeming fully prose, and the format (paragraphs and punctuation) are prose, but the actual flow is poetry.
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.
(1 Reply)
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.
ActsofArt Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I basically agree with this.
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