In recent weeks, we’ve been backing and filling on topics in the area of the sound and sonority of the language, including a couple ideas, neologism and tumbling verse, which we hope encouraged you to think about sonority and rhythm in new ways. Another way of sharpening your acuity on such considerations is to deprive yourself of the benefit of line breaks. When you do that, you end up with a
Seemingly a contradiction in terms, the phrase may refer to
- a passage, usually short, of non-discursive* prose, the poetic quality of which is self-evident, or to
- a long work, which, although printed as prose, because of the prominence of the rhythms, the rich connotations of the language, the scope and significance of the whole, can properly be called a poem.**
Babette Deutsch, Poetry Handbook: A Dictionary of Terms [NY, NY: HarperResource 2002 reprint].
*i.e. not didactic, not arguing a point from logic and reason, as an essay
**Examples of type #2 include James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake and E.A. Poe’s “Eleanora.” We are going to ignore definition #2 for obvious reasons and focus on definition #1. Continue reading