1. Spencer1990
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    Spencer1990 Contributing Member

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    Poetry and Prose

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Spencer1990, Jul 2, 2016.

    I'm curious how many people identify as both writers of poetry prose.

    I would never claim that my poetry is any good, but it's been received well and had some pieces accepted for publication.

    What I think it does is enhances my prose. I think it helps me to be a better, more well rounded writer. Does anyone else feel the same way? Do you guys enjoy writing poetry even if most of it will never see the light of day?
     
  2. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    Yes, I enjoy writing both. I agree that writing poetry has helped my prose. The biggest improvement I've seen is that my sentences flow much better, and I've become much more conscious of word choice.
     
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  3. Cnayur
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    Cnayur Member

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    Yeah, I definitely live for both, and the two complete and enhance each other. Apart from that, I like poetry for its more personal, emotional power and prose for its focus on telling a gripping story, so the two are really two separate mindsets for me and which one I'll write depends on what I want/need to communicate.
     
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  4. Aaron Smith
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    Aaron Smith Contributing Member Contributor

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    Poetry has definitely helped my prose as well. Good poetry, to my knowledge, is rarely very explicit. It leaves the reader to interpret, just as good prose should.
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2016
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  5. Solar
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    Solar Contributing Member Contributor

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    Ditto, ditto and ditto.
     
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  6. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    I can't write poetry, but I can absolutely see how being good at poetry would be connected to being good at prose. Vivid language is important to both pursuits, right?
     
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  7. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I became aware of how poetry can influence prose when I found myself adopting certain rhythms from some of my favorite poets in my own prose. I don't write much poetry, but it's useful to try it when I can't find the rhythms or images I'm looking for for my prose. Writing poetry helps shake me loose from that. It forces me to think in a much more concentrated way; it forces me to work.

    Writing poetry is a very powerful tool in a prose-writer's kit. It does for prose what a knife sharpener does for knives.
     
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  8. Lifeline
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    Lifeline The Dark - not in Wonderland Supporter Contributor

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    I will not claim that I can write good (or even adequate) poetry but I dabbled on and off. And I do think it has made me much more conscious of choosing fitting words in writing prose.
     
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  9. Spencer1990
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    Spencer1990 Contributing Member

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    This is an interesting take, but I think I have to disagree. I think you should absolutely be able to tell right away the triggering, and real subject of a poem. It's the multi-layers and nuanced poems that, I think, are really good. The ones that I can immediately understand, but leave me thinking about the words, and discover new meanings.
    It's the same with prose, I don't want to decipher someone's words, but I want those words to resonate with me.
     
  10. Spencer1990
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    Spencer1990 Contributing Member

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    I totally agree. Poetry helps me to switch gears, slow down, and evaluate the smaller portions of written works.
     
  11. Lifeline
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    Lifeline The Dark - not in Wonderland Supporter Contributor

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    I disagree. Have you never marvelled at beauty found in nature, or experienced something which evoked strong emotions in you? Well, I think it is imperative that my prose reflects these emotions when at appropriate moments/experiences of my MCs and how better than to choose words/sentence structure which transfers that? And that is - in a sense - poetry. Maybe not in the exact definition of the word but still.

    Hear that, my recent Charlie? ;)
     
  12. Cnayur
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    Cnayur Member

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    @Lifeline I hear you and I see where you're coming from. For me though there's still a difference in that poetry can have a plot but needn't necessarily have one. I can write a poem that is merely the description of - say - a beautiful lake and its emotional impact on me. In prose, I can do that too, but I can't rely on that alone. I need my MC to do something at the lake, or to be at the lake for a reason. I might use a couple of poetic devices in that prose passage, but on the whole I would like my reader to stay with me and move the story along. Maybe I'm just a hack writer when it comes to prose. :)
     
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  13. Spencer1990
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    Spencer1990 Contributing Member

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    If you know that there has to be action in a scene, you sound less like a hack writer and more like someone who has some merit to them. Too many people write whole scenes in which nothing happens. They believe that words on a page equal story.

    I will say that I think poetry does have to have a theme. Maybe not a plot. But description for description's sake is not poetry I would want to read. I want a message from poetry.
     
  14. Lifeline
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    Lifeline The Dark - not in Wonderland Supporter Contributor

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    Oh of course! I am not saying that prose should rely on poetry alone. Although that may be a nice experiment, somewhen after I have finished my WIP. I don't know enough background to argue what constitutes poetry, but I can state that your take on prose seems to be spot on :)
     

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