1. SnipSnap
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    SnipSnap Active Member

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    Proems

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by SnipSnap, Jun 4, 2007.

    Some people don't consider proems poetry, because it is written in paragraph form and sometimes depicts a story. Well, for one, paragraphs can contain words as poetic as stanzas, and two ... poems definately are not devoid of telling a story either.

    So in this thread, we will assume that Proems are poetry.

    Now, let's begin w/ a solid defintion of proetry, instead of my feigned lingo:

    Proem- A "Prose Poem." It does not lose its poetic feel, and it rarely rhymes, deftly distinguishing it from a freestyle and rhythmical poem. It employs the same types of poetic devices [i.e. image, metaphor, similie, alliteration, consonance, assonance, and tacet/ballad formation.]

    Some examples:

    1) The branch was a lurid looking thing, sticking out like a misplaced posable thumb from the old mahogany. It swayed like a perfectly sanctioned wand in subtle strokes, conducting a symphony of leaves, flower buds, and defunct squirrels yearning to find their way out of the mist.

    2) She moved in deft mark time, her legs, two steamboats in the waves of her dress, moving up-down-up-down, her toes pointing to the floor as if a firing squad was to jump out, carouse, and bombard anyone in her way. She was not to be touched, and her inhibitions were named Huck, Tom, and Silas.
    Trust a librarian to use Huck Finn allusions.


    3) Godspeed to you, sir, Plea sir, Flee sir. Godspeed for you, marked by the cross? A crusader by trade, off to Byzantine, Stade! A jade for the plastinence of foiled mirth? Nay, sir, for her beauty is played.
    "Godspeed to you, sir" - e.e. cumming's earlier work​



    The first one described something in nature, the second a person, the third was a rhymey one I threw in there just to show you that it is still possible, although I think it lacks something that the other have in relation to a poem put in paragraph form: Imagery. As you can notice, the first two could easily put into a story to make it work nicely and to give the reader a different perspect of a tree or a librarian. The third is just nonsense that you can trust e.e. cummings to write, hide, and then his third cousin x times removed finds it and publishes for $72.50.

    :rolleyes:

    Anyway, I hope you enjoy this little guide to the lost art of proems. If you would like to ask a question, argue, or simply show me your proem here for consideration and help, you may do so. If you feel there's anything left out, feel to tell me.

    Ta-Ta for now.
    ~SnipSnap
     
  2. Gannon
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    Gannon Contributing Member Contributor

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    What is the difference between purple prose and proesy then? Are they one and the same?
     
  3. Isis
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    Isis Senior Member

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    Not if they turn out right - I think the thing with purple prose is that it's usually archaic and awful, and good prose poetry can seem overdescriptive but be as precise and strange as good 'regular' poems. You can write prose-poetry and intend it as poetry, not an overblown poetic piece of prose... this is assuming proems and prose-poems are the same form.

    I don't know much about it, not having read/written a lot, but:
    http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/5787
    http://www.webdelsol.com/tpp/t-su97re.htm
    http://www2.eng.cam.ac.uk/~tpl/texts/prosepoems.html
     
  4. Gannon
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    Gannon Contributing Member Contributor

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    A fair assumption - hopefully SnipSnap could guide should it be wrong. Thanks for links - all interesting stuff.

    I'm not sure purple prose however needs to be archaic neither awful. It is my understanding that it is ornate prose, unashamedly ostentacious and full of intentional literary device (and possibly rhetoric?) - which merely sprung to mind when I thought of what proesy could be / purport to be.

    Thanks for your thoughts though!
     
  5. SnipSnap
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    SnipSnap Active Member

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    I don't proems should stand alone, then they might be taken as archaic. Their main use is in prose, as a poetic and unique description of something that might be cliche, such as someone's hair, or their eyes.

    Thanks for the links, Isis. You're always a big help.
     
  6. SnipSnap
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    SnipSnap Active Member

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    Anyone further interested in proem can check out a published author who mastered in them, by the name of Tu/Du Fu.

    Tu Fu

    I suggest Ballad of the Old Cypress , Dreaming of Li Po , Moonlit Night , and Spring Night in the Imperial Chancellery.
     

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