Tuesday, May 8, 2012
NANCY DUCI DENOFIO: WHAT IS A PROSE POEM - HOW TO USE YOUR WORK IN DIFF... HOW DOES IT HELP WHEN WRITING A NOVEL OR MEMOIR? A good prose poem is filled with details although the ... http://blognancydenofio.blogspot.com
WHAT IS A PROSE POEM? HOW DOES IT \HELP WHEN WRITING A NOVEL OR MEMOIR?
A good prose poem is filled with details although the writer will be surprised to learn what comes of it, how his mind has followed a path and arrive at an ending. Regular poetry is empty of content while the prose poem is filled with story – the story must be written quickly when your mind is filled with images, thoughts, memories, and – details.
We find a prose poem is an art – but not a form. We know we have words on paper, not drawings – although we are drawing a picture with words. As I mentioned above, this type of writing has to be written quickly; you can always go back and remove unwanted words, edit lines, etc. Any writer of prose will tell you, “Writing prose poetry or poetic memoir has to be accomplished without hesitation. Why, you may ask. If the writer hesitates, you lose the honesty, belief in the subject, and begin to ask yourself why am I writing on this topic to begin with, but all the answers will be told by the time you reach the end. You see, writing a prose poem is an experience – usually a personal one – as I have stated many times, about yourself, a friend, neighbor, place, etc. I have also told you to keep the suspense or the subject clear enough for all readers, unlike the regular poem.
A prose poem is long, something you can compare to a section of a novel. It usually has the same type of format as I am writing here. The format is entirely up to you – you may want to indent the first line as you would when writing a page of a story, or you may want to structure it to fit within a space of five inches on one line. You can skip lines where you believe it will bring some significance to the piece - or, do not skip any spaces. Anything goes with a prose poem as long as it has all the qualities listed above.
Remember imagination and truth is linked together. What you recall as a five year old may not be exactly what happened, and children have great imaginations. Children fill the world with spontaneous gestures, words, reactions to an array of subject matter, so is the prose poem.
Prose poems were once difficult to publish but today they are mini memoirs – stories – thoughts and actions. A good collection of prose poems could be considered short shorts in modern literature.
Many writers of these poems have had stories, experiences, and real life stored up inside of them over decades. People want to write openly, tell it as they remember, but are afraid to face the truth. Once they find this outlet for their thoughts their writing piles up, and piles up, and now – the audience grows – why? The audience grows because a prose poem in reality touches on most of us – our own memories, places, people and things.
When I used the word art earlier in this writing I want you to think of texture, space, objects, people.
“At five, my experience on toe caused many arguments, you see, Mama, she lost fine bone china when I lost my balance, landing on her mahogany table near her red velvet couch. I simple loved pink satin shoes – determined to be good – to fly through the air and be caught by a charming prince.”
I just thought of this scene, and typed it out as I was writing this piece, for a quick example. You can picture a little girl in toe shoes, falling into the furniture and breaking her Mother’s best china.
“I had to be different, never did wear only a black leotard with pink tights – entering the dance studio in black on black – or pink on black – I thought it caused no harm to others, I was there to learn to dance, not to compare leotards.”
Once again I am talking from experience, and yes – I did walk into dance class with the wrong outfit, at times, probably because way back when I was the child of a working mother who had a broken washing machine.
Many times, I bring fear into my prose – fear that was placed inside our minds as children, like the candy man who waited for children on the street we walked go to and from school. The fear of stepping on a crack because I believed it would break my mother’s back. Even the fear of falling from a bike, being stared at, laughed at, or talked about when most of the time I knew in my heart I worried more then the normal child.
The texture of the piece is what represents the thought process. Do I want the reader of listener to hear only the funny lessons I learned, or mix them together, or should I keep them guessing. As with art – many different mediums are used – the simple pencil drawing is difficult but appears easy compared to the time it takes to use oils, due to drying each layer before placing another layer on top. It will have a complete different texture when finished. Prose writing will also have a different texture, form, bringing out the real feelings and as I have stated, without hesitation.
The energy of a prose poem is in the substance, shape, and emotion. It is great to get the listener or reader on edge, they throw in something you may remember as you are writing quickly, about how hard you laughed, you began to bend forward, holding your belly, while tears of joy flowed down your face. The end of this specific poem “She Asked Me to Dance.” has a sad yet surprising end. I did want the reader to think twice, not give away the entire secret. The energy was the running into a farmyard, inside a barn passing her Grandmother's wedding dress, and then rolling down hills, etc., the ending was a surprise – and do we not surprise others thought out our life.
Therefore, the prose poem is a collection of time – written to bring time to life – keep the audience attention – and is perfect for reading aloud.
Check back often for more on prose poetry, or poetic memoir or short shorts, and perhaps the start of a novel or memoir.