About workshops

Workshops on Neopoet are groups that meet for a certain period of time to focus on a certain aspect of poetry. Each workshop participant is asked to critique all the other poems submitted into a workshop. A workshop leader helps coordinate -- they set the agenda, give participants feedback on whether their submissions and critique are at they level expected of them, and after the workshop is over, give feedback to participants. 

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Prose as poetry: the prose-poem

Program description/goal: 

Description: To review the history and philosophy of "prose-poems" related to poetry. After sharing examples of critical opinions and literary criticism, we will share our favorites. In the last part of the workshop we will write a poem and a prose poem with the same basic content to see the value of each.

Leader:
Moderator(s): Eumolpus

Objectives: Personally, I have a prejudice against prose-poetry which I would like to get over, and hope this sharing will lead me on my way. My objective is to see to what extent prose can achieve what poetry cannot, and why we call prose like compositions are put in the bubble of "poetry" and is published along side poems everywhere, including Neopoet. The idea is for each participant to establish their own definition and boundaries, and back them up.

Level of expertise: Open to those who have put in a good part of the 10,000 hour mark. (referring to the bestseller book that to do anything well you need to put in 10,000 hours). Poets that have read at last 50 books of poetry in their life, and read literary essays about the craft.

Subject matter: Prose as poetry- History, philosophy. and the experience of reading and writing
"prose-poems". To establish some criteria.

Length: 
35 days
Number of participants (limit): 
12 people
Skill level: 
Date: 
Wednesday, December 4, 2019 to Saturday, November 21, 2020
Short description: 
Review the history and relevance of the "prose-poem", write a poem and prose-poem and discuss different effect and goals. For each to establish a personal criteria.

Comments

I really hate Prose Poetry it mostly seems to me to be poor Flash Fiction.

As I said neither do I. But since virtually every poet since Baudelaire has tried their hand at, and the literary journals keep publishing them, I want to see if I can transcend it and see what all the shouting is about. That’s the challenge. We need to challenge ourselves and expand our appreciation, or have a clear fix on our aesthetics.

Eumolpus
I'd rather learn from one bird how to sing
than teach ten thousand stars how not to dance
ee cummings

author comment

Yes we have to be open and I have seen prose poetry that I love even if half of me me baulks at calling it poetry. lol Its always good to explore something new.

So are you in?

Eumolpus
I'd rather learn from one bird how to sing
than teach ten thousand stars how not to dance
ee cummings

author comment

What an odd workshop. I myself am fairly odd so I'll give it a shot if you'll have me....stan

Thanks for joining and being open to it. This will be challenging because I don’t really get it yet and I want to have some appreciation of it. Like it out not it’s everywhere today

Eumolpus
I'd rather learn from one bird how to sing
than teach ten thousand stars how not to dance
ee cummings

author comment

Please.
Haven't read that number of books to be honest, would that really hinder my participation?

❤❤❤❤❤❤

Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words
........Robert Frost☺

Follow me
www.instgram.com/rularules1

Over all the years you have been reading poetry don’t you think you’ve read 50 books of it, or the equivalent of 1 book a year! Of course you can join in!
By defining what prose poetry is we will discover and help define what poetry is to each of us.

Eumolpus
I'd rather learn from one bird how to sing
than teach ten thousand stars how not to dance
ee cummings

author comment

Just being around this site for a year is the equivalent of 10 or 20 collections. You know how to read poetry. But you have also read a lot because you are a poet seeing poetry around you. Online or on the streets. The workshop hopefully will help all of us answer for ourselves what poetry is and how it’s different to prose. It will also hopefully open up another avenue of expression.

Eumolpus
I'd rather learn from one bird how to sing
than teach ten thousand stars how not to dance
ee cummings

author comment

a USA poet read my works on yahoo and advised
You write lovely
write a few lines as in prose ---to convey something--- an idea maybe
Then translate it to simpler poetry
like verses freestyle mainly
more concisely
AND
A poet you will be
I followed him totally
Am I not a prosaic poet
Eumol
Do tell me

As we will explore what “concise prose” is. To me that’s exactly what a prose poem may be, not poetry
But we will all consider these things. That is the purpose of this workshop

Eumolpus
I'd rather learn from one bird how to sing
than teach ten thousand stars how not to dance
ee cummings

author comment

.

Eumolpus
I'd rather learn from one bird how to sing
than teach ten thousand stars how not to dance
ee cummings

author comment

....when the lights go out and the world appears dark then just remember that someone out there cares for you and lights the lamps of your mind within.....PROSE

Modified poem or poetry

.....when all lights extinguish
and the world appears darkened
then know and just remember
that someone out there
straying at the zenith
or in the distant horizon
cares for you

then lights the lamps of your mind
within you sparkle like a flickering candle
the world has a new vision
a fresh light has now been seen
O Poet is it ye

Proposal: 2 weeks about what prose poetry is, goals of prose poems.
2 weeks reviewing famous prose poems (Baudelaire, Borghes).
2 weeks writing a prose poem and matching poem (with prompts)

No one can say what a prose poem is. People debate who invented the exact term, but most say it was Baudelaire. He was the first notable poet to write in, as he put it, “a poetic prose (prose poetique)”. His book in 1869 “Paris Spleen” was short paragraphs in prose of some event or person told, like a story, but with elevated imagery and sound of words. So it didn’t quite sound like the normal language of prose. We shall look at one in the next chapter of this discussion.

Despite the obvious difficulty of defining what language and poetry is, there are some boundaries. No one will say it the same way, nor two dictionaries, but most will agree in some of these about what poetry is:
• Shape, and the idea of the “poetic line”
• Poetry relies on repetition. This was the most relevant aspect suggested by Annie Finch in “A Poet’s Craft” a must read for poets
• Poetry has musical quality - is not common speech. Traditionally rhyme and meter, but free or blank verse relies on cadence and rhythm.
• Some would say rules of composition (ballad, ode, sonnet etc)
• Use of metaphor and imagery in “charged language” .
• “the arrangement and relationship of basic elements in a work of art, through which produces a coherent whole.” (Robert Hass, “Little Book on Form”)
Paul Valery said that prose has direction, it is a story that goes from A to B. Poetry, in contrast dances with itself. I have thought much on that quote I read years ago, never forgot it. But poems certainly can tell stories, from Homer to Beowulf, the earliest poetry. I think that statement was that poetry was breaking through the need to tell a story, and exist in imagination of sound and meditation. This defines modern poetry, we don’t often “tell stories” in our poetry. We dance around a poetic idea, find meaning in the images that soar somewhere in our brains.
What if we took a sculpture and painted it meticulously. Would it be, “painture” or “sculping”? What would they gain and loose? The sculpture would loose the force of carved stone on the viewer, the painting the ability to admire the composition. But what would be gained? A meaning in a third way.

I have big prejudices about the prose poem. I find them hard to read, hard to digest, and just hard without take-away. But there is something there- every poetry anthology and every major poet has tried their hands at this form. It’s everywhere. There must be something there I’m missing. So that’s what I would like to find in the prose-poem. The third way.

So let’s begin by asking ourselves what we think a prose poem is. This is hard because we have to think what poetry is, and then relate it to prose. But let’s all try. It’s so important to be honest with yourself to say what poetry is TO YOU, and live by your rules. Then say what a prose poem is to you, and what you hope to get reading it. Discussion for 2 weeks.

Eumolpus
I'd rather learn from one bird how to sing
than teach ten thousand stars how not to dance
ee cummings

author comment

Poetry has been always related to verses, line breaks, rhymes, and rhythm. Some times there's a story to tell or a message to deliver. Poetry prose however is more subtle I think. No breakes, no rhymes are necessary.
From what I have read recently, I understand that prose poetry is very much like a short short paragraph with a subtle story, with details. Those details meet the images that usually enrich the piece of poetry to immerse the reader.

❤❤❤❤❤❤

Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words
........Robert Frost☺

Follow me
www.instgram.com/rularules1

if its just you and I,or a few more, no difference in this workshop to me. we will discover together.

I suppose the most difficult issue here is to question whether there is enough connection to them both as to call "prose poetry" a type of poetry. That means being treated as poems, put in poetry anthologies as poems, put in collections with poems, and calling it poetry. To me it is prose written with an abundance of poetic devises- sound like alliteration, image, metaphor, but without music or cadence. It is not read aloud as a poem, or read aloud it sounds like prose.
The biggest problem I have is for most prose poems they are hard to read, to keep your place. A poem using stanzas and lines creates space between the flow of images and action, gives the reader a chance to digest a phrase and let his eyes easily go back to that place when reading. That is the concentration of language attributed to poetry. Many prose poetry poems today are now experimenting with using "/" OR ">" to break up the sentences.
Don't you find reading something/ that looks like this/ easy to read and keep/ your concentration?
Or worse> something that looks like this> drives me crazy.

But that's not it. Most prose poems lately are streams of consciousness, like its very easy to just ramble on in your head and write down what goes left right and center in the same sentence. That type of writing is a tool to the poet to express freely the words and images, but at what point does it become ART?

Most important, we leave a good poem with the sound echoing in our minds, the music of certain lines repeat over and over the mind. There is a take away from the poem, a lingering resonance from the power of the cadence of words that form an image that sticks.

What I think I am looking for in prose poetry is firstly presenting it is a way that can be read. Some would argue "art" isn't supposed to be "easy" . Well, it's not supposed to be hard either, at least just to read it. The second is for focus. The idea of a prose poem should be like a sonnet- focused on a particular event or short tale with a wallop at the end that expands with meaning and feeling in the mind. It should be short. One or two paragraphs. People are writing pages and calling it a prose poem as opposed to a short story or creative prose or a "poetic- prose ". Take Melville and Moby Dick- for example, the whole of the book is written with metaphors, symbols, charged words and amazing language. It is a novel, not a prose-poetry novel.There are many like him.
These are rules I think I am establishing for myself to accept prose poetry and sell it as literature.
It should not be put into the poetry universe like lyrics, lullabies, greeting cards, psalms, performance rap, or fortune cookies. It is prose first, and should be put there. In other words, i want someone to tell me why it is considered a poetic form at all.

That's where I want to start. Somebody tell me why prose-poems are called poems.

Eumolpus
I'd rather learn from one bird how to sing
than teach ten thousand stars how not to dance
ee cummings

author comment
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