Sunday, February 20, 2005

To prose or not to prose what makes a poem is

James Tate's new book: return to the city of white donkeys, arrived yesterday. You can read a poem at poetry daily. I love this book. I've been a fan ever since reading the 1997 Best American Poetry, which he edited. It remains one of the best selections in the series: a roaming eye, funny, and so inclusive. The poems in "city of white donkeys" are all prose. Don't look for condensed imagery here, or overly "poetic language", if you think that's what makes a prose poem. These are more like fables, maybe more like Baudelaire or Lydia Davis, than say, Anne Carson's prose poems in Short Talks. What is the line between prose poems and short short fiction? Is it line breaks? Is it that sense of distillation? Is it sharpness of feeling? Here's Rachel Barenblat's ruminations on webdelsol. As for me? I'll be pondering over the coming weeks...I'll let you know.

No comments: