Monday, January 6, 2014

Prose & Poetry: overlap and synergy

Holding on to my resolution to have a regular and varied reading diet this year I spent time yesterday with the latest edition of Poetry Review - so that's a poetry collection and a magazine on this weeks reading list, big tick!!

I loved Gerard Smyth's How Goes the Night (page 45) - this short poem goes from the outside, to the inside, and then internally, wonderful movement in 12 lines. And such a great union of title and  opening line ... a very satisfying poem, accessible and empathic. Thank you.

How peculiar is it that what I've been thinking about for the last few days arises in what I read (quite spooky really). In this case I read Greta Stoddart's interview Walking with Simon (Armitage) where the two poets discuss the space that prose offers and 'He wants to tell'  and with prose 'he can wander around'  ... be 'indulgant','digressive'.

In this world of tweets, six word stories and other soundbitey, shorts does poetry have a solid role, offering as I wrote with pen on paper yesterday a condensed, pared down, reduction of what we want to say?  The Smyth poem certainly fits the bill here.

As for prose, where's the difference for me as I begin my flash fiction course? I'd like to be able to tease this out over the coming weeks. To start to see the differences and similarities in my poetry and my prose when restriction is (or can be) a key part of both.

So an idea: to occasionally write a poem and a piece of flash fiction on the same topic; to examine the possibilities of similarity and difference, to learn how each can help the other, where overlap is self plagiarism.

Has anyone else done this? I'd love to hear from you? What have I been missing, or perhaps this is so not a good idea?

 Now to feed the hens, make more coffee and do the first flash fiction assignment ...its warm(ish) and sunny out there and the terrace looks a good place to work this morning.

Back tomorrow.

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