Poetry Versus Prose

Graham Boundy and Harvey Gellman would often say that this book would have made a good article.  Recently I read a peice that suggested expressing your ideas in a poem was much more efficient.  So maybe often a book should have been a poem.

I have not completely digested the idea but poetry leaves much more to the reader and does not have to be linear.  However some the best ideas are expressed in poems.

However the reader must work on what the message means to them as opposed to the poet's message.   

This I find a fascinating idea especially for complex ideas that can said simply in a poem.

"Save time with rhyme, 

Can you get a message that is sent from the heart

I want to help without all the prose

Just follow your nose

Trusting the reader to read with heart

Means everyone has done their part"

Now wasn't that fun.

Here is what Joseph Brodsky says:

“The way to develop good taste in literature is to read poetry,” he wrote. “[It] is not only the most concise, the most condensed way of conveying the human experience; it also offers the highest possible standards for any linguistic operation — especially one on paper.

“The more one reads poetry, the less tolerant one becomes of any sort of verbosity, be that in political or philosophical discourse, be that in history, social studies or the art of fiction. Good style in prose is always hostage to the precision, speed and laconic intensity of poetic diction. A child of epitaph and epigram, conceived indeed as a shortcut to any conceivable subject matter, poetry to prose is a great disciplinarian.

“It teaches the latter not only the value of each word but also the mercurial mental patterns of the species, alternatives to linear composition, the knack of omitting the self-evident, emphasis on detail, the technique of anticlimax.”

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