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Issue Details: First known date: 2017... 2017 Unsounding the Darkness
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'This paper addresses the question of genre in an attempt to circumscribe the prose poem as a coding of adjacencies of prose and poetry. Its starting point is that both poetry and prose are loose groupings, internally divided by heterogeneous and sometimes obscure criteria inherited from Aristotelian poetics and Latin approaches to prosody. It singles out Charles Baudelaire as the first practitioner of the form because he was self-conscious enough about his creative practice to have committed his thoughts on paper in what reads like a proto-manifesto for the prose poem. ‘Unsounding the darkness’ does not purport to propose a taxonomy of the prose poem, but rather argues for the kinship between prose poetry and the prose poem, conceiving as it does of prose poetry as a form that evolves from an encounter with place and time. The prose poem is a product of that form, inheriting the lyric quality of poetry and the prosaic quality of prose fiction in the conviction of rhythm. The paper seeks to open up questions as to the validity of the distinction between prose poetry and the prose poem in the twenty-first century. It argues for a continuum of erasures rather than for new taxonomies.'  (Publication abstract)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

  • Appears in:
    y separately published work icon TEXT Special Issue Website Series Prose Poetry no. 46 October Monica Carroll (editor), Shane Strange (editor), Jen Webb (editor), 2017 12944013 2017 periodical issue

    'Just a couple of decades ago, prose poetry occupied a very minor corner of the poetry spectrum, although many major poets have published works in that form. As early as the mid-1970s, anthologies of prose poems were emerging in the USA, but they were preceded by work produced in Europe: the nineteenth-century Romantic Fragment (which was quickly adopted by British Romantics), and then the early twentieth-century experiments, and particularly the poetic avant garde in France. Now it is becoming (almost) a staple; across Australia and internationally, major poets are adding the prose poem form to their oeuvre, and though few dedicated publications yet exist, prose poems are salting the competitions, collections, anthologies and literary journals. International poets too are extending into the prose poem, exploring its affordances.' (Monica Carroll, Shane Strange and Jen Webb: Introduction)

Last amended 22 Feb 2018 11:56:52 Unsounding the Darknesssmall AustLit logo TEXT Special Issue Website Series