Monday Sidebar: Poetical Prose

Being engaged (to be married) is difficult. Being engaged in your job, with your writing, with your research, with your friends and family, is difficult. Writing a new and inventive blog post every week is supremely difficult. I read a lot of blogs that give advice to writers, and the most common thing they say is in order to write a little bit you must read a lot. I am most used to writing poetry, but that is the thing I read the least of (I read mostly mom/feminist/political blogs). And I wonder if all reading counts, or if I should try to read more of the “greats” and “up-and-comers” in the genre in which I write.

I do find such beauty, though, in paragraphs. In run-on sentences, in question-and-answer conversations. My style, for poetry, is long-winded and I have a hard time parsing my words down enough to get that one important phrase to fit on one line, and still have the rhythm I want. Which makes me wonder if what I really enjoy doing is taking someone’s paragraph, and reinventing it as a poem. Something to try, perhaps?

My favourite example of poetical prose:

“Mountains should be climbed with as little effort as possible and without desire. The reality of your own nature should determine the speed. If you become restless, speed up. If you become winded, slow down. You climb the mountain in an equilibrium between restlessness and exhaustion. Then, when you’re no longer thinking ahead, each footstep isn’t just a means to an end but a unique event in itself. This leaf has jagged edges. This rock looks loose. From this place the snow is less visible, even though closer. These are things you should notice anyway. To live on for some future goal is shallow. It’s the sides of the mountain which sustain life, not the top. Here’s where things grow. But of course, without the top you can’t have any sides. It’s the top that defines the sides. ” – Robert M. Pirsig

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About definitelynotapoet

View my work in Skirt Quarterly, Untethered, Vagabond Citylit, the Quilliad and Tracer Publishing.
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