Saturday, November 18, 2006

Quote of the Day, 11/18/06: Poetry in Prose

I've posted the "most poetic" passages from children's books below. So to keep on that theme, here are a few thoughts about the way poetry plays in to prose.

Doris Lessing

The true novel wrestles on the edge of understanding, lying about on all sides desperately, for every sort of experience, pressing into use every flash of intuition or correspondence, trying to fuse together the crudest of materials, and the humblest, which the higher arts can’t include. But it is precisely here, where the writer fights with the raw, the intractable, that poetry is born. Poetry, that is, of the novel: appropriate to it.

Eugenio Montale

Narrative art, the novel, from Murasaki to Proust, has produced great works of poetry.

There is poetry even in prose, in all the great prose which is not merely utilitarian or didactic: there exist poets who write in prose or at least in more or less apparent prose; millions of poets write verses which have no connection with poetry.

Charles Baudelaire

Always be a poet, even in prose.

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