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Howard Nemerov - Because You Asked About The Line Between Prose And Poetry

Sparrows were feeding in a freezing drizzle
That while you watched turned into pieces of snow
Riding a gradient invisible
From silver aslant to random, white, and slow.

There came a moment that you couldn't tell.
And then they clearly flew instead of fell.

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Added: Feb 21 2003 | Viewed: 4073 times | Comments and analysis of Because You Asked About The Line Between Prose And Poetry by Howard Nemerov Comments (1)

Because You Asked About The Line Between Prose And Poetry - Comments and Information

Poet: Howard Nemerov
Poem: Because You Asked About The Line Between Prose And Poetry
Volume: The Collected Poems of Howard Nemerov
Year: Published/Written in 1977

Comment 1 of 1, added on September 23rd, 2007 at 8:24 PM.

Brilliant! The poem is the definition that distinguishes poetry from prose. All poetry is prose, as we say, but not all prose is poetry. Notice how the poem describes an ordinary event involving the actions of the birds and the falling snow as it falls through the invisible gradient---the air. Then the snow is both falling and flying, and here the poem is being both prose and prose at a level higher than ordinary prose. Poetry is the highest expression of language in addressing the meaning of the world, just as mathematics is the emperor of all the sciences, that being the highest expression of science in describing those categories of reality of which science treats.


art chapman from United States

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