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.

Analysis, meaning and summary of Howard Nemerov's poem Because You Asked About The Line Between Prose And Poetry

1 Comment

  1. art chapman says:

    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.

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