Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Prose Or Poetry???

Given a choice what do you want to write, prose or poetry?
I have always wanted to write poetry but never have I exceeded more than two lines…Whenever I try to make the lines rhythmic, the essence seems to get lost and if I concentrate on the message/content then it will start to sound more prose than poetry. But I have realized that poetry is not the right way to go for someone who wants to express his/her thoughts without hiding them. (Or is it a case of grapes being sour? ;))

As the saying goes “Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder”, the extent to which a poem can be appreciated depends on the people who can read, understand and relate to them. The impact, significance or its meaning are all dependent on the reader rather than the poet. Even though the poet has his/her own reasons for writing a poem, the interpretation is totally left to the reader. Thus if the same poem is read by 10 people then we will have 11 different interpretations!!! :)

A poem is never straight forward and there is no single meaning to it. Obviously the poet would have written it with particular thoughts in mind, but for a reader it may or may not be the same as the reason for which it’s written. This is the beauty of poems. The poet can hide away his/her thoughts within the lines.
But prose can never be written like that. The thoughts are written in sentences arranged in paragraphs and there is no two meaning to it. The information presented is more pragmatic when compared to poetry. Sentences in paragraphs of prose follow each other, one after the other. The language of prose is straight forward, with less figurative language than poetry.

I have a couple of my friends who write poetry and whenever I read those poems I invariably try to figure out, what made them write such a poem. So, the interpretation is totally influenced by the character of the person. My understanding may never be inline with the poet but still I would be very convinced about my line of thoughts given that the background of the poet and their current state of mind is known beforehand.
When you read a poem written by someone whom you have never met before, then you try to relate to it based on your experience rather then what the poet would have meant!!!

There is a chasm separating prose and poetry.
Poetry is both sensual and cerebral. Poetry can be a great art; prose can express art but is itself merely craft. Thus, in terms of what is being expressed, and in terms of art, poetry can have more value than prose.

He who draws noble delights from sentiments of poetry is a true poet, though he has never written a line in all his life. ~George Sand, 1851