Ah, the old "chopped up prose, this is not a poem" canard.
Enlighten us. Explain the difference.
The canard or the poetry itself?
We've been going around and around on the poetry newsgroups about both these
subjects for over a decade, but this recent article really puts things in
some focus, for me, anyhow:
Poetry "...seems to be defined by its liberation from ordinary language -
poets don't have to obey the rules of syntax and punctuation. And yet, most
poetry still depends on literary forms with exacting requirements, such as
haikus, sestets and sonnets. This writing method seems to make little sense,
since it makes the creative act much more difficult. Instead of composing
free verse, poets frustrate themselves with structural constraints. Why?
A new study led by Janina Marguc at the University of Amsterdam, and
published in The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, provides an
interesting answer. It turns out that the obstacles of form come with an
unexpected psychological perk, allowing people to think in a more
all-encompassing fashion. The introduction of the paper sets up the mystery:
Daily life is full of obstacles: A construction site blocking the usual
road to work, a colleague's background chatter interfering with one's
ability to concentrate, a newborn child hindering parents in completing
their daily routines, or a lack of resources standing in the way of
realizing an ambitious plan. How do people cognitively respond to such
obstacles? How do the ways in which they perceive and process information
from their environment change when an obstacle interferes with what they
want to accomplish? In the present research, we aim to shed light on these
questions by investigating the impact of obstacles on global versus local
processing. We propose that unless people are inclined to disengage
prematurely from ongoing activities, obstacles will prompt them to step back
and adopt a more global, Gestalt-like processing style that allows them to
look at the "big picture" and conceptually integrate seemingly unrelated
pieces of information..."
And therein lies the point of departure.
"A person is a poet if his imagination is stimulated by the dif?culties
inherent in his art and not if his
imagination is dulled by them." -Paul Valery
Poetry & Music from Will Dockery: