Writing Tip: Form: Prose Poetry

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I love reading prose poetry, but I find it very difficult to write. It sounds too much like a story and not enough like a poem when I read it back to myself. I am not alone.

Firstly, let’s define prose poetry. It is poetry written as though it is prose – basically, poetry without line breaks. Although it is written in a paragraph and does not break up sentences, it maintains its poetic qualities. The poet can still use many poetic techniques including metaphor, ambiguity and powerful imagery.

A prose poetry is not a story. This is because a story will usually focus on the narrative more, whereas a prose poem will focus on poetic techniques, imagery and the general themes of poetry. To create prose poetry, you need to maintain a good rhythm throughout. This can be accomplished by ensuring that the reader is not bombarded with details or long words that can break up the flow. A prose poem tells a story to the reader through poetic techniques. Every imaged that is in the prose is there to serve a purpose, just as it should be in regular poetry. Keep a good pace and remember that you are still writing poetry, just without the line breaks.

There is a very simple way to create prose poetry. Just like when you are writing any other poem, you need to first find something that you feel needs to be said. But instead of breaking up your lines, just write the poem in one long paragraph. Play around with literary devices and you should see yourself creating something that sounds more like poetry than a story.

Prose poetry breaks the rules that we tend to associate with poetry. Some people might consider your prose more like a short story, or even just a big lump of text. If you want to write prose poetry, your job is to encourage the reader that they are still reading a poem, even though it does not look like one.

Written by: Laura Clark

* Laura is a 23 year old English woman with a history degree residing in the UK. She has been writing for many years and enjoys writing horror/fantasy stories, as well as poetry. You can view her work at: https://inspiredstoriesandpoems.wordpress.com/



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2 replies


  1. How to Understand Poetry: for WASSCE | fairwriters.com
  2. WORDS ARE POWERFUL | Kenyan Thought

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