Ah yes, the old poetry/prose thing. Most novelists, even those who write in short or terse styles, seem somewhat unaware of how much space they are using and how the space is used. This is not an option in poetry, as space is one of the things that defines the poem. Prose writers and readers unfamiliar with poetry also tend not to know how much time and care can go into crafting a poem, how one book of poems can be the equivalent of at least one novel if not more (sometimes many more).

I would go so far as to extend that to some people writing poetry too. For example, word choice is essential in both novels and poems, but in poems it is far more essential to choose exactly the right word for what is to be expressed. It must have the right texture on the page, in the ear, and on the lips. Line lengths and linebreaks need to be considered, arranged and used for the best impact. Punctuation too. Yes, these things can be considerations for novels, but it isn't part of the essential essence of what novels are. However, many people writing poetry don't consider these things and from where I sit, it shows.

I like your analogy, but for me a novel is a flight that the reader boards, whereas a poem is an airplane for a reader to fly.

posted by _refugee_: 2139 days ago