Though my poems are about evenly split between traditionally formal work that uses rhyme and meter and classical structure, and work that is freer, I feel that the music of language remains at the core of it all. Sound, rhythm, repetition, compression – these elements of my poetry are also elements of my prose.
There are a lot of editorials that have nothing to do with anything like that. But I was just thinking of that sense of prose as being very responsible and perceptive, thoughtful, intimate, and contriving a quote statement.
The poetic prose that most interests me is that of Henri Michaux.
Poetry seems to sink into us the way prose doesn’t. I can still quote verses I learned when I was very young, but I have trouble remembering one line of a novel I just finished reading.
However, if a poem can be reduced to a prose sentence, there can’t be much to it.
New poems no longer come to me with their prodigies of metaphor and assonance. Prose endures. I feel the circles grow smaller, and old age is a ceremony of losses, which is, on the whole, preferable to dying at forty-seven or fifty-two.
Always be a poet, even in prose.
I have written some poetry and two prose books about baseball, but if I had been a rich man, I probably would not have written many of the magazine essays that I have had to do. But, needing to write magazine essays to support myself, I looked to things that I cared about and wanted to write about, and certainly baseball was one of them.
Prose talks and poetry sings.
My experience is that prose usually equals duty – last minute, overdue-deadline stuff or a panic lecture to be written.