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Passions in Poetry

a cause to consider

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since 11-08-2007
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0 posted 11-08-2007 10:52 AM       View Profile for BrokenSword   Email BrokenSword   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for BrokenSword

Hello and howdy

I've been away from most poetry forums for a couple of years, though once upon a time, I posted and enjoyed the web’s poetry forums.  I had this idea and wanted to float it past a few communities of poets, to get reader/writer response.  

What I've endeavored to do, in light of the fact that exposing the masses to poetry and thus getting published is difficult, is write a prose novel which incorporated the same poetry that I grew up with on some of these very forums.  

What I'm wondering is this; since poetry is not desired (bought, that is) and the circle of those that read/write poetry is small, if there were a poetry-prose bridge, would poets here and perhaps other places, see this as a good cause to rally around, hoping that such projects promote other opportunities for poets to do the same?  The knock, from my researching, is that prose should NOT have poetry in it and there are two main reasons;

1)most poetry is not well written (by those novelists that attempt poetry) and therefore, comes off as a joke (esp if the prose is not driven by said poems included)


2)the poetry is indecipherable to the average prose reader (maybe poet, too, hey?)

So, I thought to write something that would make poetry more alive and more integral to the plot.  The main issue here stems from research that resulted in only a couple of actual novels that had more than a smattering of poetry.  The poetry in these two particular pieces, was part of the novel's vehicle.

I'm at a critical point in that I am trying to find my aim relative to agents/publishers/genres.  Conventional wisdom says I don't have a chance of doing this.  The other small voice is wondering; with all the thousands of websites involved in poetry, would this segment see a prose-poetry novel as something they could support?  

Sure, there are many personal reasons and benefits for me, but I didn't do this for that reason alone.  I seriously think the masses are missing out on a better version of entertainment and world-awareness through poetry.  Maybe I’m naive...still, in the uphill battle of trying to get anything in front of an agents/publishers/reader's nose, I'm trying to think outside the box.  

The literary world is saying no one will want a prose story where poetry is featured and integral.  I suppose if I asked those at a non-poetry site this question, the answer would reflect sales totals.  But, what about THE community of poets?  

So, thought I'd crawl out of my self-imposed writer’s cave and see if it's spring yet...

Any thoughts?

Thank you for any discussion!

Member Elite
since 08-10-2002
Posts 4689
Regina, Saskatchewan; Canada

1 posted 11-08-2007 01:00 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

Indeed, it may be done successfully.  Take a look at the Icelandic Sagas.  I believe most of all the examples we have of Skaldic verse are those that are preserved among the prose of the Icelandic Sagas.

Member Caelestus
since 06-25-99
Posts 67715
Listening to every heart

2 posted 11-08-2007 01:41 PM       View Profile for Sunshine   Email Sunshine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Sunshine's Home Page   View IP for Sunshine

The literary world is saying no one will want a prose story where poetry is featured and integral.  

That may well be. But I have had some satisfaction with my own novel, but they [the literary world] didn't really ask the masses, did they?

" It matters not this distance now  " Excerpt, Yesterday's Love

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since 11-08-2007
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3 posted 11-09-2007 10:01 AM       View Profile for BrokenSword   Email BrokenSword   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for BrokenSword

Well, it's hard to say if the arts follow the masses or the other way around, sometimes.  Obviously, if the literary buying public demanded more poetry as per novels, we poets would be able to take a stab at making a living (or even cookie jar money) at it.  With all the other distractions and advertising for everyone's extra cash, it's easy to see a couple putting down $50 on a dinner out and having a one time moment of satisfaction than to see them pick up perhaps as many as 4 poetry publications that would last for a long time.  Even one would be an amazing thing.  That's why I thought to try pushing poetry this way.  The question should be; would YOU buy a book that has poetry integrally involved?  I think like most genres, you'd have to like the basic theme first and the poetry would mesh to  enhance the prose (maybe even vice versa at times).  

They say that the only ones buying poetry are other poets (and even that isn't happening much).  That's why I figured since most of us like to read, why not see about combining the two, you know?
Senior Member
since 02-24-2007
Posts 1007
Santa Monica, California, USA

4 posted 11-09-2007 12:20 PM       View Profile for oceanvu2   Email oceanvu2   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for oceanvu2

Hi -- The most unlikely things become successful publishing ventures.  Tolkein's Hobbit and Lord of the Rings both integrate poetry with the narrative and at least one subtext of these works is about, of all things, linguistics, so who knows?

If you want to be "pratical" in order to get published, note that almost all best selling fiction is genre oriented.  A guess, and I have no real basis for this guess other than intuition, is that fantasy might be a genre to look at as a poem/prose opportunity.

Second, you might think about immediate popularity vs. the long haul.  Odd things happen there too.  "On the Road," Kerouac's famous novel, was not commercially successful on first publication -- none of his books were.  At the same time, in its various editions, the book outsells almost all "best sellers" year in and year out.  Norman Mailer's first, and probably "best" novel, has been the sustaining source of his income for sixty years.  It was turned down by something like 24 publishers before it found a home...  Again, who knew?

And none of the above counts.  In the end, you write your work the best way you can and see what happens.  Anything that tells a good story has a chance in the market place, but it's a free for all.

Best, Jim

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