Isam Hussain

(8-12-1938 / Iraq)

Prose-Poetry


Once prose and poetry existed side by side,
two styles of literature of distinct boundary
jealously guarded by the literati
lest prose masquerades as poetry.

The First World War smashed all the fetters,
soldiers wrote heart-rending poetic letters
to sweethearts, friends, fathers and mothers.
Newspapers published their anguish and horrors

The literati classed them as prose
and turned up their nose
at such new trend of mongrelised poetry;
but the public gave it name and identity:
Prose-poetry began to gain respectability.

Prose-poetry is a contradiction in terms,
an oxymoron; a paradox of many forms;
when well written, words flow as though in rhyme;
thought and syntax together dance with rhythm.

Some pen few lines haphazardly,
string words together arbitrarily,
flit between thoughts randomly,
structure their poems casually.

They want to be seen as thinkers,
in fact they are wearing blinkers.
If only they could see their folly
they would stop abusing prose-poetry.

Submitted: Monday, May 20, 2013
Edited: Tuesday, September 10, 2013

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