All Others Overhear

March 16, 2011

To the two Johns, Jan, Janus, and Jane
(all others overhear): Here  I propose
a toast to the prose/ poem divide:
prose is so natural, we get it all at birth.
And so poetry must be music justified,
each word justified, each word music, all
a part of the composition the world admits.
Before you know it we’ll be burning
incense scented candles
and drinking sweet muscatel wine
(old crones, low moans,
ice cream cones, koans,
bank loans, sticks and stones)—
Prose is deep but natural, prose is social,
prose can propose, poetry, such repose,
and such longueur.   Prose, prose,
poetry. Prose.

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3 Responses to “All Others Overhear”

  1. John Stevens Says:

    “To the prose/ poetry divide!” Sip; slurp – I’ve raised my glass of muscatel that you thoughtfully provided.

    “poetry must be music justified” – well, there’s some good rollicking music in your poem, from the opening line through to the close. I feel like singing it.

    “prose is so natural, we get it all at birth” – yes, usually, unless it’s strangled at birth by academic writers or lawyers with their small print – but usually natural, yes, and it’s social as you say, so poetry has a harder time finding an audience.

    Now, where did I put my incense scented candles …

  2. extrasimile Says:

    John–

    Glad you like it (especially as you’re one
    of the Johns).
    I think I’ll have a little Riesling; the muscatel is a touch too sweet for me.
    By the way, see the Yeats poem ‘All Souls Night’ for another glass.
    Jim

  3. John Stevens Says:

    Thanks Jim – I feel honoured! I’ve now re-read Yeats’ All Souls Night. Not a favourite of mine, perhaps, but interesting as always, and with a distinctive metre.
    All the best, J.


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