View Full Version : Mixing Prose and Poetry
April 23rd, 2005, 09:14 AM
I am in the midst of writing my first novel. What I am finding as I go through, however, is that certain portions would read better as poetry than as prose (Not that I am a great poet...). The poetry sections, wouldn't be long (about a page or so), and wouldn't make up 25% of the story. They would primarily be confined to their own chapters.
I was wondering if other people had any thoughts of this type of approach. Have you ever tried it before? Are there any published examples? I couldn't think of any off the top of my head; but I am not as well read as some of you on here.
April 23rd, 2005, 09:53 AM
Brian Aldiss Barefoot in the Head
A few pages of poetry after each chapter (or part? - it's been a while...).
April 23rd, 2005, 10:31 AM
By all means do it if you wish. Improve/extend your literary practise and creation.
By I don't think it's all that appealing to read. I would get pretty bored, pretty quickly, even with minimal amounts of poetry (such as that in LOTR). I think it might possibly interrupt the suspense/flow of the plot. Unless it's really good... beware.
However, I could be completely wrong, and you may have a brilliant and fascinating innovation. :D
April 23rd, 2005, 10:51 AM
Thanks, I will check it out. It looks out of print on Amazon and B&N, so maybe its time for a trek to the used book store.
The poetry I have been thinking of would not be spoken by other characters like in LOTR, but simply be part of the narrative. I am going to give it a try. It may end up being one of those things that I am happy about when its done, but after a bit of time will look at it and decide against it. I do want to keep those sections short, as I know that brevity is the friend of gimmickry when it comes to writing. And it is a bit of a gimmick.
April 23rd, 2005, 01:01 PM
Well actually, if you want, you could write the whole thing in poetry. I know that Knopf did a novel in rhyming couplets a few years back and I just read some lines from another one like that excerpted in Entertainment Weekly -- "Suzy Zeus Gets Organized" by Maggie Robbins.
But of course, the average fan reader would probably keel over and faint at an entire novel written as poetry. (Short story though has probably been done.) It sounds like daring to some of them is putting an elk where they don't expect elks to be. But poetry has a long history in sf/f. Many of the leading magazines regularly publish poems, and poems frequently pop up in sf and fantasy stories, often playing an integral part in the plot. So if you had portions of your novel in poetry, I don't think it would be viewed as much of a shock. If you do it cleverly enough, some editor may think, that's going to get some attention, and you'll be hailed as a genre intellectual.
April 23rd, 2005, 01:23 PM
Oooohhhh, genre intellectual, I like the sound of that! None of what I have written has been rhyming verse, yet, but we will see how it progresses. I don't think I would write the entire thing in verse, but the more I think about it the more I want to include more.
April 25th, 2005, 04:28 PM
I have one character that speaks in verse (well, riddles) if that counts for anything! I like to think it makes him sound a bit more sinister.He's a pain in the arse though - I didn't realise how difficult it is to make rhyming sound non-corny (and don't get me started on the free verse...)
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