Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Prose PoetryAn Introduction$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Paul Hetherington and Cassandra Atherton

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780691180656

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691180656.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM PRINCETON SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.princeton.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Princeton University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PRSO for personal use.date: 25 May 2022

Ideas of Open Form and Closure in Prose Poetry

Ideas of Open Form and Closure in Prose Poetry

(p.79) Chapter 4 Ideas of Open Form and Closure in Prose Poetry
Prose Poetry

Paul Hetherington

Cassandra Atherton

Princeton University Press

This chapter focuses on ideas of open form and closure in prose poetry. While lineated lyric poetry is typically highly suggestive and open to various interpretations, it simultaneously tends toward conveying a sense of formal resolution and closure. The attention to formal elements in lineated lyric poetry, including the beginnings and endings of lines and the opening and closing of works, is very different from other kinds of less formalized writing — including prose poetry, where sentences are drawn together in paragraphs rather than separated. Prose poetry refuses lineated poetry's rhythmic closure even as it visually preempts its conclusion in the capacious white space that follows the last sentence of the paragraph. In other words, openness and closure are likely to be manifested very differently in lineated poems compared to prose poems. Prose poems have their own integrity as works, but their sense of completeness turns on their appeal to incompleteness in the same way as the literary fragment. Structurally, prose poetry's use of the sentence rather than the line as its unit of composition allows the poet to engage in “narrative digression.”

Keywords:   open form, closure, prose poetry, lineated lyric poetry, prose poems, literary fragment, narrative digression

Princeton Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.