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Prose PoetryAn Introduction$
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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

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The Image and Memory in Reading Prose Poetry

The Image and Memory in Reading Prose Poetry

(p.153) Chapter 7 The Image and Memory in Reading Prose Poetry
Prose Poetry

Paul Hetherington

Cassandra Atherton

Princeton University Press

This chapter describes the use of visual imagery in prose poetry. It examines how such imagery relates to evocations of memory, and the continuing connection of some of prose poetry's effects to those generated by photographs and ekphrastic responses to a range of art forms. Importantly, the connection between prose poetry and photography is also historical. The combination of nostalgia, modernity, and fragmentation found in Charles Baudelaire's prose poems is not unlike the qualities evident in many photographs from the period. Ever since Baudelaire and Arthur Rimbaud, many prose poems have been dependent on striking visual imagery, enabling readers to “see” what they are invoking — and this remains true into the twenty-first century. Indeed, some contemporary prose poets connect photography and prose poetry in descriptions of their creative practice, or in references to photographs in their works.

Keywords:   visual imagery, prose poetry, memory, photographs, Charles Baudelaire, prose poems, prose poets, Arthur Rimbaud

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