[ilds] Poetry v. Prose Poem

Bruce Redwine bredwine1968 at earthlink.net
Fri Jan 8 03:16:33 PST 2016

Yes.  We might start with definitions.  Is poetry the same as a prose poem?  I don't think it is, and I doubt that Durrell did either, for the simple reason he published the two genres separately.


Sent from my iPhone

> On Jan 7, 2016, at 8:41 PM, Sumantra Nag <sumantranag at gmail.com> wrote:
> Durrell's poetry could do with some  analysis on ILDS.
> I think it was in a letter to Henry Miller that Durrell himself first referred to his composition of Justine as a prose poem.
> Sumantra
> Message: 9
> Date: Thu, 7 Jan 2016 11:50:54 -0800
> From: Bruce Redwine <bredwine1968 at earthlink.net>
> To: ilds at lists.uvic.ca
> Cc: James Gifford <james.d.gifford at gmail.com>,  Bruce Redwine
>         <bredwine1968 at gmail.com>, David Green <dtart at bigpond.net.au>
> Subject: Re: [ilds] Durrell as poet
> Message-ID: <B4035354-ED36-40A2-A688-29B8438DC0E3 at earthlink.net>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="utf-8"
> I don't think Durrell was being disingenuous.  He would prefer, I think, being known as a poet.  Poetry, after all, is by far the older and higher calling.  Plagiarism might be a test of this.  I don't detect plagiarism in his poetry.  He may revise, rework, and exceed his predecessors.  But I don't see him engaged in wholesale theft, as occasioned in his prose.  I think he considered poetry too sacred.  Harold Bloom talks about this in his "Anxiety of Influence," although he would surely not consider Durrell a "strong poet."  You're right--Durrell's poetry deserves "deep study."  I find it very mysterious.
> Bruce
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