Julia Hartwig – My prose poetry (65/100)

I don’t know if it’s worth saying
that these are partly poems and partly what’s called prose poems
which aren’t very popular in Poland but Herbert and other poets did write some…
Szymborska didn’t. So… these prose poems –
every poet has a label attached to them because critics keep referring to us
so whenever my poetry is reviewed, it’s always mentioned that
I specialise in prose poetry. This prose poetry is mainly taken from, not exactly
taken but were always promulgated in France Baudelaire’s ‘Spleen’ these are… this is…
these are prose poems, you can’t call them anything else, but there isn’t… there hasn’t been a single poet from the Post-symbolist
era who hasn’t written at least a few prose poems. They are, of course, perhaps less so when you’re
reading them, less effective because they’re short and everything depends on the fact that
they’re written as if they were prose so that words can be divided and
carried over to the next line which, unless you want to be eccentric, these days everything is allowed, fundamentally in poetry you don’t do this. And there’s another area of interest in this world which manifests itself in prose poems because they’re more
relaxed even though they require very disciplined writing. They are more relaxed than poems because they are… their role is to show a topic or an issue in
as spontaneous a way as possible and after that, according to me, it takes on
the characteristics of a poem. I did cause a bit of stir lately with my volume called ‘Błyski’. This is somehow… I’m attributed with
having come up with this form which I am happy to concur with but with provisos because this is a type, you could say, of poetic note-taking
which are shorter because they are truly glimmers, something comes into your head, you immediately write it down
– it might turn into a poem or it might not. Nevertheless, it is a moment of illumination.
And it’s immortalised. And to be honest, influenced by these poems of mine, I
don’t think this is vanity just a description of the market, these glimmers were taken up and, it turns out,
that every poet can write glimmers like these. So these glimmers began to multiply
which I found amusing and pleasing although frequently these glimmers,
like the prose poems, didn’t work. But it needs to work, it needs to be able to carry the meaning, so that what we see there can be conveyed in two sentences,
for example, or in one even on paper.

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