Friday, August 18, 2017

"Because You Asked About the Line Between Prose and Poetry" by Eric McHenry, Guest Contest Judge

Because You Asked About the Line Between Prose and Poetry
Eric McHenry

"Crows" Watercolor on Paper, by J. Artemus Gordon
I’ve seen the local news: it’s prose.
I prefer to look at the big picture
window — not because it shows
events exactly as they happen,
but because of the two recurring crows.

There’s tragic laughter in the way they fly.
Some flaw in their understructure
compensates the most emphatic flapping
with very little loft. One barely goes
over and the other just gets by.

Poet’s Notes: This poem was inspired by Howard Nemerov’s superior poem of the same title and by a big window in the apartment where my wife and I used to live. 

Editor’s Note:  The use of enjambment in the first stanza is masterful.  Splitting “picture” and “window” creates two meanings for “big picture / window” while setting up an intra-line rhyme.  Splitting “shows” and “events” continues an end-of-line rhyme, while lending “shows” two direct objects, “window” and “events”.  I also enjoy the way that “goes”, the last word in the penultimate line, harkens back to the rhymes in the first stanza.  “Because You Asked About the Line Between Prose and Poetry” was first published in Potscrubber Lullabies.  Howard Nemerov's poem may be read here https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/because-you-asked-about-line-between-prose-and-poetry.


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