Nonsense and Wonder: An Exploration of the Prose Poems of Jeremy Over
This essay reveals the delights of Jeremy Over’s prose poetry, setting his work in the context of recent British prose poetry, while observing his place in the tradition of nonsense literature. In the tradition’s ability to reconcile the seemingly irreconcilable, this essay argues that Over goes beyond clever surprises to arouse authentic wonder. Connections are made between Over, the Dadaists, Surrealists, Gertrude Stein and New York poets, such as John Ashbery. Making the case that nonsense literature and prose poetry combined are a path to authenticity and freedom in a resistance to common sense and tragic heroism, the essay demonstrates how Over’s prose poems show reality in different lights and empower marginalized voices.
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