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The British Prose Poem and ‘Poetry’ in Early Modernism

  • Margueritte S. Murphy
Chapter

Abstract

While the prose poem in Great Britain first rose to prominence during the fin de siècle, the form takes on a firmly experimental cast only with the next generation. These early modernist texts, although seldom labelled as ‘prose poems’, participated in the broader redefinition of ‘poetry’ undertaken at the time. In the midst of debates over the difference between poetry and prose, and with the emergence of the Imagiste aesthetic, prose poems became a medium for the presentation of unmediated emotion through destabilizing images and urban fragments that echoed and reacted to new technologies, in the mode of what Andreas Huyssen has defined as ‘metropolitan miniatures.’ This essay examines texts by Jessie Dismorr and John Rodker as examples of the new ‘poetry’ in prose.

Notes

Acknowledgments

I am indebted to the Modernist Journals Project of Brown University and the University of Tulsa for access to digital copies of BLAST, The Egoist, The Little Review, Poetry and Rhythm; all citations from these journals may be found at http://www.modjourn.org/journals.html.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Margueritte S. Murphy
    • 1
  1. 1.Hobart & William Smith CollegesGenevaUSA

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