The Marvellous Clouds: Reflections on the Prose Poetry of Woolf, Baudelaire and Williams
This essay explores the prose poem as practised by Virginia Woolf, Charles Baudelaire in Petits Poèmes en prose, and William Carlos Williams in Spring and All and Kora in Hell. The section on Woolf argues that her novel or ‘playpoem’ The Waves illustrates the capacity of prose poetry to attune itself to moods. The section on Baudelaire’s prose poems argues that they reflect on the nature of their own discourse in a way that the prose poem seems peculiarly suited to doing. The section on Williams seeks to illustrate the individual ways in which in his work, as in that of Woolf and Baudelaire, the prose poem is a locus where new meaning is always sensed as ‘approaching.’
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