2007 - 2021

100 Differences Between Poetry and Prose Tom Leonard

poetry stops before the end of the margin
you can talk about prose without mentioning school
you don’t read poetry to get from Glasgow to Saltcoats without noticingJohn Menzies doesn’t stock poetry
whoever heard of war & peace having the line as a unit of semantic yield
you can call a poem what you want and say its poetic licence

poetry is the subliminal history of linguistic shape
poetry has four wheels, two wings and a pair of false teeth

poetry is the heart and the brain divided by the lungs
poetry is the world’s oldest cock and fanny story

you don’t get prose in anapaestic dimeters
nobody publishes their first slim volume of prose
aristotle never wrote The Proses

if you dribble past five defenders, it isn’t called sheer prose
poets are the unacknowledged thingwaybobs

poetry is quintessentially contrapuntal
the square root of poetry is an ever-evolving quark
whenever Vergil looked in the mirror, he beheld an epic Latin poet

poetry is all the juicy bits in the juiciest order
poetry is jellied religion
pascal: if your labourers complain too much, try taking them to a poetry reading

prose goes scchhpludd
prose goes scchhpludd scchhpludd clomp clomp clomp
are you sitting comfortably

then I’ll end

Listen to Tom Leonard reading “100 Differences Between Poetry and Prose” here:

Join the Discussion

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Help keep our journalism independent

We don’t take any advertising, we don’t hide behind a pay wall and we don’t keep harassing you for crowd-funding. We’re entirely dependent on our readers to support us.

Subscribe to regular bella in your inbox

Don’t miss a single article. Enter your email address on our subscribe page by clicking the button below. It is completely free and you can easily unsubscribe at any time.