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The prose poem as Igel: a reading of fragmentation and closure in prose poetry

Atherton, Cassandra and Hetherington, Paul 2016, The prose poem as Igel: a reading of fragmentation and closure in prose poetry, Axon: creative explorations, no. C1.

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Title The prose poem as Igel: a reading of fragmentation and closure in prose poetry
Author(s) Atherton, Cassandra
Hetherington, Paul
Journal name Axon: creative explorations
Issue number C1
Publisher University of Canberra
Place of publication Canberra, A.C.T.
Publication date 2016-08-23
ISSN 1838-8973
Keyword(s) prose poetry
fragment
closure
incomplete
metonym
Summary This paper takes up Nikki Santilli’s lament about the scarcity of scholarship on the prose poem in English to analyse two key features of prose poetry: fragmentation and closure. This paper argues that the prose poem’s visual containment within the paragraph form promises a complete narrative while simultaneously subverting this visual cue by offering, instead, gaps and spaces. Such apertures render the prose poem a largely fragmentary form that relies on metonymic metamorphoses to connect to a larger, unnamed frame of reference. In this way, the prose poem is both complete and yet searching for completeness, closed and lacking closure.The prose poem’s reaching outwards to embrace a larger, absent whole connects this literary form to Friedrich Schlegel’s ‘Athenaeum Fragment 206’ and to the Romantic critical fragment more generally. ‘Athenaeum Fragment 206’ has provided this paper with its title, as a metaphorical reading of Schlegel’s igel, or hedgehog, as fragment ‘implies the existence of [a form that suggests] what is outside itself’ (Rosen 1995: 48). The final section of this paper, analyses two prose poems from the University of Canberra’s International Poetry Studies Institute’s Prose Poetry Project. These works by Jen Webb and Carrie Etter are read for their appeal to metonymy in their exploration of time passing and ultimately, death. They demonstrate that prose poetry is both fragmented and open ended in ways very different from lineated poems.
Language eng
Field of Research 190402 Creative Writing (incl Playwriting)
200502 Australian Literature (excl Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Literature)
200503 British and Irish Literature
Socio Economic Objective 970119 Expanding Knowledge through Studies of the Creative Arts and Writing
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2016, The Authors
Free to Read? Yes
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30086419

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Alfred Deakin Research Institute
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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.