Prose poem

What makes a paragraph a prose poem? Hard to say… The first one I posted remains one of my favorites, A Story about the Body, by Robert Hass.  It does tell a story, but it’s more than a story. This one, by Tom Hennen, starts out simply as prose, but then goes somewhere else.

Report from the West

Snow is falling west of here. The mountains have more than a
foot of it. I see the early morning sky dark as night. I won’t lis-
ten to the weather report. I’ll let the question of snow hang.
Answers only dull the senses. Even answers that are right often
make what they explain uninteresting. In nature the answers
are always changing. Rain to snow, for instance. Nature can
let the mysterious things alone—wet leaves plastered to tree
trunks, the intricate design of fish guts. The way we don’t fall
off the earth at night when we look up at the North Star. The
way we know this may not always be so. The way our dizziness
makes us grab the long grass, hanging by our fingertips on the
edge of infinity.

Tom Hennen, “Report from the West” from Darkness Sticks to Everything: Collected and New Poems.

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