Spots of Time – The Poetry and Prose of Teaching

English Remnant World

As a response to the question, “Why don’t poets just write what they mean?” I’d generally subscribe to Coleridge’s view that prose is “words in their best order” whilst poetry is “the best words in their best order.” There are times when both the choice and sequencing of words lifts the meaning of a line of poetry above that which would have been expressed if a writer had selected ‘plain English’ prose. Another argument, of course, is that the poet did write what they meant – they intended to put those specific words in a specific order in an attempt to make us think or feel a specific way. Oftentimes, once we’ve unravelled the syntax and imagery of a phrase, a line, a stanza of poetry, something sublime emerges.

Despite this attempted defence of poetry, I can’t help but agree, on occasion, with the sentiment of the question. Some poetry…

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