Original poem reprinted online here: "Soldierization" by Jane Satterfield
Originally read: January 13, 2013 (hole punched the date :-/ )
More information about the Poet: Jane Satterfield
What's the difference between prose and poetry? Hell that I know? This is just a guess though.
The difference between Prose and Poetry is expectation. The automatic response when reading something in prose is information -- whether it be an article detailing something, or a finding out the plot of a story -- prose has that long tradition of a useful tool for information.
Can you imagine a poem constricted to information like an article? Meh, maybe, just not there yet. Poetry plays more on a language level (or at least has more leeway). And although sound accounts for some the distinction, this poem distinct itself through does other poetic techniques.
So I paused after writing the last sentence. I wanted to be specific about the poetry techniques that separate this from prose (as far as technique goes) -- alliteration, tone, image, dual speaker to create an external and internal monologue, but all these techniques can be found in prose pieces as well. I was so confident in the first part of this...
Just like the speaker in the poem. The tone in the first part is one of complete control -- kind of like manual instructions which shift when the italic parts come in with pondering that break the tone, "I'm going to bring my brains to this, my brawn." This sentence works in two ways (more than two, but these are the ones I note) 1) like stated above, break in tone 2) The speaker is trying to reconstruct or rather reconnect (either or) the definition of brains as brawny -- or rather one compensates or compliments the other.
And the tone reflects the kind of, maybe masculine (my connotative thoughts) cold thoughts -- direction to control the chaos -- yet as the poem continues the italics and the regular thoughts intertwine -- mesh a little too well to create chaos. Then the sounds "ghastly glimmering of the guns" I wrote down that, "not a fan of the alliteration here. or not...gunfire?" And after reading this poem again and again today, the alliteration is growing on me, but I still don't like "memory's mirror" it feels too general, too domestic in the situation.
I do like the integration in the line phrase "brain & brawn" as though the speaker is trying to get it together and the brevity in the last sentences, "Poor words, quiet grave." Is starting to grow on me even though past me wrote, "somewhat cliche yet strong image."
So this prose poem has a lot of good technique going on throughout. Whether or not this prose poem is more on the prose side or the poem side...I'm still debating.