Blurring the Lines: Poetry and Prose

Recently I've been writing poetry.

A shock, I know. You never would have guessed, right? It's not like I've put up three poems since restarting this blog and declared my absolute and adoring love for National Poetry Month.

Assuming I've been writing poetry would be preposterous. Mind readers, I salute you.

In all honesty, I never used to write poetry. And if you do happen to stumble across a poem from my childhood, there is a 99.999% chance I will shriek and cry and maybe throw it into the nearest ocean because I hate it and just thinking about it makes me want to crawl under a table.

I stand the other .0007% for nostalgia's sake and .0003% because I maybe possibly actually stumbled across something good (???)

But the interesting thing I've noticed recently is that even when I was writing novels, I was never that far off from poetry before.

Cue research because I'm a nerd.

In professional terminology, my style of writing falls under the label of "lyrical writing." (This is pretty much exactly what the title implies: prose writing with a more lyric or poetic tone.)

Some elements of a lyrical writing style include:
    1. Figurative language:
      Lots of it. Lots and lots and lots and lots. Similes and metaphors and hyperbole and personification and all the figurative language.
    2. Mildly vague yet strangely specific imagery:
    3. Have you ever heard a girl talk through a mouthful of glass shards, voice so rough and ragged it sounds as though a hurricane is howling imprisoned in her throat? No? But did that sentence give you an image of a very specific type of voice anyway?
    4. More focus on description than plot:
      Note: This isn't absolutely not a requirement. It's just my experience that the best of these types of books have a solid plot, but one that is more about enjoying the read instead of shocking you out of your chair. And often, because the book is drawing you in with beautiful descriptions and flowing sentence structure, it doesn't have to hold your attention through nailbiting chapter endings and more twists and turns than a brood of snakes. 
    My favorite books are often written with a very lyrical style.  Some excellent examples are:

    This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab* (pretty much everything by her, actually)

    Echoes by Miranda Marie

    and Delirium by Lauren Oliver

    And to end off, here's an excerpt from my current novel, Villain, which is written in a very lyrical first person style. Enjoy!


    I can’t remember when it went away. The little nagging in the back of my mind. The whisper. You’re better than this. You want to be the hero? Then act like it.

    It strikes me that I haven’t heard its voice in a very long time. Longer than it’s been since I last listened to the words it was saying.

    Now there’s another voice, a mocking devil instead of an angel.

    How vain are you? It taunts, to think the world might have room for only one hero? To presume making yourself more should inherently make him less? You don't really want to be a hero, do you? You want to spit in the face of everyone who ever laughed at you.

    Angels are overrated anyways. All frills and feathers and harpsichords shrilling out soprano notes a thousand rungs above my register, with nothing substantial underneath.

    That’s how the demon talks, and I feel the shadows fill my mind with every poisonous word.

    I don’t trust angels.

    But I’m not a girl of shadows either.

    I’m left with all I ever had to begin with. The ice.



    Unforgiving winter, early morning frost, icicles that hang, suspended in time, until you forget they’re there.

    Daggers sharpened to a point, beautifully forgotten until they fall, piercing anything in their path.

    It’s a cruel irony, to love the very thing that defines me as their villain. Snow. Blizzards, in all their life-disrupting glory. Destruction. Cold.

    The violent aesthetic of sculpted glass shattering against a hardwood floor.

    Maybe that’s it, though. Fire burns and consumes and shrivels everything up until there’s nothing but charred black and chalky ashes. There’s no beauty in it.

    The beauty in ice is the potential for disaster, the temporal nature of it. It will break, and it will melt, and it will be gone- and the next person to pass will never know it was broken at all.

    And even broken, it will reform itself. Because even melted, it isn’t truly gone. Its matter cannot be destroyed, only transformed.

    Fire? Fire destroys. And water puts it out.

    And they both lose in the process.

    But ice melts into water and water burns into steam and steam is swept away by the wind, transformed into clouds, and it all comes around again. Falls.

    Everything falls.

    It always comes back to that.

    Will I have to fall?

    But ice rebuilds, while the dying embers of fire gasp for air and hiss like a nest of snakes as they fizzle out.

    Maybe it’s symbolism.

    Maybe it’s a losing battle and I’m desperately grasping at parallels that don’t exist.


    1. Oh my goodness, that snippet was absolutely lovely ����������
      Lyrical writing is my more favored style when it comes to the books I read, though when writing, I find it harder to execute.
      The poetic descriptions are so much more enticing as well, and makes a story or book so much more compelling. You’re snippet and style is beautiful.


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