Prose To Poetry And Back Again; or, All The Other Cool Kids Were Doing It….

(Post-A-Day Challenge, Day 13)

Okay, so….

After seeing this on a couple of other writers’ blogs, I decided to try it myself.

The idea is to take your prose and break it into lines and stanzas like a free-verse poem.  By doing this, you will pinpoint weaknesses in your writing.  And then, when you make changes to your “poem” and turn it back into prose, you’ll have a much-improved paragraph.

I had to admit that I was skeptical.  Not that it could work at all — because I’d seen a couple of very fine examples — but that it could work for me.  I am, after all, something of an anti-poet.  Whatever combination of brain synapses it takes for people to be able to write and appreciate poetry…well, I don’t seem to have it.

But I decided to give it a shot anyway, using the first paragraph of Book 1 of the Winterbourne series.  Here’s how it came out:

First, the original paragraph:

The airship Sophie’s Lightning gleamed golden in the late afternoon sun as it hung over a grassy meadow just outside the village of Windmill Hill.  The errant breezes from the nearby ocean would have made landing the craft a challenge for a lesser pilot, but Celia Winterbourne had been piloting her father’s airships since the age of eleven.  She’d flown this particular ship since its maiden voyage five years earlier and knew its every nuance.  Her fingers danced over the control panel, pulling levers to make minute adjustments to the rudder and the seven small propellers that guided the airship.

That paragraph broken up into a “poem”:

The airship Sophie’s Lightning
Gleamed golden
In the late afternoon sun
As it hung over a grassy meadow
Just outside the village
Of Windmill Hill.

The errant breezes from
The nearby ocean
Would have made landing the craft
A challenge
For a lesser pilot,
But Celia Winterbourne
Had been piloting her father’s airships
Since the age of eleven.

She’d flown this particular ship
Since its maiden voyage
Five years earlier
And knew its every nuance.

Her fingers danced
Over the control panel,
Pulling levers
To make minute adjustments
To the rudder
And the seven small propellers
That guided the airship.

Ewww.  Even I can see that that’s pretty bad.  So let’s see what happens if we spiff it up a bit:
The Revised “Poem”:

The airship Sophie’s Lightning,
gleaming and golden
in the sunset light,
hung over a grassy meadow
near Windmill Hill.

The errant ocean breezes
would have challenged
a lesser pilot,
but Celia Winterbourne,
a veteran aeronaut,
knew the graceful ship’s every nuance.

Her fingers danced
over the control panel,
pulling levers,
making minute adjustments
to rudder and steering propellers.

Well…that’s better.  Though I think we lose some vital information in the translation.  But this does flow better.

It’s still blindingly obvious that I am NOT a poet, though.

The resulting paragraph now looks like this:

The airship Sophie’s Lightning, gleaming and golden in the sunset light, hung over a grassy meadow near Windmill Hill.  The errant ocean breezes would have challenged a lesser pilot, but Celia Winterbourne, a veteran aeronaut, knew the graceful ship’s every nuance.  Her fingers danced over the control panel, pulling levers, making minute adjustments to rudder and steering propellers.

So…what do you all think?  Thumbs-up or thumbs-down?

Anybody else feel like giving it a shot?

(Gah!  Sorry, guys!  Don’t know why all that extra stuff ended up at the bottom of this posting.  But it’s fixed now….)

Advertisements

About sheilamcclune

Aspiring author, sharing the tidbits I've learned along the way.
This entry was posted in Writing and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s