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Questions and Answers

What inspired “Protext”?

When I was a child, reading books was often compared to taking a voyage on a ship: to new places, new perceptions. A good story, a good poem these were adventures. Philosophers have long debated whether a work of imagination can be said to convey “truths” of any sort. Some philosophers emphasize the inadequacy of language, except, perhaps, when a language refers only to itself, as in math. It has always seemed to me that to enjoy the partial or dubious revelations of any work of imagination requires a kind of faith, an assent to the voyage.

What poetic techniques did you use in “Protext”?

“Protext” is a prose poem, that is, a poem whose rhythm and form are not affected by line breaks, stanzas, rhyme, or metre. A prose poem is written in sentences and paragraphs, and differs from ordinary prose only by being more musically charged.

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