example prose poem:
The world looks lovely in the setting darkness of time and as I gaze into the mysterious depths of my soul, I ask, Oh Lord let me linger a little time more. Whatever may be, will be, whatever I search for will be, with God's help, even with broken hearts, lots of soul searching, and heavenly intervention what will be, will be. There will be much distance to grow, sometimes we have to be prune to bloom, to grow in life. Yes I am ready to be better, a better person in the eyes of the Lord, I know I have my faults and I know I am a work in progress, for the Light shines brightly and holds our hearts in His hands... In the meantime the hurricanes of our lifes will fly on by, swirl us around and land us in a marvelous wonderful place that holds our very happiness. You see there is no easy walk to freedom, no matter which way we turn, we must work for it and many of us will have to pass through the valley shadow of death, and might not come out alive. But we still hope and pray and work to strive to be a better person. In fact, when God's light shines let it shine on us... and then we will reach the mountain tops of our desires....
The prose poem is a type of poetry characterized by its lack of line breaks. Although the prose poem resembles a short piece of prose, its allegiance to poetry can be seen in the use of rhythms, figures of speech, rhyme, internal rhyme, assonance (repetition of similar vowel sounds), consonance (repetition of similar consonant sounds), and images. Early poetry (such as the Iliad and the Odyssey, both written by Homer approximately 2,800 years ago) lacked conventional line breaks for the simple fact that these works were not written down for hundreds of years, instead being passed along (and presumably embellished) in the oral tradition. However, once poetry began to be written down, poets began to consider line breaks as another important element to the art. With the exception of slight pauses and inherent rhyme schemes, it is very hard for a listener of poetry to tell where a line actually breaks.
The length of prose poems vary, but usually range from half of a page to three or four pages (those much longer are often considered experimental prose or poetic prose). Aloysius Bertrand, who first published Gaspard de la nuit in 1842, is considered by many scholars as the father of the prose poem as a deliberate form. Despite the recognition given to Bertrand, as well as Maurice de Guerin, who wrote around 1835, the first deliberate prose poems appeared in France during the 18th Century as writers turned to prose in reaction to the strict rules of versification by the Academy.
Although dozens of French writers experimented with the prose poem in the 1700s, it was not until Baudelaire's work appeared in 1855 that the prose poem gained wide recognition. However, it was Rimbaud's book of prose poetry Illuminations, published in 1886, that would stand as his greatest work, and among the best examples of the prose poem. Additional practitioners of the prose poem (or a close relative) include Edgar Allen Poe, Max Jacob, James Joyce, Oscar Wilde, Amy Lowell, Gertrude Stein, and T.S. Eliot. Among contemporary practitioners of the prose poem are: Russell Edson, Robert Bly, Charles Simic, and Rosmarie Waldrop.