How Poetry Can Better Capture The Human Imagination By Rita Dove

780 Words Nov 20th, 2016 4 Pages
According to poet Rita Dove, “Poetry is language at its most distilled and most powerful.” This quote helps us understand why poems come in so many different styles, forms, and subjects. If one thinks of poetry as a whole, perhaps the first poem that surfaces the mind would be a poem in lyrical verse. This more general form of poetry is indeed how the vast majority of poems are written. However, the more classic form of poetry, or perhaps the more ancient form of poetry, is found in epic form, which is known as narrative verse. Poetry in narrative verse simply tells a story, and it is often objective and will dramatize the crisis or climax. In his verse-novel, Ludlow, David Mason combined the nature of poetry as Dove describes it with a narrative verse to recreate a forgotten tragic event. Although narratives are increasingly more popular in prose, Manson’s Ludlow has proven that narrative poetry can better capture the human imagination by utilizing the powers of poetry: simple narrative economy, powerful images and symbols, and the sounds of words. Perhaps the main reason Mason’s Ludlow is so powerful in capturing the imagination of its audience is because of its narrative economy. Mason believes that narrative poetry has “more clarity, drive, and economy than prose, and it can offer literary pleasure of a sort unavailable in other genres” (228). Mason utilized these features in Ludlow. He seldom identified the speakers of dialogue, but simply allowed us to make…

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