Monday, June 01, 2009

Drive Carefully

Because the Fob Bible hits the streets today! Order your copy now. (By way of disclaimer, I haven't ordered my copy yet only because I'm moving next week and don't want to lose it in the mail.)

According to the official description, The Fob Bible is "The Old Testament re-imagined through poetry, verse, closet drama, e-mail, and short story." I would add that said re-imaginations strike just the right balance of thoughtful reverence and humorous irreverence toward the source material to please believer and non-believer alike. And that it's really good.

And anyone who can tell me the difference between poetry and verse wins bonus points. There's certainly enough variety of poetry and verse in the book to warrant two labels, but I'm just not clear on the distinction.

2 comments:

Holly said...

And anyone who can tell me the difference between poetry and verse wins bonus points. There's certainly enough variety of poetry and verse in the book to warrant two labels, but I'm just not clear on the distinction.

verse necessarily has line breaks and used to have a strict pattern of meter, meaning a pattern of syllable and stress count per line; meter is what "free verse" is now free from. Poetry these days has more to do with various poetic devices like alliteration and evocative images and is not rigidly dependent on verse, meter or rhyme to be legitimate. That's why there can be such a thing as a prose poem.

Admittedly, most poetry is written in verse. Also, some very poetic prose could work quite well as verse. In "Living Like Weasels," for instance, Annie Dillard has a paragraph that reads

What goes on in his brain the rest of the time? What does a weasel think about? He won't say. His journal is tracks in clay, a spray of feathers, mouse blood and bone: uncollected, unconnected, loose-leaf, and blown.

it's awfully poetic, and it has alliteration, rhythm and rhyme. It could be a little poem--which, without the descriptor "prose" before it, suggests something with line breaks. But it doesn't have lines breaks, so it's merely poetry, and not verse.

Mr. Fob said...

Thank you, Holly! Admittedly, I probably could have looked it up, but it's much easier to have someone just tell me. :)