Poetry and Prose

Neuroscience is such a new and rapidly developing area of research that they are discovering fascinating new aspects of our brains every week or so. Most recently, I read that a different part of the brain is engaged when reading poetry and prose. Something that poets have perhaps always referred to as a different pair of eyes (poetic eyes) through which they see the world.

It’s a different brain

a sharper brain

which syncopates the rhythms

sees flash volleys of sounds

words cometing in the void

surprises neighbours out of their comfort

and wraps scalds in gentle gauze

to render palatable to others

what scrapes one soul to rawness.

.Do you find my brain? - Auf der Suche nach mei...

It is a brain with zoom lense

fast forwarding to galaxies

or else microscopically slow

switching on-off-on at random

a mutant caught in stasis

perplexity in motion

translation misdirection

and underneath the burning

forever contradiction.



9 thoughts on “Poetry and Prose”

  1. Marina Sofia – I hadn’t heard of that research, but the findings make complete sense to me. Poetry and prose are different kinds of communication, so of course we react differently to them. I’m not at all surprised that our brains are activated in different ways when we read them.

  2. Maybe this explains the problem I described in my latest post! Ha!

    Very interesting. Thanks for sharing. And reflecting on it so beautifully in your poem!

    1. Thank you for your comment, Jennifer – your post does tie in with it quite neatly. I think there is something about the way each part of the brain (the prosaic and the poetic) perceives time: one is linear, logical, progressive, while the other is simultaneous, chaotic and veering wildly from the micro to the macro.

      1. so interesting…. i may have no linear and logic part of brain…smiles…just saying… enjoyed the poem… def. interesting how it all plays together and i’m always in wonder at how it all functions so precisely….

  3. I have always suspected that poetry is mind altering, reading it, writing it, living it–that all barriers are penetrable, all heights scaleable, when one of us is in the grove, & the muse has her legs around us & her tongue down our throat–readying ourselves to whelp a poem.

    1. It should blow the top of our head off, right? But even when it doesn’t, it still gives us a fresh insight or a chuckle which prose very seldom can do in such a short space.

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