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Extra info for The Prose Poem and the Journal Shi'r: A Comparative Study of Literature, Literary Theory and Journalism
180 ‘Prose-poem’ is a term used by some critics as a singular form for ‘poetry in prose’. 181 Experimentations in prose poetry increased and intensified in the first half of the twentieth century indicating that a new form was emerging. The texts that were produced were categorized under several names. However, the one that was to be widely authorized was al-shi‘r al-manthßr, poetry in prose. Poetry in prose is sometimes claimed as a poetic genre in its own right. Jayyusi’s book describes it as ‘a poetic genre’ that is without metre and often rhymeless.
91 British and American prose poets are, at their best, considered ‘followers’ and ‘imitators’92 of their French counterparts. Thus, when writing the history of the prose poem in English, critics mention the year 1890 as a landmark. 93 It is obvious that these Anglophone literary critics have the same problems with the prose poem as their Arab counterparts, and that both teams looked upon their national prose poem as a French export. In this respect, the prose poem in English provides one of the convenient comparative approaches for studying the Arabic prose poem.
Besides playing down Eliot as a prose poet, Smith, just like other writers except Murphy seems to be indifferent to the other three, at least, prose poems written by Eliot. Eliot’s abandonment of the genre might have had a devastating influence on it, similar to that caused by the termination of Wilde’s experiment. 114 However, apart from these scattered short sentences about them in these major sources about the prose poem, the prose poem of the Imagists is totally ignored. Perhaps, because their major contribution is thought of as the invention of free verse, this tends to make critics deal with their prose poems as minor achievements.