Not Poetry and Not Prose

It seems that the only thing defining Art is the intention. If something is intended to be Art, it becomes Art. [A circular definition, some would say.] If so, then there is no such thing as "Not Art", because if that "Not Art" is intended to be Art, it becomes Art.

However, same cannot be said about poetry and prose. Controversy also exists regarding what is poetry and what is literature, but there seems to be such a thing as "Not Poetry" and "Not Prose", which indicates a boundary exists even though it may be blurred.

"Not Poetry"

For instance, the following piece of writing cannot be called "poetry" even if some insane poet intends it to be a poem:

"Glaucoma is a disease in which the optic nerve is damaged, leading to progressive, irreversible loss of vision. It is often, but not always, associated with increased pressure of the fluid in the eye."

Or this:


Which is simply gibberish.

[E.E.Cumming's poem Snow seems to test the limits of poetry, but it nevertheless conveys something and is not gibberish.]

"Not Prose"

Similarly "hjmgbdkd dhncgdosnndsdfh klsjhdfdfffdfdfdfdf bvc" cannot be considered a piece of prose, because it's gibberish [unless its a coded message, but that would mean that there is a meaning to be conveyed.]

So, the conclusion: unlike Art, there seem to exist limits for what can be called Poetry and what can be called Prose.


Butters said…
With language there are rules, like rules of syntax. Art is much broader, since it isn't committed to syntax (or implicit rules on the relationship between syntax and semantics).

I suppose this makes sense, from an evolutionary perspective. Language is far too important for us to allow for 'language anarchy' :P.
moiz said…
Remember me? :D
Awais said…
Yes, Moiz. I remember you. YLC, right? :D
moiz said…
Yes. You must be a doc by now. I am hitting Lahore mid feb for the fashion week. See you then :) My email is

I found your blog today while i was reading Mohsin Sayeed's :)
Insanely insane said…
Very true. I totally agree. I like the way you explain it, by the way. :) Like simplifying things for a little kid.