The Marvellous Clouds: Reflections on the Prose Poetry of Woolf, Baudelaire and Williams

  • Michael O’Neill


This essay explores the prose poem as practised by Virginia Woolf, Charles Baudelaire in Petits Poèmes en prose, and William Carlos Williams in Spring and All and Kora in Hell. The section on Woolf argues that her novel or ‘playpoem’ The Waves illustrates the capacity of prose poetry to attune itself to moods. The section on Baudelaire’s prose poems argues that they reflect on the nature of their own discourse in a way that the prose poem seems peculiarly suited to doing. The section on Williams seeks to illustrate the individual ways in which in his work, as in that of Woolf and Baudelaire, the prose poem is a locus where new meaning is always sensed as ‘approaching.’

Works Cited

  1. Baudelaire, Charles. The Poems in Prose with “La Fanfarlo”: Baudelaire, vol. 2. Edited with introduction and translated by Francis Scarfe. London: Anvil, 1989.Google Scholar
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  10. ———. “The Prose Poems.” In The Cambridge Companion to Baudelaire, edited by Rosemary Lloyd, 69–86. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005.Google Scholar
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  13. ———. Kora in Hell: Improvisations.
  14. ———. Spring and All.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael O’Neill
    • 1
  1. 1.Durham UniversityDurhamUK

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