'Immeasurable as One': Vahni Capildeo’s Prose Poetics

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Abstract

The work of the Trinidadian British writer Vahni Capildeo has repeatedly employed prose as a poetic form. Noel-Tod reads two of Capildeo’s major prose sequences – ‘The Monster Scrapbook’ (2003) and ‘Person Animal Figure’ (2005) – in the light of her own critical statements, including her resistance to the expectation that a Caribbean writer living in Britain must be a postcolonial ‘documentary witness’. For Capildeo, prose poetry in the experimental tradition of Baudelaire represents a formal and linguistic continuum through which to explore the continuum of experience: the ‘indivisible’ nature of verse and prose are ‘changes of modality’ in one text, and the multiplicity of identities in her prose poetry present a model of lyric selfhood that expands the definition of both the ‘human’ and the ‘poetic’.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBritish Prose Poetry
Subtitle of host publicationThe Poems Without Lines
EditorsJane Monson
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Pages211-225
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-77863-1
ISBN (Print)978-3-319-77862-4
Publication statusPublished - 5 Sep 2018

Keywords

  • Vahni Capildeo
  • Prose Poetry
  • postcolonialism
  • Caribbean literature
  • Charles Baudelaire
  • Modernism

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