November 13, 2013

Is every writer a poet as well?

Dear M,

You may not agree with the suggestion. Every writer need not be a poet in the strict sense of the word. The thought occurred to me because many of my social media writer friends write poems.

They don't make a big deal of it - when they write a chapter or finish a book or sign a contract, there will be champagne flowing (and a lot of yelling and screaming) all over my Facebook wall or Twitter TL but when it comes to poems or haiku, they just drop it on the timeline casually. Like something unimportant. As though they just typed it down on their way to get the newspaper in the morning - in all likelihood, that's what they did. Jotted down the words as they came to them. Some write on their blogs; even when they are secretive and protective like a fierce tiger mom about their novels, the poems just flow free around the Internet, uncontrolled and unsupervised. I doubt if anyone (least of all themselves) keeps track of all the haiku they have been dropping all over the place.

However, this does not justify the title of this post. There is a subtler meaning to it. Many writers, when they write prose, make it appear like poetry. Now look at how I wrote that - it sounds almost vulgar. They make it appear like poetry, indeed. I should have known to phrase it better. What I meant is that, they know how to make the text flow, in ripples and waves, in a tide or as a storm, in a gentle gush or like a ravaging sea, and burst upon us like a destructive cyclone. (Phew)

Yes, writers of prose know how to write poetry into their fiction. In that sense, every writer is essentially a poet.


Like this post on Facebook!


  1. i am not a great writer. but i find writing easier than poetry (all my attempts to write one good poem have not materialized)

  2. I'm a poet turned author, so yes! I totally second this :)

  3. What should be considered as a poetry? If it is a flow of beautiful words approaching a meaning then i agree to your notion.
    But, an important aspect of poetry,that fails many poems as well, is the ability to say a lot in the least of the words. I find those poem beautiful in true sense, where a thousand words are unwritten, but they find their existence in reader's mind by the humble few words of the poet. In that sense would you agree, every prose writer is a poet? I feel a true poet is the most beautiful version of a prose writer.
    Instead i might add, that most of the time (that includes me), those who write prose, the do so deceptively in shape of a poem...would like to know your view on that sir.

    1. Good points. Poetry and prose (in a broad sense) serve two different purposes, and are built in different ways. But in prose too one can say very little and mean much, leaving the rest to the reader's imagination and interpretation. As you said, sometimes poem is prose in disguise.
      Thanks for your thought-provoking comment.