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Baudelaire's "The Bad Glazier" and "The Toy of the Poor" are classifiable as Romanticism,...

Question:

Baudelaire's "The Bad Glazier" and "The Toy of the Poor" are classifiable as Romanticism, Realism, or something else entirely?

Charles Baudelaire and the Prose Poem:

Baudelaire was a French poet (1821-1867), and a contemporary of Victor Hugo, though not acknowledged as one of the greatest poets of the 19th century until the 20th century. What is most distinctive about him is that he is considered equally as great a writer of prose as he is of poetry. Also distinctive about him is his concentration on writing prose poems though many of these were unpublished at the time of his death. He was considered the first poet to make a radical break with the traditional form of verse. It was the French symbolism writers of the 19th century who popularized these, describing themselves as Baudelaire's followers.

Answer and Explanation: 1

Baudelaire's "The Bad Glazier" and "The Toy of the Poor" are classifiable as prose poems. These entities appear like prose, though they have the technical or literary qualities of poetry. For example, they don't contain the line breaks of poems, though they have rhythm and fragmentation like poems. Rhythm in the prose poem is less highly organized than it is in a poem where qualities of movement, repetition, and pattern are applied. Consider this line from "The Toy of the Poor:"

Down one road, behind the gate of an enormous garden, at the back of which could be seen the whiteness of a pretty chateau struck by the sun, stood a fine and fresh child, dressed in those country clothes that are so coyly attractive.

Baudelaire himself describes his compositions as: "the miracle of a poetic prose, musical without rhythm or rhyme, supple and agile enough to adapt to the lyrical movements of the soul, to the undulations of daydreams, to the leaps of consciousness."


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Prose Poems: Definition & Famous Examples

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Chapter 4 / Lesson 11
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What exactly is a prose poem? In this lesson, we will define prose poems, analyze characteristics of prose poetry, and learn about a few famous examples. We will wrap up the lesson with a short quiz to test our knowledge.


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