“Rhythm must have meaning,” – Ezra Pound
Is there rhythm in prose? Can prose have a musicality to it, a natural flow that makes it a smooth read? If a poet is a metrist, what is a prose writer?
Prose writer is also a music maker. A music that comes naturally with the way the phrases, clauses and sentences flow.
Prose is indeed a very rhythmical form of writing. The tone of numerous emotions like the expostulations, the outcry, cajoling, coaxing, demanding, pleading, yelling etc. all make up the elements of a rhythmical prose writing. These emotions are accentuated by our body movements like shaking of the body, widening of the eyes, gritting of teeth, frowning etc.
Long sentences establish a different rhythm versus short ones.
“When he adjusted to the light, he saw only a speck of the sky, the bluish background and a big white cotton ball in the corner . Then he moved his neck a little and he saw it all, the sky above, the water in front of him, the boats in the water. He felt the sand under him and heard the voices of his kids. Only, nobody paid attention to him.”
In the above paragraph, we feel the music. I wrote this unconsciously without making sure that I am creating three long sentences followed by a short, abrupt one. The variation in this case is giving it a musicality.
Just like a good verse, good prose moves along with our thoughts and thoughts are always traveling. As long as we follow our thoughts versus deliberately trying to give our writing a musicality, we create rhythm – because every thought creates its own rhythm.