Treasure Island

Writing Poetry

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  • Michael Shepherd (5/1/2005 3:22:00 PM) Post reply

    For Walcott on this site, Blues, Codicil, Love After Love, Sunday in W.I. and the patois Tobago tell you much about the man, then there are the more substantial poems.

  • Michael Shepherd (5/1/2005 6:29:00 AM) Post reply

    I think there's one AfAm that guess who Dan Schneider thinks is 'better' than some other one...

  • Poetry Hound (5/1/2005 5:12:00 AM) Post reply

    Lamont, you mentioned that you like Derek Walcott. Want to post one of his poems that you like and we can take a look at it? More broadly, are there other African American poets that folks like?

  • Michael Shepherd (4/29/2005 6:19:00 PM) Post reply | Read 1 reply

    Should we invite Dan Schneider as Guest Critic on Poemhunter?

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    • Michael Shepherd (4/30/2005 12:10:00 PM) Post reply

      JC, maybe someone else can help you there. I only discovered later that for the full articles, you have to click back on the subject titles. All great fun - but I would suspect that anyone with quit ... more

  • Michael Shepherd (4/29/2005 10:37:00 AM) Post reply | Read 1 reply

    I hadn't read Schneider's poetry. Dangerous occupation for an outspoken opinionate! Is there a single free-versifier who doesn't find themselves occasionally landed with a 'prosaic' sentence to take their narrative forward?
    Does anyone know any of his visual work?

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  • Poetry Hound (4/29/2005 9:41:00 AM) Post reply

    Okay, I read some Schneider criticism and poetry. What a curmudgeon he is! He's refreshingly honesty and I agree with a lot of what he says about cliché and mediocrity in modern poetry. But I found myself less compelled by his in-your-face attacks on modern poetry (much of which is unsubstantiated assertion) than on what motivates him to make them. It seems like a huge overreaction. There has always been mediocrity and cliché in the art world, whether in poetry or music or painting or choreography. So I wonder why he takes it so personally. Maybe he just relishes being provocative. As for his poetry, I read about 6 poems. They weren’t bad but they didn’t move me. And they seemed ponderous and self-consciously opaque. Ironically, his poems contain clichés and obvious sentiments, things he rails against, and his sonnets do not conform to the traditional sonnet form vis a vis rhyming and pentameter. But thanks for the referral. He’s a colorful guy and I’m always looking for fresh viewpoints.

  • Michael Shepherd (4/29/2005 6:19:00 AM) Post reply

    Thanks for the Dan Schneider link, Lamont. Provocative! Opinionated, witty, knowledgeable, and totally worth reading even to sharpen your arguments against. Read him on Bukowski, you ChuckBuks, and watch the steam come out of your ears!

  • Poetry Hound (4/28/2005 10:33:00 PM) Post reply

    Yes Lamont, a lot of confessional poetry is all emotion and no craft. Good point. But dismissing modern poetry as somehow being nothing but simplistic emotional piffle is a big mistake. You’re dismissing Pablo Neruda and Derek Walcott and Li-Young Lee and lots of other highly gifted poets. Perhaps it’s just that you haven’t been exposed to them. I don’t think complexity is a factor in making a poem good. Perhaps a better word is subtlety or even nuance. Poems are great if they speak on different levels regardless of whether they are complex or not. In the end, it’s a matter of taste. And I agree with Robert too - some folks are dismissive of contemporary art, modern dance, and jazz because these art forms do not stick to the traditional strictures. It’s too bad because these folks are robbing themselves of enjoying some great stuff.

  • Andy Konisberg (4/28/2005 6:55:00 PM) Post reply | Read 1 reply

    Beste Alpay, I have posted my interpretation of that specific Dickinson poem in the reply box of your question.

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    • Michael Shepherd (4/29/2005 5:38:00 AM) Post reply

      I'd suggest that the two 'thees' in the last stanza are the same persona? otherwise I'd agree entirely with your interpretation. To me the uncertainty is all in the last verse, where she is questionin ... more

  • Poetry Hound (4/28/2005 4:12:00 PM) Post reply

    Betse, I agree that Emily Dickinson can sometimes be difficult to comprehend. I suspected the poem was hers when I saw all the dashes. She has a propensity for them - they're supposed to represent pauses. The poem is saying that love is vast and unattainable and unknowable, but if you have someone with whom to climb it ('were there two instead of one') , then you can 'reach the sun.' I did a bit of searching and found that 'Chimborazo' is a peak of the Andes Mountains. Okay, so attaining love is like scaling an obscure mountain peak. 'Ducal' means 'like, as, or bearing the title of duke' (Oxford Dictionary) . But I don't know what she means by it - how do you scale a mountain in a duke-like manner? While drinking tea? While repressing the peasants? Now the last stanza is the most intriguing and difficult. She says very few people attain or 'behold' love, then she sort of belittles it by saying these people smile and prattle about and die. But she also seems to be saying that they find bliss, not an insignificant thing. Then it becomes extremely unclear, but I'll guess that what she's saying is that love would just be this odd intangible thing if wasn't for her lover ('without thee') who makes love feel like eternity. But that's just a guess.

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