Freeform Workshop

Workshop for poetry written in free forms.
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Raynette Eitel Female, 78, United States (5/28/2005 6:05:00 PM)

I believe the best poets are those who have studied their craft well enough to master every type of poetry. The poets who have really made their mark on the world can write a sonnet just as quickly as freeverse. They decide which sort of poem best fits what they want to say. It is not enough to just feel deeply about something. Look at the many poets on this website who obviously feel deeply but have not mastered language enough to say what they feel. There are too many who decide not to be careful with language, spelling, grammar; yet all of these are tools a poet must master before the poem can be done. Imagine an artist who decides not to learn how to manage a paintbrush or mix colors! Poetry is an art form and if we are true poets, we will search out ways to master it. I agree that more people need to read as many poets as possible...and not just on this website. Raw emotion is not enough for a poem; neither is a careful, detailed description. Look for metaphors, similes, unusual, haunting words that make what you want to say sound different. And never once imagine that poems that have meter and rhyme are the lazy way out. Only the poor ones...but to find just the right word...and just the right rhyme...Oh, there's the rub!


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  • Rookie Autumn Jones (1/4/2009 4:50:00 PM) Post reply
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    I don't think a poem is ever done. What about some one who truly loves to write and is enjoyed by the people around them? Does it really matter if they are grammatically correct or whether they successfully express what they think and feel?

  • Rookie Aldo Kraas (2/10/2007 9:24:00 PM) Post reply

    This is not a poem

  • Rookie Joseph Daly (11/10/2005 8:53:00 PM) Post reply

    I couldn't agree with you more Raynette. Your criticism of some of the works on this site is spot on. What I do find irritatating are some of the comment that are left about poems. There seems to be a sort of approach of empathy as if the reader feels that the writer had produced the work for them alone.

    I always wish that I had gone on to study English literature but (get ready for the violins) I don't come from a background in which I could have afforded what would have been considered a luxury. Therefor I am self taught. I love poetry I see that engagement in it, either as a reader or a writer, is one of the great intellectual stimulants along with composed music (of which the US has made some of the greatest contributions with such composers as Charles Ives, Walter Piston and, the greatest living composer, Elliot Carter - I don't even know if these composers mean anything to you.) There is a very strong connection between the art of poetry and the art of compositional music.

    For me, art is a dialogue; between the artist and the audience. Within that relationship there should be an understanding of the rules because it is a form of language. What makes it different is that the audience is forced to think; they should forced to work in order to appreciate the work of art. The intent of the artist's message is irrelevant once that work has entered the public domain.

    For example, I despise the obvious intent of Sylvia Plath's 'Daddy'. What she conveyed was, for me totally repugnant and egotistical in the extreme. However it is still a great work because she has studied her craft (she was also far more gifted than her husband, I feel) and could express her view (however distasteful) as a real master.

    I think that in these days of relativism life has been devalued. Things are not appreciated through understanding but only as entertainment; even voyerism. Some of my friends see me as elitist because I will read Conrad, T.S. Elliot; because I listen to Shostakovich and will sit through a five hour long Wagner opera, only to be disappointed that it wasn't longer. Yet I worked to appreciate these things and it has not been easy, but it has certainly been worth it - it has certainly enriched my life.

    And to the charge of elitism: I proudly plead guilty!

    Thank you for your piece it should be essential reading on curriculi of all classes that teach English.

    With the greatest respect

    Denis Joe

  • Rookie Willem VanVoorthuysen (11/7/2005 4:30:00 PM) Post reply

    Bravo! Raynette. We're mostly on the same wavelength, I believe. English being my second language, I had to put in an awful lot of study and work before taking the courage to start writing poetry - as well as short stories and essays - in American English, and post them on the internet. Although I had been writing poetry occasionally since I was a teenager, I did not really feel an urge to do it more frequently until I got married to the sweetest woman on earth, and even more so after she passed away after 62 years of shared, intense happiness. I can now concentrate on analyzing the reasons and resources for my writing. Reasons? Undying love, grief, loneliness, remorse, and more. Resources? Personal vocabulary, grammar, spelling, style, Webster's, Roget's, and poetry by other poets, not necessarily the 'classical' ones. To my pleasant surprise, I found that most of my poems were well accepted by American-born poets with whom I exchanged poetry. Why do I prefer rhymeless poetry over the kind that - in my opinion - often limits the choice of most precise words or phrases in favor of nicely rhyming but less descriptive ones. Or, even worse, would upset desirable metric undulations. When read aloud, a good poem should sound like a good sermon or speech, which should not need any rhyme to impress the audience. Rhyme can serve a useful purpose in children's songs, marching songs, and the like, as an aid in memorizing the lyrics. I even try to avoid unintended rhyme in my poems. Well, thank you for listening to me, Raynette.
    Greetings and blessings,

  • Rookie Velmar Pewee Hale Johnson (7/17/2005 11:36:00 PM) Post reply

    Not necessarily so. Though I do have a Freelance Writer's Degree, I have written poetry since I was a child. I start out by writing a draft of my poem several times till it sounds right, but I don't scrutinize over whether I have a noun, of verb in the right place. Punctuation is important, but if you have to look at poetry through a microscope checking every detail, then it losses the fun of the creation. It is good to have a program like Lotus Smart Suite, which has not only a spell check, but a grammar check, word count, and thesaurus.

  • Rookie David Zvekic (6/13/2005 3:35:00 PM) Post reply

    That post should be nailed on the door of every 'poet' who thinks that
    merely writing something down automatically makes it poetry.

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