Treasure Island

Poetics and Poetry Discussion


Is there a book you just read, a piece of poetry news or a reading you just heard that you want to talk about? Here's the place to start a conversation.
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  • Dan Reynolds (8/22/2014 7:13:00 AM) Post reply Stage

    I just found out that after all the years I've been posting and commenting here, I am still classed as a rookie. (According to the new Treasure Island gimmick)

  • Mohammad Skati (8/22/2014 3:59:00 AM) Post reply Stage

    I suggest poets here to read all kinds of poetry good or bad just to distinguish between what is good and what is bad.

  • Mike Acker (8/22/2014 12:15:00 AM) Post reply | Read 2 replies Stage

    John, I like the poem, and one must keep in mind that it is a translation.
    What Palmer means is that it is not up to his metaphorical standards. Here are some examples of Palmer's superior level(or standards, almost genius) :

    " Drive his tongue from city to city" , or
    " Lay like roadkill at the entrance of ears" , or even
    " in the car Of your thoughts" ....

    Believe it or not, John, these are excerpts from a poem he is so ashamed of he has deleted it.
    So take whatever Palmer says with a pound of salt. He is nothing but a pompous a$$.

    Replies for this message:
    • Frank Ovid (8/22/2014 7:38:00 AM) Post reply Stage

      @Palmer, all true Lamont. You see, when you're an established poet, someone who's demonstrated time and time again that they can write good poetry, you're allowed to take some chances and not have to ... more

    • Lamont Palmer (8/22/2014 12:44:00 AM) Post reply Stage

      Frank Ovid (8/6/2014 8: 50: 00 PM) Post reply | Read 4 replies I kind of like that poem. He tries some stuff that's really out there, but at least it's not boring. A for effort. Thanks for posting ... more

  • Gulsher John (8/21/2014 10:50:00 AM) Post reply | Read 3 replies Stage

    Walid Khazindar was born in 1950 in Gaza City. He is considered one of the best Palestinian poets; his poetry has been said to be " characterized by metaphoric originality and a novel thematic approach unprecedented in Arabic poetry." He was awarded the first Palestine Prize for Poetry in 1997. He lives in Tunis.

    Distant light
    by Walid Khazindar
    loose translation by Michael R. Burch

    Bitterly cold,
    winter clings to the naked trees.
    If only you would free
    the bright sparrows
    from the tips of your fingers
    and release a smile—that shy, tentative smile—
    from the imprisoned anguish I see.
    Sing! Can we not sing
    as if we were warm, hand-in-hand,
    shielded by shade from a glaring sun?
    Can you not always remain this way,
    stoking the fire, more beautiful than necessary, and silent?
    Darkness increases; we must remain vigilant
    and this distant light is our only consolation—
    this imperiled flame, which from the beginning
    has been flickering,
    in danger of going out.
    Come to me, closer and closer.
    I don't want to be able to tell my hand from yours.
    And let's stay awake, lest the snow smother us.

    Replies for this message:
    • Lamont Palmer (8/21/2014 11:20:00 PM) Post reply Stage

      Mike, we're really trying to have some intelligent and honest exchanges here. Why don't you take your childish namecalling and personal attacks somewhere else. -LP

    • Mike Acker (8/21/2014 10:37:00 PM) Post reply Stage

      John, I like the poem, and one must keep in mind that it is a translation. What Palmer means is that it is not up to his metaphorical standards. Here are some examples of Palmer's superior level(or ... more

    • Lamont Palmer (8/21/2014 4:32:00 PM) Post reply | Read 1 reply Stage

      Hate to be a party pooper, but there's little that is 'metaphorically original' about this poem. Perhaps I'll look at some other work of his. -LP

  • Mike Acker (8/21/2014 2:00:00 AM) Post reply | Read 1 reply Stage

    Sunday Morning(revised) as reply....

    Replies for this message:
    • Mike Acker (8/21/2014 3:03:00 AM) Post reply | Read 1 reply Stage

      Sunday Morning Sunday morning, a time once reserved for choosing paths, reading solemn omens, and misinterpreting ancient thought, now just another morning for contemplating endless space. ... more

  • Professor Plum (8/20/2014 9:08:00 PM) Post reply Stage

    Pickup Bar

    her fists were cumulus clouds
    attached to slender wrists and

    one grabbed my crotch I
    blinked into ceiling fan eyes

    penny for your thoughts make
    that two bartender music man

    agitating it like a Maytag washing
    machine under there where they

    stick the gum I thought of Norman
    Bates while Lynyrd Skynyrd did

    pushups around my head and
    she even did the air guitar move

    afterward as sweat bubbled
    out onto my clammy forehead

  • Jefferson Carter (8/20/2014 2:04:00 PM) Post reply | Read 5 replies Stage

    Abekah, you asked for a critique, so here goes: the poem below is pretty awful. The early lines are vague and pompous statements about big ideas, and the remainder of the poem is shot through with usage errors and sentimentality. I'll give you my usual Dr. Carter prescription for improving your verse: 1) as an ESL poet, write your poems in your first language. Your grasp of English isn't strong enough to allow you to write decent poetry. If you insist on posting poems in English, find a good EFL poet and let him/her translate from your native language work. 2) start reading good contemporary poets in English. That might help. If reading doesn't improve your poems, it will at least keep you too busy to create more bad poems.




    Abekah Emmanuel



    All But Dreams

    The meaning of life always intrigues me,
    Each and everyday, I wonder how
    Life can be such a difficult thing
    To understand to the brim.
    Since the birth of this noble planet earth,
    Many wise men have tried to explain it,
    Stretching the last nerves of their brains
    Many great musicians have sung about it,
    Employing the sweetest melodies
    Many poets have written about it,
    Using the clearest diction in their language,
    But it seems, and I believe, to me,
    The meaning of life isn't clear enough,
    Why do the innocent continues to suffer?
    Why do the pauper still goes to bed
    when his intestines are crying for bread
    While abundant are lying in other homes uncared?
    Why do the orphan still feels he is alone
    While the earth is pregnant with flesh and bones?
    Oh who will tell me?
    What in reality life means,
    For maybe all that I have seen,
    Read or heard since that day I came,
    Are nothing but mere dreams and illusions.

    Replies for this message:
    • Gulsher John (8/22/2014 4:44:00 AM) Post reply Stage

      Heaven sake PHerrrss

    • Frank Ovid (8/21/2014 4:34:00 PM) Post reply Stage

      " ...Stretching the last nerves of their brain...great musicians have sung about it..." Shakespearean. Goes straight to the heart of my ears (to quote a very good poet in his own right) .

    • Frank Ovid (8/21/2014 9:19:00 AM) Post reply | Read 4 replies Stage

      " when his intestines are crying for bread" is good too. A little wacky, but fairly poetic.

    • Lamont Palmer (8/21/2014 7:45:00 AM) Post reply Stage

      I agree on that line. The problem is, ba ... more

    • Frank Ovid (8/20/2014 3:09:00 PM) Post reply Stage

      " ...the earth is pregnant with fle ... more

  • Abekah Emmanuel (8/20/2014 5:52:00 AM) Post reply | Read 1 reply Stage

    Dear fellow hunters,
    I am back again with a very stunning theme...... Check out my new poem entitled....ALL BUT DREAMS......Please do read it and comment on it.(Dont forget to rate it) I would equally appreciate a more personal criticism from any reader. Best wishes.......................

    Replies for this message:
    • Peter Stavropoulos (8/21/2014 4:25:00 PM) Post reply Stage

      Hi Abekah, you've asked some profound questions in your poem, and I enjoyed having them brought to the fore again. Some standard responses/answers to these questions are that death (an end) gives lif ... more

  • Nikka Mee Farillon (8/20/2014 4:31:00 AM) Post reply | Read 3 replies Stage

    The poem of robert frost entitled " the road not taken" inspires me to make up good decisions and choices everyday of my life. So nice. I would appreciate if somebody would love this, too..


    The Road Not Taken

    Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
    And sorry I could not travel both
    And be one traveler, long I stood
    And looked down one as far as I could
    To where it bent in the undergrowth;

    Then took the other, as just as fair,
    And having perhaps the better claim
    Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
    Though as for that the passing there
    Had worn them really about the same,

    And both that morning equally lay
    In leaves no step had trodden black.
    Oh, I kept the first for another day!
    Yet knowing how way leads on to way
    I doubted if I should ever come back.

    I shall be telling this with a sigh
    Somewhere ages and ages hence:
    Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
    I took the one less traveled by,
    And that has made all the difference.

    Replies for this message:
    • Professor Plum (8/20/2014 9:36:00 PM) Post reply Stage

      The third stanza is classic. That " trodden black" is the kicker. The whole thing is so lazy (in a good way) and unassuming. Understated. Not showing off.

    • Peter Stavropoulos (8/20/2014 6:40:00 PM) Post reply Stage

      Jefferson's comment has made me look at this poem more closely. I, too, had thought like " the rah rah high school teachers" . But I disagree with Jefferson that this poem is about choices a ... more

    • Jefferson Carter (8/20/2014 10:29:00 AM) Post reply Stage

      The poem has often been misinterpreted (mostly by rah-rah high school teachers) as saying don't be a conformist. What it's really implying (see lines below) is that all choices lead to unseen but i ... more

  • Adam M. Snow (8/19/2014 10:29:00 PM) Post reply | Read 1 reply Stage

    So I refuse to change my style to modern, so sue me.. I prefer the classic styles, that's where I'm more comfortable at and there's nothing wrong with that.

    Replies for this message:
    • Jefferson Carter (8/20/2014 10:44:00 AM) Post reply Stage

      Adam, if you'd ever read anything ABOUT poetry, you'd realize what a silly statement this is. There is no " classic" style; there is pre-1960s formal poetry, which can only sound anachronis ... more

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