Poetics and Poetry Discussion


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  • Rev. Dr. A. Jacob Hassler (12/27/2005 10:59:00 AM) Post reply

    re: Best Album of 2005. i know Andy Konisberg or Adam Reynolds addressed this a few weeks ago, but i held off replying so i could make a sound decision (ha ha, get it?) . released this past summer, my Album of the Year is:

    Sufjan Stevens - 'Illinois'

    it is a tender and sweet dedication to the Land of Lincoln. lyrical, poetic, melodic; an underrated triumph. it is the second chapter in Mr. Stevens' on-going travelogue to record an album for each state in the Union before he dies. if the other 48 albums will sound anything like this, i'd like to pre-order them now.

    Jake

    n.b. two free songs are available for download at amazon.com!

  • Michael Shepherd (12/27/2005 9:35:00 AM) Post reply

    Here's my non-expert view of the internet situation right now: all the servers ar overloaded this holiday season, so you may have to reconnect every minute or so.When you do this, you may most likely lose your PH login. So the only thing to do is to copy every post, and then try back-clicking right back to your login, login again, try posting again. Or sometimes, as your PC can get clogged with all this, just save everything, switch off the PC and start again... it seems to work. For a minute... Good luck. And please read my long post about 'the good' in poetry...

  • Mary Nagy (12/27/2005 8:27:00 AM) Post reply

    I just wanted to add.......Jefferson, your passion for poetry and your obvious respect for the artform is admirable. I think it's obvious that you view poetry on a very high level and are only trying to encourage others to keep it held at the same high standard. That is a great thing. I just wanted you to know.....I respect that very much. Your love and knowledge of poetry is very impressive. (seriously) :)

  • Daniel Tyler (12/27/2005 7:11:00 AM) Post reply

    That I mean not taht, sorry

  • Daniel Tyler (12/27/2005 7:10:00 AM) Post reply | Read 6 replies

    There has been some debate about young people on this site and as someone of that generation I think the problem is the aggressive and disrespectful tone of some posters. When someone young tries poetry they are far from perfect. I am far from perfect, I can greatly improve but giving unjustified and often unsupported criticsm on the reader page or the forum is very of-putting indeed. Now I am not advocating an Anything Goes type attitide becasue it is wrong and it doesn't help writers to get better. What I would prefer is what you liked about the poem and what you think should be done to improve in polite language. Anyone seeing the forums would be horrified at the way certain individuals put down others work- criticism is fine but it is only worth reading if it's conveyed in a friendly manner. I'm sure that isn't too difficult is it?

    The same goes to people of any age, who say merely write for amusement, as a hobby. One has to appreciate that they taken the time to compose it. Taht should be respected not jumped upon.

    Replies for this message:
    • Richard George (12/27/2005 2:09:00 PM) Post reply

      I certainly agree criticism of fledgeling poets should be constructive. I recall going to a poetry circle in Oxford as a student and receiving a very snotty response from an older poet - and I didn't ... more

    • Joseph Daly (12/27/2005 10:58:00 AM) Post reply | Read 1 reply

      Daniel, though I agree with you on the pointlessness of being rude about other people's work I think that negativity still has it's value. As wordsmiths we should be able to tell people in a diplomat ... more

    • Ernestine Northover (12/27/2005 9:22:00 AM) Post reply

      I'm with you all the way on this Daniel. We should be able to enjoy the variety that comes to us here on PH, and not condemn those who are trying to better their poetry, which I can say is 100 per cen ... more

    • Michael Shepherd (12/27/2005 8:07:00 AM) Post reply

      Daniel, well said. I hope you find my po ... more

    • Mary Nagy (12/27/2005 7:48:00 AM) Post reply

      Exactly! I think you speak for most peo ... more

    • Max Reif (12/27/2005 7:41:00 AM) Post reply

      Daniel, this is extremely well said. Tha ... more

  • Rookie - 0 Points Michael Shepherd (12/27/2005 6:23:00 AM) Post reply | Read 2 replies

    I’ve become interested in that little word ‘good’ that some here put in front of ‘poetry’. I think it’s worth considering beyond my own two cents’ worth.

    The gurus constantly tell us that there is no such thing as ‘good’ and ‘bad’ except in our own individual subjective mind at one particular moment, and that the terms have no absolute validity – they can only be related to a particular aim. Successful or unsuccessful? If it’s ‘great’ poetry but nobody reads it, is it ‘good’?

    On the other hand, Plato tells us that Truth, Goodness and Beauty are an absolute trinity-in-unity for the mind to appreciate the soul.

    Somewhere these two expressions must harmonise.

    It seems to me that there is a real clue in putting these together. There is an absolute ‘Good’ and there is a momentary – but absolutely vital – ‘Good’: a ‘good’ that is good for the development of a particular person, at a particular time.

    For instances: nursery rhymes and lullabies have a specific aim – to lull a child to a peaceful sleep, with rhythm, metre, and the familiarity of repetition. And sometimes, to bring laughter to lighten the spirits.

    And in places like India, epic poetry teaches – spirituality, morality, the ethos of a nation over thousands of years, in the Mahabharata; the power of love in the Ramayana. So a gentle acquaintance with the riches of poetry is a ‘good’ thing for children.

    Teaching 11-12 year olds mostly, I found that comic verse engages their attention –- poetry isn’t snob-food. Some like the music of poetry (yes, even ‘In Xanadu did Kubla Khan..’) because their prime interest is going to be music. Animal poetry when written from real love of all creatures, even with a touch of absurdity like the poem ‘Ducks’, is ‘good’ for them. And I found that D H Lawrence’s ‘Snake’ went down with considerable absorption, in particular – here is an adult reflecting at length in free verse, on a recognisable situation to children, so poetry is an adult activity they can share totally.

    And writing their own attempts at poetry is ‘good’ for them in adolescence, because it brings them closer to understanding poetry and to creativity itself and their own development as people (Aren’t we all just a little proud of our own first attempts?)

    Though we don’t necessarily want to read everybody’s first attempts on Poemhunter! But even what reads as ‘banal, trite, subjective’ here may still be a ‘good’ moment for the writer in their personal life.

    I won’t go on about this – my point is that ‘good’ is of the moment, is individual, and has both subjective and absolute aspects.

    And that discussion of ‘good’ (forget labelling the ‘bad’) poetry in a Forum is also ‘good’, because of this. Just don’t ever write off the
    ‘momentarily good’ as ‘for ever good’! Likewise the ‘bad’!

    And without getting personal, I think we could apply this to our prolix friends… aspects of their poetry which are ‘good’ in intention, ‘good’ in some ways for their personal mental and spiritual development, ‘bad’ in other ways connected with language and effect on their readers…

    Over to you, folks!

    Replies for this message:
    • Michael Shepherd (12/27/2005 8:16:00 AM) Post reply | Read 1 reply

      There are some interesting side-aspects of this. For instance, it is 'good' for you to write a poem which you see as 'bad' by your standards and sometimes that of others - a part of the development of ... more

    • Max Reif (12/27/2005 8:06:00 AM) Post reply | Read 1 reply

      Dear Michael, Thank you for your thoughtful little essay. I like very much the values you ascribe to Plato, similar to Keats 'Beauty is truth, truth beauty, that is all/you know and all you ever ... more

  • Rookie - 0 Points Poetry Snob (aka Jefferson Carter) (12/26/2005 5:26:00 PM) Post reply | Read 4 replies

    Lamont and Ernestine, I don't want to re-open the Great poetry is in the eye of the beholder and all opinions about art are equally valid Debate. I'd like to reiterate two points: 1}there's a manifest difference between really good art and really bad art and 2) the opinion of an illiterate teenager about a poem is NOT as valid as the opinion of any well-read practitioner of the form. As I e-mailed Sally, I'm not really bothered by her posting those poems even though four seemed an inordinate number AND someone actually praised the damn things! Isn't anyone concerned about young phcomrades being exposed to these trivial and incompetent poems and thinking, 'hey, I can do that! ' Yes, unfortunately for their future readers, they can. Yrs, Poetry Snob

    Replies for this message:
    • Ernestine Northover (12/27/2005 9:41:00 AM) Post reply

      As you put it JC someone actually praised them and that one was ME! Simply because they were fun, can't we have some fun on PH sometimes and not all this highbrow heavy stuff, which is fine, but get a ... more

    • Herbert Nehrlich1 (12/26/2005 8:16:00 PM) Post reply

      Jefferson, I was under the distinct impression that Sally (who is much lovelier than the posted poetry would suggest) posted these long-winded poems in order to crowd out the horrible stuff from Hul ... more

    • Mary Nagy (12/26/2005 7:18:00 PM) Post reply

      One thing to think about too............At the time of Sally's posts the forum was being flooded with garbage from mr. England so she couldn't have picked a better time to post actual poetry. Whether ... more

    • Joseph Daly (12/26/2005 6:28:00 PM) Post reply | Read 1 reply

      JC, there has been a lot worse on the fo ... more

  • Rookie - 0 Points Ian Blake (12/26/2005 3:09:00 PM) Post reply | Read 1 reply

    I don't know if this question belongs in this particular forum, but can anyone tell me if posting a poem here makes it ineligible for contests where the submissions must be 'original and not published elsewhere'?

    Replies for this message:
    • Rev. Dr. A. Jacob Hassler (12/27/2005 6:59:00 AM) Post reply

      not sure. i always remove submitted poems anyway, to avoid any such repercussions down the road. you can always repost them. Jake

  • Rookie - 0 Points Allan James Saywell (12/26/2005 2:56:00 PM) Post reply

    TITL
    E-'-A GENTLE THOUGHT ABOUT MY ENEMY'

    WHEN I WAKE OF A MORNING
    I USUALLY DO NOT THINK'T
    ABOUT VIOLENT THOUGHTS
    TIS GAINST MY CONSCIENCE
    I AM AFEARD IF I DO
    i will make a glutton of myself
    yes and my foe
    will bleed on both sides

  • Rookie - 0 Points Max Reif (12/26/2005 9:39:00 AM) Post reply

    Sunbeams flit and waver in the rifts,
    Vanish and reappear, linger and sleep,
    Conquer with radiance the obdurate angles,
    Filter between the naked rents and wind-bleached jags.

    Can you guess who wrote those lines? Helen Keller!
    We (re-) watched THE MIRACLE WORKER last night. My wife said everyone should see it every 20 years. Indeed, it contains the essence of such mysteries of Spirit and communication, that were one to spend one's life meditating deeply on the life and writings of Helen Keller, that time might be well spent.

    I just pasted a review of Ms. Keller's Whitmanesque book of poetry, from 1910, THE STONE WALL, from the NEW YORK TIMES, again on the 'Freeform Poetry Forum' page here at PH. THe reviewer marvels 1) that Helen Keller can write such detailed, seeminly visual imagery, and 2) that she demonstrates that beauty can and does come from somewhere beyond the senses.

    Elsewhere, Ms. Keller once remarked that beauty for her is 'the flow of curved and straight lines that is upon all things.' (I may have missed the quote slightly) .

    Her autobiography, THE STORY OF MY LIFE, has been placed online by the American Foundation for the Blind, at:
    www.afb.org/mylife/book.asp? ch=HK-toc

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