Poetics and Poetry Discussion


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  • Ben Cassel (11/24/2005 9:03:00 PM) Post reply | Read 1 reply

    New thread: Which is better, to rotate a few poems or keep adding new ones to the collection? I can see merit in both, particularly the opportunity to read a great many works by one author and to choose by relative coolness of the title. But I've decided to try the former and to keep 10 at a time posted until the vegetables tossed at them desiccate and then replace them.

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    • Michael Shepherd (11/25/2005 6:21:00 AM) Post reply

      Personally, I would agree that pruning, spring-cleaning, is well overdue in my case - those poems written out of reaction to some Forum spat especially, which look pointless. And we should think of th ... more

  • Joseph Daly (11/24/2005 6:23:00 PM) Post reply | Read 2 replies

    I thought I might post something of no consequence but I couldn't think of anything.

    Is that a sigh of relieve I hear?

    Hope you all had a Good Thanksgiving Day all you in the US.

    Love ya!

    Denis Joe

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    • Marcy Jarvis (11/25/2005 1:31:00 AM) Post reply | Read 3 replies

      I think that the flap that evolved over that Hitler poem that kid wrote might just incite him on to greater depths of creativity. It certainly created a storm, didn't it?

    • Mary Nagy (11/24/2005 8:02:00 PM) Post reply

      Well..........we got through it! Isn't that all we can really ask for Denis? ? ? I hope you had a great day too!

  • Herbert Nehrlich1 (11/24/2005 5:11:00 AM) Post reply | Read 1 reply

    I just posted a serious poem about our resident desert poet JC.
    Unfortunately, it was immediately shat upon by that low-life and unfortunately still resident Durden (whose real name I suspect to be Turden.
    Wouldn't it be nice if we could have our peace and keep it too?
    Best
    H

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  • Allan James Saywell (11/23/2005 5:20:00 PM) Post reply | Read 5 replies

    thank god thanksgiving is nearly over i am very thankful that we dont have it
    here in Australia, we should be thankful for small mercies

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    • Herbert Nehrlich1 (11/23/2005 11:24:00 PM) Post reply

      Where should I start? The worst thing he has done is the new workplace relation laws, it's stepping back 150 years. Bismarck is turning in his grave, disturbing the worms. Employers will negotiate in ... more

    • Poetry Hound (11/23/2005 6:34:00 PM) Post reply | Read 2 replies

      Pardon my ignorance, but what's the problem with Howard other than supporting the Iraq war?

    • Herbert Nehrlich1 (11/23/2005 6:05:00 PM) Post reply

      And I second Jerry's motion and add Fluoride Peter Beattie to the short list. Best H

    • Michael Shepherd (11/23/2005 5:42:00 PM) Post reply

      now you're talking turkey allan

    • Rookie - 1st Stage Jerry Hughes (11/23/2005 5:29:00 PM) Post reply

      Agree Allan, with one exception. It'll b ... more

  • Poetry Hound (11/23/2005 2:12:00 PM) Post reply | Read 4 replies

    I’d like to wish everyone here except Marcy Jarvis a wonderful Thanksgiving. It’s a time for appreciating our families and friends, and so I hope all of you except Marcy Jarvis experience the special warmth of those you are close to and care about. And a joyous holiday season to all of you except Marcy Jarvis.

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  • Mary Nagy (11/23/2005 12:50:00 PM) Post reply | Read 5 replies

    I JUST WANTED TO SAY I HOPE ALL OF YOU HAVE A GREAT THANKSGIVING TOMORROW! (Well, those that are celebrating it) And to all those who arn't, I hope you have a great day too! I will be watching everything and everyone for inspiration to bring back here. :) Sincerely, Mary

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  • Lori Boulard (11/23/2005 8:54:00 AM) Post reply | Read 3 replies

    Good morning all, and greetings from my new day job. I'm going through withdrawals already by not being able to 'hang' here as much, but I'll make up for it through some new poem fodder, I'm sure. Repression does wonders for creativity!

    Book update: I JUST ORDERED MY TEST COPY FROM LULU! ! We're in the home stretch, and if all works well it should be available by first week of December for mass orders. I was SO excited when I saw 'your book has been successfully published', with cover art and everything! Thanks to everyone involved, I've had a great time. Now maybe I'll have a chance to READ some of you I've been dying to check out! ! Happy Thanksgiving, and I'll let you all know how it looks.

    A bientot (later, Dudes) , Lori

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    • Rookie - 1st Stage Mary Nagy (11/23/2005 2:22:00 PM) Post reply

      I CAN'T WAIT LORI! ! !

    • Rookie - 1st Stage Michael Shepherd (11/23/2005 1:52:00 PM) Post reply

      and thanksgiving to you, Lori, for all your work for us.

    • Rookie - 1st Stage Ernestine Northover (11/23/2005 11:30:00 AM) Post reply

      You're a swell gal, Lori, and you deserve a medal for all your work on this book for us. Once it's on sale, I hope we can have a price for us in the UK plus p&p. That would be great. Many, many thanks ... more

  • Joseph Daly (11/23/2005 8:53:00 AM) Post reply

    Could I just ask that anyone interested in censorship, especially in the British education system go to http: //www.spiked-online.com/Articles/0000000CAE69.htm for an excellent article on how we teach kids to not use their imagination

  • Joseph Daly (11/23/2005 7:42:00 AM) Post reply

    Aesthetics is the philosophy of beauty and art.

    Thinkers and sages have pondered beauty and art all over the world for millenia, but the subject was formally distinguished as an independent philosophical discipline in the 18th Century by German philosophers. Before this period authors viewed the study as inseparable from other main topics, such as ethics in the Western tradition and religion in the Eastern.
    The word in English was not widely used until the beginning of the 19th Century. Its use comes from the German ästhetisch or French esthétique, (both from the Greek a? s? ? t? ? ? meaning a perceiver or sensitive) and mainly facilitated translations of Immanuel Kant. It meant “the science which treats of the conditions of sensuous perception”. Elsewhere the philosopher Alexander Gottlieb Baumgarten had taken it in German to mean “criticism of taste”. Despite Kant’s efforts to correct Baumgarten, this definition survived and Baumgarten is credited with inventing the modern use of the term. Thus, aesthetics is also an important part of critical theory.

    The meaning of aesthetic as an adjective may be illuminated by comparing it to anaesthetic, which is by construction an antonym. If something is anaesthetic, it tends to dull the senses or cause sleepiness. In contrast aesthetic may be thought of as anything that tends to stimulate or enliven the senses.

    It is also a popularly used noun meaning “that which appeals to the senses”. In this sense, for example, the aesthetics of mathematics would refer to those things in mathematics which appeal to the senses, and not necessarily a body of philosophical principles on the subject.


    Encompassing poetry, short stories, novels and non-fiction, authors use a variety of techniques to appeal to our aesthetic values. Depending on the type of writing an author may employ rhythm, illustrations, structure, time shifting, juxtaposition, dualism, imagery, fantasy, suspense, analysis, humor/cynicism, and thinking aloud.

    In literary aesthetics, the study of affect creates an awareness of the deep structures of reading and receiving literary works. Affect refers to the emotional sense created in the reader or receiver of a literary work. These affects may be broadly grouped by their mode of writing, and relationship the reader assumes with time. Catharsis is the affect of dramatic completion of action in time. Kairosis is the affect of novels whose characters become integrated in time. Kenosis is the affect of lyric poetry which creates a sense of emptiness and timelessness.

    (From Wikipedia)

    A combination of a few events plus the criticism I received for my piece on our comments, made me think about aesthetics. In one sense I feel that there is a lot in art that has an immediate, sometimes inexplicable, attraction for us as individuals. Mary Nagy’s comments, amongst others, on pieces, gave me pause for thought.

    A piece written by Poetry Hound on the Forum, a while back, on the poem/song ‘Strange Fruit’ also had me thinking about what it is that attracts us to certain pieces. It doesn’t necessarily mean that we find beauty in a piece, it may touch us because it is funny, angry, sad, whatever. But it appeals to us in a subjective manner and elicits a response. One piece that spring to my mind is the text to Arnold Shoenbergs ‘A Survivor from Warsaw’ based on accounts that he elicited from Jewish refugees whilst living in the US. Although one could class this as prose its immediate appeal to me is one of anger, yet I am not Jewish, have never experienced the barbarity of the Holocaust, so there is no empathy. Yet this piece (especially with the music he composed to it - but even the stark words) has a powerful effect on me. This is the text with English translations:

    A SURVIVOR FROM WARSAW (1947)

    I cannot remember everything. I must have been unconscious most of the time. I remember only the grandiose moment when they all started to sing, as if prearranged, the old prayer they had neglected for so many years-the forgotten creed!

    But I have no recollection how I got underground to live in the sewers of Warsaw for so long a time.

    The day began as usual: reveille when it was still dark. Get out! Whether you slept or whether worries kept you awake the whole night. You had been separated from your children, from your wife, from your parents, you don’t know what happened to them....How could you sleep?

    The trumpets again. “Get out! The sergeant will be furious! ” They came out; some very slow: the old ones, the sick ones, some with nervous agility. They fear the sergeant. They hurry as much as they can. In vain! Much too much noise, much too much commotion! And not fast enough!

    The Feldwebel shouts:
    “Achtung! Stilljestanden! Na wird’s mal? Oder soll ich mit dem Jewehrkolben nachhelfen? Na jutt; when ihr’s durchaus haben wollt! ”
    [Attention! Stand still! Or should I help you with the butt of my gun? Well, if that’s how you want it! ]

    The sergeant and his subordinates hit everybody: young or old, quiet or nervous, guilty or innocent....It was painful to hear them groaning and moaning. I heard it though I had been hit very hard, so hard that I could not help falling down. We all on the ground who could not stand up were then beaten over the head.

    I must have been unconscious. The next thing I knew was a soldier saying, “They are all dead.” Whereupon the sergeant ordered to do away with us. There I lay aside, half-conscious. It had become very still-fear and pain.

    Then I heard the sergeant shouting:
    “Abzählen! ”

    [Count off! ]

    They started slowly, and irregularly: one, two, three, four- “Achtung! ” The sergeant shouted again:
    “Rascher! Nochmal von vorn anfangen! In einer Minute will ich wissen wieviele ich zur Gaskammer abliefere! Abzählen! ”

    [Faster! Once more from the beginning! In a minute I want to know how many I’m going to deliver to the gas chamber! Count off! ]

    They began again, first slowly: one, two, three, four-became faster and faster; so fast that it finally sounded like a stampede of wild horses, and all of a sudden, in the middle of it, they began singing the Shema Yisroel!

    Shema Yisroel Adonoy eloheynu, Adonoy ehod...

    [Hear, Israel: the Lord our God is one Lord, and you should love the Lord, your God, with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words, which I command you today, shall be in all your heart; and you shall teach them diligently to your children and talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk along your way, when you lie down and when you rise.]

    Yet there is another piece which I find, illustrates the beauty that can exists. I was reminded of it whilst I had the Beatles’ ‘Abbey Road’ playing. Never noted for crediting others they lifted a lot of the words to ‘Golden Slumber’ from a poem by the Jacobean playwright Thomas Dekker. It was a piece I came across by accident in my youth and I still love it. Dekker is a bit obscure and his plays (the few that I have come across) leave a lot to be desired. But this piece, entitled ‘Golden Slumbers kiss your eyes’, I feel is so beautiful. I don’t know whether it is addressed to his wife, his mistress, a prostitute or even his children, it has such a lovely feel to it. I hope you agree.

    Golden slumbers kiss your eyes,
    Smiles awake you when you rise;
    Sleep, pretty wantons, do not cry,
    And I will sing a lullaby,
    Rock them, rock them, lullaby.
    Care is heavy, therefore sleep you,
    You are care, and care must keep you;
    Sleep, pretty wantons, do not cry,
    And I will sing a lullaby,
    Rock them, rock them, lullaby

  • Michael Shepherd (11/23/2005 4:50:00 AM) Post reply | Read 1 reply

    This discussion suggested to me to compare the teaching of writing with that of the visual arts. Britain used to be uniquely endowed with art schools - something like 80 compared with only a few in much larger European countries. So the syllabus was both well established and individually applied. The students would be taught all the basic skills in their first year or half-year and virtually nothing but; then made to copy worthwhile examples to apply these basic skills (out of fashion now though): introduced to the best of the 'old' and have it explained to them why those artists worked as they did in the context of their times; then as they developed, were allowed to find their own path. And on the side, they had a vigorous programme (in the better schools) of lectures from famous artists, writers on the contemporary scene, and authorities on all the current interests of the world of thought.
    In practice, their final work tended to be, as art became more generally 'fashionable', either a copy of their contemporary heroes - which tended to be disastrous in appearance, though it may have taught them something; copies of past styles -just very occasionally they brought new life to these styles and it was terrific; and those who produced original work, having absorbed all this input and found something which was of its time, relevant, new, fresh and interesting. In the 1960s particularly, this training produced instead, a number of rock and pop musicians!
    I guess that would make a good basis for a school or department of writing too? Does it happen?

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    • Rookie - 1st Stage Poetry Hound (11/23/2005 8:35:00 AM) Post reply | Read 1 reply

      My sense is that art schools still operate pretty much the same way - focusing on skills initially and then assigning students to copy various styles from the past and present. I still frequently see ... more

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