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Poetics and Poetry Discussion

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  • Robert Rorabeck (7/18/2005 12:41:00 AM) Post reply | Read 4 replies

    For some reason Poetry Hunter wont recognize any of my poems plus it deleted all my poems from my homepage, yet still recognizes their titles.... very strange- Has anyone checked out Casey Rock's poetry yet? This poet is very, very good.

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  • Max Reif (7/17/2005 1:59:00 PM) Post reply

    I often get a 'hit' while reading someone else's poem, or simply participating in or observing some activity. It's a fresh 'gestalt'. If I'm not home, I write a few lines on a scrap of paper and save it. When there's time, I try to fill it in to express the fullness of what I felt or 'saw', in language that is poetic. Often, that process takes me places I didn't originally envision.

    When I lived near a little forest in New Jersey, I used to try to describe the creative process this way: I go out into the forest, and in it I come to a red brick wall. The circular wall encloses a sacred area, and there's no way in. I walk along the wall, along and along it. Then 'something' happens, and I'm inside!

  • Poetry Hound (7/17/2005 12:16:00 PM) Post reply | Read 2 replies

    Shep, the other day you said you were once told that there's only one question a critic should attempt to answer and that is, 'Does this achieve what it set out to do? ' I've been thinking about that and in discussions I've had (or overheard) with novelist friends and acquaintances over the years, they always talk about how they don't really know where their story will go when they start writing. They might start out with some inspiration or an idea but they're not really thinking about what they're trying to 'achieve.' Maybe it's different with poets since you can more easily think out a poem in advance. I'm curious, so this is a question for anyone who'd like to answer it. What is the mental process you go through when you write a poem? Is most of the theme and direction thought out before you start writing and do you have a pretty firm idea of what it is you're trying to 'achieve? ' Or do you just start out with a snippet and see where it leads?

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    • t. h. ashbury (7/17/2005 8:58:00 PM) Post reply

      i know this is dreadful, forgive me, but the answer for me, is, it depends...


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  • Lamont Palmer (7/17/2005 9:45:00 AM) Post reply | Read 1 reply

    I'm curious about Andrew Motion. I can't seem to find any poems of his online.

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    • David Nelson Bradsher (7/17/2005 12:29:00 PM) Post reply

      They're hard to find, Lamont. I googled him, but put in 'Spring Wedding', 'Imagine This', 'Veteran', 'Regime Change', 'Diving', and you'll get a few samples. Oh, and 'Causa Belli', too. I personall ... more

  • Gol Mcadam (7/17/2005 8:34:00 AM) Post reply

    Has anyone read Michael Symmons Roberts collection 'Corpus' (Cape,2004) ? If so, could you be kind enough to let me know what you thought of it. I am having some problems. Thank you.

  • Ron Price (7/17/2005 4:01:00 AM) Post reply

    Some authors I read 'recently' and their relevance to my poetry...Ron Price, Tasmania.

    AMOR FATI: IN PART

    I often think that my poetry is not just a reflection of the world around me, but that it constitutes that world.* Put another way, my mind forms and reforms the world around me. This forming of my world is my way of trying to find and constitute its meaning. Language becomes, in this process, a medium through which I exist, the core of my tradition, my access tool to meaning by inspecting events, arranging patterns. It also becomes the critical means by which I narrow the gap between knowledge and action. With Max Weber, I see the ‘meaning relation between words’ as ‘the outcome of genuinely creative activities of individuals in changing historical circumstances.’2 Meaning emerges from these relations. With Rene Descartes, too, my meaning, my unity, is ‘my process of shaping this welter of material into a consistent pattern of feelings.3 -Ron Price with thanks to *Rollo May, The Courage to Create, W.W. Norton and Co., NY,1975, p.139; Max Weber in The Weberian Project and R. Descartes in Rollo May, op.cit., p.140.


    In this little blink,
    this twinkling of an eye,
    it’s hard to know
    what we really think,
    what real power, you or I.

    Will is that active force1
    that forges all our choices,
    by which we invent ourselves,
    define our poetic selves
    and find our special voices.

    Sometimes one senses:
    ‘this is right’;
    ‘this was meant-to-be’,
    as if part of one great
    force: I can say for this
    part ‘I love my fate’-
    amor fati.2

    Ron Price
    4 January 1999

    1 ‘Abdu’l-Baha, Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Baha, USA,1978, p.198.
    2 Nietzsche’s famous phrase ‘love of one’s fate’.

  • allan james saywell (7/16/2005 5:31:00 PM) Post reply | Read 2 replies

    people who have thirty poems seem to hate the people with 600 poems do any of you and there are not many, who know how hard it is to write 1000 poems and remain original let me know your thoughts on this

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    • Ron Price (7/23/2005 11:13:00 AM) Post reply

      Nigel As a person who has written 6000 poems I don't think the question or the issue of hating those who write more even comes into it. Emerson used to worry about losing his creative faculty. Twen ... more

    • Herbert Nehrlich1 (7/17/2005 2:58:00 AM) Post reply

      I don't follow your logic here. Where are all your poems? I am getiing to the point I am writing a poem and find that I have written it already 6 months ago...... How Nikhil keeps track is beyond m ... more

  • Max Reif (7/16/2005 5:19:00 PM) Post reply

    On (I guess you could call it) Compassionate Critism:

    I'm having a correspondence with a poet (half way 'round the world from me, which I feel is cool!) about a poem she wrote. I appreciated the poem, except for lines in several places. Reading them I 'went blank'. I asked her what she was trying to say. She replied with clear paraphrases. Then I replied in an attempt to show the poet that she wasn't saying what she said she was trying to say. It wasn't just a case of 'poetic ambiguity', but of the poet not communicating clearly.

    I don't know whether the poet will 'see' what I said. Often our egos prevent us from taking in truly constructive criticism. I said what I had to say as kindly as possible, giving the poet the choice whether to read on to an appendix-my specific suggestions for bringing lines into congruence with her intention.

    A paragraph or so of my letter might be relevant in this discussion:

    'Now I understand what you are trying to say. I think some very small imprecisions in the language used, made the lines so ambiguous for me I couldn't follow them.'

    'I'll try to explain below. Please know I'm NOT a grammarian, and I don't see myself as a 'poetry snob' like some people on this site (one fellow uses 'POETRY SNOB' as his name here!) But the grammar of a sentence HAS to flow clearly if the poet wants the reader to get what the poet wishes to say. And the poet surely does, or why go to the trouble to write and post the poem? '

    'Ambiguity has its place in poetry, but it has to be CONSCIOUS ambiguity that the poet intends for artistic purposes.'

  • Michael Shepherd (7/16/2005 4:43:00 PM) Post reply

    Good point, Max. Post a new one like this, I say, if it takes the discussion on. Then it stays in sequence. If it's just a hissy fit and mutual wrist-slapping, keep it to those smaller-font replies, or don't bother at all!

  • Max Reif (7/16/2005 4:35:00 PM) Post reply

    QUESTION (point of information) : Do most people READ the 'replies' to posts. Or, in order to fully take part in the discussion, does one have to format a post as a new message?

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