Poetics and Poetry Discussion


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  • Rookie Michael Shepherd (9/8/2005 5:53:00 PM) Post reply | Read 2 replies
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    That raises an interesting sidelight - where does a poem exist? Is it possible that those poets who read their own poetry so 'arms-length' and boringly are those who believe it really exists as 'literature' on the page, whereas those who read it wonderfully (Gwendolyn Brooks} see it as something living? Her reading of her own last words of lines which may look like slightly over-styled enjambment on the page - when she reads them herself it's like Ella Fitzgerald about to take off... and when she reads the word 'jaaazzz' it's like a one-word performance...so for her, the poem's a living thing. Whether you can really make a bad poem into a 'good' poem I doubt - but perhaps you can make it a more worthwhile experience?

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    • Rookie t. h. ashbury (9/8/2005 7:53:00 PM) Post reply

      if it isn't entirely obvious in my work and i suspect it is, i read my work, which may account (i've always hoped not) for a discrepancy between the page and the performance... i read all poetry out ... more

    • Rookie Raynette Eitel (9/8/2005 6:13:00 PM) Post reply | Read 2 replies

      Your discussion made me remember a poet in a workshop I attended for years, Elizabeth Shafer. She wrote mighty poems but read them in a monotone...absolutely dreadful. When I asked her why she did t ... more

  • Rookie Poetry Snob (aka Jefferson Carter) (9/8/2005 5:22:00 PM) Post reply | Read 2 replies

    Hunters & Peckers, I agree with Michael's ideas about the need to read a poem aloud to get its full effect. Of course, a bad reader can ruin a good poem and a good reader can trick us into liking a bad poem; I've heard Ashbery read and did not enjoy the experience or the poems. They were boring because he read in such a weak, unexpressive way. When I read his work to myself, I love it. The Cohen poem (it's meant to be a poem, right, not a song?) is pretty clunky. The great image at the end almost makes up for all that flabby wordiness in the rest of the poem. IMSelfimportantO. JC

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    • Rookie t. h. ashbury (9/8/2005 5:44:00 PM) Post reply | Read 1 reply

      the song reference is interesting, since we are talking about cohen, are we sure? the reason i ask is i remember struggling mightily to do a prosodic analysis of his work (this was a long time ago) ... more

    • Rookie Cheri Leigh (9/8/2005 5:36:00 PM) Post reply

      Very true. I remember the first time I really read Shakespeare, and then speaking it aloud. The effect is entirely different and far more profound, when read well.

  • Rookie Michael Shepherd (9/8/2005 1:37:00 PM) Post reply | Read 2 replies

    Reading the Cohen poem, it occurs to me that we and most others may have been looking for the wrong context in which to judge the 'poetry (or poeticness) of poetry'. Read by eye on the page, it doesn't seem far off straight 'prose', except for the lineation; certainly unpretentious, almost banal in its diction.

    But rather than argue on lines of poem ] prose ] novel via eye to ear: if we take poetry as an oral/aural art, then isn't the right line, poem ] script ] drama?

    Although I might call Cohen's as-print diction 'prosy', I would love to read the Cohen poem to an audience. I would treat it as a script, and find all sorts of pauses, speed variations, emphases, all the devices of oratory, to 'put it across'. With luck, it would then never quite return to the printed page for that audience. ('We - cool' read by the author on poets.org is never quite the same on the page again!)

    Because poetry has been evaluated over the centuries by 'men of letters' and 'literature teachers' who have in mind the novel as the great art form, and even judgments of 'prosody' take into account the music rather than the total theatre or drama of a poem, I think it's possible that we (and that certainly includes me) have been complicit to making poetry a matter of dry judgments which a practising actor, director or playwright would never bring down on a text.

    Sorry about the length of this - thinking as I wrote... Lawrence and other theatre-experienced poets might like to comment on this?

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    • Rookie Michael Shepherd (9/8/2005 3:40:00 PM) Post reply

      I don't necessarily mean, turn it into a song.. that would still maintain some equivalent of metre - but rather, 'declaim' it. There are too many variations of rhythm etc in a poem to set it to anythi ... more

    • Rookie Cheri Leigh (9/8/2005 3:09:00 PM) Post reply | Read 1 reply

      You make a good point Michael. Poetry is an aural medium. Perhaps I would have thought differently if I had recited the poem out loud. Still, there is a difference between poetry and prose. Does th ... more

  • Rookie A.p. Sweet (9/7/2005 11:30:00 PM) Post reply | Read 1 reply

    Has anyone here read Galway Kinnell's The Book Of Nightmares? If not, I highly recommend it to anyone looking for weird and obscure poetry.

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  • Rookie Mason Maestro (9/7/2005 11:22:00 AM) Post reply

    I'd like to prompt some writers to take a look at one of my poems so I could get some much needed feedback. 'Tumbledown Slums' can be found on my list, and i would totally appreciate the honesty from some of you sharp minded artists. thanks... jazzmaestro

  • Rookie Allan James Saywell (9/7/2005 2:08:00 AM) Post reply | Read 1 reply

    The riddle of Pearson was solved he didn't disappear his groupy is still active
    he only had one groupy, i believe there was a poem explaining it all
    the poem was called the 'Kane Mutiny'

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    • Rookie Raynette Eitel (9/7/2005 12:51:00 PM) Post reply

      Allan, I'm surprised that you would promote 'Kane Mutiny.' It is a personal and vicious attack on a fine poet. There's no excuse for one person attacking any of us in such a vile, obscene fashion. ... more

  • Rookie Andreas Saarva (9/6/2005 9:00:00 AM) Post reply | Read 3 replies

    How can I come into the TOP500 poems? : /

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    • Rookie Herbert Nehrlich1 (9/6/2005 5:32:00 PM) Post reply | Read 1 reply

      I would also replace the word 'come' by using the more neutral 'get'. That's another step forward and upward. Blondes (assuming all Swedes are thus challenged) are not allowed in the 500 club. H

    • Rookie Michael Shepherd (9/6/2005 5:00:00 PM) Post reply

      .. and one way NOT to do it, Andreas, is to vote for your own poem 259 times...naughty lad. Or did Tess vote the 259 times? Thus far, your 'poems' read like letters. It's not the same. Do as Adam says ... more

    • Rookie Michael Shepherd (9/6/2005 10:47:00 AM) Post reply | Read 1 reply

      Ho ho ho, as we say in Lappland around Christmas time - sorry, Winterval...now's the time for those high on the snowy peaks of The 500 to tell the world - not how THEY got there - but How I Got There ... more

  • Rookie A.p. Sweet (9/5/2005 9:54:00 PM) Post reply | Read 3 replies

    If you could meet one poet(dead or alive) and hang out with them for one day, who would it be and why?

    -Mine would be Charles Bukowski, because not only do I love his work, but we would probably just go to the track and smoke and drink and just sit and listen all day. We would argue with the people at the track and then make fun of them. It would be fun. That would be inspiring to me as a struggling and dismal poet.

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    • Rookie Michael Shepherd (9/6/2005 6:38:00 AM) Post reply

      Aaron, I hope you've read John Kay's poem 'The Face' before you set off?

    • Rookie Herbert Nehrlich1 (9/6/2005 4:04:00 AM) Post reply

      Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. No question. I would share quarters with him on Wartburg Castle, have a number of beautiful ladies as friends, one a bit more amplified, hike through the countryside and ... more

    • Rookie Allan James Saywell (9/5/2005 10:42:00 PM) Post reply | Read 1 reply

      yes sweet and when you got drunk after one drink and fell over he would have urinated on you

  • Rookie A.p. Sweet (9/4/2005 6:25:00 PM) Post reply | Read 2 replies

    I would like to say sorry for the post a few days ago, it was childish in nature and it didn’t make me look very good. I know it is no excuse, but I was having a very bad day and when this happens I like to come here, read some poetry and listen to what you all have to say. When I got here and the forum was swamped with negativity I just blew up and started a rant. I truly apologize for it.

    I have deleted the post from the forum and I hope you folks don’t look down upon me. I will be civilized next time when I have a problem.

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    • Rookie Allan James Saywell (9/4/2005 6:43:00 PM) Post reply

      mister sweet appears to have lost it for a day, with something i have not read because it would be negative for me to read something that mister sweet has said sorry for, being a 24 hour crazy mysel ... more


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  • Rookie Michael Shepherd (9/4/2005 3:01:00 PM) Post reply

    So how are we getting on with our critiques of Aaron Sweet's poetry as suggested some few days ago?

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