Poetics and Poetry Discussion

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  • Rookie Mary Nagy (9/1/2005 12:35:00 PM) Post reply
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    I respect your opinion but, I would hope you would also realize that people grieve in different ways. For some (like you perhaps) it may be best to just privately deal with the feelings you may (or may not) have about the situation. I personally feel it's very appropriate for people to write their feelings down about a horrible situation that many people in the world are experiencing and share it with others here....isn't that what poetry is about? I have written 2 poems about the recent situation in the world and I feel they are in no way offensive. I am not glorifying the situation nor am I using it to 'ride the wave' of popularity. I surely don't feel I should apologize for posting on such a topic. These poems are my feelings, my fears, and they are honest, that's all I can give. I don't want this to sound rude because I'm not meaning it that way. I just think when you feel something.......that's when poetry is written best for some. I'm not a big fan of only writing poetry once you've thought it all through and checked all the details and really thought too much about it. I guess everyone is different but I prefer the passion, spontaneity, and raw emotions that are felt 'in the moment'. Whether these poems are viewed as bad or not...they've served their purpose and that is to allow me to share my feelings. I hope you understand how this message was intended... respectfully. Sincerely, Mary

  • Rookie Allan James Saywell (9/1/2005 1:06:00 AM) Post reply | Read 2 replies

    It is a tradgedy Max the people of AUSTRALIA are saddened at the loss of life
    and the loss of the essentials like shelter food water and property i'm
    glad you did the poem it can only make people aware of the thin thread that we tread as human beings and our relationship with mother nature and i
    as a fellow human being offer my heartfelt sorrow for all the people who have suffered

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  • Rookie - 7 Points Max Reif (8/31/2005 9:24:00 PM) Post reply

    I just posted a poem that has to do with my responses to the hurricane.
    I also noticed (having done a search on the word 'hurricane' earlier) a find poem of Raynette's, entitled 'Night of a Hurricane', posted quite some time ago.

    I know thoughts and prayers are going out from many, from me as well. I hope the poem is not glib. If it is, I'll retract it.

  • Rookie - 7 Points Max Reif (8/31/2005 7:37:00 PM) Post reply | Read 1 reply

    Anyone know Lisel Mueller? I was just blown away by 'Monet Refuses The Operation' and 'Immortality'! She has about 17 poems. I hope to read more soon.

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  • Rookie - 7 Points Max Reif (8/31/2005 7:06:00 PM) Post reply | Read 1 reply

    Thanks for all the replies.
    Was at Barnes & Noble earlier, to get the Guide To Literary Agents and a cupa coffee. Walked over to look at the Poetry section for a moment. The one that most caught my eye was an anthology called

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  • Rookie - 7 Points Max Reif (8/31/2005 9:47:00 AM) Post reply | Read 4 replies

    Hey guys, I've noticed that I've been missing here!
    You've managed without me, somehow?

    The oddest thing happened: I have to report to my teaching job tomorrow, after a heavenly month of vacation and poetry. I wanted to get a certain prose writing project finished first, and have turned almost wholly to it in the last week.

    It's most interesting! Suddenly I couldn't concentrate on poetry...couldn't read the poetry books I'd been spending 2 or more hours a day with. It may be part burn-out, from absorbing so MUCH poetry, the past month or two. And maybe partly just a conservation of mental resources for the project I'm (because I put myself) under the gun to finish!

    That ever happen to you?

    Anyway, regards from prose-land!
    I should think I'll be around some time soon, though possibly in not as concentrated doses as before.

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    • Rookie - 7 Points Herbert Nehrlich1 (8/31/2005 6:57:00 PM) Post reply

      Don't be so poetic about your absence Max. I was going to write a rhyming poem about you in your absence, sneak it in so to speak, but 'by the time I found a pen, put the pen to paper...' you had re-a ... more

    • Rookie - 7 Points Raynette Eitel (8/31/2005 5:30:00 PM) Post reply

      We've missed you, Max. Hope your prose as well as the teaching goes well, but still we need your wisdom and kindness here. Raynette

    • Rookie - 7 Points Michael Shepherd (8/31/2005 1:16:00 PM) Post reply | Read 1 reply

      Oh boy - rewrites and footnotes and their indices with 6 co-writers and a co-editor - did I tell you about my breakdown...? Best wishes for fame and immorality, Michael

    • Rookie - 7 Points Michael Philips (8/31/2005 11:26:00 AM) Post reply | Read 1 reply

      I'm there right now, Max. I'm in the mid ... more

  • Rookie Ca Viet Caotran (8/30/2005 10:42:00 PM) Post reply | Read 3 replies

    Hi all,
    I am reading The Preface to the Lyrical Ballads by William Wordsworth and cannot understand the following passage because of its too complex sentence structures. Would you please help me to get its main idea, and if it doesn't take too much time of yours, rewrite it in a briefer English version? The passage reads as follow:

    'In answer to those who still contend for the necessity of accompanying metre with certain appropriate colours of style in order to the accomplishment of its appropriate end, and who also, in my opinion, greatly under-rate the power of metre in itself, it might perhaps, as far as relates to these Poems, have been almost sufficient to observe, that poems are extant, written upon more humble subjects, and in a more naked and simple style than I have aimed at, which poems have continued to give pleasure from generation to generation. Now, if nakedness and simplicity be a defect, the fact here mentioned affords a strong presumption that poems somewhat less naked and simple are capable of affording pleasure at the present day; and, what I wished chiefly to attempt, at present, was to justify myself for having written under the impression of this belief.

    'But I might point out various causes why, when the style is manly, and the subject of some importance, words metrically arranged will long continue to impart such a pleasure to mankind as he who is sensible of the extent of that pleasure will be desirous to impart. The end of Poetry is to produce excitement in co-existence with an overbalance of pleasure. Now, by the supposition, excitement is an unusual and irregular state of the mind; ideas and feelings do not in that state succeed each other in accustomed order. But, if the words by which this excitement is produced are in themselves powerful, or the images and feelings have an undue proportion of pain connected with them, there is some danger that the excitement may be carried beyond its proper bounds. Now the co-presence of something regular, something to which the mind has been accustomed in various moods and in a less excited state, cannot but have great efficacy in tempering and restraining the passion by an intertexture of ordinary feeling, and of feeling not strictly and necessarily connected with the passion. This is unquestionably true, and hence, though the opinion will at first appear paradoxical, from the tendency of metre to divest language in a certain degree of its reality, and thus to throw a sort of half consciousness of unsubstantial existence over the whole composition, there can be little doubt but that more pathetic situations and sentiments, that is, those which have a greater proportion of pain connected with them, may be endured in metrical composition, especially in rhyme, than in prose.'

    Wordsworth, as for me, wrote too difficult English, and English is not my native language, so I actually need your help.

    Hope to get the help soon.
    Thank you very very much.

    Ca Viet

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    • Rookie Max Reif (8/31/2005 9:42:00 AM) Post reply | Read 3 replies

      I found this transcript of poets discussing of Wordswath's 'emotion in tranquility' quote. I e-mailed a preface about it to Ca. Thought the rest of you might find it interesting. (Or ONE of you, maybe ... more

    • Rookie Michael Shepherd (8/31/2005 7:26:00 AM) Post reply

      It occurs to me, Ca Viet, that what Wordsworth is talking about is not so far from what can be seen on Poemhunter's '500 most popular poems' - poems that could almost be written by children for child ... more

    • Rookie Michael Shepherd (8/31/2005 6:28:00 AM) Post reply

      I couldn't improve on Adam's interpretation of the second paragraph. I would suggest that the first paragraph is also written to fellow poets (particularly) and readers against this background: Wor ... more

  • Rookie Michael Shepherd (8/30/2005 1:43:00 PM) Post reply | Read 1 reply

    Ron, I'm just re-reading Gertrude Stein's 'Wars I have Seen', the almost diary account of living in France during the German Occupation 1939-45, before and after. She writes as she thinks - little punctuation - but chooses each word so carefully that it's as valid as a poet writing. Certain repetitions - 'that was babyhood to fourteen years' - and delightful recall of the repetitions of daily formal conversation. Wonderful recall, too, of the various speeds of time in wartime. When there's a simile or a metaphor, you know they have been carefully chosen and entirely to be studied. So what distinctions can you make between honest free verse and carefully written prose, that's going to matter to the reader? Both can be 'heightened' when emotion or drama requires it, etc. I'm reading the Stein as if I were a proofreader!

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  • Rookie - 15 Points Ron Price (8/30/2005 10:32:00 AM) Post reply | Read 3 replies


    In an essay on the great Russian writer Alexander Pushkin, John Bayley quotes literary critic Edmund Wilson to make the point that “Flaubert, Joyce and Virginia Woolf were in a sense poets who wrote in prose because….prose seemed to offer the freedom and authority”1 for the writing they were attempting. This idea struck me as significant for the writing I do because I often feel I am a poet who writes in prose. There is certainly a kinship between my prose and my poetry for many reasons one of which is expressed by John Crowe Ransom: “There is no principle of rightness in poetry; ….there is only ponderous whimsicality, labour of wit and a certain obscure self-indulgence.”2 -Ron Price with thanks to 1John Bayley, Pushkin: A Comparative Commentary, Cambridge UP,1971, p.236; and 2 J.C. Ransom in Author Unknown.

    I seem to learn of my profoundest
    yearnings though an awareness
    of other selves and their yearnings.
    Whatever is within me it is so often
    found in the shame, the splendour,
    the ideas and wisdom of others.1

    Making present the possibilities
    of the past, actualizing historical
    possibility, this is live tradition2
    and I am helped in this effort by
    the ponderous whimsicality
    and the self-indulgence of poetry.

    1 Harold Bloom, The Anxiety of Influence, pp.25-6.
    2 Martin Heidegger in Destructive Poetics: Heidegger and Modern American Poetry, Paul Bovem, Columbia UP, NY,1980, p.90.

    Ron Price
    August 30th 2005

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    • Rookie - 15 Points Michael Shepherd (8/31/2005 6:40:00 AM) Post reply

      John Ashbery's latest book of poems, 'Where Shall I Wander' even takes its title from a several-page 'prose' piece - a good test case.

    • Rookie - 15 Points Michael Shepherd (8/30/2005 1:02:00 PM) Post reply | Read 1 reply

      How can Ransom be so right in the first statement, and so wrong in the second? In fact, isn't it the first stated principle that saves 'vers libere' from the dangers of the second - or is that the poi ... more

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  • Rookie Michael Shepherd (8/30/2005 8:24:00 AM) Post reply

    , , , and before you compete shamelessly for the Halloween Horror Poem Contest, so appropriate for this site... please prioritise, you gentle guys, that unprized but so Sweet surprise?

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