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Poetics and Poetry Discussion

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  • Jefferson Carter (4/28/2014 11:10:00 AM) Post reply | Read 1 reply Stage

    Lamont, your poetry does speak for itself; I'm just not sure it knows WHAT it's saying or even HOW it's saying it. This discussion we're having is NOT about your poetry or my poetry. It's, I thought, about our poetics and our grasp of them. Al I want from you right now is a clear description of what you mean by " metered tone" and tight rhythm and music, those characteristics you seem to think I disdain. If you want to illustrate your concepts with a few lines from your own poetry or a few lines from one of your idols (Stevens?) , please do that too. I'm trying to understand your taste, not trash it (though it's always a temptation) . This is NOT going to be an attack on your poetry or your person. Yrs, JC

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  • Frank Ovid (4/27/2014 9:41:00 PM) Post reply Stage

    I just noticed that Dougherty's " Wallace Stevens..." poem is poem of the day! Really good poem in case anyone wants to check it out.

  • Frank Ovid (4/27/2014 9:10:00 PM) Post reply | Read 3 replies Stage

    I think Acker's best poems are in the more traditional forms. Does anyone else agree?Frankly, he has surprisingly nice rhythm.

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    • Gulsher John (4/28/2014 6:41:00 AM) Post reply Stage

      ya he is good at It but dint notice that Unreasonable haste (in creative art) is the direct road to error. (Moliere says so) i wish he may take lil break in his writings, and spare Mr palmer.

    • Alexander Rizzo (4/27/2014 9:54:00 PM) Post reply | Read 1 reply Stage

      honestly, for all of acker's trumpeting of mr carter's prowess, ackers poems look more like palmer's, i've noticed that. a minimalist he isn't. he does have a fine rhythm. his problem is mawkishness. ... more

    • Steven Ralph (4/27/2014 9:20:00 PM) Post reply | Read 1 reply Stage

      I've been in Fargo since last Thursday, but yes I agree. He seems to struggle with the free-form stuff, but when he lets it all hang out his poetry steps it up about four notches. 'Mail Order' sca ... more

  • Mike Acker (4/27/2014 8:09:00 PM) Post reply Stage


    Sliced, diced,
    shredded, chopped,
    fried brains and minds,
    mixed with the biting vinegar
    of foul abuse, the type that strikes
    fear, and sows perfect demons,
    larger than life.
    Clipped wings, then
    into the bitter winds
    and storms of simple days, pushed.
    Split thoughts and wounded hearts,
    injected with unnatural broths.
    How else to fight these,
    these devils
    they grew inside,

    Mike Acker

  • Mike Acker (4/27/2014 6:10:00 PM) Post reply Stage


    I will dance the tango, with this trophy, woman of my dream.
    I will whisper bitter-sweet nothings into her empty ear.

    I will make promises I know I will never need to keep.
    I will make demands, such demands, as she can't possibly meet.

    I will hold her tight, like she could never, before, have been held.
    I will look through a vacant eye, for the soul I thought I felt.

    We will talk all night long of things that can never be, simply.
    We will just dance and twirl, while I lead, and she follows, limply.

    Mike Acker

  • Jefferson Carter (4/27/2014 5:08:00 PM) Post reply | Read 2 replies Stage

    OK, OK, almost done. I just realized the major obstacle to surmount when discussing poetics with Lamont; when he talks about meter or pattern; he doesn't know WTF he's yammering about. Here he is talking about his " free verse" : " I write verse that has a strong metered tone. However yes, I still believe that metrical poetry, or poetry that approximates it (like my own) is some of the best poetry. Pattern will always sound better than formless, chatty remarks pretending to be poetry."

    There is no such thing as a " strong, metered tone." A poem is either metered or it's not. Scanning free verse makes no sense, since there's no base meter underlying a free verse poem, but I suppose any single line of any poem has a pattern of sorts, even my anti-rhythmic work:

    some editor wanted to delete this
    / / u / / u / u / u

    The isolated line above could be described as having five feet, the first a spondee, the next an iamb, and the last three trochees; is this a strong rhythm? I don't know. It sounds as " musical" to me as any trochaic line Lamont has stumbled onto. Here's the question: Lamont, how do you go about creating lines that have a pattern, that are musically strong? I think you're mostly thrashing around in the dark, as far as poetics go.

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    • Lamont Palmer (4/27/2014 7:59:00 PM) Post reply | Read 1 reply Stage

      My work speaks for itself, JC, as you discovered long ago. You haven't just begun reading me. Are you senile, or just playing dumb?-LP 7/23/2005 2: 47: 00 PM FORUM: Poetics & Poetry Discussion ... more

    • Mike Acker (4/27/2014 5:31:00 PM) Post reply Stage

      I think we have a classical checkmate. What Palmer is trying to do now is say: " What is defeat to some is victory for others! " . Unbelievable. Instead of having the maturity to accept t ... more

  • Jefferson Carter (4/27/2014 2:35:00 PM) Post reply | Read 3 replies Stage

    FINAL WORDS in the " Battle" between Lamont and JC?

    " Yes, JC, every metaphor is 'goofy' in your sight, when it veers from 'plainspeak'. I've literally seen you go through lines in Merrill and Crane and Geoffrey Hill, hurling the same dumb 'charge' at them as you're hurling at me. Which, frankly, makes me quite proud. If you're stupid enough to TRY to assail those two greats, then of course, I don't stand a chance. You remind me of someone who typically hates poetry because poets never just 'say what they mean'. Thats your prosaic brain leading you. Anyway, I knew this would devolve into, as you call it, 'a pissing contest'...."

    Lamont, listen, puhleeze! I don't really care to trash your poems (trash-able as many of them are) . I wanted to uncover the basis of your bias against plain style (which, the more I think about it, has to do with diction and little else) and to understand your conceptions of rhythm, form, and meter. If you re-read, carefully, my comments, you'll see I love good formal poetry (Shakespeare's Sonnet 130 is one of my favorite poems): you'll also notice my love for figures of speech WHEN they work. Whether they're written in plain diction or elevated diction, they fail if they're not both SURPRISING (not cliched) AND APPROPRIATE (the more you think of the two halves of a simile, for instance, the more unexpected similarities arise.)

    Two examples of failed figures of speech:

    Hart Crane, a line from the bridge: “the eyes, like seagulls stung with rime—.“ The simile IS surprising; who would ever compare eyes to salt-stung seagulls? It’s also inappropriate; the more you consider possible similarities between eyes and salted seagulls, the fewer you find.

    Here’s a student’s laughable attempt at, in Lamont’s words, “linguistic boldness, ” a complex mish-mash of metaphors the boy wrote as a Valentine Day poem and pinned to his sweetie’s pillow:

    “Each day at dawn,
    I drive the cattle of my soul
    to the mudholes of your eyes.”

    Need I say more?

    Replies for this message:
    • Dan Reynolds (4/27/2014 6:15:00 PM) Post reply Stage

      Cattle? How common. He could at least have used Wildebeest...; ¬)

    • Lamont Palmer (4/27/2014 5:15:00 PM) Post reply Stage

      Amish Girls Where is the religious eye?Morning is dark. In Pennsylvania, a tear has left youngish ducts, and blood has replaced it. A schoolhouse was cold. In the wind comes more cold, ... more

    • Lamont Palmer (4/27/2014 4:39:00 PM) Post reply Stage

      Gee, I guess that goes to show that, what you 'think' is a failed figure of speech, apparently, someone else, a very long time ago, when poetry was poetry, thought it was pretty effective. There are ... more

  • Gulsher John (4/27/2014 12:49:00 PM) Post reply | Read 3 replies Stage

    In early cultures CREATIVITY termed as inspiration, magic, an evil spirit and imitation etc.
    for example Greek philosophers like Plato rejected the concept of creativity(in poesy) preferring to see ART as a form of discovery.
    Asked in The Republic, " Will we say, of a painter, that he makes something?" , Plato answers, " Certainly not, he merely imitates.(wikipedia)
    lets see how fellow PHers respond to it...

    p.s. i put this question to JC as well.

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    • Jefferson Carter (4/27/2014 1:44:00 PM) Post reply | Read 1 reply Stage

      John, discussions about creativity don't interest me. Discussions about the craft of a specific poet or poem do. Philosophy doesn't interest me. Playing with words, sounds, and images does.

    • Mike Acker (4/27/2014 1:01:00 PM) Post reply Stage

      I think Plato is right. To " make" is to create a new space-time. We re-arrange, we copy, we interfere in a way that things that are naturally occurring, behave a little differently. Our ... more

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  • Mike Acker (4/27/2014 12:01:00 PM) Post reply | Read 2 replies Stage

    Back to civility... Shelter(revised) as reply

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    • Mike Acker (4/27/2014 12:02:00 PM) Post reply | Read 2 replies Stage

      Battered souls, chopped up lives, fried brains, sliced minds, mixed with the biting vinegar of foul abuse, the type that strikes fear, and grows demons, larger than life. Clipped wings, then ... more

    To read all of 2 replies click here
  • Jefferson Carter (4/27/2014 10:36:00 AM) Post reply | Read 3 replies Stage

    PHers, the debate between me and Lamont began with my asking him to elucidate his poetics and their origin. I said, " I'm NOT talking about our various poetic attempts at fulfilling, in our own writing, our preferences in style. I'm talking about knowing something about POETICS, something more complicated and profound than half-learned slogans from an undergrad lit class (for instance, Lamont's cramped view that if a rhythm isn't iambic, it's not musical.) Lamont, you stiff dork, respond to the issue, not to that worn-out tape in your head! Jayzus, what a drag you can be! " So, I'll reiterate: I LOVE well-done formal poetry. I find it awfully difficult to do well myself but awfully easy to do badly. I was hoping Lamont's and my exchange would encourage our PH poet-wannabes to accept how crucial are craft and knowledge ABOUT one's chosen art form.

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    • Mike Acker (4/27/2014 11:56:00 PM) Post reply Stage

      You need to zip it now, Palmer. I think you're done. You have no credibility. Forty four years of writing or trying to along with what 10 years on here. Time to move on, a$$ h*le.

    • Mike Acker (4/27/2014 12:28:00 PM) Post reply | Read 1 reply Stage

      I am sure JC will answer himself, but I think you misunderstood part of the exchange. Palmer constantly brings up the notion that formal, metered poetry is the only way to produce aesthetic poetry. ... more

    • Gulsher John (4/27/2014 12:15:00 PM) Post reply Stage

      JC what you have said, it's all or nearly gospel, but if a poet follows the so called established 'NORMs and conventions' (or even of others') then where the hell " Creativity" is? does a p ... more

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