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Poetics and Poetry Discussion


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Damian Cranney Damian Cranney Male, 65, United Kingdom (10/27/2013 12:47:00 PM)

There are several works in the poetry contest which demonstrates what I have felt for some time, that there is a general misinterpretation of what constitutes poetry or verse.

The English language is superlative in being able to express one’s feelings and emotions, poetry being the ultimate form. With poetry however, it has to conform to certain criteria otherwise it is just prose.

A poem does not have to have rhyme, but it needs a beat, metre or cadence to give a sense of rhythm. The English language is particularly suitable for blank verse if it is used with the “iambic pentameter “’that is five beats to the line. Chaucer in the twelfth century first demonstrated this in his “ Canterbury Tales”. Shakespeare and John Milton brought it to its Ultimate perfection.

Free verse is not blank verse. Indeed this is my contention in what I am writing here. I personally feel that no matter how sincere and passionate the words are, if they do not conform to the above then it is not poetry but prose. It is also not very good prose, because it is disjunctive. Just because somebody writes a line that is heartfelt, and then on the next line writes something else does not make it poetry. At best one could say it is a list of aphorisms, or it is a list of statements, but not poetry.
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  • Rookie - 592 Points Jefferson Carter (10/27/2013 5:44:00 PM) Post reply | Read 1 reply
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    Lamont, don't you get tired of hearing yourself squawk?it must be like living with a parrot inside your head. There's no need to rate Heaney or Hass against each other; they're both fine poets. " Meditation at Lagunitas" and " Heroic Simile" are as good as anything Heaney wrote. If they don't move you, blame your tin ear for being deaf to their subtle " cadence."

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  • Rookie - 774 Points Lamont Palmer (10/27/2013 5:04:00 PM) Post reply

    Thank you Damian. Apparently JC is too deep in denial to understand that this is the view of poetry that is, frankly, held by the finest of poets and particularly most literary critics, not just Lamont Palmer. (Everytime some one enters the forum who speaks up for formal (or near formal) poetry, he absurdly thinks its me; ignore that) . It was the prevailing opinion until about 1980 or so, when the likes of Sharon Olds decided to throw out all poetic technique, for the chopped up essay. Yes, in this climate, its an 'oldfashioned' view, but one that still creates the best work. Nice to have you in the forum. -LP

  • Rookie - 592 Points Jefferson Carter (10/27/2013 2:19:00 PM) Post reply | Read 3 replies

    Oh, and, Damian, if you happen to be Lamont, what I say above goes double for you. The more I look at " Damien's" comments above, the more they sound like your typically Lamontian narrow, mulish and mechanical poetic views.

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    • Rookie - 592 Points Lamont Palmer (10/27/2013 5:20:00 PM) Post reply

      He's harsh because that classical, finer view of poetry you posted, de-legitimizes his own work. I understand his frustration completely. Unfortunately for JC, until Bukowski is considered to be a bet ... more

    • Rookie - 592 Points Damian Cranney (10/27/2013 3:43:00 PM) Post reply | Read 2 replies

      Hl'. Jefferson I am not Lamont, Quite happy-to stand my own corner. you sound quite harsh in your comments, and obviously feel strongly about The subject which I respect. However the fact you feel m ... more


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