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brokenfingers
04-14-2005, 01:01 AM
This thread is for all who write, read or are just curious about poetry.

Also for anyone who is bored or has already read through all the other threads in the Forum or has a little time on their hands and an opinion.


What is poetry? And why do you write it?

Are your poems merely written statements on your state of mind or emotion? Are they just glimpses into an important scene in your life? Are they an outlet for intense emotional energy? Are they just rhyming and vocabulary?

Are you a poetic soul who fels the need to express themselves through poetry? Some people write poetry to help alleviate the stress that comes with pain or strong negative emotions. Some write to express their sentiments or views. Some write to convey a message. And some lucky souls can just sit down and plop ‘em out.

Is poetry even possible without emotion? Or is it like any other skilled writing and merely a matter of knowing the right words? What about greeting cards or ad copy or lyrics?

I’m curious but I think it would be great if everyone who comes into the poetry forum would give some input.

I’m thinking that many here are feeling their way in the dark (as I definitely am) and am hoping that some of the more experienced poets (or poetry writers) will also chime in and offer their thoughts on the matter.

(P.S. Don't mind the title of the thread - I just wrote that to get you in here... hehehe...)

aspier
04-14-2005, 01:16 AM
Yes it does ... but it gets you a woman!

sgtsdaughter
04-14-2005, 01:22 AM
BF,



So should I be offended at the title . . . Naw, I’ll just chalk it up to slap stick humor. As for poetry . . .



Poetry is a vast field of emotions. Emotions from within your own experience, those you have not seen, and the ones you dream about. I write poetry (and fiction) based on a multitude of feelings and events—sometimes centering the pieces on one event or conversation but frequently merging life’s pitfalls together.



Poetry resides in emotions—whether they are your own or someone else’s. That notion, I think, goes with any piece of writing—fiction, non-fiction, etc. Every piece of writing brings forth emotion. A factual article brings forth emotions of knowledge and understanding, fiction takes you to another world (so to speak), and poetry is just an extension of these concepts.



That my dear are just a few of my thoughts. But in reality, any writing should come from somewhere within you. If you have no passion about the subject, or genre, it will show through in your work—i.e. it will be dull and lackluster.

A

sgtsdaughter
04-14-2005, 01:24 AM
Yes it does ... but it gets you a woman!

but i haven't had this yet . . . ahh to dream.

there's another thing: sometimes i write to create a feeling or series of events that i wish could happen. fantasy has it's purposes. :LilLove:

JAlpha
04-14-2005, 01:39 AM
For me, poetry is not about writing verse, though I often use verse like structures for my poetry. My reason for writing, reading and critiquing poetry is best defined by the viewpoint of the ancient Greeks who considered a poet to be an "athlete of the word".

I embrace the act of having my poetry critiqued in the same way a golfer might ask for advice on their swing--the analysis can only improve my game! A very wise poetry professor once told me that some people fear that the analysis of a poem destroys the poem, but his logic was that if drawing a diagram of a bird doesn't kill the bird, a critical analysis of a poem shoudn't ruffle a poet's feathers!

I'm confused by poets who can't take any scrutiny of their work, I feel they may be writing poetry as therapy--which is actually a great idea--but that's not the same as writing poetry as a means of "pumping up" their writing muscles and/or ultimately seeking publication. And on those rare occasions when a poet can strike the perfect balance between 'seeking therapy" and "flexing their writing muscles", well that's art in it's purest form!

JAlpha

BattleChaser
04-14-2005, 01:51 AM
Robert Frost: The Man and His Work - 1923

"Sometimes I have my doubts of words altogether, and I ask myself what is the place of them. They are worse than nothing unless they do something; unless they amount to deeds, as in ultimatums or battle-cries. They must be flat and final like the show-down in poker, from which there is no appeal. My definition of poetry (if I were forced to give one) would be this: words that become deeds."

"All poetry is a reproduction of the tones of actual speech."

"There are two types of relists: the one who offers a good deal of dirt with his potato to show that it is a real one, and the one who is satisfied with the potato brushed clean. I'm inclined to be the second kind. To me, the thing that art does for life is to clean it, to strip it to form"

"A poem begins with a lump in the throat; a home-sickness or a love-sickness. It is a reaching-out toward expression; an effort to find fulfillment. A complete poem is one where an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found the words."

..and I may add that people may not understand this, as well as the readers and writers of poems, in addition to the general population of this planet.

brokenfingers
04-14-2005, 07:31 AM
Well first I would like to thank everyone who responded to this post. I think having different opinions and input is one of the best aspects of a forum.


aspier wrote: Yes it does ... but it gets you a woman!
Aspier, is that so? Do you really feel that? I’m curious as to why or maybe should I ask how? Enquiring minds really want to know!!!


sgtsdaughter – the title was only a gimmick to get the casual reader to check out the post. It’s becoming increasingly evident to me that titles are crucial for attracting attention to your work ;)

I agree that poetry comes from emotion – but what about ballads and odes and all those old epic poems? They were more story than emotional anecdotes. Yet from what I remember from school they seemed to have had an impact – through the use of words to form a graphic impression instead of an emotional one. Would that mean poetry is possible without the manipulaiton of emotion?

What do you think?



Jalpha said: I'm confused by poets who can't take any scrutiny of their work, I feel they may be writing poetry as therapy--which is actually a great idea--but that's not the same as writing poetry as a means of "pumping up" their writing muscles and/or ultimately seeking publication. Janet, I agree and that’s why I’m very hesitant to say anything about a poem or critique it in any way.

Some people are touchy about stories they write – works of fiction with no basis on reality. So imagine how sensitive someone can be when the work directly relates to their life and an emotional issue they are trying to come to terms with or that still resonates deeply within them!

I usually am hesitant to remark on a piece until I’ve come to know the writer a little and know exactly where they’re coming from with their piece.

Plus, Im not qualified to make any comment regarding poetry except as the most ignorant reader. Basically, I can nod my head yes or no.

There have been times (on another forum I used to frequent) I’ve seen a poem that left me scratching my head and yet multitudes of posters would laud it! It left me feeling like I had no clue.



Battlechaser said: I may add that people may not understand this, as well as the readers and writers of poems, in addition to the general population of this planet. Hmmmm, what do you mean? Would you care to elaborate on this?

“They must be flat and final like the show-down in poker, from which there is no appeal. My definition of poetry (if I were forced to give one) would be this: words that become deeds."

“A complete poem is one where an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found the words." Wow, I really like those quotes from Robert Frost. I think I might check out one of his books(?) next time I’m at the bookstore.

sgtsdaughter
04-14-2005, 07:39 AM
I agree that poetry comes from emotion – but what about ballads and odes and all those old epic poems? They were more story than emotional anecdotes. Yet from what I remember from school they seemed to have had an impact – through the use of words to form a graphic impression instead of an emotional one. Would that mean poetry is possible without the manipulaiton of emotion?

What do you think?






that's just it BF . . . all writing contains some element of emotion, but it is the lyrical and word connotation that continually pull someone in (or out) of the story. poetry is no different from a good book/ sotry/ novella. think about the last time you sat and read a really, really good book. didn't you walk away thinking about it? did you wake up in the middle of the night pondering something? did you wake up to read more before finishing your slumber? poetry can also do this to you . . . anytime a piece of writing can touch someone on a deeply personal level, now that's good writing.

but then again--good is subjective and just my opinion. maybe someone else has a more concise answer/reasoning.

(and i apologize for any misspellings. i failed spelling in school.)

gena140
04-14-2005, 07:58 AM
I write very little poetry as I don't feel it's something I'm good at.

I do however enjoy "spoken word" poetry more than written poetry.

William Haskins
04-14-2005, 08:05 AM
Does poetry just plain suck in general?

yes

Sarita
04-14-2005, 03:12 PM
I think Haskins summed it up nicely.

BF, you asked: Are you a poetic soul who feels the need to express themselves through poetry?

I have 2 forms of poetry. One is the emotional rush, have to write it or I will lose it, full of feelings, full of me, poetry. The other is because of Janet (Aka: JAlpha). I've been trying to play with my WIP through poetry. It's clarifying issues that I thought I had in the plot line and keeping me focused on the main story. I love that! (THANKS JANET!! You are SO cool). So this second type is more structured and well thought out, where as the first type is more free verse and emotional vomit. Ewww!

Great set of questions, great thread! :)

BattleChaser
04-14-2005, 05:18 PM
Quote:
Battlechaser said: I may add that people may not understand this, as well as the readers and writers of poems, in addition to the general population of this planet.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------

brokenfingers said
Hmmmm, what do you mean? Would you care to elaborate on this?
Wow, I really like those quotes from Robert Frost. I think I might check out one of his books(?) next time I’m at the bookstore.




It was in relationship to Frost's quote-

People, whether they are a poet or not, may not understand Frost's insight on poetry. In this contemporary world though, when someone doesn't understand a poem, they either don't say anything, or respond with hard criticism that can no way help the writer. I found that one must understand a poem from the writer's prospective first (this can be hard) so that they can fully understand what it means. Example of this is “Do Not Go Gentle into that Good Night” by Dylan Thomas. To read it, it sounds quite good, but it can be hard to fully understand. (He wrote this to his Father on his Father’s dying bed) –With that said, some people will imply that a good poem stands alone. To me, a good poem is like a fine antique; when you know the circumstances of it, it can be very precious. I should also state that this does not mean there connot be any good poems without knowing the background of it.

JAlpha
04-14-2005, 05:33 PM
Sara,

Thank you for your kind words. I'm so glad you decided to give my "poetry as a revision tool" method a try. I admit on the surface it sounds crazy :crazy: , but it really works! A while back, I submitted a poem titled The Perfect Kitchen, it was a fine stand alone poem, but in fact it was the opening scene of my WIP.
You said it all when you stated the method adds clarity to your writing. I wanted to give you rep points for trying the method out and then actually admitting it in public:) , but apparently I think you're pretty cool too, because a pop up told me I have to spread the love. Here's your IOU rep points pledge :Thumbs:

Also, I was wondering if you've tried the process in reverse yet, converting something that started out as a poem into a longer prose piece?

Janet

Sarita
04-14-2005, 05:50 PM
Janet,

I have tried, but nothing has come together yet. Did you read my Lake poem? I'm working on expanding that. So far, it's all been drivel and sappy. But I'm still trying. I'll post in share your work when I have something that is decent. Thanks for giving out such great advice. I can rep for that ;)

~Sms

wurdwise
04-14-2005, 05:55 PM
I have been writing poetry since I was a teenager, and it has always been simply therapy. I am sorry to admit, I don't know twit about the actual mechanics of it, meter, styles, and don't care. It's really for me or a message I want to share with others. Besides, I don't see many wealthy poets, and after all, I am a realist, I want to make a living from writing, and though I enjoy it more than anything in the world, poetry will always remain for me a way of communicating my feelings to the rest of the world, or the spew out things that need to find another place to be besides in my heart.

brokenfingers
04-15-2005, 05:52 AM
yes


Succinct and eloquent, as usual....

Rose
04-15-2005, 06:11 AM
I write the kind of poetry that justifies Mr. Haskins judgment of all poetry in general.

Why do I write it? Because there's something I really need to say and I want to get it out fast and I don't have time to bother with punctuation and transitions and finding just the right word (see my 1st sentence above).

On a related note, I write a lot of poetry in Spanish because I love to write in Spanish but don't have the time or ability to exploit the power of punctuation and transitions and finding just the right word.

One more comment - I enjoy reading poetry, but usually don't "get it." That hurts, because I like to feel smart!

chancewryter
04-15-2005, 06:32 AM
still
a silent grasp
comes to me
without warning
a sudden change
in directions unknown
chilled
like a moment when i was with you
in a room
filled with others
that wanted something
and all you wanted
was to ask why me?

chancewryter
04-15-2005, 06:37 AM
i don;t know how to play..any teachers out there???

chancewryter
04-15-2005, 06:43 AM
ok..how do i get to the next message...sorry..but i am new here

wurdwise
04-15-2005, 06:45 AM
Go to the bottom of the page and click on top, then click on the left where it says Absolute Write Water Cooler and you will see all the different forums.

chancewryter
04-15-2005, 06:46 AM
ty..i meant for this forum..i've been admiring it all day

chancewryter
04-15-2005, 06:49 AM
new
as teh day
as a child born
crying for comfort
attention
that we seldom get
but receieve, silence is not so
golden
as the sun that cross the sky
as when you walked into my life.

chancewryter
04-15-2005, 06:50 AM
can't type either

chancewryter
04-15-2005, 06:58 AM
no one out there???

Medievalist
04-15-2005, 07:07 AM
No, poetry doesn't suck; a lot of it's fabulous. Like this:


Western wind, when wilt thou blow,
The small rain down can rain?
Christ, if my love were in my arms,
and I in my bed again!

Anonymous.
British Library MS. Royal Appendix 58.
Early 16th century.

But yeah, some of it sucks. And if it sucks enough, it's truly wonderful just in terms of its awfulness. Like this bit:



My ear is open like a greedy shark
To catch the tunings of a voice divine.

Keats, "Imitation of Spenser"


Even Keats had an occasional off day.

aboyd
04-15-2005, 11:20 AM
I think most poetry sucks, especially a lot of it in forums like this one. To the credit of Absolute Write, it does get a few good poets. There is another writing forum which I will not name, and it appears to be populated almost wholly with amateur poets who think poetry is therapy. One writer there actually said "you're not supposed to think when you're writing poetry" -- obviously implying that poetry should be from the gut, but it repulsed me to think that poetry somehow involves shutting off your brain and just barfing words onto a piece of paper. Crap thinking about poetry generates crappy poems, IMHO.

Places like the Gazebo site are really more for pro poets, and quite a lot of it is good or getting there, and quite a lot of poets from other poetry forums would never survive the shredding they'd get at a place like the Gazebo.

Reading poetry journals such as Poetry, Ploughshares, Paris Review, and so on, I can see that there is a world of excellent, impactful, quality poetry. You just need those editors to wade through the slush piles to find you the gems.

Anyway, I wanted to say a lot more, but my battery is running out, and I don't have the power cord! Signing off for now.

Celeste
04-15-2005, 12:01 PM
Poetry is a hard thing to define whether it sucks or doesn't suck because, as I think someone else has also stated earlier in this thread, I'll read a poem that I haven't a clue of what the writer is saying, while there will be ten others who praise it and think it's wonderful and then there's poems I'll read that I think are great and others don't. I think, again, it's individual, what that specific poem does for, or triggers in the reader. I think it all has to do with how a person can relate to a poem.

And there's also the possiblity that I don't even know what the hell I'm talking about. Lol...:Shrug:

celeste