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William Haskins
12-08-2005, 10:38 PM
an interesting aspect of the responses to the rate-a-poems is how we synthesize and analyze a poem based on the baggage we bring to reading it.

to what degree do you think your gender, social, political, religious and sexual predispositions color how you process a poem?

do you look at structure, technique or subject matter first when assessing a poem's value? what other elements impact your opinion of a poem?

Paint
12-08-2005, 10:57 PM
My first response to a poem is always about me. Then I have learned to pull myself up and re-evaluate it at another level, or from someone elses outlook. It is a discipline.
Definately the subject matter is the first way I look at a poem. The title is very important.
Also education is critical in the way I or anyone processes a poem. (Not saying you have to have a lot of it.)
The "ah-ha!" factor is another way I assess a poem for my own value. Technical features are last, and they are a way I can understand the poets thought.

Some poems knock me flat with very few words that are packed with meaning. Wordiness will discourage me.
Thanks for asking!
Paint

Pat~
12-08-2005, 11:31 PM
I agree; we always bring our experiences to a poem, just like any other art form. Although, when I read a poem, I don't think I see one thing (eg. structure) first, before responding to another (content)...I'm not that methodical or organized when I read. I think most people enjoy poems that, as a whole, strike that responsive chord somehow...either an "I can relate" moment, or an "I want to relate" moment.

kdnxdr
12-09-2005, 12:11 AM
I think perfection of anything (on a human level) can only exist in theory and that we reject anything from a purely subjective perspective. Cars, food, people, you name it..........what we as humans see as "good" is prioritized as what satisfies our own appetite. If, emphasizing IF, we can get beyond our own appetites, I believe our next level of response is to reflect the appetites of those within our "pack", reinforcing our network of those closest to being like our own selves. If, this is the challenging IF, we can get beyond the appetites of our "pack", I believe we have responses to things according to who we would like to influence to recruit into our "packs". And, what I believe to be the greatest challenge to our egocentric nature, when we get beyond our hiarchial appetite response structure, IF we get beyond "all that" then, POSSIBLY, we allow pure mechanics to stand. I, personally, believe that there really are no pure mechanics, machines or otherwise, because even the mechanics reflect belief systems and human appetites.

"Whew!" I had to get that off my chest!

trumancoyote
12-09-2005, 12:19 AM
Sound gets me first, as I think it should. It sets the tone and informs the meaning for me -- as do the other mechanics of a poem: line breaks, stanza arrangement, etc.

The meaning of the words themselves, oddly enough, are last for me, but that's not to say that they're the least important. And on that note, I like a poem whose words have both an immediate resonance, and a resonance that grows in volume upon reflection. For words to be what I'd call naturally clear, but sneaky: that when refracted through the lens of my tiny brain over time, they gain new and more potent insight into experience: this is when a poem, to me, is great.

If that makes any sense.

mkcbunny
12-10-2005, 05:58 AM
What truman said.

I find that I have an instant dislike for poems that scream out gender content as though it's universally believed. This is true of any medium, actually. I just don't cotton to art that tries to speak for/to/about all women or all men.

P.H.Delarran
12-10-2005, 08:10 AM
to what degree do you think your gender, social, political, religious and sexual predispositions color how you process a poem?
Well of course I draw on my own experiences when trying to relate to a poem, but a good poet can reach beyond the individual and put you exactly where he wants you.


do you look at structure, technique or subject matter first when assessing a poem's value?
what other elements impact your opinion of a poem?
Structure and technique first. I won't even read (unless asked) many poems if they don't strike me a certain way at first glance. I have my preferences; short concise form, little or off-cadence rhyme, symmetry.Other first impressions I can't think of right now.
And of course the craft itself, of weaving words into emotions. I have been greatly moved over poems about leaves..which by themselves really do nothing for me.The subject matter itself really becomes irrelevant, if the poet did his job. Or wait, there's a paradox happening here, because if the poet really does his job, then the subject becomes the most important element, but only after I "get it", after he has changed the subject into the thing that is going to impress.

aruna
12-10-2005, 11:45 AM
an interesting aspect of the responses to the rate-a-poems is how we synthesize and analyze a poem based on the baggage we bring to reading it.

to what degree do you think your gender, social, political, religious and sexual predispositions color how you process a poem?

do you look at structure, technique or subject matter first when assessing a poem's value? what other elements impact your opinion of a poem?

I feel that far more than prose, poetry is about an emotional response. I read poetry that somehow addresses parts of me that are so deep and hidden I am not even aware of them, and what I look for in poetry is for something to be put into words that I have been unable to understand in myself.

That's why I judge poems on two levels: subjectively - how well does it touch "that" in me? What is my pesponse to it? And objectively; whereby I can say a poem is good, or even excellent, purely from the point of view of choice of words, or rythym, or structure - and yet it leaves me cold emotionally.

Sarita
12-12-2005, 06:20 PM
I'm with Zach. When first reading a poem, I try to read it aloud. It has to roll off the tongue and have a nice rhythm and flow.