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William Haskins
12-29-2005, 09:45 PM
discuss.

Nateskate
12-29-2005, 10:02 PM
discuss.

Poetry is the artful means of consolidating powerful thoughts into vivid word pictures.

A single word, well placed, can be poetic.

kdnxdr
12-30-2005, 03:56 AM
There is a scripture that says something like this:

A word aptly spoken is like an apple of gold in a setting of silver.

kdnxdr

William Haskins
12-30-2005, 04:11 AM
Poetry is the artful means of consolidating powerful thoughts into vivid word pictures.

but isn't that what a novel is as well; at least, ideally? what makes visually vivid powerful thoughts poetry?


A single word, well placed, can be poetic.


poetic, yes, but can it constitute poetry?


There is a scripture that says something like this:

A word aptly spoken is like an apple of gold in a setting of silver.

but is its aptness what makes it poetic?

unthoughtknown
12-30-2005, 04:12 AM
Today I will say, a rhythmic arrangement of words.

Tomorrow I may have a different definition.

DeniseK
12-30-2005, 04:14 AM
Poetry is mental masturbation.

William Haskins
12-30-2005, 04:15 AM
Today I will say, a rhythmic arrangement of words.

Tomorrow I may have a different definition.

okay. but if it's a rhythmic arrangement of words that makes it poetry, don't all song lyrics, childhood nursery rhymes and chants qualify as poetry?

unthoughtknown
12-30-2005, 04:21 AM
Probably ;-)

Will, I told ya it was today's definition! Hehe.

William Haskins
12-30-2005, 04:22 AM
Poetry is mental masturbation.

a cute quip, i suppose. but is poetry really analogous to physical self-gratification? the goal of masturbation is orgasm—so, if i follow your logic, coming would be analogous to writing the poem.

but it's obvious that poetry goes beyond satisfaction of the self, by evoking something in the reader. so, the selfishness inherent in masturbation falls to the wayside.

scarletpeaches
12-30-2005, 04:26 AM
Peoms is words that, like, rhyme and stuff.

William Haskins
12-30-2005, 04:28 AM
so, absent of rhyme, it can't be a poem?

oneovu
12-30-2005, 05:26 AM
In most artful writing (screenplays, novels, etc) the whole package is the art, the movie, the story, the song. Maybe in poetry it’s ALL about the words.

William Haskins
12-30-2005, 05:44 AM
In most artful writing (screenplays, novels, etc) the whole package is the art, the movie, the story, the song. Maybe in poetry it’s ALL about the words.

okay. i think you're on to something here.

rhymegirl
12-30-2005, 06:23 AM
I thought this was a good definition of poetry or what a poet does:

"The poet, from his own store of felt, observed, or imagined experiences, selects, combines and reorganizes. He creates significant new experiences for the reader..."
Laurence Perrine
Sound and Sense

Now granted, this doesn't say exactly how (in what form--rhyme or non-rhyme) the poem is put together, but it does offer something tangible we can think about.

brokenfingers
12-30-2005, 06:45 AM
It seems poetry, like art, can be very subjective.

I think there's a fine line between wonderful prose and wonderful free-form poetry. I think maybe that's why there's so much bad stuff out there.

I'm trying to define it in my head but am having a problem right now iterating it. There's a subtle difference between the two, a certain lifting of the reader that occurs when it's a poem. I've begun some that seemed like they might just be a little story or anecdote, but somewhere within the lines, the poet had succeeded in lifting the piece above the plain and into the magical realm of higher prose (poetry)

Somewhere along the way, a switch was tripped within me that said:

Aha! Here is a fundamental human truth - revealed in a way that sings within me and echos in the corridors of my mind.

I'll look and see if I can find some examples of what I mean and come back. Maybe it'd help if each of us posted something to help explain what they mean. (or then again, maybe not)

(Please carry on and don't wait for me as I am easily sidetracked.)

William Haskins
12-30-2005, 06:50 AM
a certain lifting of the reader that occurs when it's a poem.

okay, now we're cooking with gas. exaltation of the spirit, or the heart, or the intellect.

i would agree that this is one major component of poetry.

mkcbunny
12-30-2005, 06:51 AM
I'm of the mind that what makes a poem a poem is the poet's declaration thereof. Which is not to say that other forms of writing cannot be poetic without such a declaration, but rather that our assessment of the meter, rhyme, meaning, metaphorical content, etc, is irrelevant to the poem's existence as such.

I might say this is a poem:

Night Wind

blow

Now, others might say that this is a lousy poem. But if I present it as a poem, then it is one. [And I'm not, btw. LOL.] Regarding the Williams examples discussed earlier, several folks didn't think they were very poetic—which is a reader's subjective interpretation. But the fact that it's presented as poetry makes it so. If I put my shoe on a pedestal and call it "art," it is. Doesn't mean it's good art, or that Duchamp didn't do the same thing more successfully with a urinal.

mkcbunny
12-30-2005, 06:55 AM
okay, now we're cooking with gas. exaltation of the spirit, or the heart, or the intellect.

i would agree that this is one major component of poetry.
Does that mean that an unaffecting [for lack of a better word-one that fits the exhaltation criteria hinted at] poem isn't really a poem, or just that it isn't poetic?

William Haskins
12-30-2005, 06:56 AM
okay, this is a breakthrough of sorts. one can call any piece of writing (typically broken into lines) poetry, just as one can call any media slapped on a canvas or piece of paper or wood a painting. so, yes, subjectivity is a force in the determination.

William Haskins
12-30-2005, 06:59 AM
Does that mean that an unaffecting [for lack of a better word-one that fits the exhaltation criteris hinted at] poem isn't really a poem, or just that it isn't poetic?

well, exaltation would certainly be in the eye of the beholder, but i think human reason offers us the capacity to see that a piece of work is capable of moving a reader, somewhere, even when it fails to move us personally.

the same can be said of opera. with rare exceptions, it moves me not one whit, but i have no problem believing with some certainty that it moves many others. i don't disqualify it as opera simply because it fails to affect me.

rhymegirl
12-30-2005, 07:06 AM
But the thing that still bothers me is that there has to be some distinction between a poem and a few sentences strung together or even one sentence simply placed on different lines. You see what I mean? If all you do is put a few sentences together, I mean anybody can do that. What makes it stand out? What makes it poetic? What makes it meaningful?

If I just write something like:

I was walking down the street
when suddenly I turned
and saw the most amazing
sports car coming down the road.

Is THAT a poem????

mkcbunny
12-30-2005, 07:09 AM
well, exaltation would certainly be in the eye of the beholder, but i think human reason offers us the capacity to see that a piece of work is capable of moving a reader, somewhere, even when it fails to move us personally.
What about work that moves us negatively, as opposed to work that has no effect at all? Bad reaction vs. no reaction. [I'm going with "no" but putting that out there].

William Haskins
12-30-2005, 07:21 AM
well, just to put it in rather common terms, sometimes we hate movies, right? but there can be no doubt they are movies.

but why do we hate them? perhaps they were highly flawed in concept, or in how that concept was executed. in other words, despite the fact that it has the form of a movie, it failed in its function, which is to entertain or stimulate emotion/thought.

we can also hate movies that function successfully, for instance those that disturb us to some great extent or that fail to connect with our own experience or curiosity.

William Haskins
12-30-2005, 07:23 AM
But the thing that still bothers me is that there has to be some distinction between a poem and a few sentences strung together or even one sentence simply placed on different lines. You see what I mean? If all you do is put a few sentences together, I mean anybody can do that. What makes it stand out? What makes it poetic? What makes it meaningful?

that's a good question, and it might serve you well to look at it from the other side, determine how you define prose and what its function and characteristics are.

brokenfingers
12-30-2005, 07:32 AM
I'm of the mind that what makes a poem a poem is the poet's declaration thereof. Which is not to say that other forms of writing cannot be poetic without such a declaration, but rather that our assessment of the meter, rhyme, meaning, metaphorical content, etc, is irrelevant to the poem's existence as such.

I might say this is a poem:

Night Wind

blow

Now, others might say that this is a lousy poem. But if I present it as a poem, then it is one. [And I'm not, btw. LOL.] Regarding the Williams examples discussed earlier, several folks didn't think they were very poetic—which is a reader's subjective interpretation. But the fact that it's presented as poetry makes it so. If I put my shoe on a pedestal and call it "art," it is. Doesn't mean it's good art, or that Duchamp didn't do the same thing more successfully with a urinal.
I'm afraid I must disagree with this idea. I think this sentiment is part of the problem causing people to lament the state of poetry and it's alleged demise.

A poem is an offering.

Many people think it's just ink on paper and treat it accordingly. I wrote this and have declared this a poem. HERE.

I disagree. It is a piece of the writer's soul distilled through ink. A fragment of the writer's life as translated through the written word. It is these qualities that make it a poem, good or bad, not the mere act of writing it and giving it the label.

Even when the poem is not good - like a lot of teenage heartbroken stuff, for instance - the emotion contained within is still palpable to those on the sidelines and so it is obvious to all that it is indeed poetry, though maybe not the best kind.

I'm not an adherent of the "I Say It's Poetry, So It Is" school.

mkcbunny
12-30-2005, 09:22 AM
I'm not an adherent of the "I Say It's Poetry, So It Is" school.
I never said I liked the idea. What I feel as a reader is a desire to read something stirring and wondrous. But what I think when asked a discussion question is more analytical. From a conceptual standpoint, it's about intent; from a user standpoint, it's about the experience. This issue is not exclusive to poetry.

Nicholas S.H.J.M Woodhouse
12-30-2005, 06:10 PM
i'm not too sure what makes poetry exclusively poetry.

to define something as poetry, we are looking for some kind of definite measure, and i don't think one exists.
it can be about the words, yes, but so can so much else.
it can be expression of the soul, yes, but so can so much else.
it can be what the creator says it is, yes, but so can so much else.

subjectivity has been brought up many times so far and i honestly think that we would struggle to define poetry as exclusively poetry.

perhaps that is where its great power comes from?



In most artful writing (screenplays, novels, etc) the whole package is the art, the movie, the story, the song. Maybe in poetry it’s ALL about the words.

i think the whole package has been important to some poetry groups in the past. by the whole package i presume this to mean in (some) poetry the form dictating the words/content.

for eg, Vadim Shershenevich's 'the rhythm of the future', from 1915

i'll quote random bits

'the task of the contemporary poet is to express the dynamics of the contemporary city'

'what is tidy andsequential is incapable of capturing a synthesis of the city'

'the chaos cannot be communicated other than by the internal motion of the verse'

'this (motion is achieved) becasue the images are no longer subordinated to a leading image'

-
of course Vad' here is concerned with the coming of cities in russia in his time. his form (dialectical, images building on top of eachother and contradicting each other, revealing the inherent chaos of the city) is dictated to him by his presumption that the city is chaotic.
which is subjective, i suppose.

well, its all up in the air. interesting topic and looking forward to more thoughts.

sorry for the poor construction of this post, my roof is collapsing and quite frankly i don't think walls are enough anymore

Nateskate
12-30-2005, 07:25 PM
In general, a novel can have poetic moments, and accomplish the same intent as a poem. However, poetry can get right to the point (if it wants to). But the idea of a poem is asthetic, in the sense of having a beauty or ugliness of its own.

I want to feel a response to a well constructed sentence. A novel has to fail in this or it becomes overwhelming. It is diluted. If you strung together nothing but profound sentences, the reader would be tripped up, and the intention of getting from the beginning to the end would be a failure.

A single paragraph could be so profoundly influencing, a person could meditate on each meaning, and the reader might find no reason to move on to page two. Each page would be a buffet of thoughts, where a reader couldn't get from one end to the other, and their novel would turn into a devotional.

Unique
12-30-2005, 07:38 PM
poetry - 1a: metrical writing: VERSE b: the productions of a poet 2: writing that fomulates a concentrated imaginative awareness of experience in language chosen and arranged to create a specific emotional response through its meaning, sound and rhythm.

~Webster's Third New International Dictionary - Unabridged~

if it's good enough for Webster's - it's good enough for me.

(by defininition 2 - it looks like 'cat' poem doesn't qualify - unless 'so what' is an emotional response.)

NickDangr
12-30-2005, 10:17 PM
Okay so when looking at the definition from Webster's, are all the subdef's exclusive? If not, what separates poetry from prose? Look at how many styles of poetry exist : haiku, free verse, sonnets to name a few. Perhaps the unabridged definition is lacking.

oneovu
12-30-2005, 10:24 PM
Prose (http://www.m-w.com/dictionary/prose)
1 a : the ordinary language people use in speaking or writing b : a literary medium distinguished from poetry especially by its greater irregularity and variety of rhythm and its closer correspondence to the patterns of everyday speech

So, maybe one could say poetry is the extraordinary language people use in speaking or writing.

kdnxdr
12-30-2005, 10:25 PM
I think Unique brought some interesting points for me, as you all did.

poetry seems to be a formula , an equation, if you will.

and awareness is a result of that formula.

when meaning/sound/ryhthm function together all different kinds of poetry are produced.

when one of these three elements is missing, I think you have something different than poetry.

then you get into the whole dialogue:
1) what constitues meaning
2)what constitutes sound
3)what type of ryhthm ? and really, ryhthm is just the marking of time, and so, it could be argued that any ryhthm as long as it works with the meaning and the sound.

it's like looking at form and function. What happens to form without function and can form exist without function? And, of course, vice versa.

In the whole realm of deduction, it seems to me that some things cannot exist as the thing that they are, if they are dismantled. the thing just becomes a collection of disassembled parts and the thing does not exist until the parts come together.

poetry is an entity as a voice is an entity.

for me the controversy really starts when machines are cranking out the arts like it was nobodies business. And the machines start critiquing theirselves and having philosophical discussions as to the intent of their poetry and art.

Perks
12-30-2005, 11:41 PM
I think poetry places words around the edges of the intangible qualities of things; defines them in terms of negative space. Almost an inverse way of understanding concepts by word-encrusting the topography of them.

So, any meter and rhythm and rhyme can be poetry.

Poetically speaking, if I had a soul (a big if, admittedly) it would be Perks-shaped, so describing the particulars of me - thoughts, words, deeds and physicality -would paint a picture of who I am, without needing to slap a see-spot-run-prose label on my soul.

Paint
12-31-2005, 01:49 AM
--Unfolding tiny
places in the heart
to share with others--

Now that is mine. It is mine and you may or may not like it. Somebody somewhere will like it. I can call it whatever I want. You only have say if you want to buy it. I think this can be over analyzed. But then, I live by the motto 'keep it simple.'
So are you saying poetry need follow a criteria to be 'accepted' or bought?

Paint

JAlpha
12-31-2005, 02:17 AM
Poetry is...


_________


a

single

window

_________




...life is successfully looked at from a single window, after all

.................................................. .................................................. .......................The Great Gatsby

William Haskins
12-31-2005, 02:32 AM
So are you saying poetry need follow a criteria to be 'accepted' or bought?

nope. it just has to work.

Paint
12-31-2005, 02:34 AM
Amen. I like your Avatar...expressive...looks like a poet.

aspier
01-01-2006, 01:04 PM
Poetry = always something else + the least consern of a poet!

Here a theoretical 'proof' of that! Its from the Prague Interview I'd 'given' (wrote) and if you want to browse the whole thing, its called 'Machines of Art' and can be downloaded in full from my page = http://users.skynet.be/spier/oeuvredownload.htm

Tnx to William for posting such stimulating threads!

aspier


HERE PART OF IT


Poems are signs, insider material, or at least, deconstructive insider palpations of words. They are constructed out of things that are resilient, interchangeable and descantable and dynamic in temperament.There is movement, transition, division and inclination in poetry. The thingness of words, the things poetry are contrived and structured from, is the where/what-it-is-all-about in poetry. It may sound presumptuous, but, poetry IS this very something which is asked about when the query touches on essentiality. Essence. Formulations and admixtures such as: 'What, Is, The, Essence, Of and Poetry' prove the point: the thingness. Six things (words) are structured in a convincing fabrication. Syntactic rhythm and semantic weight bestow definition, significance and message. A poem, any poem, always enlarges the question of what poetry is. It adds to the historical questioning memoire. 'Poetry, Is, Always, An, Art-historical, Quest, Into, Some, Dark and Region'. The search for essence is convoluted, perplexing and intricate. It is a quest into illogical ambiguity.

Poetry involves two roles, readers and writers. Instead of asking 'What and Poetry?', one should ask 'When and Poetry?'' and/or 'Where, Is and Poetry? There is a symbiotic relationship between the roles, and with only one, poetry simply does not happen. The locality, in time-continuum existence, and transcendence of meaning in poetry depend on both these agencies. Both are essential components. Poetry does not know causes and effects; it is something that only comes into being when it is written-AND-read. The reader's function, in the assembling of poetry,is to unlock the poem the writer has preordained and free it into the source-pool of the Literature Generalis, the vast body of collective literature. When a poem is not read it stays what it was, a germ that infected the brain of the writer. Unread writers (unwritten readers) are of a leprous kind, infected by deadly incubations and therefore dangerous.

But there is more ambiguity: In the dark avenues of literature where the secret matter awaits its prey, the writer/reader and words act out jocular roles. The symbiotic relationship between reader and writer ensures egocentricity. The framework suggested when a statement such as 'He, Is, A and Reader' is made is that the reader is masculine. The he is a he. Is he/she in connection with reader not a more suitable description for a reader? Can a she not read a poem? The immediate answer to this is no! No, because it is neither a he nor a she that is conceived in the mind of a reader when he reads he or he/she. The meaning he gives to a he or a she is me. When the writer employs the word she, in the reader's (writer's?) perception, the semantic categorization is I or me and immediate proof of his or her involvement and role in making the poetry happen. For the reader there is no such thing as he or she. In his/her mind the value of he is always egocentrically categorised and therefore him or herself. One does not have this in prose. It only occurs in poetry. Even if the he was categorically stated and precisely described as being a male Homo Sapiens Generalis, with all the usual male characteristics, beard, genitalia, etc., there is nothing in the brain that connects the she with femininity and the he with masculinity. It connects he/she with being! - I must admit though, luscious broad is not far away from the she, but that's not the point, it always remains a me - so, what is happening? How can language (i.e. poetry) do this? The answer is simple: 'Poems, Aren't, Poems, At, All, They, Are, Always, Something and Else!'

poetinahat
01-04-2006, 04:54 PM
I squirm under direct examination in the public eye (such as this is), but it's a compelling topic.

I wonder whether poetry does the same: it can be described or viewed from one angle at a time, but trying to envelop its whole in one neat description is inadequate. The observer spoils the experiment. Nevertheless, I'll have my try.

Maybe it's that, while poetry can be linear -- it can tell a tale, but certainly doesn't have to -- the reason for writing and reading poetry, rather than prose, is the experience of expression itself. The sounds of words, the rhythms of sentences, the pauses -- even the arrangement of words on the page (viz. Laurence Ferlinghetti's A Coney Island of the Mind or, to a lesser degree, Richard Brautigan's Trout Fishing in America). It's not the mere meaning of the stream of words, nor the succession of images or emotions they invoke: it's how the entire piece is intended to the reader.

It's only with experimentation that what differentiates poetry can be examined. As with other art forms, what's now commonly accepted as outstanding examples of the genre (Miles Davis' In A Silent Way, any of Picasso's Cubist works) would, not too many years before, have been dismissed outright as ugly and poorly constructed.

Artists such as John Cage and the earlier-cited Marcel Duchamp have championed the "art because I say it is" line, but Cage's 'music' is only art because John Cage says it is. The next person to try the same tactic fails. It's not universal; it's a one-off trick. It helps to map the territory, but that's all.

aspier, thank you for posting your extract. I haven't put it all together in my head, but I'm interested. And the more I think about it, the more my disagreements melt away. Two of the main points I found were:

1) a poem isn't a poem when it's written: only when it has been read as well;
2) the poetry reader always places himself as the protagonist, while the prose reader never does.

The first assertion, I believe, is a tautology. I agree that the reader enjoys a personal reaction and therefore creates from the time of reading an individual instance of the poem's entity. And from that standpoint, one could argue that a poem has as many entities, or lives, as it has readers. But a poem cannot have no readers, for the writer automatically acts as her own reader. Therefore, the poem is read as soon as it's written.

And does reader engagement differentiate a poem from a story? I'm not sure. But I do agree that both reader and writer come to poetry for a reason. They must; it would've been easier just to go to prose. They want to be involved in poetry. There's a reason to seek it out. Why are feats of athletics, for example, often described metaphorically as poetry in motion? It's because they convey an aesthetic sense out of what would otherwise be purely a practical exercise. The phrase implies that there's something in the performance that transcends prosaic description.

On the second assertion (reader is always protagonist), any second-person narrative -- Camus' The Fall (I think), Jay McInerney's Bright Lights, Big City -- or any fairy tale (arguably) -- provides a counterexample.

Is poetry's identity down to patterns and rhythms? Is Ulysses poetry? No. But it does have patterns and rhythms. Is it down to first usage? Can the lyrics of a song be poetry? What about the setting of a poem to music? How about Gavin Friday's musical performance of Each Man Kills the Thing He Loves (from Wilde's The Ballad of Reading Gaol)?

I like Perks' idea of negative space, or encrusted topography -- sort of a verbal bebop. I think it was Dizzy Gillespie who once described bebop as playing all the notes except the ones that are supposed to be there; you already know what those are anyway.

Not a bad vision: Poetry doesn't tell you what to think or feel; it leads you there and lets you find it on your own.

aspier
01-04-2006, 07:28 PM
Tnx poetinhat. You refered to two serious aspects of poetry 'questioning' when you picked those two out. Your input is on a serious level and contains (probably like mine too) such valid discussion points that one really has to think! I'll come back to it, ok? The most important aspect of poetry is that it in some weird way connects to the collective unconscious. Its an expression of that. So the remnants and rudiments of architipical goodies taint it. That's what happenes with the 'protagonist' thing. Meaning is conveyed through a sometimes 'meaninglessness collection of words' ... suggestion, and rhyhm, etc. And 'reader-writer' ... there's this theory too that one only read what he already knows. That's in poetry too. Have you never had the experience that when you discover a certain poem that really connects to you you think 'my god, that's it! I wrote it!' I've worked much theoretically on this and I call it the 'Necro-Poetica' ... the poet whom is the 'priest' resurrecting words 'already said and cold' = making art out of art that's already made. Most of my poetry contains copied and pasted words from prose that I then just fit into new positions. The question of 'to whom does this and this word belong' etc. Doesn't poets just discover the 'unique positions' od words ... the 'final' ones? Etc. And thereby keep the uncollective stream of culture flowing. One thing for sure though, is that poets are the most dangerous of all people. They have access (or sixth sense connections) to the collective thought of humanity.

Tnx for you stimulating input!

as

Nateskate
01-04-2006, 11:08 PM
I'll jump in, and say, there is a rhythm in life, in the sense that our bodies have a heart, and it has a particular beat. We respond emotionally to rhythm. Mostly it relaxes us, if it is a caddence that isn't counter to what we feel. If it is counter, it feels aggitating to us. A Jackhammer doesn't sound good to us no matter how faint a sound in the distance. On the otherhand, a ticking clock can sometimes be comforting, because it is closer to our bodies natural rhythm.

Example, if you are listening to a song, and someone is clapping to the offbeat, it can work, but if they are out of rhythm, it drives people nuts. So, beats can move with us or against us.

Music is not the only beat. Strobe, or rhythmic lights, can also have the same impact.

Words that are truly poetic hit us on more than an intellectual level. In a sense, it's like a perfectly timed beat. It just feels right when it is in caddence with our soul.

It is interesting then that we have different tastes for what is good poetry, which is like we have different tastes for food.

This isn't to say beat is poetic, or all poetry has a beat, but it can enhance how we feel it.

aspier
01-04-2006, 11:28 PM
mmm


I

Maybe it's that, while poetry can be linear -- it can tell a tale, but certainly doesn't have to -- the reason for writing and reading poetry, rather than prose, is the experience of expression itself. The sounds of words, the rhythms of sentences, the pauses -- even the arrangement of words on the page (viz. Laurence Ferlinghetti's A Coney Island of the Mind or, to a lesser degree, Richard Brautigan's Trout Fishing in America). It's not the mere meaning of the stream of words, nor the succession of images or emotions they invoke: it's how the entire piece is intended (I am not sure if this is phraseed in the right way ... 'poetry intended' ... The poet never intends things really, etc. Also the mere idea of 'intention' contradicts the abovementioned 'experience of expression itself' + ref. the what I said re the 'collective unconscious' - poetry is a kind of 'zapping' into a 'mainstream' ref. Shelly's 'butterfly' on the surface of a stream with currents below the surfice. Shelly didn't say the poet can zapp into these 'deeper current' but I believe the poet can. This is not a truth rather a kind of trying that I do ... trying constantly to find a way into the 'deeper stream'. It's the same with Byron's 'there are words that are things') to the reader.

It's only with experimentation that what differentiates poetry can be examined. As with other art forms, what's now commonly accepted as outstanding examples of the genre (Miles Davis' In A Silent Way, any of Picasso's Cubist works) would, not too many years before, have been dismissed outright as ugly and poorly constructed. (I don't agree with this yet here to, rather a wish that it is not so etc. Real poetry, I think I (want) believe doesn't 'grow' passe such mm)

Artists such as John Cage and the earlier-cited Marcel Duchamp have championed the "art because I say it is" line, but Cage's 'music' is only art because John Cage says it is. The next person to try the same tactic fails. It's not universal; it's a one-off trick. It helps to map the territory, but that's all. (True mm yes kind of)

aspier, thank you for posting your extract. I haven't put it all together in my head, but I'm interested. And the more I think about it, the more my disagreements melt away. (Smile! Sometimes I think I know what I write and what I write about etc. but other times I simply don't know. Poet = priest. No Priest knows what he does when he execute substantiation in Mass ... like poetry its just something that happens. Anyway, re this too, I seldom doubt afterwards what I have written) Two of the main points I found were:

1) a poem isn't a poem when it's written: only when it has been read as well; (I feel strong about this. Even to the extend to try 'a poem is ONLY a poem when read but yes, deep discussion)
2) the poetry reader always places himself as the protagonist, while the prose reader never does.(A phenomen that must convey something about the strangeness of poetry, no?)

The first assertion, I believe, is a tautology. (Yes?) I agree that the reader enjoys a personal reaction and therefore creates from the time of reading an individual instance of the poem's entity. (No! Poetry is on the contrary very real and exact zack to the point.) And from that standpoint, one could argue that a poem has as many entities, or lives, as it has readers. (I don't know if I can agree) But a poem cannot have no readers, for the writer automatically acts as her own reader. (Here you got to watch it though! When does reading starts and when does the creative process ends? Three months after the poem is written? This draws attention to another aspect of poetry = it belongs to the collective unconscious and not to the writer of it. The most rediculous contradiction sine qua non here is that so many people put their name under their poems ... even try to sell poetry! How can a poet sells what is not his! Once the poem is taken up into the 'stream' under the surfice it becomes part of human evolution and the history of civilization. Now here I have this weird idea that one can copy and past these nomad pieces and re-use, combine them into new art. Most of the professors says no crap to this idea but I cling to it, etc.) Therefore, the poem is read as soon as it's written.(I think this is worthless because the poet is still sort of 'after-creating' and not 'real' reader. Say, did you know the lesser people read your poems, the more valuable they are. I have written complete books for ONE person! Priceless! )

And does reader engagement differentiate a poem from a story? I'm not sure. But I do agree that both reader and writer come to poetry for a reason. (I don't. There is no single reason why a poet should or write a poem ... ref your statement 'poetry = the experience of poetry'.) They must; it would've been easier just to go to prose. They want to be involved in poetry. (True) There's a reason to seek it out. (Ok, yes eh but mm such et al, no?)Why are feats of athletics, for example, often described metaphorically as poetry in motion? It's because they convey an aesthetic sense out of what would otherwise be purely a practical exercise. The phrase implies that there's something in the performance that transcends prosaic description. (Sure + oeee strong = 'poetry has nothing to do with words!')

On the second assertion (reader is always protagonist), any second-person narrative -- Camus' The Fall (I think), Jay McInerney's Bright Lights, Big City -- or any fairy tale (arguably) -- provides a counterexample.

Is poetry's identity down to patterns and rhythms? (No, these are merely tools) Is Ulysses poetry? No. But it does have patterns and rhythms. Is it down to first usage? Can the lyrics of a song be poetry? What about the setting of a poem to music? How about Gavin Friday's musical performance of Each Man Kills the Thing He Loves (from Wilde's The Ballad of Reading Gaol)?

I like Perks' idea of negative space, or encrusted topography (in poetry that's called the 'white around the text' = the tabula rasa = white space. It has to do with the form/content issue))-- sort of a verbal bebop. I think it was Dizzy Gillespie who once described bebop as playing all the notes except the ones that are supposed to be there; you already know what those are anyway.

Not a bad vision: Poetry doesn't tell you what to think or feel; it leads you there and lets you find it on your own.

aspier
01-04-2006, 11:34 PM
mmm




I'll jump in, and say, there is a rhythm in life, in the sense that our bodies have a heart, and it has a particular beat. We respond emotionally to rhythm. Mostly it relaxes us, if it is a caddence that isn't counter to what we feel. If it is counter, it feels aggitating to us. A Jackhammer doesn't sound good to us no matter how faint a sound in the distance. On the otherhand, a ticking clock can sometimes be comforting, because it is closer to our bodies natural rhythm.

Example, if you are listening to a song, and someone is clapping to the offbeat, it can work, but if they are out of rhythm, it drives people nuts. So, beats can move with us or against us.

Music is not the only beat. Strobe, or rhythmic lights, can also have the same impact.

Words that are truly poetic hit us on more than an intellectual level. (This is why the poet is so dangerous! His words cuts into the truths of the soul.) In a sense, it's like a perfectly timed beat. It just feels right when it is in caddence with our soul.

It is interesting then that we have different tastes for what is good poetry, which is like we have different tastes for food. (Interesting + very important point. Words = oral eat swallow saliva vomit ... down to carnal level. ref also expression 'food for thought'. Poetry sucks! = fundamental truth and I am not joking here Nate, I am dead serious about it).

This isn't to say beat is poetic, or all poetry has a beat, but it can enhance how we feel it.

aspier
01-05-2006, 01:59 AM
Now look at this one. Its from a poster here and its at http://www.microcfw.com/poems/Writingpoetry.htm - its called 'writing poetry'. Its a tender naive poem saying it all really, No? It says it all on the straight layer (primary or first layer). In it there is however also the string to this 'deeper stream' I have mentioned. Just lovely. A perfect semmetry (5 + 5) is the 'poetry in motion' (the still) Poetinhat mentioned. The word 'allows' is where the 'string' is attached. Anyway tnx to the author and do visit her/his page!



When I write poems I get to say;
Things from my heart expressed a different way;
Poetry allows me to express just how I feel;
It unlocks my heart and makes me feel real;
Thoughts in my mine sometimes are a total mess;
Saying it in poetry allows me to express;
It allows me to express my feelings, using what rhymes;
In such a way that you know the feelings from between the lines;
When life gets me down and answers are hard to see;
I can find the answers to my problems when I write poetry.

poetinahat
01-05-2006, 03:34 PM
Hmmm.

The idea that the poet is merely a conduit for the poetry is interesting. But why does it take work to put a poem together? There would be no revision of the poem once the first draft was written. Does that happen often? I'd be astonished if it were commonplace. And does fewer drafts between start and finish mean a better poet?

I applaud Nateskate's point about organic responses to words and rhythms: things that are felt before they are analysed. There's no arguing it, is there? It's easy enough to recognise them as a reader, but what about as a writer: Is it a matter of skill or practice to find them, or is it pure inspiration? If we don't hit on the right combinations immediately, should we give up and accept that we don't have the gift?

Seems to me that, to paraphrase Edison, both inspiration and perspiration are essential to the creative process.

Aspier, I'm going to have to take your posts away and digest them; they're quite dense with content. Would you mind if I PM'd or emailed you with some questions outside this thread?

Thanks. It's a thrill to have gotten caught up in this discussion; hope I'm not boring others out of it.

aspier
01-05-2006, 05:48 PM
Your post too is pretty condensed and again your questioning (categorial value of 'questioning' some different than the mere 'asking' of questions) touch upon huge topics. Of course you can PM me but consider that this idea also holds = I know very little about poetry! Secondly, I am only a poet too ... and as you are realising slowly, 'poetry' is the least consern of a poet ... oeeef smile!)

Here just short remarks re your post =


Hmmm.

The idea that the poet is merely a conduit for the poetry is interesting. But why does it take work to put a poem together? (Because of the im-'maturity' of the poet himself and the depth of truth his 'visions' provide him. Having an abstract thought is mostly very 'un-natural' and rather abnormal a thing in the 'material' world of 'reality'. There's a contradiction sine qua non accross the whole line) There would be no revision of the poem once the first draft was written. (Edited poems aren't the ideal ... I think + mostly it destroys the virginity of the first draft. Like in dreams the 'poem stuff' evaporates the longer and the more you mill in your mind trying to remember the 'dream') Does that happen often? I'd be astonished if it were commonplace. And does fewer drafts between start and finish mean a better poet? (I am tempted to say yes but the play of intellect + emotion is also important ... language? Is that abstract or 'material'? Etc.)

I applaud Nateskate's point about organic responses to words and rhythms: things that are felt before they are analysed. There's no arguing it, is there? It's easy enough to recognise them as a reader, but what about as a writer: Is it a matter of skill or practice to find them, or is it pure inspiration? If we don't hit on the right combinations immediately, should we give up and accept that we don't have the gift? (Poet cannot give up. The meaning of the word 'poet' is 'he cannot give up the poem'. Like culture - can you give up culture? And being able to talk? Can you give that up? Its also an addiction ... a kind of death sentence to be a poet. The idea of the poem possesses you. The idea manefestates itself througfh the architype called the muse ... which is a living entity and as real as a beam of light which you cannot grab either.)

Seems to me that, to paraphrase Edison, both inspiration and perspiration are essential to the creative process. (I know + some say poetry = 1% inspiration. Who knows?)

Aspier, I'm going to have to take your posts away and digest them; they're quite dense with content. Would you mind if I PM'd or emailed you with some questions outside this thread?

Thanks. It's a thrill to have gotten caught up in this discussion; hope I'm not boring others out of it.

aspier
01-15-2006, 06:45 PM
Anymore people who want to join discussion? Or have I shot my mouth off? Snif! Was such an important thread suggested by william!

Nobody?

JAlpha
01-15-2006, 08:21 PM
Now look at this one. Its from a poster here and its at http://www.microcfw.com/poems/Writingpoetry.htm - its called 'writing poetry'. Its a tender naive poem saying it all really, No? It says it all on the straight layer (primary or first layer). In it there is however also the string to this 'deeper stream' I have mentioned. Just lovely. A perfect semmetry (5 + 5) is the 'poetry in motion' (the still) Poetinhat mentioned. The word 'allows' is where the 'string' is attached. Anyway tnx to the author and do visit her/his page!



When I write poems I get to say;
Things from my heart expressed a different way;
Poetry allows me to express just how I feel;
It unlocks my heart and makes me feel real;
Thoughts in my mine sometimes are a total mess;
Saying it in poetry allows me to express;
It allows me to express my feelings, using what rhymes;
In such a way that you know the feelings from between the lines;
When life gets me down and answers are hard to see;
I can find the answers to my problems when I write poetry.


It's the title of the poem to me, that says it all... writing poetry. Writing poetry is a process. The end result of that process is a poem. The process is unique to each poet, and in my opinion not subject to criticism.

However, the end result of that process is the creation of a poem. A poem can be subjected to evaluation, and may or may not conform to the standards of the "gatekeepers" of poetic worth. Now, whether or not a poet wants to revise his/her poem to meet "said" standards is a personal decision based on whether or not the poet is seeking approval from the "gatekeepers". To me a poem submitted to a contest or sent out for the consideration of publication etc. is an indication that the poet is seeking approval from the "gatekeepers", and therefore the poet shouldn't retreat to defending their positive evaluation of their artistic process as a means to defend the quality of their poem.

My personal nit is when a poet equates the joy they encountered with the creation of their poem as an indicator of the poems poetic value, sans the concept of any revision work to increase the performance of their poem as a separate entity, a product if you will, intended for public consumption.

kdnxdr
01-15-2006, 10:20 PM
It seems that being a poet and writing poetry is one thing. A poem becomes a point of contact for dialogue, a poem is a voice, regardless of what the voice says. A poem that soliticites recognigition has it's existence dependent on forces outside itself. For the poem to exist as a poem, it must be received as a poem. If a poem attempts to be poetry, be a voice, be recognized AND receive renumeration it must satisfy the criteria of whoevers paying.

It's interesting to note that most prolific and historically famous poets are dead poets and those that inherit or manage their affairs, become the hugely compensated ones.

Maybe it's part of the writing poetry successfully scheme, you must die to succeed financially but all the while succeed regardless?

Perks
01-15-2006, 10:22 PM
Anymore people who want to join discussion? Or have I shot my mouth off? Snif! Was such an important thread suggested by william!

Nobody?

I baked my brain trying to explain what I though poetry was earlier in the thread. Now I get to play armchair critic for everyone else's efforts. Earlybird gets the worm and the benefit of everybody else's thought processes!

aspier
01-15-2006, 10:34 PM
It seems that being a poet and writing poetry is one thing. A poem becomes a point of contact for dialogue, a poem is a voice, regardless of what the voice says. A poem that soliticites recognigition has it's existence dependent on forces outside itself. For the poem to exist as a poem, it must be received as a poem. If a poem attempts to be poetry, be a voice, be recognized AND receive renumeration it must satisfy the criteria of whoevers paying.

It's interesting to note that most prolific and historically famous poets are dead poets and those that inherit or manage their affairs, become the hugely compensated ones.

Maybe it's part of the writing poetry successfully scheme, you must die to succeed?

Your first remark (in bold) is a very valid one! I agree to that ... beacause of the importance of the reader in the creating process. The second remark re dead poets, well part of their fame is due to that there is NO COPYRIGHT on their work - it expires after I think a 100 years etc. So the publishers of course push their work ... easy money!

aspier
01-15-2006, 10:36 PM
I baked my brain trying to explain what I though poetry was earlier in the thread. Now I get to play armchair critic for everyone else's efforts. Earlybird gets the worm and the benefit of everybody else's thought processes!

Clever you! My brain has gone wooshy as I have just read my own posts! I understand half of it ... but then again its full moon and I am velly velly sensitive to things that light up the dark etc.

Perks
01-15-2006, 10:41 PM
Clever you! My brain has gone wooshy as I have just read my own posts! I understand half of it ... but then again its full moon and I am velly velly sensitive to things that light up the dark etc.

I like it! I'm quite sensitive to the moon. Not in a literal, tidal kind of way, but I do get swoony, dare I say it? Poetic? Can't explain what it is, though...

aspier
01-15-2006, 11:23 PM
Now Perks, that might be a different 'angle' to this discussion. Poets, are poets more sensitive to natural phenomenon than 'ordinary' people? In this re'spect ... poets as last guards of the instinct thing. Priets like, feeling things ... and poetry an outlet of this, or coded messages to humanity.

Boy this moon does work on this poet tonight! I even feel elated to the extent to bring civilization the good news that peace at last will come in 2006.

Has poetry have to have a goal?

Perks
01-15-2006, 11:27 PM
Uh oh, Aspier, then I'm out. I'm not a poet. But I'd love to hear the poets weigh in!

kdnxdr
01-15-2006, 11:30 PM
Poetry is compelled, driven to express and nothing more. It's in the receiving of the voice that releases a yet other dynamic.

as in "baying at the moon", does the moon answer? No? But, if one should chance to hear "baying at the moon", one becomes enchanted, enthralled, captured by the very baying itself, and in the mystery of baying, the hearer finds himself baying in his heart at the least.

aspier
01-16-2006, 12:13 AM
Poetry is compelled, driven to express and nothing more. It's in the receiving of the voice that releases a yet other dynamic.

as in "baying at the moon", does the moon answer? No? But, if one should chance to hear "baying at the moon", one becomes enchanted, enthralled, captured by the very baying itself, and in the mystery of baying, the hearer finds himself baying in his heart at the least.


Sharp kdnx! I'll have to think about this ... as it was me who made the statement 'poetry is always something else'. I wonder what the real buffs would say of this very 'compelling' conscise definition you have landed us here now! Oh, this IS a sharp one!

Albedo of Zero
01-16-2006, 04:36 PM
The pedantic approach to poetry often limits the new writer and reader to what was...
The classics, no matter how they are disected, are great because they evoke a response from the masses, whether learned or not.
Poetry is subjective to both writer and reader, and is oft times different in interpretation.
Poetry paints, novelizes and sculpts in succinct style.


Poetry is light and sand
the grit behind ideas
when a sun casts no shadows

Poetry is truth
lost in words
lost in mourning
lost in an afternoon of playing checkers

Poetry is the unadulterated joy
of a child's smile

Poetry is seasons
of color
of years
of emotions
of life

Poetry is you