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William Haskins
02-20-2006, 04:21 AM
your thoughts?

Unique
02-20-2006, 04:48 AM
Memory

For me, associative memory

Cassie88
02-20-2006, 05:01 AM
I think it comes from the need to be validated and understood. And sometimes, just the desire to have a conversation that might not otherwise be had... for whatever reasons..time, etc. and then most people would rather talk about who's going to win the Super Bowl or their Aunt Helen's operation.
It comes from the desire to be adventurous....the architect or mathematician in some of us...the child in us.
It comes from the wonder in us, the wonder we wish to keep alive and always, it comes from the pain in us. "I'm hurt and I've got to tell somebody."
I'm sure it's so much more, but that's all I can think of at this moment.

trumancoyote
02-20-2006, 05:22 AM
My peepee.

dahmnait
02-20-2006, 05:24 AM
Poetry doesn't "come" from anywhere. Poetry is borne. Poetry exists. It exists in the world around us and the worlds within us. It is the bridge that spans our subconscious to our consciousness. Poetry lives in each and everyone of us, poets are just able to vocalize those thoughts.

robeiae
02-20-2006, 05:27 AM
I tried three times to answer your question, William. But I couldn't bring anything to a conclusion that captures my answer. Maybe that's my answer: poetry comes from something you can't describe, and everyone has a different something.

Rob :)

kdnxdr
02-20-2006, 05:28 AM
you have a very creative peepee, TC. Some people think the earth rotates on their peepee, I think creative peepees have more to offer sometimes than practical peepees. But then, there has to be balance, or we would all walk around with a bad equilibrium, and so, peepees find themselves coexisting with non peepees and they develope this beautiful language where they can express themselves and be understood, one to the other. I'm happy to know you have a creative peepee.

Poetry, I think, comes from the same place math comes from.

William Haskins
02-20-2006, 05:30 AM
i believe you're right, rob. and it's fascinating to see the responses here. if you manage to wrestle yours into words, please share it.

tiny
02-20-2006, 05:32 AM
Poetry, I think, comes from the same place math comes from.

Hell?

brokenfingers
02-20-2006, 05:33 AM
Poetry comes from emotion.

It is the transference, through the written word, of something that moves or inspires the writer - to a reader, thereby moving or inspiring them.

scarletpeaches
02-20-2006, 05:34 AM
Mrs Mee's classroom at the end of the corridor, duh.

scarletpeaches
02-20-2006, 05:34 AM
That was a reply to tiny terror, BTW. Damn you and your fast posting!

dahmnait
02-20-2006, 05:37 AM
That was a reply to tiny terror, BTW. Damn you and your fast posting!I found it a very amusing reply to where poetry comes from. :)

I guess it makes more sense this way.

jdkiggins
02-20-2006, 05:38 AM
your thoughts?
The heart.

Unique
02-20-2006, 05:38 AM
Hell?

I say, TT, I must agree.
If poetry comes from the same place as math, I might as well hang it up now. My math functions were flattened in the crib. Doomed.

brokenfingers
02-20-2006, 05:41 AM
Oddly enough, some of the most powerful poetry comes from an emotional hell. I've known many who did not feel the inspiration to write poetry unless upset or distraught.

William Haskins
02-20-2006, 05:42 AM
Poetry comes from emotion.

It is the transference, through the written word, of something that moves or inspires the writer - to a reader, thereby moving or inspiring them.

okay, i like this answer (though i might quibble with it coming from emotion exclusively, and believe that it also can be borne of dispassionate intellect).

but operating on your definition, it seems that there are still multiple wellsprings.

certainly, one (as pointed out by unique) is memory.

i would suggest another is observation, whether pure imagist conveyance of it, or by placing it in some larger metaphorical context.

but, yes, definitely, emotion (or as wordsworth said: "poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings; it takes its origin in emotion recollected in tranquility.") is a very valid answer.

Pat~
02-20-2006, 05:42 AM
Poetry is the music of the mind, I think. It comes from the same place music comes from.

dahmnait
02-20-2006, 05:45 AM
I tried three times to answer your question, William. But I couldn't bring anything to a conclusion that captures my answer. Maybe that's my answer: poetry comes from something you can't describe, and everyone has a different something.

Rob :)That is where my answer was coming from. I don't see poetry as 'coming' from any one place, and where it does reside is not quite tangible.

LieselGarmach
02-20-2006, 05:47 AM
If I can't formulate my thoughts into a standard paragraph, articulate them into an essay, or develop a conversation that will allow them to be explored adequately, I reach into what I consider horrible poetry.

When I read other people's poetry and know that it came from somewhere within them that didn't make an attempt to force it into some other format, I wonder what would happen if I tried using poetry first.

And then I go back to banging my head against the wall and am grateful that others do it much better than I.

brokenfingers
02-20-2006, 05:56 AM
okay, i like this answer (though i might quibble with it coming from emotion exclusively, and believe that it also can be borne of dispassionate intellect).

but operating on your definition, it seems that there are still multiple wellsprings.

certainly, one (as pointed out by unique) is memory.

i would suggest another is observation, whether pure imagist conveyance of it, or by placing it in some larger metaphorical context.

but, yes, definitely, emotion (or as wordsworth said: "poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings; it takes its origin in emotion recollected in tranquility.") is a very valid answer.There's no doubt that emotion is but one ingredient in a poet's cauldron.

Some other things I think a good poet needs:

Intellect (the ability to reason and percieve the things around you),

self-knowledge (the ability to know yourself and what you are feeling),

percipience (the ability to know others and see what moves them, understand human nature)

and literacy (good vocabulary and writing skills)

Of course, JMHO.

PrettySpecialGal
02-20-2006, 06:05 AM
Somewhere in there is the ability to make connections that not everyone can see until the poet articulates it.

As for poetry coming from the same place as music or math- hmmm.... I think it comes from everywhere- and the interconnection of it all. Probably different for each of us. Some find poetic moments in the tromped on soul, while others find it in the beauty of a glimpse of time.

poetinahat
02-20-2006, 06:10 AM
For me, oddly enough, I must start building the body before the soul will inhabit it. It isn't until after I start writing that I find out what the poem's really going to be about.

It may be that I think of the title first, or I decide on a structure, or there's just a line I want to put in it somewhere. But the topic or theme is seldom the first thing to come to mind.

I could argue that there are all sorts of unborn poems waiting for the right body to be built, but there's no way for me to know.

William Haskins
02-20-2006, 06:10 AM
There's no doubt that emotion is but one ingredient in a poet's cauldron.

Some other things I think a good poet needs:

Intellect (the ability to reason and percieve the things around you),

self-knowledge (the ability to know yourself and what you are feeling),

percipience (the ability to know others and see what moves them, understand human nature)

and literacy (good vocabulary and writing skills)

Of course, JMHO.

great post.

another question that hit me... how is the writing process different when one is translating emotions or images that one has, respectively, felt or witnessed vs. constructing a poem to make an abstract idea concrete?

it would seem to me that in an observational work (or to some degree, an emotional work) we select or recall images that we can hang on a preexisting skeleton, a template, a chalk outline that we already have in our mind, while a philosophical work (for the lack of a better term) is more like creating from whole cloth, bringing it slowly into focus conceptually before languiage is capable of taking it from there.

just musing...

Shwebb
02-20-2006, 06:13 AM
Gee, William, when I saw this thread, I thought of Wordsworth, too.

PrettySpecialGal
02-20-2006, 06:13 AM
Love the way you force me to think, William.

William Haskins
02-20-2006, 06:17 AM
i'm just glad you guys enjoy discussing this stuff. poetry can sometimes be lonely business.

ddgryphon
02-20-2006, 06:17 AM
Poetry is a delicate balancing act: words, feelings, images, memories, dreams.

Poetry is all around us. Those who are lucky enough to see it write it down. Those who see most clearly convey poetry best.

Poetry is similar to the way Michelangelo described sculpture. The figure is inside waiting for us to remove what is unnecessary, so that we may see it.

Poetry eixits, it is like air, water, earth, fire -- where do they come from? They are.

Poetry is.

Cassie88
02-20-2006, 06:23 AM
great post.

another question that hit me... how is the writing process different when one is translating emotions or images that one has, respectively, felt or witnessed vs. constructing a poem to make an abstract idea concrete?
just musing...

Abstract idea... Will, can you give us one? Be interesting to see what poems come out of it.

rhymegirl
02-20-2006, 06:26 AM
Where does poetry come from?

I think it comes from intense emotion. I don't write a poem unless something wonderful, horrible, painful or truly interesting happens.

kdnxdr
02-20-2006, 06:29 AM
Maybe poems come from guts, 'cause it takes guts to write a poem and put it "out there" for other people to read it.

brokenfingers
02-20-2006, 03:09 PM
another question that hit me... how is the writing process different when one is translating emotions or images that one has, respectively, felt or witnessed vs. constructing a poem to make an abstract idea concrete?

it would seem to me that in an observational work (or to some degree, an emotional work) we select or recall images that we can hang on a preexisting skeleton, a template, a chalk outline that we already have in our mind, while a philosophical work (for the lack of a better term) is more like creating from whole cloth, bringing it slowly into focus conceptually before languiage is capable of taking it from there.Hmmmm, interesting questions...

For me, and I am still new at this, the only difference lies in the beginning of the poem's creation or the inspiration that creates the initial words and ideas.

After that, the process is basically the same: I take my thought, observation or feeling and the feelings and words it initially evoked - and further try to find ways to show it, find words to express it, phrases, images.

I try to find universal images, for lack of a better word, that will help others to identify with what I am saying. Metaphors and examples etc.

Since I go about poem creation kind of the same way I go about prose creation, I then try to find ways to express what I'm trying to evoke through words, grammar etc. My poems tend to be of a more conversational tone (I think) than a "poetic" tone.

I never really have a pre-set format that I try to adhere to unless the initial words and lines automaticallt lend themselves to such. In other words - it's all pretty ad hoc.

But like I said - I'm just a beginner in the early stages, so who knows how I may do it the next time. Each poem is like a new journey for me - I think that's part of the allure...

NeuroFizz
02-20-2006, 05:22 PM
For me (remember, I'm a greenhorn as well):

Observation triggers a memory, which triggers an emotion.

Observation can be something as simple as an image cast on a wall by the morning sun.

Memory should really be called "recall." The observation triggers a memory recall, something familiar that makes the observation resonate. And, what's weird--initially it can occur without conscious acknowledgement of the memory. But, the recall triggers...

Emotion. The observation and memory recall must trigger enough resonance to move me to attempt to create, or rather "recall in words" how the observation travels through memory to the emotion.

And it ain't easy, at least for me, at this time.

William Haskins
02-20-2006, 06:20 PM
in my experience, it's never easy. but i think it can be a rewarding mental struggle.

great responses, everyone.

Jo
02-20-2006, 06:36 PM
i'm just glad you guys enjoy discussing this stuff. poetry can sometimes be lonely business.

Interesting observation. Perhaps poetry comes from, yet does not necessarily satiate, our need to share our personal perceptions. It is a means of expressing our senses, our ideals, our lives, our dreams and nightmares, in a written form that dances with our known language/s. Creative, expressive wordplay that stems from a form of communication known primarily to mankind. Perhaps we use poetry to denote our humanity.

William Haskins
02-20-2006, 06:53 PM
It is a means of expressing our senses, our ideals, our lives, our dreams and nightmares, in a written form that dances with our known language/s. Creative, expressive wordplay that stems from a form of communication known primarily to mankind. Perhaps we use poetry to denote our humanity.

yes, this is the crux of it all.

i've touched on this before, but i'll dredge it up again. i believe that poetry is one of the driving forces in the evolution of language and thought.

abstract thought developed before language. the need to communicate paved the way for a series of grunts essentially, and though our grunts have now had tens of thousands of years to grow and expand, language still lags behind the mind.

poetry, at its best, is the closest we can come to translating the internal.

dahmnait
02-20-2006, 07:10 PM
i'm just glad you guys enjoy discussing this stuff. poetry can sometimes be lonely business.A little OT, but this made me realize just how wonderful a man I have. I was discussing this thread with him last night and he not only listened, but also raised some interesting points. Mind you, this is a man who has stated quite clearly that he is not interested in poetry. Our discussion went from this topic (where poetry comes from) to what is poetry. What makes the words form a poem? Is it form, verbiage, feeling, etc. It just evolved from there. It was a rather interesting discussion.

It was your question William, about the form of poetry, abstract vs. tangible, which brought about the whole discussion. I am wondering what you mean by abstract. Emotions can be considered abstract, yet you placed emotional poetry in the tangible category.

I can't begin to explain how wonderful it is to meet people who share my passion for words. To be able to not only read and discuss poems, but also to discuss poetry in general, especially with the caliber of intelligence found here, is inspiring. Of course, I find my daily time allotment for AW being spent in the poetry forum. (I blame you William.) I haven't even had time to respond on those threads I have started elsewhere. Oh well, at some point I will take care of those too.

William Haskins
02-20-2006, 07:24 PM
great post, dahmnait.

when i speak of abstract subjects, it can be anything from making eye contact with someone (http://poisonpen.net/poetry/view/19/) to mortality (http://poisonpen.net/poetry/view/100/) to the sensation of time standing still (http://poisonpen.net/poetry/view/75/).

sometimes these can be spurred by emotion, or drawn from observation, but they can also be simply conceptual ideas.

we can bring them into the concrete sphere in any number of ways, including through visually-evocative imagery or by incorporating them into a narrative (story) structure.

robeiae
02-20-2006, 07:31 PM
Nothing we use or hear or touch can be expressed in words that equal what is given by the senses.--Hannah Arendt

THAT is where poetry comes from.

Rob :)

oneovu
02-20-2006, 07:35 PM
Among many of the other things mentioned, I think poetry comes from a horny mind trip where the poet is the s and the words are the m, except when its the other way around.

William Haskins
02-21-2006, 03:51 AM
hope i didn't kill this thread so soon.

Cassie88
02-21-2006, 04:02 AM
I don't think so, Will. I have a feeling we'll all be adding new thoughts and revelations as they come. Yup, I'm sure of it.

poetinahat
02-21-2006, 04:03 AM
I don't think so either, William. You're just good at getting everyone's cards on the table.

dahmnait
02-21-2006, 04:43 AM
Considering that this is one of the thoughts percolating in my head today, I don't think this topic is dead (at least not for me). Good thing my brain can multi-task or I wouldn't get any work done.

Simon Woodhouse
02-21-2006, 05:59 AM
I'm not sure where poetry comes from, but wherever it is, it would be better if quite a lot of it stayed there.

I know that's a bit sarcastic, and I do have the greatest respect for good poets, but they seem to be few and for between.

I've also noticed that not-so-good poets don't seem to be able to deal with criticism very well. And in a similar vein, criticising poets seems to attract a lot of flack. Is this because poets are somehow seen as tortured souls who've suffered for their work?

I hope I don't regret posting this, because I think I can hear all you tortured souls loading your guns right now.http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/images/smilies/smileyflag.gif

dahmnait
02-21-2006, 06:01 AM
:e2fight: I prefer hand-to-hand.

William Haskins
02-21-2006, 06:02 AM
I'm not sure where poetry comes from, but wherever it is, it would be better if quite a lot of it stayed there.

I know that's a bit sarcastic, and I do have the greatest respect for good poets, but they seem to be few and for between.

I've also noticed that not-so-good poets don't seem to be able to deal with criticism very well. And in a similar vein, criticising poets seems to attract a lot of flack. Is this because poets are somehow seen as tortured souls who've suffered for their work?

I hope I don't regret posting this, because I think I can hear all you tortured souls loading your guns right now.http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/images/smilies/smileyflag.gif

you might want to visit this thread. (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=14413)

dahmnait
02-21-2006, 06:09 AM
I've also noticed that not-so-good poets don't seem to be able to deal with criticism very well. And in a similar vein, criticising poets seems to attract a lot of flack. Is this because poets are somehow seen as tortured souls who've suffered for their work?
I actually welcome criticism; it helps with the whole tortured soul routine. ;)


Seriously, I write because I have to, but at the same time, I want to touch people with my words. If I don't, then I have failed as a writer. Receiving constructive criticism helps me achieve that goal. It is true, there are those out there who feel they are above help or criticism, but that goes with all walks of life. I have not seen any of that portrayed here on these boards. The people here offer and accept criticism and feedback with class.

poetinahat
02-21-2006, 06:12 AM
I hope I don't regret posting this, because I think I can hear all you tortured souls loading your guns right now.http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/images/smilies/smileyflag.gif
Why would you regret it unless you didn't mean it? And what makes you think we're all that thin-skinned here? Have a look around the place and get to know us before you judge us.

Actually, I disagree with you: poetry, good or bad, needs to come out. It'll never get better until it does. This forum is an excellent place for people to post work without it being perfect. Feedback is the only way we're going to find out; that's how we get better. Damn few poets are born, I'd bet. The rest are made.

Nobody's loading any guns; we don't do that here. If one thinks a poem is bad OR good, we'd expect a post saying so, and why.

So much the better if you come to the party and share some of your own work.

In any case, welcome to the boards, and three cheers to you for jumping right in.

William Haskins
02-21-2006, 06:21 AM
what makes you think we're all that thin-skinned here? Have a look around the place and get to know us before you judge us.

this is a great point. i've been involved in the past with forums that i felt were at the extremes in that they were either didactic in their viciousness (and vice-versa) or a mutual masturbation society, where everyone got points for just slapping something in a post.

both are wastes of time in their own way.

here, there is politeness, but there's also some good constructive criticism shared.

hopefully simon will stick around and share both some of his insights and some of his work.

dahmnait
02-21-2006, 06:29 AM
this is a great point. i've been involved in the past with forums that i felt were at the extremes in that they were either didactic in their viciousness (and vice-versa) or a mutual masturbation society, where everyone got points for just slapping something in a post.

both are wastes of time in their own way.So true. This is the first forum I have been on that I feel completely comfortable posting my work. I don't want to hear how good something is unless people truly feel that way. I would rather hear the truth about how I can improve, then to participate in a masturbation session. (Your words sum it up well.)

Simon Woodhouse
02-21-2006, 07:08 AM
I gave up writing poetry a long time ago, when I realised my output was really, really bad.

I dabbled with song writing for a bit after that, but I wasn't much better at it. For every one good song I wrote, there were ten terrible dirges.

I can't quote a single line of poetry, but my favourite poet is John Betjeman. And out of all of his work, Myfanwy (yes, I did have to look up the spelling) is my most loved. I like his poems because they contain a dry wit, and he catches the romantic side of life in England as it changed during and after World War Two, but not in a dewy-eyed way. His poem Slough is absolutely spot on. He also wrote a poem called On Hearing the Full Peal of Ten Bells from Christ Church, Swindon, Wilts, and that's the church my parents were married in.




http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/images/smilies/e2fight.gif I prefer hand-to-hand.
I'm far too much of a coward for that, and I couldn't stand the humiliation of being beat up by a girl.

dahmnait
02-21-2006, 07:25 AM
I'm far too much of a coward for that, and I couldn't stand the humiliation of being beat up by a girl.I like you. You're funny.

William Haskins
02-21-2006, 07:26 AM
it's definitely hard to argue with times new roman.

kdnxdr
02-21-2006, 07:35 AM
I think poetry and sex have so much in common. Just because a person doesn't have perfect sex doesn't mean a person gives up on making love. You just keept at it hoping to attain that perfect sexual experience but happy for all the practice you can get until you get there.

kdnxdr
02-21-2006, 07:36 AM
So, now I'm wondering, does the desire to write poetry come from the same place as the desire to have sex?

brokenfingers
02-21-2006, 07:41 AM
Hmmm, I don't think so. At least not for me. Poetry, to me at least, is comprised of a desire to communicate. To pass on a thought, feeling or image that I find worthy of transmitting. A sort of touching out and passing on the common torch of humanity we each have in us.

Sex is about pleasure, pure and simple.

JAlpha
02-21-2006, 07:55 AM
Wow! You all have such interesting sources for your poetry. I feel so humbled, I get all my poetry from a gumball machine.


http://www.gumballpoetry.com/machine/fifth_element_machine.jpg







And they accept submissions too http://www.gumballpoetry.com/guidelines.html

Simon Woodhouse
02-21-2006, 07:59 AM
it's definitely hard to argue with times new roman.
Watch your mouth son, or I'll start using Franklin Gothic Medium.

William Haskins
02-21-2006, 08:21 AM
i dare you.

Shwebb
02-21-2006, 08:59 AM
Sex is about pleasure, pure and simple.Not to me, but then, I'm female.

Sex is about pleasure, but it's also about connecting with someone on so many other levels than just the physical. I see the similarity.

William Haskins
02-21-2006, 09:12 PM
so let's see these poems that draw the metaphorical connection between sex and poetry.

ProsperitySue
02-22-2006, 05:19 AM
I just caught this thread and wanted to wade in on where I feel poetry comes from -- not to follow up or get in the way or trip over any bodies on the sex and poetry angle. :D

For me, poetry is an expression of a feeling and experience. I want give the reader an experience of those feeling, too, or to have some experience when they read my poem. They don't have to have the same feelings I did, but I would like them to feel pleasure: the joy of how the words come together, a surprising turn of phrase, a way of looking at something that gives a feeling of surprise, feeling understood, or seeing something in a new way. I would love readers to feel delight, pleasure, joy, laughter -- to feel good. It's a way of connecting.

When I write, the experience flows through me in a new way as I focus on the words I want and as I play with them. So, I enjoy it again as the experience flows into a poem. And a lot of times, I have surprises --words want to be spoken that I wasn't aware of. I take something that is more than words, and focus in words that don't have to be rational or make any certain kind of sense -- they can just be whatever I want them to be.

I really like experiences. I might like to have nice things, but I often choose an interesting experience over buying something. And to me, poetry is an experience and one reason I like it so much.

I also like clever, fun poetry, but don't write it myself. I like to be surprised -- like Rob's A Boy and His Taco (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=26466&highlight=taco).

Ok, now you can go back to sex and poetry. :heart:

William Haskins
02-22-2006, 06:16 AM
thanks for sharing, sue. i like the sense of play in your approach.

mkcbunny
02-22-2006, 06:55 AM
I think poetry and sex have so much in common. Just because a person doesn't have perfect sex doesn't mean a person gives up on making love. You just keept at it hoping to attain that perfect sexual experience but happy for all the practice you can get until you get there.
I was going to disagree with the first statement, but after writing a whole paragraph, I realized that I agree somewhat, with opposite reasoning. I see every sexual experience as being pretty darned good[!]. I'm not seeking perfection, and I don't see the variety of sexual experiences as practice for something better. As far as poetry is concerned, each poem is different. And although I hope to hone my skills over time, I don't see any piece as practice toward something else. I just try to make each poem the best it can be for what it is. So in a way, I feel the same way about them, that each individual experience is unique and worthy on its own account.



So, now I'm wondering, does the desire to write poetry come from the same place as the desire to have sex?
In my opinion, no. The desire to have sex can be the basic urge to have sex or it can be a desire aroused by a specific person. Using the first example, I see the need for sex as a selfish desire for gratification—which is not a bad thing, just a deep want of physical pleasure. And it might not even involve another person. It is about reaching a goal, satisfying a particular need, and it's a known result that you're seeking. It's essentially about "getting" something.

The urge to write a poem, it seems to me, is about "giving" something, and often about the unknown. When I'm writing, there's far more mystery in what lies ahead than there ever is in having sex. [I don't mean that in a pejorative sense regarding the sex.]

This is not to say that sexual experiences do not involve giving or sharing. Certainly, if I used the example above wherein the sexual urge was for a particular person, it's a relevant element. Or if love is involved. But I don't think the instinctual drive for sex is about that. Whereas, I think the internal drive to write a poem is about offering some piece of yourself up, letting something out. You could make a comparison to "making love" there [offering your body and soul, etc], but, again, I do not think that people desire sex to "give." Really and truly, I think we just want to "get some."

Shwebb
02-22-2006, 07:04 AM
I'm not sure where poetry comes from, but wherever it is, it would be better if quite a lot of it stayed there.

I know that's a bit sarcastic, and I do have the greatest respect for good poets, but they seem to be few and for between.

I've also noticed that not-so-good poets don't seem to be able to deal with criticism very well. And in a similar vein, criticising poets seems to attract a lot of flack. Is this because poets are somehow seen as tortured souls who've suffered for their work?

I hope I don't regret posting this, because I think I can hear all you tortured souls loading your guns right now.http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/images/smilies/smileyflag.gif I want to digress from the sex/poetry issue, if y'all don't mind, because this issue has been a bit more on my mind.

There are different levels of poetry, just as there are different levels of books and literature. Not everyone is attracted to or can write like Shakespeare; does that mean those that don't should give up writing or reading? There are different flavors for everyone's tastes. To say there isn't is like telling me that to enjoy music, I must listen to only opera.

I know simple souls who love a simple poem. (And I count myself among those humble masses.) I don't mind reading a flawed poem--as a human expression, I guess I expect, on some level, flaws. Sometimes the imperfect parts enhance the beauty of the profound.

I consider my own poetry to be drivel, but it doesn't stop me from writing it. I love to get criticism and feedback, because it is the only way to know if what I'm trying to say is being received effectively.

William Haskins
02-22-2006, 07:22 AM
I don't mind reading a flawed poem--as a human expression, I guess I expect, on some level, flaws. Sometimes the imperfect parts enhance the beauty of the profound.

this is exactly right. i don't think there is a perfect poem. but there are also degrees, perhaps even categories, of flaws.

many aren't even flaws at all, but might better be described as objections. a lay reader might have an objection to a reference or word he or she doesn't understand. a fellow poet (or worse yet, a critic) might have an objection to a particular word choice or meter, etc. these can't accurately be considered flaws, since they are subjective opinions at best.

but i think there can be what may be objectively considered flaws, which are purely the fault of the poet.

mkcbunny
02-22-2006, 07:25 AM
Nobody's loading any guns; we don't do that here.

This is one of the reasons why the Poetry Forum rocks.

William Haskins
02-22-2006, 07:27 AM
damn straight.

kdnxdr
02-22-2006, 08:43 PM
When I brought up the possibility of sex and poetry being comparative, I wasn't thinking metaphorically, but rather, for all the reasons that everyone has mentioned. We write poetry to "get something" "from deep need", a mental satisfaction of touching someone else. We also write poetry to give something, to communicate, to minister our humanity to the world. I can see the similarity between sex and poetry because these same dynamics work. Sex is communication. When sex is perpetrated on another human without consent, or as an act that has no consideration the other person involved, it becomes something other than sex, it becomes a crime.

Writing/Reading a poem involves two people who participate in the experience of the poem. Human perfection, by it's very nature can never be perfect. However, there is an ideal in everything human that is a type of perfection that we innately strive for. We want to catch the biggest, paint the most beautiful, write the most expressive. This drive for "human perfection", even though never perfect adds the zest to everything we do as humans. Each experience, each poem has that drive built into it, being perfect is not the goal, it's the striving for perfect that motivates us. Perfect is for the moment, for the experience of the experience and always subjective.

ProsperitySue
02-22-2006, 10:09 PM
And when creating, do you get the feeling of being on the edge of the universe? That exciting feeling of exploring and finding something new? I just love the feeling of life energy when the words are flowing no matter what I'm writing, but something creative like a poem that doesn't have the resistrictions of, say a letter or email, is even more fun. Just giving of who I am without any resistriction. I took flying lessons at one time and it was like that -- just me and the plane (and the instructor of course!), but I had a very pure experience of myself and feel that with writing, too.

Simon Woodhouse
02-23-2006, 02:12 AM
I've noticed quite a few people within this thread have said poetry helps them express their emotions.



it comes from the pain in us. "I'm hurt and I've got to tell somebody."

Poetry comes from emotion.
It is the transference, through the written word, of something that moves or inspires the writer - to a reader, thereby moving or inspiring them.


Oddly enough, some of the most powerful poetry comes from an emotional hell. I've known many who did not feel the inspiration to write poetry unless upset or distraught.

but, yes, definitely, emotion (or as wordsworth said: "poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings; it takes its origin in emotion recollected in tranquility.") is a very valid answer.

I think it comes from intense emotion. I don't write a poem unless something wonderful, horrible, painful or truly interesting happens

Emotion. The observation and memory recall must trigger enough resonance to move me to attempt to create, or rather "recall in words" how the observation travels through memory to the emotion.

Is this desire to express your emotions purely for your own benefit, or to share with other people?

If it's the former, that's good, because we all need to get our emotions out, but if it's the later, I'm less inclined to be in favour of it. I'll explain.

Whatever big emotion it is you're feeling that prompts you to write your poem, I've felt it too. I've felt despair, rejection, happiness, insecurity etc. Do I need to know you've felt the same? Not really. It's evident to me I'm not the only person to feel these things. If you could tell me why you're feeling this way, them I'd be interested. But I'm not interested in the obvious stuff, like you've split up with your boyfriend so you're sad, or your pet cat has just died so you're full of despair. It goes without saying certain events will trigger particular emotions.

I'd like to know how you felt when waiting for the bus in the rain, and a car drove past and splashed you. If this happened to me I'd laugh. Here I am soaking wet, thinking it couldn't get any worse and it does.

Too much poetry seems to be concerned with expressing obvious emotions. These types of poems are akin to cheesy Celine Dion style ballads. They're the lowest common denominator. In my first post in this thread I said wherever poetry came from, it would be better if a lot of it stayed there, and this is the sort of thing I'm talking about.

http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/images/smilies/smileyflag.gif

William Haskins
02-23-2006, 02:43 AM
your dim view of poetry, especially that drawn from emotion, is rather one-dimensional.

poetry drawn from emotion, when well-executed, can enlighten and expand the horizons of the reader.

a poem that conveys an emotional response to nature, for instance, can trigger memories or enhance one's own appreciation for nature. a poem about mortality can lead to new insights on the realities of life and death.

i'm intrigued by your interest in posting here, given that you obviously don't have much use for the craft.

trumancoyote
02-23-2006, 03:30 AM
I suppose you hate poetry that comes from my peepee, too ::glare::

As Celine Dionesque as it gets.

poetinahat
02-23-2006, 03:32 AM
I suppose you hate poetry that comes from my peepee, too ::glare::

As Celine Dionesque as it gets.
But the handwriting is beautiful.

trumancoyote
02-23-2006, 03:34 AM
You charmer, you.

SueB
02-23-2006, 04:00 AM
Hey William,

Thanks for another interesting space!

Poetry is a genre that I know very little about. It is something that I enjoy writing, therefore I choose not to 'study' it. I write poetry only to amuse myself and my children and grandkids. It seems that I most often write my 'poetry' in the voice of a child. What this says about me psycologically, I have no idea.

My son-in-law is a business partner with the US Snowboard/Cross Gold medal winner at the Olympics, Seth Wescott. Seth's winning the Gold has created a lot of excitement in Maine, in our community and in our family. My granddaughter, 4 year old Violet, was very excited about her friend Seth winning the gold. I wrote the following poem in her voice. The child in me had fun doing it.








He And His Snowboard Took Flight

Just As I Had Thought They Might









It was a misty day in Maine

Remembering our Olympic fame



It was our own Seth Wescott

Won the Gold for which he fought



He and his snowboard took flight

Just as I had thought they might



Took the Gold in Italy

For Carrabasset Valley



Now Sugarloaf USA

Is in the headlines today



Folks like my dad, Dan Mathieu

Are quoted from interview



Heard of the Three Musketeers?

Well, I know four, who sell beers



Two are tall and thin: Dad and Seth

Two are their best friends: Chase and Jeff.



These four are partners at The Rack


These four friends: each part of the pack



Im glad to know you Seth Wescott

Today ladies think you are hot



But tomorrow you can teach me

Snowboarding. I already ski



I am four years old now, and you

Are the fastest cat in the zoo



Ill never forget when I heard

That you had won. It was absurd



I had been walking in the fog

With leash in hand, Id lost my dog!



Through the fog, her leash was stretched tight

Yes was stretched tight--clear out of sight



The fog closed in all around me

The leash pulled me home to Mommy



My mom was smiling so broadly

I thought Shes happy to see me.



Mom hugged me and twirled me around

Glad to see me and my old hound?



No, twas you, Seth, had won the Gold

Swhat my found dog and I were told.



Love,

Violet







SM Baumgardner 2/17/2006

ProsperitySue
02-23-2006, 04:07 AM
But I'm not interested in the obvious stuff, like you've split up with your boyfriend so you're sad

Did Shakespeare stink to high heaven when he wrote Romeo and Juliet? Isn't it the skill of the writer that makes the difference?

I think difficult equations are poetry to physicists and statisticians -- I think they see the beauty in them, the symmetry, the elegance -- I've heard them use those terms, but equations don't express feelings. I think poetry has to evoke or express feelings in some way to be interesting. Since we're all individuals then what touches us will be different.

brokenfingers
02-23-2006, 12:20 PM
I've noticed quite a few people within this thread have said poetry helps them express their emotions.

Is this desire to express your emotions purely for your own benefit, or to share with other people?

If it's the former, that's good, because we all need to get our emotions out, but if it's the later, I'm less inclined to be in favour of it. I'll explain.

Whatever big emotion it is you're feeling that prompts you to write your poem, I've felt it too. I've felt despair, rejection, happiness, insecurity etc. Do I need to know you've felt the same? Not really. It's evident to me I'm not the only person to feel these things. If you could tell me why you're feeling this way, them I'd be interested. But I'm not interested in the obvious stuff, like you've split up with your boyfriend so you're sad, or your pet cat has just died so you're full of despair. It goes without saying certain events will trigger particular emotions.

Too much poetry seems to be concerned with expressing obvious emotions. These types of poems are akin to cheesy Celine Dion style ballads. They're the lowest common denominator. In my first post in this thread I said wherever poetry came from, it would be better if a lot of it stayed there, and this is the sort of thing I'm talking about.Hmmm... I have to disagree with your statement - especially that in red.

I feel, and once again, of course, this is only my own opinion, that it is this transference of emotion that appeals to us most about poetry. It is the forging of a common bond between strangers that gives poetry its power.

When you can connect with a stranger and inspire in them the same emotion, thought, feeling or whatever that you've instilled in your poem (it might be something you've actually felt or seen - or a highly skilled construct created to make a point by the poet) then you are really saying:

"Look, fellow human - do you see? Can you see me now? We are not so different, you and I. Can you now feel what I've felt? Can you now see what I've seen? Can you now understand what I've thought? We are but merely parts of the same whole, temporarily separated from the Greater - and for this moment, we can touch and remember our sameness again, remember our origin."

With every poem, the poet asks: "Do you see me?" And by so doing - "Do you see yourself?"

It is this transference of emotion that sings to the soul of the reader, that creates that feeling of "Ah!" and stimulates that silent nod of your internal head that says: "Yes, yes. I see it. It is truly but a reflection of me..."

That is what poetry is all about, I feel.

William Haskins
02-23-2006, 06:39 PM
"Look, fellow human - do you see? Can you see me now? We are not so different, you and I. Can you now feel what I've felt? Can you now see what I've seen? Can you now understand what I've thought? We are but merely parts of the same whole, temporarily separated from the Greater - and for this moment, we can touch and remember our sameness again, remember our origin."

With every poem, the poet asks: "Do you see me?" And by so doing - "Do you see yourself?"

precisely.

Cassie88
02-24-2006, 02:34 AM
About sex and poetry - I gotta admit, I've written a lot of poems since the sex fiend left. But could've been, when he was here, I was just too damn tired.

SueB
02-24-2006, 04:03 AM
Poetry, to me, is music without a melody, until the reader gives it his own personal melody. The lyrics, in black and white, hold the meter/rhythm but the melody must be improvised by the reader. And like much of our music, even poor quality lyrics can sound quite lovely under good melody.

Simon Woodhouse
02-24-2006, 04:44 AM
I'm not sure I really understand what you're saying here. I don't think we're talking the same language.




"Look, fellow human
I know you're a human, you've written a poem, and us humans are the only things on the planet that can do it.




do you see? Can you see me now?
I know you don't mean can I see you literally, as you're not standing in front of me. So I'm guessing you mean on some sort of spiritual or emotional level. If that's the case, then no, I can't see you, because I don't function in that sort of way.




We are not so different, you and I.
Yes, we're both human beings, but there are six and a half billion variations within the species, so I expect I am quite different from you.




Can you now feel what I've felt? Can you now see what I've seen? Can you now understand what I've thought?
To understand this sort of thing about you I'd need to do more than read one of your poems. Your poems might reveal one tiny facet of your personality, but there's more to you than that. Also, your poem might be written using vague metaphors and that sort of thing, in which case it could be open to interpretation. Or your poem could be pure fantasy, so therefore it won't tell me anything about you personally, other than you like to write fantasy poetry.







We are but merely parts of the same whole, temporarily separated from the Greater - and for this moment, we can touch and remember our sameness again, remember our origin.
This is the bit that's really confusing me. In one sense I agree with what you're saying about being part of the same whole. When I die my body will rot and what I'm made of will eventually find it's way into something else. The same thing's going to happen to you, so in that sense we are part of the same whole. And who knows, at some point in the past some of what's in me and some of what's in you, might have been in the same thing. But I certainly can't remember that, and I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be able to even if I could touch you.

brokenfingers
02-24-2006, 05:08 AM
I'm not sure I really understand what you're saying here. I don't think we're talking the same language.Hahahaha! Well, we each have our own opinions, I suppose. Good luck on your journey, though it doesn't seem likely our paths will cross.

And, especially, good luck with your poetry.

William Haskins
02-24-2006, 05:31 AM
again, simon.

even after speaking to you privately a bit, i'm still perplexed as to the poetry forum's attraction for you.

what we know about you is this (and please correct me if i'm wrong):


you used to write poetry, but you deemed it "really, really bad".


you have a generally low opinion of the grade of work on the internet and forums like this.


you don't very much buy into the notion of the capacity of poetry to move people, sometimes in profound ways.


you wish fewer people attempted poetry and wish even more that you didn't have to read it.
this, in my estimation, is the totality of your posts so far.

now, don't get me wrong... you're welcome to be here, and you add a certain shadow to the forum that i find interesting. i have a healthy appreciation for snarky cynics...

but it's the why that vexes me...

are you establishing a role as the resident curmudgeon? do you just enjoy needling aspiring poets? are you on a mission from god?

do you hate yourself in some way for not being able (in your mind) to write powerful, vivid verse?

are you frustrated, like a eunuch at a gangbang?

give me something.

-william

poetinahat
02-24-2006, 05:33 AM
Hahahaha! Well, we each have our own opinions, I suppose. Good luck on your journey, though it doesn't seem likely our paths will cross.

And, especially, good luck with your poetry.
I'm with BF on this one. Simon, are you really seeing things as cut-and-dried as all that? It appears that you're not interested in anything we're discussing, other than to dismiss it all as pointless.

As William mentioned earlier on, if you're not interested in writing poetry, why are you in this forum at all?

Amen, William.

Simon Woodhouse
02-24-2006, 06:22 AM
I certainly don't want to needle or discourage aspiring poets. But I do think it's important for poetry to be more than just emotions poured out onto a page.

I know people feel happy or sad or despondent from time to time, it's obvious. And I experience those things too, so I'm aware of how different emotions make us all feel. What I don't know though, is why the poet who writes about them feels that way.

Why can't there be more poetry that reveals the 'why' instead of just the 'what'? That's my point. Why tell me about what you feel, when I feel those things too, and so therefore already know what they feel like. What I don't know is why you feel them, and that's where the uniqueness of each of our experiences resides.

You're sad. Why? Is it because you chipped a nail on the way to work, or because your granny has just died? Paint a picture for me, draw me into your world and show me where you live. Let me see the things that make you happy or sad or despondent, rather than just telling me you feel that way.

Does that make sense?

kdnxdr
02-24-2006, 06:35 AM
Yes, in a concrete sort of way.

I think I can see what you're saying.

It's maybe kinda like being blind, never to have seen and you want to get a grasp of what something actually looks like and you need someone to describe that for you so you can see vicariously.

JRH
03-10-2006, 06:00 AM
Poetry comes from perception of life, (both through introspection and observation) and from the inate need to express what one has perceived.

(those who don't have that need have no need to consider the question in the first place).

JRH

William Haskins
03-10-2006, 06:02 AM
but the same could be said for painting, sculpting or prose writing, yes?

is poetry different only by degree?

robeiae
03-10-2006, 06:05 AM
Poetry is Dionysian. Sculpture is Apollonian. At least, according to FN.

Rob :)

JRH
03-10-2006, 06:18 AM
Yes, The same could be said for any form of creative expression. They differ only in the vehicle used but your question was about the source not the nature of the results.

The truth is, that although people have often pondered the sources of inspiration, the truth is that such comes from the subconscious working on what we percieve, think, and feel. whether we want to attibute it to Muses, Ghosts. or an upset stomach.

At one point, I phrased the answer something like this:

It Must Be Ghosts

Mad.....Yes, some will think me mad,
Yet, I will say what must be said,
I have not writ my poems.

Lines, phrases, rough drafts in whole,
Have lept into my head and out my pen,
And I, reviewing them again,
Find no identity in thought or phrase
With what my hand laid down.....
Although I know it was my hand that writ.

It's not in fashion to believe in muses,
And ghosts, though trite,
Are somewhat more in style.

It must be ghosts!

Suppose, for sake of argument,
The ghosts of poets, not content
Their work was finished when they died,
Seek kindred souls, yearning to write,
And these, they 'tempt to guide.....
Their success, bounded by their affinity.
So I feel it's been with me.
Some ghost or ghosts have led my hand.

It's mad!.....It's mad!

Even I must think it mad.....and yet.....

Poet's e'er have had their muses,
Without explaining, without divining
Why or what their nature might be.
Muses were....perhaps, still are,
And is it such insanity
To think in terms or ghosts?

Yeat's called on ghosts,
Even the ghosts of his creations.

Is it really so wondrous to conceive;
The ghosts of poets wandering,
Nursing the flames of imagination,
Midwives to creative birth.

I do not know,
But this I boast.

If ghosts they are.....
They're welcome ghosts.

Copyright april 1976 James R. Hoye


JRH

William Haskins
03-10-2006, 06:35 AM
i'm not challenging you; just trying to understand.

so, if poetry only differs from painting or sculpture (or more importantly, prose), would you say that its effect is the same?

JRH
03-10-2006, 07:25 AM
Without a doubt, although the main purpose of any of them from my point of view is communication, whether it consist of stirring emotion, provoking insight, or providing any of a number of forms of esthetic pleasure, (although I will concede the means by which each achieves that will depend on the nature of the media)

I didn't mean to mock your question. I simply feel that any creative artist has to realize that both the inspiration and the discipline needed to express oneself coherently ultimately come from within.

JRH

P.S I suppose I should add that providing pleasure to the reader/viewer/audiance is also important, but I tend to think that that is a byproduct of communication (and it dows apply to prose as much as to any of the others).

William Haskins
03-10-2006, 07:32 AM
i'm not seeing it as mockery in any way, so don't sweat that. i also agree in principle with your last comment about inspiration and discipline.

but i find the motivation to paint or sculpt (which is, in my estimation, to trigger an emotional response through visual experience) the motivation to write fiction (to make use of character, setting and plot to communicate a narrative microcosm of human existence) and that of poetry (to trigger emotional response through imagery and the weaving of metaphor) to be quite different animals.

when properly executed, i believe the effect to be quite different as well.

to me, poetry is not just "expression" wrapped in a different shell.

JRH
03-10-2006, 09:12 AM
William,

I don't think there is that much difference in our position. You see, I write Short Stories, and Songs, (both the Music and the Lyrics), Paint and do Photography, (Sculpture is one thing I never got into), but the point of the discussion was the SOURCE of inspiration, and that remains the same, It lies in one's self.

On the other hand, I won't deny that each creative activity calls on different aspects of one's experience and requires different approachs to satisfy the requirements of the media, although for myself, I have no trouble switching between them as I simply move from one to another when I reach any sort of block.

I will quarrel,however, with the concept that "Poetry" is confined to triggering emotional response through imagery. the "Modernists" might agree with that, but they don't understand or appreciate the classic elements of craftsmanship or that the concept that Poetry could and should include many levels of COMMUNICATION beyond the emotional responce, It can, in fact, appeal intellectually as well, or simply convey universal experience, (and note that I said "convey" as opposed to "describe", because a good poem engages the reader in the experience as well). Moreover, It can examine ideas and concepts that can't be easily conceptuallized or expressed in other media, (such as historical or fantasy recreations) You might want to check out some of my "Poetry" in the Member's section of www.shadowpoetry.com in the Poet's Corner section under my name. (i doubt you will find many that are limited to "emotional" expression).

In any case, Poetry is not merely an expression. It is a CRAFT. Saying that implies that it takes thought and careful planning to CONTROL it's final form, and that further implies that there are principles of CRAFTSMANSHIP that define how a Poem takes shape.

To begin with, A Poem must be written with a PURPOSE, whether is merely to describe something or analyze it or to express an emotional or intellectual response to experience.

It must be FOCUSED on a single subject and be bounded by UNITIES of Expression, Thought, and Image and must have a DENOUEMENT or OUTCOME that UNITES the whole. In the words of Robert Frost, it must "begin in delight and end in wisdom",

And those things taken together mean to me that they are not that differenct from the other forms of craftsmanship I engage in which take much of the same kind of discipline, (even if the details differ), so I think our disagreement simply reflects individual points of view IN looking at things

JRH

William Haskins
03-10-2006, 09:38 AM
And those things taken together mean to me that they are not that differenct from the other forms of craftsmanship I engage in which take much of the same kind of discipline, (even if the details differ), so I think our disagreement simply reflects individual points of view IN looking at things

i believe you're correct, although i will maintain that the primary mechanism of a successful poem is the triggering of emotion. i recognize that this is a matter of opinion, but it's a widely shared one and was so long before modernism.

welcome to the board, by the way. i appreciate your contribution to the discussion and the insights you've shared.

might want to have that keyboard looked at, though. the caps lock button seems to be going a little nuts on you every so often.

William Haskins
03-10-2006, 09:44 AM
by the way, james, your poetry is exquisite. i hope you'll stick around, and you should really link to your page in your signature.

i'd personally be honored if you'd post some of your work here from time to time.

thanks again for the discussion.

JRH
03-10-2006, 11:35 AM
I'm glad you liked it and I'll consider that link to my signature but that link to Shadow Poetry and my e-mail addresses are in my profile for any interested.
I've hesitated posting Poetry here as I have limited time for commenting on others in return.

As for the CAPS, the problem lies with me, not my computer. I got into the bad habit of using them for emphasis when I was posting on forums where the controls for bold, italic and underline didn't work. I'll try to curb it in the future.

In the meantime, let me say, i've visited your site and enjoyed your Poetry as well.

Just for the record, here's a short one for people to think about.

On the Kinship Of Fools and Wise Men

The learned young philosopher
Sits in the shadows,
Watching......Waiting

The youthful vibrant faces
Mouth bright passionate words.
They exchange their palative lies
To ease the pain foreshadowed..

Yet, he refrains his sensitivities.......
Too tuned to stark reality
To wish that he were such as they......

And wishes it anyway.......
And wishes it anyway.

Copyright June 1976 James R. Hoye

JRH

William Haskins
03-10-2006, 05:15 PM
As for the CAPS, the problem lies with me, not my computer. I got into the bad habit of using them for emmphasis when I was posting on forums where the controls for bold, and underline didn't work. I'll try to curb it in the future.

just a little good-natured ribbing. i'm glad you're here.

amayhem
03-11-2006, 12:00 AM
Where does poetry come from

A simple and very complex question

From life

From your heart

From your soul

From all around you

From deep inside you

From somewhere that you could never explain


When does poetry come

When you least expect it

When you are all alone

When you are in the middle of a crowd

When you can not find a pen

Never when you want it to


How much does poetry cost

Poetry is free

Sometimes it cost you everything

And more


How much does poetry pay

Nothing

Sometimes more than you could ever imagine


Why write poetry

Because you enjoy it

To help yourself

To help others

To change the world

Because you really have no other choice

Because you have to breathe


What is poetry

Words that rhyme

Words that dont

Sometimes something greater than the words on the page

All that you have left to show for your tears

Life

rich
03-11-2006, 12:27 AM
(If there are posts here who hit upon this conjecture, my humble apology. I do't always read all posts in a thread.)

I think poetry came when language was able to move from a one-on-one situation to when language grew to a point where it was able to transmit meaning to a crowd. I think the orators--and that was all there was when poetry started--tried to both transfer facts to a crowd and to bring home their points and to entertain, add rhythms and assonance and rhyme "If the glove don't fit you must acquit" and
liken the concrete to the spiritual, and liken the spiritual to the concrete.