1. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    Poetry?

    Discussion in 'Book Discussion' started by Lemex, Oct 15, 2014.

    General question: there seem to be a few people here to write poetry, so who are your favourite poets?

    What are your favourite collections of poems and what era of poetry do you like most?
     
  2. Darkkin
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    Darkkin Reflection of a nobody Contributor

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    Following the footprints in the sand...
    Sir Walter Scott, William Wordsworth, and Alfred, Lord Tennyson. I like Frost, as well, and Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge has long been a favourite of mine. Edward Lear's The Owl and the Pussy Cat and Other Nonsense was one of the first books I learned how to read.

    But I have a book, Treasury of the Familiar, the likes of which you won't find today. It was written in 1945 and was given to me by my grandmother. Where it came from, I don't know, but that book has seen more use than any other I own. It has everything in it. From Robert Louis Stevenson and Sir Oscar Wilde to The Cremation of Sam McGee by Robert W. Service, it is a collection that has made me laugh and cry.

    It has left a lasting impact on my own writing. Sorry, I digress. I guess what I'm trying to say is that I like a wide variety of poets that I probably wouldn't have been exposed to without my dratted book. My school wasn't so keen on academics as it was on athletics.

    Poetry is the music of the soul, a song and a refrain echoing in the reader's head. How can one chose a favourite?

    Edit: I'm not a huge fan of the more modern poets...:wtf:. Very similar to my feelings on rap, yes, it is its own genre, but I don't get it. I respect it, but I don't get it.
     
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  3. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    What is it you don't like about more modern poets? Seamus Heaney and Simon Armatage are I think very good - at least.
     
  4. Darkkin
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    Darkkin Reflection of a nobody Contributor

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    It is the inherent loss of the musicality of the syntax with the newer poets. Language, like everything evolves, and the modern poets just don't have the visceral cohesion of the classical poets. I have the same issue with a lot of modern non-genre writers, as well. My vocabulary is antiquated and I don't want to update it.

    Definition and context are often lost in the modern, written word. There is a harshness to it, bordering on vulgarity. It is almost as if the amorphousness of vocabulary has been cindered in industry. Simile and colloquialisms don't speak as well as they once did because fewer and fewer folk take the time to comprehend.

    Profanity, atrocious grammar, and stark subject matter all play a part in my abhorrence of modernist poetry. The classical poets , even when doling out epics and ballads, had an elegance to them. Yes, the brutality was there, but they brought something else. They held onto the essence that is hope and the human spirit.

    We have the gift of language, yet we are spiralling. New Speak is creeping in and too much of the modernist poetry is exploiting that. I'll check out the aforementioned poets and see if they don't temper my stand a little.
     
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  5. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    I must admit, all of that can be applied to some poets who I can name. ee cummings I actually hate. I know what you are talking about - but I find Ted Hughs and Auden, and a few select others are a good antidote to that sort of thing.
     
  6. Darkkin
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    Darkkin Reflection of a nobody Contributor

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    Following the footprints in the sand...
    One of the pieces listed in my signature is written a vehement protest to modernist poetry...and until this moment I didn't quite realise it. :confuzled:

    We now return you to your regularly scheduled thread...

    I just looked up some of the works by Heaney and Armatage, and I will admit they look intriguing. I've read Heaney's translation of Beowulf in a couple of my classes. Time to check out the used book store. :agreed:
     
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  7. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    If I listed all my favorite poets, this would be the longest post on this forum, so I'll keep it short.

    I'll go East to West and mention Du Fu and Li Po first. I only discovered them relatively recently and have grown to like them. Rumi is another good poet. He's from the Middle East and live in the 13th century. I think Rumi is one of the most famous poets in the West. His love poems are everywhere.

    I also recently discovered the Syrian poet Adonis (he's always been a favorite for the Nobel Prize). Coming to Ireland, Yeats and Heaney are good. I just realized I don't have much experience with poets from most of the European countries. Oh well. In the interest of time, I'll keep this short and end with Frost, Auden, and Whitman. Whitman is probably my favorite poet of all time.
     
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  8. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    I like a mix -offbeat stuff, modern & classic
    Rimbaud
    Kenneth Patchen
    Jill Hoffman
    Al Purdy & Ralph Gustafson - Canadian Poets
    Walt Whitman
    Dylan Thomas
    Some of the beats - Ginsberg, Kerouac
    Campbell McGrath - his poetry collection - in the kingdom of the sea monkeys - was really good
    I'd love to get my hands on a few copies of Chelsey Minnis' poetry collections cause I've bumped into her poems and I love them
     
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  9. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    Really? I must admit I've never read him, though a copy of Leaves of Grass with a selection of essays have been dancing around me in fishnet stockings and trying to attract my attention. What's he like as a poet?
     
  10. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    I find Whitman very sensual, passionate, and joyful - here's one I like and you can find on the net. A Noiseless, Patient Spider -
    [​IMG] NOISELESS, patient spider,
    I mark'd, where, on a little promontory, it stood, isolated;
    Mark'd how, to explore the vacant, vast surrounding,
    It launch'd forth filament, filament, filament, out of itself;
    Ever unreeling them--ever tirelessly speeding them.
    And you, O my Soul, where you stand,
    Surrounded, surrounded, in measureless oceans of space,
    Ceaselessly musing, venturing, throwing,--seeking the spheres, to connect them;
    Till the bridge you will need, be form'd--till the ductile anchor hold;
    Till the gossamer thread you fling, catch somewhere, O my Soul.
     
  11. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    Oh wow! You wouldn't think it to look at it, but that flows amazingly well! I could imagine that being said by Captain Ahab, shouting at the sea from the front of his ship while on the hunt for the great white whale. I don't know why I connected that with the Melville novel, but that's seriously good stuff!
     
  12. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    He's actually very easy to pick up and read. He deals with a lot of universal themes like love, sex, and friendship. For us Americans, he's the American poet.
     
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  13. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    Awesome stuff!
     
  14. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    I've found this great poem about reading poetry. Enjoy this, everyone. :D


    Introduction to Poetry
    Billy Collins


    I ask them to take a poem
    and hold it up to the light
    like a color slide
    or press an ear against its hive.

    I say drop a mouse into a poem
    and watch him probe his way out,
    or walk inside the poem's room
    and feel the walls for a light switch.

    I want them to waterski
    across the surface of a poem
    waving at the author's name on the shore.

    But all they want to do
    is tie the poem to a chair with rope
    and torture a confession out of it.

    They begin beating it with a hose
    to find out what it really means.
     
  15. Lewdog
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    So much Transcendentalist love in this thread!
     
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  16. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    Oooooh, can we talk about Milton now?
     
  17. Lewdog
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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  18. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    Of course! Since it is blatantly obvious Milton wrote Paradise Lost about the failure of the English Revolution and the commonwealth, what do you think that means about Satan's attempt to corrupt mankind? Do you think Milton thinks Satan has scored a new kind of victory, or is any attempt to win after his rebellion doomed to failure?

    @Lewdog, good video! I also like this video - I'm a fan of Percy Shelley:



    Oh, I forgot to say who I like, how rude of me. :p My favourite poets are Robert Frost, Seamus Heaney, Virgil, Dante Percy Shelley, Wilfred Owen, Alexander Pope (Must admit) and John Keats.

    I own the Library of America copy of Robert Frost's collected poems, plays and prose - it's the most expensive non-antiquarian book I own (cost me £30!) but ... my god is it worth it!
     
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  19. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    Well with the dissolution of the cultural paradigm (The Great Chain of Being) I see Satan as fighting against a system that he feels will not succeed, with a rebellion that can never succeed. But Satan needs very little help in tempting Eve, or corrupting Solomon. His human character are searching for something, blindly turning to idolatry to try to understand god, and Milton never allows his humans to understand. In the same way that Satan is against god, Eve and Solomon are never able to know god.

    It seems that Milton is trying to create a new cultural paradigm of self expression. If King Henry can decide the pope is no longer the head of the church, why can't Satan decide that god is no longer the ruler of creation?

    It unfortunate that the doctrine of the rapture wouldn't be invented until the 1700s, because I think Milton would have continued his work through to the now familiar details of Armageddon.
     
  20. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    [Double post]
     
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  21. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    This is interesting. Satan says a few times, at least twice, that if he can claim God's throne he can gain the powers of God. To be honest, this always troubled me, because it doesn't really make sense - and Satan is too intelligent a character to seem able to really believe this.

    I sort of half agree with your reading. One of the comments Satan makes in book 1 is has interested me for a long time. I can't remember the quote exactly right now, but after he has collected himself in the lake of fire he says essentially that because he is in Hell, and has been punished instead of outright destroyed, he has shown a weakness in God - he has made God sweat. Of course, Satan would say this, but he has a point. Why does God need to make an example of Satan and the rebel angels? How did God allow (if he is omniscient) the rebellion to happen in the first place?

    Obviously the Great Chain of being is powerful, but I think it's simplifying things to say it's monarchy verses republican populism - though that certainly is the case. Maybe what Satan is seeing when he says God must have been scared during the rebellion, or he wouldn't have bothered with Hell at all, he has seen something of God, and it's a God who is more flawed than the Great Chain might suggest. I honestly think Satan might have had a chance, though how I don't really know; I can't answer that.

    One thing I always found amazing in Paradise Lost, too, is there is a hint of extra-terrestrial life in Milton's universe. What does this say about the Great Chain too?

    To be honest, I'm kind of glad he didn't. Milton's entire life was step on step to Paradise Lost. Everything after that I've felt just lacks a certain urgency - almost like he was saying 'I have written my epic, now what do I do?'
     
  22. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    I find myself trying to reconcile my modern belief in God with the historical paradigm. In many cases this is because Islamic understanding of God has permeated both modern Christianity, and all other thoughts.

    Unfortunately I'm not a historical theologian, but from what I understand the idea of an infinite God is only as recent as Islam. The Bible makes parables between God and wealth, but the concept of infinity didn't exist at the time, and doesn't really appear in the text.*

    Now I'm trying to recall from the text if Milton ever says that God is omniscient, and I can't really remember. But once again we can draw a parallel. If the pope is infallible, why did he allow Protestantism to rise? Is the King now, as the head of the church infallible? And what if two infallible entities have a disagreement?

    I think Paradise Lost is less about the English rebellion, and more about a critical theological juncture in English history as they (you) lost the structure of Catholicism in a radical split from the rest of the world.

    Of topic, did you know the whole English split happened because of a dog?


    *This is my fundamental problem with Mormonism, that has taken a giant leap backward in understanding, and preaches about a finite god, one that was created. The idea that we can one day all become gods is apostolic to my understanding.
     
  23. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    Ah, to be honest I don't have this need. I can see why, though. All of our opinions and beliefs affect the way we read poetry - especially poetry like Paradise Lost. I've noticed, even, that my taste in poetry is an extension of my opinions and my beliefs.

    I thought infinity was by then an established concept. It is found in Greek philosophical texts, texts Milton would have been familiar with.

    Also, what is the space between Hell and the Universe, where Chaos is, if not infinity? That's how I imagined it, with Heaven, Hell, the universe and Chaos all floating in an endless infinity, and Chaos was another thing Milton took from the ancient Greeks.

    God in the text isn't omniscient in one sense - if I remember it right. I remember a part - think I remember a part when Satan makes a second run for the holy throne just before he goes to Earth, and God is somewhere else, and comes back to personally stop Satan. At least, I think I'm remembering it right, but at the same time, God's omniscience was a well established idea. I must admit, I don't know a lot about the theology of the time either.

    I think I might need to re-read the poem soon actually.

    Excellent point! I had honestly never even thought that it could be talking about Protestantism. To be honest, I read it as purely a reflection on the English Civil War.

    Ha! I had no idea. Wonderful. :D
     
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  24. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    I know that the concept of infinity existed, but I'm not sure it had been translated into the concept of an infinite being. Certainly pagan gods were always hampered by their finite...itude. Zeus or Odin are never portrayed as infallible, quite the opposite in fact. I don't even know who to talk to or what to google to answer this question. The bible never uses the word omniscient, but the building stones are there, I guess.

    But then we have to ask about the nature of omniscience and whether it would have been bestowed upon Satan if he took the throne. My reading of the text was that he wasn't trying to succeed, only show God that he could make the attempt. He speaks to his fellow demons and rallies them, but never seems certain of victory himself.

    I fear I may be reading things that are not in the text though.

    By the way, the wikipedia entry on Paradise Lost contains none of what we are talking about. Anyone trying to follow along will either have to wait for someone to update the page, or read the poem themselves.
     
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  25. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    This discussion makes me want to run out and buy me some Milton.
     

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