1. Spiderfingers
    Offline

    Spiderfingers Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2012
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    0

    So, what concept of poetry do you have?

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Spiderfingers, Jan 6, 2012.

    I ask this mostly out of curiosity: personally, I see poetry as something close to music, with a rhythm and an association of sounds that flow together (unless the opposite is desired, of course) - sometimes so much so that meaning almost becomes secondary x3 (that's probably why I tend to disagree with certain kinds of prose poems) Little-used images are also a big thing for me, I think. However, I still do appreciate reading some kind of sense into what's written. Anyway, that's pretty much it for me!

    So guys (and girls obviously, sorry, guys is kind of a general term for me), how do you see poems?
     
  2. cruciFICTION
    Offline

    cruciFICTION Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    May 18, 2011
    Messages:
    1,236
    Likes Received:
    49
    Location:
    Brisbane, Australia
    If the author says it's poetry, it is poetry. Obviously there are things that need to be taken into account; most importantly that it's written in verse and not in prose. The reader does not define the material, the writer does.
     
  3. Ziggy Stardust
    Offline

    Ziggy Stardust Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2011
    Messages:
    129
    Likes Received:
    4
    Meaning is never secondary for me. I hate, hate, hate poetry that says absolutely nothing and is just the author stringing together meaningless waffle trying to sound "deep". There's certainly a thin divide between poetry and song writing though. But imo with songwriting the music can stand on it's own without the lyrics meaning anything. Music is evocative in itself anyway. Classical orchestral music doesn't need words to communicate with us. But for me poetry is nothing but meaning. If a poem doesn't say anything important or invoke any emotion, I'm simply not interested in it. Getting something important across in poetry requires good prose anyway.
     
  4. cruciFICTION
    Offline

    cruciFICTION Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    May 18, 2011
    Messages:
    1,236
    Likes Received:
    49
    Location:
    Brisbane, Australia
    Meaning is never secondary
    for me. I hate, hate, hate
    poetry that says absolutely
    nothing
    and is
    just the author
    stringing together meaning
    -less waffle
    trying to sound "deep".


    The only way I could be deeper is if it was all in lower case.
     
  5. Spiderfingers
    Offline

    Spiderfingers Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2012
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    0
    To Ziggy// Hmm - I think see your point, but a meaningless poem isn't necessarily "waffle" for me (for example there's that one poem by Lewis Carroll, "Jabberwocky": it evokes certain images even though the words it uses have no meaning). I agree that a poem which doesn't invoke emotion isn't all that interesting, though! It's just that I sometimes find poems which don't really have any explicit meaning and still manage to make me feel something through the words the person chose and the images, colors or whatever they make me think about. Actually, I think I might not have used the right term - 'meaningless' isn't right, it's more 'nonsensical' poems I meant to say. Sorry, I should probably think more thoroughly about how I express things x0

    To CruciFICTION// I'm really sorry, but I have no idea what you're getting at xD I suppose that was sarcasm? Soooo do all lower case poems annoy you?
     
  6. Ziggy Stardust
    Offline

    Ziggy Stardust Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2011
    Messages:
    129
    Likes Received:
    4
    @Spiderfingers: "Jabberwocky" isn't meaningless, it tells a story. I guess what constitutes "nonsense" is subjective, but no I don't like poems that just lump in words without a narrative or purpose. I just don't like poems where the author has no specific thing they're trying to say, and they're just trying to sound "deep".

    @CruciFICTION: I have no idea what point you're trying to make.
     
  7. Spiderfingers
    Offline

    Spiderfingers Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2012
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yes, it does - but by using words which themselves don't have meaning, right? What I mean is, you understand something in the poem (and it can be understood in a lot of ways since none of the words are really defined, the reader imagines the creatures and sounds and everything the way they want, I think) even though each individual element is nonsense on its own.
    I think I don't really understand what you mean by "deep", then - I thought trying to sound deep meant looking like you're saying something really complex or meaningful. Would you mind explaining how you understand it?
    Sorry sorry, I think I'm arguing too much xD
     
  8. cruciFICTION
    Offline

    cruciFICTION Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    May 18, 2011
    Messages:
    1,236
    Likes Received:
    49
    Location:
    Brisbane, Australia
    Lower case is used notoriously in "deep" poetry which usually uses words like "anger" and "hate" and "angst" and all those other faux-complex words; I say notoriously because I'm referring, mostly, to teenagers on LiveJournal. I suppose they think it makes it look like it's

    Jabberwocky was great. It's hard to understand - I mean, it's definitely not clear-cut - but it's not impossible and the story is definitely there, even through the supposed nonsense words.

    I saw the "hate, hate, hate" and had to use it. I was intending to point out how easy it is to turn even an ordinary sentence into meaningless "waffle".

    I also just noticed that earlier you said, "Getting something important across in poetry requires good prose anyway." I think you're talking about structure, and structure doesn't presuppose prose.
    Prose and verse are the two major forms of writing. They're two different structures. Short stories, novels, articles, non-fiction: these are all written in prose, unless they're experimental or something. Poetry and lyrics are written in verse. There are rare exceptions, of course, but I think you've mixed up the meanings of prose and grammatical structure.

    Actually, the "nonsense" words do actually have some semblance of meaning. Look at the Wikipedia page for Jabberwocky. It has a list of the words and potential meanings from studies of the poem and such.
     
  9. Spiderfingers
    Offline

    Spiderfingers Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2012
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ah, okay... Thanks for clearing that up! I hope this won't make anyone annoyed at my writing though, I know I tend to write poetry in lower case xP
    I'll be sure to look those words up then! In any case, thank you both for taking the time to answer :3
     
  10. Ziggy Stardust
    Offline

    Ziggy Stardust Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2011
    Messages:
    129
    Likes Received:
    4
    It still meant the same thing, just in the form of an awful poem. :rolleyes:

    Prose was incorrect. I meant, to choose words that accurately articulate a meaning. Adherence to grammatical structure isn't really necessary in poems. Though if they're messing about with the rules too much they had really better know that they're doing.
     
  11. mammamaia
    Offline

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    i don't have a 'concept' of poetry per se... i simply write it... and enjoy reading it when it's well-written...
     
  12. Protar
    Offline

    Protar Active Member

    Joined:
    May 11, 2011
    Messages:
    603
    Likes Received:
    13
    Location:
    UK
    I agree that a poem should make sense at face value. I mean all those "deep meanings" are pretty meaningless when you get down to it. Studying poetry in high school comes to mind: What's the point in having all these layered meanings if I have to spend hours having a teacher explaining it to me before I can understand? And then when I finally get it I'm bored out of my mind and the only feeling the poem has evoked is a lust for murder. Deeper meanings are fine, but please don't make them the only meanings.
     
  13. minstrel
    Offline

    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2010
    Messages:
    8,723
    Likes Received:
    4,821
    Location:
    Near Los Angeles
    I once saw a book called something like The Selected Poetry of Thomas Wolfe. Thomas Wolfe was not a poet; he was a novelist. But he wrote in a pretty ornate style of prose, good for reading aloud, and somebody, long after Wolfe was dead, decided that some of Wolfe's prose was more like poetry. So he just took passages of Wolfe's prose, broke it up into lines wherever he thought it best to do so, and published these "poems" as a book.

    Maybe poetry and prose are very much the same thing - strings of words intended to evoke thoughts or emotions in the reader. Whether it's "poetry" or "prose" depends on the presentation. If it's broken up into lines like a poem, then it's a poem. If it isn't, it's prose.
     
  14. Spiderfingers
    Offline

    Spiderfingers Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2012
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    0
    Woah! I didn't think so many people would be answering x333 But thanks to all of you!

    To Minstrel: It's true that without particular line-breaks and a certain formatting, most texts don't really look like poems... but I'm pretty sure there's a kind of poem presented in prose format, though it's still considered poetry. Anyone have clarification on that? Otherwise, I had no idea anyone had done that 8000 I actually find it really interesting, what readers can create out of texts someone else has written (it goes with a strange creative writing class I had recently - does anyone know OULIPO?).

    To Protar: I agree on how it can get really tiring, needing someone else to dig deeper and deeper in a poem xP Oh, that reminds me of something - what about context? I know quite a few people who believe knowing the context is necessary to study any text, but I tend to go against that. Have any thoughts on it?

    To Mammamaia: And that's perfectly fine in my opinion - actually it'd probably be better if I just tried to think about poems as something to enjoy writing and reading instead of thinking into it in all directions (or at least I should think over the way I see them instead of kinda keeping it superficial - aaaah I'm not making any sense, sorry). :333
     
  15. RusticOnion
    Offline

    RusticOnion Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2011
    Messages:
    306
    Likes Received:
    8
    Poetry to me is a way to clearly express complex/abstract ideals, emotions and experiences.
     
  16. Spiderfingers
    Offline

    Spiderfingers Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2012
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    0
    (I just realized I completely missed the very first answer, CruciFICTION's x_x I'm very sorry, I don't know why I skipped over it... but to belatedly answer it: it's true that a reader should probably refer to what the writer calls his or her own texts x3 But for poems necessarily being in verse, well - prose poetry doesn't really fit in that, apparently? But then it's also unclear whether it's poetry or not... In any case, it can be considered poetry, even though it's not in verse.)

    Hmm, okay - so clarity is something that comes back quite a lot! That is, if you mean clearly as in recognizably? Just to make sure, that still gives room for inference and such, right - as in something can be suggested and still clear? Okay, sorry, I shouldn't be swamping you with so many questions x0
     
  17. Floatbox
    Offline

    Floatbox Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2011
    Messages:
    58
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Pittsburgh
    For me, some of the most arresting poems use metaphors to nail feelings/perspectives/ideas in a perfect way - the poems become this expression of eloquent understanding, this instant transference of author's vision - where I get it in way I cannot otherwise. Check out Sarah Kay: http://www.ted.com/talks/sarah_kay_if_i_should_have_a_daughter.html That woman knows how to construct a metaphor.

    But I also think that poems can be (and is best described as) the written equivalent of fine art. Maybe the point is to be enigmatic, ambiguous, interactive.
     
  18. Spiderfingers
    Offline

    Spiderfingers Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2012
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    0
    You hit the nail on the head in my case xD What you're saying is probably something like what I feel, though it is different as well - but ambiguity is certainly a big thing for me in poems, and metaphor even more so. Thank you, this is probably going to help me a lot in clearing my own ideas up!
    I'm not all certain about calling all poetry fine art, however... It is in many cases - there are plenty of poets who wrote poems seen as masterpieces - but can't poems be subdued, as well? I'm thinking of this in terms of comparing, say, well-done illustrations to a Van Gogh (or whoever) painting: it's not worth less, but it's not placed on the same level either? Anyway, I'm really glad all of you are answering, I'm actually surprised I got this many answers 8|

    (and by the way, I agree on sarah Kay - she does sound incredible o_o)
     
  19. mammamaia
    Offline

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    i'm a firm believer in having poetry's meaning be easily accessible to the reader... those who seem to work overtime trying to be mysterious and 'abstract' bug the bleep outa me... why write fancy-sounding gobbledygook that no one but you can figure out the meaning of?...
     
  20. Spiderfingers
    Offline

    Spiderfingers Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2012
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yeah, it's true that trying to analyse (or see meaning in, or even appreciating) obscure poetry can be annoying - but maybe sometimes not even the poet or writer really knows the poem's meaning? One of my friends who writes poetry - they're not a published author or anything, but they do write - says they do so to... figure out what they're thinking, or use it as catharsis for an emotion they can't get a grip on? I'm phrasing this kind of like a question mostly because I don't fully understand it, but the principle is there - sorry x3
     
  21. arron89
    Offline

    arron89 Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2008
    Messages:
    2,460
    Likes Received:
    91
    Location:
    Auckland
    I'm really bored by poetry that gives itself up too easily. If the reader has discovered everything there is to discover within a poem after just one or two readings, to me, it's an abysmal failure. Sure, there might be some easily understood surface layer that the reader can grasp, but that 'easy' part should only be in service of the bigger, more important ideas that can't be articulated so easily.
     
  22. minstrel
    Offline

    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2010
    Messages:
    8,723
    Likes Received:
    4,821
    Location:
    Near Los Angeles
    This is true for prose, as well. "What is your novel really about? Tell me the point in one sentence." "Hell, if I could express what I meant in one sentence, I wouldn't have had to write the whole book, would I?"
     
  23. Berber
    Offline

    Berber Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2011
    Messages:
    146
    Likes Received:
    28
    Location:
    United States
    I believe that poetry in itself is an art in which the canvas is colored by words; much like oil paintings that are meant to be seen, I believe poetry is meant to be heard. In that sense, I'm not really one for caring as to the structure of the piece, so long as it has a rhythm, a musicality if you will. I want to hear it and be moved by it (I always read a piece out loud the first time I encounter it so that I can hear how and if the words work together). Beyond a lyrical quality, I am firmly against confining poetry to certain conventions. A painting can be of anything, real or otherwise - that is the beauty of discretion. Poetry should be allowed to work in the same way as art, even if it allows for the creation of pieces that are self-serving and inaccessible.

    Reading some of Gertrude's Stein's poetry reminds me much of staring at a piece of abstract, avant-garde art and thinking, But what does it mean?? Though that knowledge is barred from me, that does not mean I cannot appreciate the expert craftsmanship that went into the work.
     
  24. akexodia
    Offline

    akexodia Member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2011
    Messages:
    93
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    The world that my mind spawns!
    Just being yourself with your concealed thoughts taking the shape of something beautiful is, according to me, poetry! :)
     
  25. Lemex
    Offline

    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2007
    Messages:
    10,507
    Likes Received:
    3,151
    Location:
    Northeast England
    Mostly, I am starting to agree with arron89 more and more about poetry, that it shouldn't be too simple. Also, I find the idea of poetry being just about beauty to be archaic.
     

Share This Page