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  1. Naomasa298

    Naomasa298 Active Member

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    Can someone please explain why this is poetry?

    Discussion in 'Poetry' started by Naomasa298, Feb 14, 2020.

  2. Xoic

    Xoic Member

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    I looked at it, hoping I could see something that makes it poetry, but nope. It's written in sentences and paragraphs, no meter rhythm or rhyme that I can detect. Looks like regular prose to me. I even tried reading it in as poetic a voice as I can, but I can't find any hidden rhythm in it. I give up. I guess if somebody uploads it to a poetry site then it's poetry.
     
  3. JLT

    JLT Contributor Contributor

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    This is not the first time the subject has come up here. Some readers define "poetry" more rigorously than others do. Some of my stuff falls into that nebulous area between prose and poetry:

    Closure
    http://jayeltee.blogspot.com/2017/03/closure.html

    A Rock in the Shape of a Peanut
    http://jayeltee.blogspot.com/2019/08/a-rock-in-shape-of-peanut.html

    In both pieces, I was trying to avoid the usual reliance on rhyme and meter, but still trying to use line breaks to instill a sense of rhythm.

    More than a few people have said it's not poetry in their eyes. I'll accept that. I'll also say that the piece cited above is not poetry to me.

    If I had to say what poetry was, I would answer that it has to leave an impression of having said more than was there on the surface. That seems to be the common denominator of the poetry I've read in respected journals on the subject.
     
  4. big soft moose

    big soft moose The Moderating Moose Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    there is a certain element common to a lot of art forms that its art if the creator says it is... personally i'd have said this was flash fiction, but its not something I'm going to lose sleep over
     
  5. Naomasa298

    Naomasa298 Active Member

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    I'm just trying to understand it really - I don't do poetry and I don't really get the subtleties of the form.

    Mind you, it's the same with me and flash.
     
  6. Xoic

    Xoic Member

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    Yeah, that feels right. Even if it's free verse or blank verse or whatever, poetry means the ideas are condensed into the language—ideas bigger than what's on the page.
     
  7. Hammer

    Hammer Contributor Contributor

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    One of the definitions of poetry in the OED is "A quality of beauty and intensity of emotion regarded as characteristic of poems", and I can certainly see why the piece linked would fit that.

    That's pretty intense, and the piece certainly has a rhythm. Try to imagine a performance poet delivering it.

    I am sure that there is an element of self-definition when it comes to poetry, along with an element of reader perception, which makes it a hugely encompassing word.

    For me a well executed try in a game of rugby can be poetic - especially when the backs get up to speed (have a look at some of the best from the last world cup in Japan (here). And as for boats... take a look at the Riva Aquarama; poetry in motion - that speaks to my core... (here)

    (actually @J.D. Ray, you should watch the Riva (if you haven't already) for Lives in Time... - that's the way to cross a lake!)
     
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  8. EFMingo

    EFMingo A Nefarious Flamingo Staff Contributor

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    Wolfgang Iser takes this question on in his essay "How to Recognize a Poem When You See One." It seems poetry is defined more when the reader is led to believe it is a poem, not that actually is. There are holes in the argument, but the essay/article is rather entertaining nonetheless.

    http://fs2.american.edu/dfagel/www/Class%20Readings/Fish/HowToRecognizeAPoem.htm
     
  9. JLT

    JLT Contributor Contributor

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    Somewhere in Kurt Vonnegut's writing, there's an incident where he asks a poet what poets do. She replied something to the effect that "they extend the language." I like that reply, and wish I knew where in Kurt's writing that came up. Maybe Palm Sunday, a book I don't have at the moment.
     
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  10. JLT

    JLT Contributor Contributor

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    I'm a little confused on whether this is by Wolfgang Iser or Stanley Fish, who is cited as the author. Either way, I think he may have missed the point. Art of any sort is essentially a question of personal reactions, not easily quantifiable. An artist friend of mine once told me "When people say 'I don't know much about art, but I know what I like,' they're really saying, 'I don't know much about art, but I like what I know.'"

    It's as pointless to subject poetry to this sort of analysis as it is to describe a Beethoven symphony in the form of modern dance, or to discuss Guernica in quadratic equations. It can be done, I suppose, but whether it leads to a deeper understanding of the subject is anybody's guess.
     
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  11. Xoic

    Xoic Member

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    ^ "Talking about art is like dancing about architecture."

    And yeah, I'll bet there could be some amazing dances about architecture, that might be able to express certain things about it that talking can't. I'd also like to see some buildings about dance.
     
  12. J.D. Ray

    J.D. Ray Member Supporter

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    Yep, that's similar to what I was thinking. Their Iseo is closer to the boat I imagined.
     
  13. Not the Territory

    Not the Territory Member

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    Had it been labelled as flash fiction, I would have read it differently. Pretense is annoyingly efficacious.
     
  14. Seven Crowns

    Seven Crowns Contributor Contributor

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    "Like wasps through a knothole . . ."
    Awesome! That's an effective image.

    It's prose poetry, right? I seem to remember some controversy about certain poets being irritated by this too. Like it was a cheat. Interlopers were invading their journals, or something along those lines.

    I see some edits begging to be made, though I did like it.
     
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  15. EFMingo

    EFMingo A Nefarious Flamingo Staff Contributor

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    It's kind of like an extreme spin off of the long line poets, mixed with conversational breaks of some modernists. Most seemed annoyed. I don't mind too much, as long as there is some purpose behind the format.
     
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  16. Rzero

    Rzero Reluctant voice of his generation Contributor

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    It's poetry of a sort. The stream of consciousness element, the sentence fragments, these are poetic choices. Reformat that with a clause or fragment per line or something, and you'd have a poem for sure. I've seen plenty of the opposite, prose formatted as poetry. Every line is a complete thought and isn't remotely poetry, regardless of where you make line breaks.

    Poetry is weird
    People make some odd choices
    Sometimes it works out

    An impromptu haiku. :p
     
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  17. matwoolf

    matwoolf Contributor Contributor

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    As prose it's banal. As poetry it's very delicious.
     
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  18. Cave Troll

    Cave Troll Thinking... Supporter Contributor

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    The worlds shortest Epic Poem, that is the closest I can
    think of. o_O
    But I agree it reads more like Flash Fic.
     
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  19. OurJud

    OurJud Contributor Contributor

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    I can see why the piece could be classed as poetry. Good imagery, fairly consistent sentence length, effective use of enjambment (such as when the author ends the line (but not the sentence) with ', smearing it all around / her face,' )
     
  20. badgerjelly

    badgerjelly Contributor Contributor

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    I wouldn’t call it poetry either - would call it ‘poetic’ though.

    I don’t refer to ‘Conceptual Art’ as Art either. Sometimes people try and axt out of the realm of expertise and create a label for something that is generally redundant.

    For me key aspect is the ‘intellectual’ weight against the ‘visceral’ weight. When they balance strange things happen. Often, in most so-called ‘Conceptual Art’ the scales have tipped deep into the ‘intellectual’ realm - not less important, just not Art important.

    We’re creatures that need boundaries (be they worded concepts or empathic understanding). The boundaries exist because we don’t always agree - be thankful/wary of this :)

    note: if you disagree you’re wrong! Haha!
     
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  21. EFMingo

    EFMingo A Nefarious Flamingo Staff Contributor

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    Guess I'm out then. Oh well...:p

    It's technically called prose poetry, and it certainly isn't one of a kind. I've read a number of them, and I still have trouble deciding whether to take them as poetry or not. But a lot of the techniques are used, although they are without the line breaks. That kind of speaks for itself in a way as the use of line breaks can be critical to interpretation. As there are few line breaks, that says something in itself.

    This poem uses the line breaks to separate time jumps, but also thematic changes/identification. The last, separated lines jar the reader from the narrative sense for the purpose of driving the theme that the writer is losing his soul to the road rage he experiences in a recurring fashion. The poet likely has lines broken up in a structural fashion, but placed them in a long line as a single continuous thought in order to speak it in a uproarious manner. The short lines are meant to be spoken abruptly, breaking both the expected sounds and the tone.

    At least that's what I got from it, and it's the only way I can see it as poetry. Not my style, I digress.
     

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