Discussion in 'By the Genre' started by We Are Cartographers, May 7, 2014.
Actually ... I think that's really not bad at all.
and deeply affecting, as good poetry should be... the youngster's spelling mistakes just add to the charm of the piece... his/her capture of the mood was brilliant... insightful... reader-engaging to the max... all hallmarks of exceptional skill in not only writing poetry, but in the entire range of wordsmithery...
if this child does not become a great poet, or writer of anything wondrous, i'd be very surprised...
thanks for bringing this to us, wac!
love and hugs, maia
This is a great example of how knowing something about the author influences our evaluation of the piece. If this had been written by an old man, would we still think it's as good?
Interesting question. But if something was not intended to be art does that devalue it as art?
My issue isn't whether or not it's art in this case because the fact that the student was writing a poem shows intent, even if the student may not be aware of that intent. So I would most certainly consider this art.
My issue is with how we think about good and bad art. I'll be honest: if someone like Adonis had written this poem, I'd be very disappointed. But the fact that a little kid wrote it changes the way I think about the poem. I'm more forgiving in my judgement. I know I'm not the only person who feels this way.
I can see what you are saying, don't get me wrong, but if I saw this in a poetry journal with the author noted as 'e.e. cummings' I honestly don't think I would be disappointed. Actually, I wouldn't put it past that guy, as much as I don't really care for cummings myself - it is what it is. If it had no name, and was found in a poetry journal, might we be able to assume it was written by an adult?
Surely the name of the poet would influence your opinion of the poem? How would you feel if it was written by an unknown poet vs. cummings?
Yes, I would assume it was written by an adult.
It would, because the existing poet has a reputation. More I can judge it against, and I can't pretend like if I didn't know the above example was written by a child I would treat the piece the same way as I would an undiscovered cummings poem. But I must admit it doesn't mean I would write it off entirely either.
My reaction to most things is almost always at first subjective and entirely irrational, part of the reason why Mr cummings and myself have never exactly naked wrestled before a fire (live with the scars of that mental image) is because the first time I was introduced to his work I was not prepared for more experimental poetry and I was also in a bad mood. I can't help that I've never been overly fond of him influenced by that, I can't help I had a similar experience with Tennyson, but I guess a poem is not unlike an undiscovered country in many ways.
You're not the only one who does this. I think we all have biases before we even begin to read the work.
Why couldn't you just copy paste the poem here?
...here's the original...
by jason gardner, NYC first-grader
We danst slowly We swrld aroned We danst soft We lisin to the mozik We danst to the mozik We made personal space.
...if it you saw it written by an adult with good spelling and punctuation skills, would you still consider it a fairly good poem?
We danced slowly.
We swirled around.
We danced softly.
We listened to the music.
We danced to the music.
We made personal space.
The original spelling and handwriting also really work for it, 'danst' has just such a charming quality about it.
Separate names with a comma.