The Art of Reading Poetry (or maybe of writing?)

Discussion in 'Poetry' started by JanesLife, Jun 28, 2008.

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  1. matwoolf

    matwoolf Contributor Contributor

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    Yeah, you're right. Hang on, I'm being abused on the bicycle forum, the shits.

    Exactly, but beans on the floor and burnt toast? Needs grated cheese, and maybe pepper.

    Oh...I'm like level 2 poetry - romantics v modernists, Ezra Pound on the tube train, halfway Wasteland and think Burton ruins UMW. sucks cheeks.
     
  2. ladybird

    ladybird Senior Member

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    OK, that's fine :)

    I want to write "good" poetry which everyone can understand because my target market and appeal will be greater. That said, when I eventually do post some of my poetry I would be grateful of your critque :)

    A typical poem enjoyed by the masses is:

    This is written in a very specific form, the villanelle. If you look at the rhyme scheme...it looks jolly difficult to me. Now, if one day I can write anything close to this, yet still appeal to the man in the street, I'll be one happy bunny :)
    [MENTION=5272]thirdwind[/MENTION] Did you think I was referring to "Humpty Dumpty"?
    [MENTION=373]mammamaia[/MENTION] I would also be honoured if you would offer critique on one of my poems {{hugs}} LB
     
  3. thirdwind

    thirdwind Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    No. I would exclude children's poems from what I said.

    I have never understood the idea of simplifying one's work so that it's accessible to everyone. Most people don't understand the subtleties of poetry. They have no idea what meter or rhyme scheme (or there is one) is being used in a particular poem. So if you're trying to get a message across to as many people as possible, poetry may not be the best way to do it. That's just my opinion of course.

    One difficult poem I really like is Wallace Steven's "The Man Whose Pharynx Was Bad." It's certainly not a poem the average person would appreciate, but I feel like someone who takes the time to really study it (and his other poems) will definitely like/appreciate what he's doing here. Here's the poem in case you want to read it:

     
  4. ladybird

    ladybird Senior Member

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    Sorry, thirdwind. My sense of humour is an acquired taste :)

    This is the problem. I knew nothing about poetry and still have much to learn. The point is, that only by reaching out to the masses will you tempt people to take an interest.

    But it does not matter if they do not understand meter if the poem flows and reaches out to them; poetry is like music...

    And as they say: there are as many opinions as there are people... I've enjoyed the discussion, thank you :)

    It is a curious poem but the rhythm of iambic pentameter and rhyme scheme helped with the flow which in turn held my attention as I read it out loud. Not once but several times.

    LM
     
  5. thirdwind

    thirdwind Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    I thought it was a joke, but I wasn't sure. Good to know. :D

    I think a better way to do this is by teaching them about poetry instead of writing in such a way that any ordinary person can understand it. I suppose our philosophies about this issue are different, which is perfectly fine.

    Before I started playing piano, I couldn't appreciate music the same way I do now. Now that I've been playing for about 2 years, I like the songs I liked back then even more because I can appreciate what the singer/musicians are doing. I also appreciate classical music now, whereas a few years ago, I didn't really "get" it.

    Same here. :)
     
  6. ladybird

    ladybird Senior Member

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    Hi Lemex,

    Thanks for the recomendation. I've googled Seamus Heaney and his poem Blackberry-Picking made me smile as I'm waiting for my blackberries to ripen at the moment. I also enjoyed
    A Kite for Aibhín

    What a great way to describe a kite!

    Both poems easily understood.

    Does anyone have any examples of abstract poetry, please? Good and bad?

    (I cheated and looked up the definition to make sure I was not confusing it with something else

     
  7. thirdwind

    thirdwind Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    Look up the poem "9." by e e cummings.
     
  8. mammamaia

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i don't feel a need to justify myself or my work... you're free to think what you will of it... all i can say about everything in your lengthy personal and poetic put down is what i said earlier:

    and, as for what i actually did dare anyone to do:

    i don't see any proof that the piece you excoriated lacks impact, or any less impact than if i had made it harder for ordinary folk to understand... in fact, since it caused you to go on about it at some length, it seems to have had no lack of impact at all...

    you're entitled to your opinion, though i daresay the many who enjoy reading what i write and who are impacted by what i am presenting would not agree with it... and, as the saying goes, that's what makes a horse race, my friend...
     
  9. Lemex

    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    [MENTION=14700]We Are Cartographers[/MENTION]: I completely agree with you.
     
  10. matwoolf

    matwoolf Contributor Contributor

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    Well, when somebody tore a strip on my blog it took me down for a week. Like it always seems a good idea to whack the Irish fella, but I reel it in - rather tickle than poke.

    I know it's inconsequential and websphere but be careful with feelings.
     
  11. Anthony Martin

    Anthony Martin Active Member

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    I've always had trouble finding the right "access point" to poetry, if that makes sense. I never studied it in school (or paid much attention when I did), thus lack a grasp of poetry genres, their stalwarts and the various schools of thought. In the literary quarterlies I subscribe to, much of the poetry is esoteric, exploring forms and abstractions that I have no knowledge of and have difficulty understanding in any sort of enjoyable way. But I might have solved this problem!

    On a recent trip to Chicago, we stopped off at my deceased grandfather's home, which is now under contract. There were some old books kicking around and I found Contemporary American Poetry, which is something of a high school-level text (or so it seems). The book is split up into genres or schools, so to speak ("traditional" and "experimental", for example), including a brief explication by each followed by poems from key contributors to that school. This has made at least contemporary American poetry more accessible, especially to a poetry noob like me.
     
  12. thirdwind

    thirdwind Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    Those Norton anthologies are awesome, though they tend to be really expensive. I highly recommend them.
     
  13. Anthony Martin

    Anthony Martin Active Member

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    It's interesting, the point you make about the "rich white man" paradigm. I'll keep that in mind once I finish this little anthology, as it's rather dated.
     

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