Tags:
  1. RichardOgata

    RichardOgata Member Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2016
    Messages:
    148
    Likes Received:
    128
    Location:
    Hawaii

    What are Your Thoughts on Modern Culture and Poetry?

    Discussion in 'Poetry' started by RichardOgata, Jul 2, 2020.

    Aloha Everyone
    :superwink:

    Recently I saw that on American's Got Talent, a spoken word poet (Brandon Leake) received a "Golden Buzzer" for a piece they wrote and performed as an audition. It was a great piece and I recommend everyone here watch it.

    Though, the thing that stood out most to me, was that the judges didn't know how to judge it.

    This got me thinking about how spoken word poetry, or poetry in general, is under appreciated and needs more representation in our culture. So I'm curious about what everyone's thoughts were regarding spoken word poetry, or poetry in general, in regard to how to share it with the people around you.
     
    Jocelyn Rouselle likes this.
  2. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin A tombstone hand and a graveyard mind Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2017
    Messages:
    10,521
    Likes Received:
    17,793
    Location:
    Rhode Island
    That doesn't surprise me. Your typical network TV market isn't very likey to intersect with the spoken word poetry aficionados. That just ain't the public's jam right now. I'd say any poetry is probably receding into the extreme erudite slice of society. Or what's left of it.
     
  3. Dogberry's Watch

    Dogberry's Watch Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2019
    Messages:
    2,267
    Likes Received:
    5,471
    The few poetry readings I've been to were less than thrilling because everyone wanted to read as though they were slam poets. I found it uncomfortable to hear some of them yelling about how much they loved their partners and describing them sweetly in the poem but screaming it at the listeners. I think this kind of setting is awkward and allows for misunderstanding of intent. I mean unless they're actually angry about how pretty their partner's eyes are.

    I think spoken word is important, and I think when poets read their own work it's even more impactful because we hear it the way they do. The pauses are in the right places and the tone is the way it's supposed to be. Which sounds completely contradictory to my previous paragraph. But the difference between the two, to me, is the presentation of the poetry. Someone at an open mic night might have a solid piece of poetry, but if they tell at me I'm probably not going to listen.

    I know they're technically two different types of poetry, but I'm lumping them together for the purposes of this post. Poetry in general for me is very subjective and I often find it is mostly written for the one doing the writing. When I go back and read my own stuff, I remember, usually, the feelings that prompted the poem in the first place.
     
    RichardOgata likes this.
  4. RichardOgata

    RichardOgata Member Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2016
    Messages:
    148
    Likes Received:
    128
    Location:
    Hawaii
    I agree. Reading old poetry through (hopefully) wiser eyes is always fun.

    Though I think that a person doing any form of creative expression is doing it for themselves on some level. The magic happens when someone else has a feeling after reading/hearing a poem. Like these judges in my example were moved by reader’s emotion behind what they were saying, and had their own experiences to relate it to.
     
  5. Richach

    Richach Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    May 21, 2019
    Messages:
    627
    Likes Received:
    674
    Location:
    Birmingham Uk
    The potential of poetry is too big for it to remain in its current form. As a true art form, it has unlimited potential that is way beyond the bounds of current thinking. New poets will define it by taking either the traditional route or by carving out new pathways. There may be possible synergies and hybrids but the more radical the change the better IMO. We have yet to see which direction it may take but it is safe to say that traditional poetry and its thinking will never be lost.
     
  6. thirdwind

    thirdwind Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Messages:
    7,788
    Likes Received:
    3,225
    Location:
    Boston
    About 5-10 years ago, I would have said that poetry is losing popularity because people just aren't buying poetry magazines or attending poetry readings as much as they used to. However, I did see several articles a year ago saying that poetry book sales are increasing, which was good to hear. However, the issue is that you have to sort through a lot of bad poetry to get to the good stuff. Because of the internet, anyone can post poetry online or self-publish a poetry book. I've also noticed that a lot of new poets tend to write about pain, loss, or some kind of negative emotion. It's fine to write about these things, but they have to realize that these topics have been written about for thousands of years. So if poets do want to write about these things, they really have to find a fresh way to present this to the reader. While I don't doubt the poets' sincerity writing about these topics, being sincere doesn't make you a good poet.

    On the topic of reading poetry, I think part of the issue is that a lot of casual readers think poetry is easy to read because of its relatively short length. I would argue that really good poetry takes multiple readings to truly understand what the poet is trying to say. That's why I like to recommend poetry anthologies to people who want to get started reading poetry. Anthologies have a wide range of poems covering different styles and themes. There's something in there for everyone. Plus a lot of times there's an introduction of some sort to provide context on the poetry in the anthology.

    Those are my thoughts for now.
     
  7. Xoic

    Xoic Prognosticator of Arcana Ridiculosum Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2019
    Messages:
    9,266
    Likes Received:
    10,034
    Location:
    Way, way out there
    Until a certain point in history, poetry was taught in school. Just like reading and writing, it needs to be taught or learned before a person can understand and appreciate it. If they would stop teaching how to read and write, after a couple of generations nobody would know how or care anymore. Today most people have no idea what meter even means. And while I don't think you necessarily need to write poetry in traditional forms, you should understand them if you want to write it or talk intelligently about it.

    Apparently it was also common practice in Europe up until some point to teach drawing and painting, at least the basics. Every kid learned about perspective, form, shading etc. Wow!! All the way through school, learning more each year. This is the way it needs to be learned, progressively with daily or at least weekly practice. I can't even imagine the world this would be!
     
    RichardOgata likes this.
  8. Oxymaroon

    Oxymaroon Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2017
    Messages:
    707
    Likes Received:
    717
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    This brings up - for me, anyway - the subject of rhetoric. We have an awful lot of public speakers now, both professional, as television hosts, presenters, commentators, moderators, interviewers, news-readers, panelists, expert consultants and sportscasters, as well as the politicians, spokespeople and advocates for various interests. An awful lot of those professional public speakers do not know how to speak intelligibly.
    It's true that I'm growing old and all my faculties are deteriorating - but then, I'm hardly the only member of the audience with imperfect hearing - but I cannot listen as frenetically as the young American and Canadian presenters talk. I can still understand the British ones. I suspect the difference is in their training.
    When I went to school, we had to stand up in class and give answers in sentences than everyone could understand. We had to memorize poems (Yes, finally, the old windbag gets to the thread topic!) and recite them to the whole class.
    This gave us a degree of poise and confidence in public speaking, as well as an appreciation of the poetry: the rhythm, cadence, consonance, resonance and dissonance that give poetry its fourth dimension. It was always meant to be spoken aloud.
    When I read some modern poems, I can tell that it was written in two dimensions: the emotion it conveys and its appearance on the page. The intellectual and auditory dimensions are often missing.
    As with any art form, if you teach the craft in school, those with talent will produce far superior work.
     
    Xoic and RichardOgata like this.
  9. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2016
    Messages:
    5,059
    Likes Received:
    5,025
    Poetry is still alive and well. People who enjoy poetry shouldn't have trouble finding poets to read and admire. There are far too many things I want to read than I have time to. But poetry slows you down, slows the whole world down for a moment. I do agree that a poem is meant to be read and reread many time. I read poetry every day, often aloud and alone. But it centers me and is good for the soul. I have not seen the spoken work talked about in this thread, but I have gone to many poetry readings. The majority of poetry readings are not open mic. They are a chance to listen to word masters and profound artist.

    Poetry is read differently than prose. You pause at the end of each line, almost ignoring the punctuation that falls elsewhere.

    One contemporary poet that amazes me is Ilya Kaminsky. He is a deaf poet who has at least two collections out. Here's a link to a reading he did. They do put his words up on the screen at some points so you can follow along if you have trouble hearing him. But remember he is a deaf poet, but none the less an artist. And it's a wonderful experience to listen to him read his work. Then buy his books. He is one of the important poets of our time. I could list many others, but, for now, I would like to share is work with all of you.

    https://forum-network.org/lectures/kaveh-akbar-and-ilya-kaminsky/
     
    RichardOgata and Richach like this.
  10. OJB

    OJB A Mean Old Man Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2016
    Messages:
    1,282
    Likes Received:
    1,255
    Location:
    Chicago, IL.
    Poetry, today, is shallow as fuck. Most Lyrics (which makes up 90% of written poetry today) are about the narrator. They are shallow and offer little to no depth.
     
  11. OJB

    OJB A Mean Old Man Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2016
    Messages:
    1,282
    Likes Received:
    1,255
    Location:
    Chicago, IL.
    Xoic, deadrats and RichardOgata like this.
  12. JLT

    JLT Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2016
    Messages:
    1,658
    Likes Received:
    1,969
    I agree. Remember Billy Collins reading his poetry on "Prairie Home Companion" back in the day? His tone was friendly, informal, and engaging...exactly what was needed.

    I was never much into rap, because the tone was so angry and confronting, which obscured the message of the piece. Or maybe anger and confrontation was the message, in which case I have no use for it.
     
  13. Oxymaroon

    Oxymaroon Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2017
    Messages:
    707
    Likes Received:
    717
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    We have a fairly lively artsy community in my neighbourhood - well, that would be c 50km radius, encompassing a dozen small cities, towns and villages. There are three main venues for poetry reading: a winter series at one of the art galleries, a formal one at the library and the summer one outdoors, usually at somebody's farm. Obviously, the summer one is most fun, casual and friendly. Not everyone writes or reads equally well - and that's all right. One regular participant is a consummate orator and a pleasure to hear; another gets too emotional to read their own work.
    Poetry should never be commercial or competitive. But it can always be better than last one.
     
  14. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2016
    Messages:
    5,059
    Likes Received:
    5,025
    Aren't all writers narcissists? ;)
     
    Richach, RichardOgata and Xoic like this.
  15. Xoic

    Xoic Prognosticator of Arcana Ridiculosum Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2019
    Messages:
    9,266
    Likes Received:
    10,034
    Location:
    Way, way out there
    It does seem that way, doesn't it? Maybe the ones who make it are the ones who can disguise it the best (and can write well too...) :supergrin:
     
  16. Oxymaroon

    Oxymaroon Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2017
    Messages:
    707
    Likes Received:
    717
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Only the bad ones. Good fiction - actually, good writing of any kind - is not about the author. Good fiction is a distillate of observation, accumulated knowledge, experience and reflection that flows through the writer in order to become something else, something that shows the reader a new aspect of himself and/or the world in which he lives.
    Good poetry does the same thing, only faster and slower.
     
  17. OJB

    OJB A Mean Old Man Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2016
    Messages:
    1,282
    Likes Received:
    1,255
    Location:
    Chicago, IL.
    To be successful at anything, you need a bit of self-belief, but I don't start a poem with the idea of 'I'm the most interesting thing ever, and people will love to know about me." I generally think about my audience. Most of the poems I write these days are addresses--the poem is talking to a particular person. When I do write personal lyrics, I try to use a persona.
     
    Richach, RichardOgata and deadrats like this.
  18. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2016
    Messages:
    5,059
    Likes Received:
    5,025
    I don't think you read the article @OJB posted that my response was in reference to. And I've got to disagree with what you're saying from my personal experience and thoughts on the matter. I think we are trying to achieve separate things in our writing.
     
  19. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2016
    Messages:
    5,059
    Likes Received:
    5,025
    There is no hiding it. ;)
     
    Xoic likes this.
  20. Oxymaroon

    Oxymaroon Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2017
    Messages:
    707
    Likes Received:
    717
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Yes, I did, and I don't disagree with it, so long as the author qualifies these observations with 'many' or even 'most'. On the other hand, I hardly think any reference to self, particularly of self as participant or witness to some larger event, automatically denotes narcissism --- which is quite an extreme category of self-regard, an unhealthy mental state.
    It may be no big problem to use the word in jest, but it can too easily become a thoughtless label. I am concerned with the meaning of words.
     
    Xoic likes this.
  21. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2016
    Messages:
    5,059
    Likes Received:
    5,025
    Come on, writers have been referred to a narcissists for years and years. And I'm not sure it's so off base. I'm not agreeing with the article nor do I think those qualifiers that would make you feel better are necessary. And I did put a winky-face after my comment. Good writers, and I would even say most writers, do write about themselves in whatever form they're working with. And I would say most writers have to be somewhat of a narcissist to do so.
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2020
  22. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin A tombstone hand and a graveyard mind Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2017
    Messages:
    10,521
    Likes Received:
    17,793
    Location:
    Rhode Island
    Writers are totally narcissists. And drunks. And ego maniacs. And shitheels, for the most part. No sane, well adjusted person would put the work in voluntarily.

    Better than artists, though. Those cats are loopty-loos. Musicians tend to be fairly chill. Actors are a waste of semen... at least when they go out to restaurants.
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2020
    deadrats and Xoic like this.
  23. Oxymaroon

    Oxymaroon Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2017
    Messages:
    707
    Likes Received:
    717
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Okay.
     
  24. Xoic

    Xoic Prognosticator of Arcana Ridiculosum Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2019
    Messages:
    9,266
    Likes Received:
    10,034
    Location:
    Way, way out there
    Ok, revising my answer—the good ones can write about themselves and make you like it.
     
    deadrats likes this.
  25. Xoic

    Xoic Prognosticator of Arcana Ridiculosum Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2019
    Messages:
    9,266
    Likes Received:
    10,034
    Location:
    Way, way out there
    Ok, read the article. Harris writes some damn fine poetry.
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice