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Passions in Poetry

To Prepare For The Next Voices Book!

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Poet deVine
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0 posted 07-15-2000 08:23 PM       View Profile for Poet deVine   Email Poet deVine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Poet deVine

As Ron says, there will another Voices On The Web book of poetry! And as he said in the VoTW forum, if we don't have a poem in the first book, we are still encouraged to try again.

I started thinking (scary thought). We should discuss what makes a poem good by looking at a famous poet's work.

I've linked to a poem by Dylan Thomas (that's acceptable as we are not recreating this poem and it won't infringe on the copyright).
http://www.bigeye.com/theforce.htm

If you'd like, read it and let's discuss it...!

Balladeer
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1 posted 07-16-2000 12:16 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Who's to say what makes a poem great? I happen to feel that, first of all, the mechanics need to be right and then the words. When I stop to look at some of the poetry that was taught to me in school, I cringe. "I think that I shall never see a poem as lovely as a tree" would never be considered a classic if it were written now and there are many others like it....One thing they did all have in common, however, was mechanics. They flowed through the mind. They had a plan. They came up with new ways of saying things without cliches. This poem by Dylan Thomas had a plan, was well constructed and said things in a unique way. That makes it good in my book  
Craig
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2 posted 07-16-2000 07:18 AM       View Profile for Craig   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Craig


Hello Balladeer,PDV,

Who says what makes a poem great?

Good question! I think it all depends on who you ask. Everybody is different, as Chris pointed out somewhere else in these forums. The mechanics of form are an important part to some, others like strong imagery, some just like a good story or to just to feel they are being told something personal or of profound importance. The list goes on, I could mention the people who like the sounds of the words or those that havenít got a clue why they think a poemís great, they just do.

Your point about some poetry not cutting it if it were written today is valid, to a degree, although Iím a firm believer in the notion that great poetry is great poetry regardless of who, when, where, why and how it was written.

Back to the poem at hand, Iím slightly biased in commenting on whether this poem is good or not, Dylan Thomas is my favourite poet of all time. I could listen to the weather news and think it great if DT delivered it, his use of words is always perfect, it should be considering he was famous for taking a week in some cases to find the right one. His upbringing, raised as he was in a predominantly Welsh speaking household by a Father who was a lover of poetry (Dylan Thomas was probably raised reciting poems like Ď I think that I shall never seeÖ.í   ), gave Thomas a peculiar view of the English Language. This particular poem is an excellent example of how Thomas used this unique slant, his knowledge of the mechanics of poetry and the strong tradition of Welsh syllabic poetry to produce a poem that, among others, took the poetry world by storm.

As you may have guessed by now, I could ramble all day about DT but that wouldnít be much of a discussion  . Does anyone have any views on what Thomas was trying to say in this poem? Bearing in mind that even the achademics are divided.

BTW thank you for posting this PDV it made my day.

Thanks for the chance to read and reply


Yes, I admit your general rule. That every poet is a fool:
But I myself may serve to show it. That every fool is not a poet.

Sunshine
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3 posted 07-16-2000 07:44 AM       View Profile for Sunshine   Email Sunshine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Sunshine's Home Page   View IP for Sunshine

In answer to Craig's query as to what DT was writing about, IMHO, was simply life and death. What made it unique and to quote Craig, in part,

quote:
His upbringing, raised as he was in a
predominantly Welsh speaking household by a Father who was a lover of poetry...gave Thomas a peculiar view of the English Language. This particular poem is an excellent example of how Thomas used this unique slant, his knowledge of the mechanics of poetry and the strong tradition of Welsh
syllabic poetry to produce a poem that, among others, took the poetry world by storm.


See, also, in Challenges, how active the participants are to take the word "snow" and fundamentally arrive at their various phrasings to make each poem unique to themselves, as is each crystal snowflake. Snow is snow is snow, but not in the hands of a Balladeer or PoetdeVine or Christopher.

Simply put, there are various forms that readers are going to "take to" and others that will "turn off" a reader...or writer.

Ron is only going to get the cream of the crop as the selections of the voters will make the favorites rise to the top.

Now, ask me this question tomorrow, and I will most likely have a different answer...

Sunny

~~~Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadow.
Helen Keller ~~~

When you want to be loved, look within...KRJ

Jamie
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4 posted 07-16-2000 04:36 PM       View Profile for Jamie   Email Jamie   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Jamie's Home Page   View IP for Jamie

To me the thing that makes a poem great is the idea it presents. If written in a specific form then it should remain true to that form.  What makes a poem great is it's ability to shape our thoughts, perhaps even change our perception of how we view something. I can write about a river; a flower; a dream; and end up with nothing if it contains no feeling or does not excite the senses in some way. The great poets are remembered more for their ideas than the words or style that used to present them. Which is to say not the content or subject of the poem, but the idea. A great poem presents us with a moment of truth, beauty, or simply of reflection.

sorry to be so long winded with the reply.
jamie
Craig
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5 posted 07-16-2000 06:06 PM       View Profile for Craig   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Craig


Hello Jamie,

Be as long-winded as you like, Iím struggling to learn about poetry and need all the help I can get.   Your comments are welcome.

I agree with a lot of what youíre saying, profundity and the ability to provoke a change in ones perceptions and attitudes are fine traits, any poem that sparks all, or some, of those thoughts has to be considered good. The reverse of that statement however would relegate a large proportion of ĎClassic Poetryí into the category of not good. Iím specifically thinking here about poems such as ĎThe Hunting of the Snarkí  that are hardly thought provoking and yet popular, considered in fact by many to fall into the Ďgoodí category. My choice of example falls at the opposite end of the spectrum from Dylanís poem, I admit, but at least highlights the fact that poetry is a diverse animal. Sonnets and Rondeaus rub shoulders with Limericks and Clerihews, all fall under the banner of poetry and all forms have examples that are considered Ďgoodí.

I donít know the answer to what makes a poem good, reading classic poems that are generally accepted as fine examples of the art might get me a little closer. Having the opportunity to discuss those examples with like-minded people may get me even closer still. Who knows, if I study hard enough, one day I might even write one myself!  

Wandering into the realms of long-windedness, I was wondering if you, or anyone else, had any comments regarding Dylanís poem specifically. This is a great opportunity for me to get other peoples thoughts and insights into a poem that Iím fascinated with. I have a few questions.

Why did Dylan go to such lengths to emphasis his dumbness and what was he trying to say?

Why is this piece so lyrical and rhythmic and yet seems to contain no rhyme?

Is this about life and death? (btw thanks Sunshine   )


I have more questions but these will suffice for now.

Thanks for the chance to read and reply and PDV sorry for taking over your post.  

Craig


Yes, I admit your general rule. That every poet is a fool:
But I myself may serve to show it. That every fool is not a poet.

Sunshine
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6 posted 07-17-2000 11:04 AM       View Profile for Sunshine   Email Sunshine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Sunshine's Home Page   View IP for Sunshine

You're welcome, Craig. PdV causes some interesting threads, does she not!?

Sunny

~~~Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadow.
Helen Keller ~~~

When you want to be loved, look within...KRJ


Elizabeth
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7 posted 07-17-2000 11:31 AM       View Profile for Elizabeth   Email Elizabeth   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Elizabeth's Home Page   View IP for Elizabeth

How 'bout you guys check this out?  

http://piptalk.com/pip/Forum8/HTML/000057.html

Elizabeth


I'm grabbing my hat and coat
I'm leaving the cat a note
Quick call me a ferry boat-getting out of town!


Poet deVine
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8 posted 07-17-2000 07:37 PM       View Profile for Poet deVine   Email Poet deVine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Poet deVine

quote:

The force that through the green fuse drives the flower
Drives my green age; that blasts the roots of trees
Is my destroyer.
And I am dumb to tell the crooked rose
My youth is bent by the same wintry fever.



Let's take this a verse at a time:
What is that force? What does DT mean by that?

Jamie
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9 posted 07-18-2000 12:37 PM       View Profile for Jamie   Email Jamie   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Jamie's Home Page   View IP for Jamie

That force; is time.. the creator and the destroyer; it shaped our present and is the shaper of our future....????
Sudhir Iyer
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10 posted 07-18-2000 12:55 PM       View Profile for Sudhir Iyer   Email Sudhir Iyer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Sudhir Iyer

Time is a possibility here... but I might think up another angle for this...

I suggest that it is the sun's blazing rays that he refers to...
How? Perhaps like this...

Sun's rays through the thick green foilage reaches out to the flower (I know that a flower in a dark room turns towards light... comething to do with chloroplasts and chlorophyll... argh.. science!).

The same sun drives his green age... the age is not green but he is fresh, young vibrant... the sun driving him is like saying I have greyed my hair by toiling hard in the sun... (result being in his winteredness mentioned later)

Too much sun, and heat thus generated causes wild forest fires... thereby blasting the roots of the trees... fire is one of the most acclaimed natural destroyers...

Then he finishes the stanza by saying that he is dumb to say to the crooked rose by wintry fever (antithesis in seasons and the temperature of a fever!!!)

Maybe I am now completely tripped...  

I can remember a line "The lunatic is on the grass..."  from Pink Floyd  

This is me being me,
Regards,
sudhir
(Kill me for jumping the gun here...) but I remember these words...




Death, be not proud, though some have called thee,
Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so;

- John Donne
Craig
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11 posted 07-18-2000 04:31 PM       View Profile for Craig   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Craig


Back again (Wild horses come to mind   )

Iíve a theory about what DT was trying to say.  Iíve tried to follow the meaning line by line hopefully it makes sense.  

There is a force, sometimes called nature, that powers flowers.
That same force drives man; the loss of which kills trees
Kills man as well.
Despite our intellect we are as foolish as flowers
Unable to explain something we see and know exists


I know my ramble doesnít match Dylanís in class or style, thatís why he was a poet and Iím not, but writing it out like this can sometimes make it easier for me to understand.

Thanks for the chance to read and reply.

Craig


Yes, I admit your general rule. That every poet is a fool:
But I myself may serve to show it. That every fool is not a poet.

ashley cain
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since 05-12-2000
Posts 30
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12 posted 07-18-2000 05:36 PM       View Profile for ashley cain   Email ashley cain   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for ashley cain

I think that what makes a poem great is what is being said.  It has to have passion in every word.  The emotion must be so strong that you can feel what the writer is feeling.
Fairy Princess
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14 posted 07-20-2000 12:30 AM       View Profile for Fairy Princess   Email Fairy Princess   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Fairy Princess's Home Page   View IP for Fairy Princess

I think the "POEM BOOK would be good cause I love to write and read poems. I'm also going to collage in two years I wanna be a poet. I've writen many poems about LOVE, LIFE, My dads memories he died on 12-23-99 of colon cancer. Thats when I found out that I had the talent of "writing poems" just like he did. I wrote one poem in here it's called "Good bye Dad". My poems inspire younger people who have disability and who don't have disabilitys. I think in the book it should have people with "illness/disability's". I have many poems that will go on here soon. Good Luck on the BOOK
PEACE OUT ~*~THE FAIRY PRINCESS~*~ http://netpoets.net/img/ic34.gif
Brad
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since 08-20-99
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Jejudo, South Korea


15 posted 07-20-2000 04:36 AM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Elizabeth,
Thanks for that link. I'd completely forgotten that I had even wrote that. Amazingly enough, I still agree with much of what I said there.

This poem? Why is it great? Why isn't it great?  What is the force?  Why do I still mouth that first line to myself years after reading it? Why does my wife laugh at my mumbling when I'm writing in my head or remembering a poem I enjoyed?

I don't have time to go into it right now but I think I can add to some of my ideas in Elizabeth's link with DT's poem as a great example.

First, if a poem can be explained in a sentence then why write the poem?

Second, if there is a definition to the force, then why is the speaker dumb (he does not say the crooked rose or the hanging man, for example, are deaf)?  

Third, the sun, time, or nature are fine, I guess, but I think they all miss the point in that the point is undefinable. That's the point.  

I think he's trying to show something that we all sense -- an awareness, a connection, a feeling -- but that somehow alludes any attempt at description.  Once it is described, it is lost

And that is what makes it a great poem. In other words, an academic paper written on this poem wouldn't necessarily try to explain 'the force' so much as describe the ways the force is felt through the poem -- through the rhythm, the imagery, the comparisons, the contradictions.

So, what is the force?

Yeah, I've been playing around with that term but I'd thought I'd end here with a parody of Star Trek I -- What is Veeger?

The force is that which forces the reader to feel a feeling.

Brad


Sudhir Iyer
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16 posted 07-20-2000 05:23 AM       View Profile for Sudhir Iyer   Email Sudhir Iyer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Sudhir Iyer

Brad,
???

I am now brain dead, then this must be poetry... the undefinable truth of the ramble in shambles... LOL I am just kidding...  

Well, I agree that much of the unsaid factors of the poem makes it more intriguing and of course more interesting...

Poetry gives so many way to interpret things, thats its divinity...

But simply written verses also have their own charms ... for they directly reach that part of the reader's innermost zone that he / she feels with the content... and that sure feels good.

regards from this babbler,
Sudhir.
P.S. talking about Star Trek... are you a trekkie?  
Rosebud1229
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17 posted 07-21-2000 01:31 AM       View Profile for Rosebud1229   Email Rosebud1229   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Rosebud1229

I read the poem by Dylan Thomas and it seems that he is saying things happen and yet when they do happen to someone or something else we tend to want to explain to them why, which goes beyond understanding, sometimes things are just the way they are just as the river flows and the sun shines all things are set in nature to happen. As far as poetry goes when there is lots of meaning and emotion it really grips me to read on sometimes though if it's to drawn out I tend to fade and forget the importance of it.
I guess it just depends on the topic sometimes too. Sometimes a few words can be very powerful.
A Romantic Heart
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since 09-03-99
Posts 5497
Forever In Your Heart


18 posted 07-24-2000 03:51 AM       View Profile for A Romantic Heart   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for A Romantic Heart

The gifts of the human spirit are art, music, poetry..etc. I had a piano player tell me that she could only play songs by going by the notes written down( from someones elses example) thus, not leaving her any room for creativity or uniqueness.No room to grow or for her to think on her own. Limiting her to a short variety, closeing her mind, on a small scale...not allowing her to think or create for herself.
Then I met a piano player who played by ear, by his FEELINGS and his PASSIONS...I had listened to both,the one who played by ear and did not follow a pattern was more passionate, more real, I could feel his heart speaking to me through the keys...He was not mozart, or betoven, he was the musical person HE was created to be...nothing is more passionate or creative than being true to yourself and letting it flow from your thoughts, your imagination.
To me all gifts..are an art form, expressions of our hearts, our souls, and who am I to dictate, or tell someone else how to write, create, paint their feelings?
ONLY THEY know how to do that, in the best way they can get their message across, so that it touches others...changes lives, opens minds.
If we always followed the rules of someone else, or stayed within the lines...no inventions or cures for diseases would have come about. What if Monet painted after the example of Picasso? Then Monet would not be Monet?but a replica of picasso!
It is time we are who we are, and be true to ourselves, the more in tune you are with you, the more creative you become, thus overstepping boundaries where no one has gone or created before...and people like different, uniqueness, individuality...after all not one of us has the same fingerprint, so I say let poetry be the fingerprint of our souls!
(If we judge poetry by structure, I feel we miss the beauty of the poem, of that persons soul, and structure is a box, you can't put creativity inside a box, a round circle will not fit into a square hole! structure is cold and morbid...freedom and creativity is beautiful and expressive!)




[This message has been edited by A Romantic Heart (edited 07-24-2000).]
doreen peri
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19 posted 08-09-2000 08:34 PM       View Profile for doreen peri   Email doreen peri   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for doreen peri

just found this.... bumping it up top so i can find it again.... because i want to read it... selfish, eh?

hehe....  
Jamie
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since 06-26-2000
Posts 3219
Blue Heaven


20 posted 08-10-2000 07:51 PM       View Profile for Jamie   Email Jamie   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Jamie's Home Page   View IP for Jamie

All forms of selfishness aren't bad...lol
 
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