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Passions in Poetry

Modern poetry the best of all?

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Allan Riverwood
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0 posted 03-09-2001 01:42 PM       View Profile for Allan Riverwood   Email Allan Riverwood   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Allan Riverwood

Okay, I have been thinking lately...
I am a student in High School, and am in a class called English Literary Focus 40S. In this class, we read and analyze poems, pieces of writing, all from older times.
Now I will admit that, because I am a teen, I haven't had much time to spend reading classic poetry. But we read some in class, from various poets, all of which the teacher praises highly and says "This is probably the best poem ever written" or something like that.
To be honest, I think that most of the stuff I have seen is garbage.
I do like many older writers. Edgar Allan Poe is probably my favourite classic writer of all time, sure, and he was one of the reasons I started writing all those years ago. (he also shares a middle name with my father, who is nearly illiterate, which is where the first part of my pen-name comes from)
But to be quite honest, the ~very best~ poetry I have ever read has all been in Passions. When I compare it to some of the poems we read in our English Lit class, there is usually just no contest.
So I'm curious... is it just me, or does anyone else feel this way? Because it is a shame that none of us get the kind of recognition that these people did, when we write as good or better than them.
Of course, I am aware that, as the times vary, different things appeal to different people. And most of what I read in here is written with my group of people as the audience.
That's why I'd like to hear from some other people.
What is better-- Modern poetry, or classic poetry?
~Allan


If I had your eyes, I'd be blind. For I can only see out of my own. ~~Carly Van Dort

nakdthoughts
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1 posted 03-09-2001 02:48 PM       View Profile for nakdthoughts   Email nakdthoughts   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for nakdthoughts

If it wasn't for classic poetry there would be no modern today...no matter how much you don't like it or think it pertains to today...if you read and study you will find and learn so much. Whether you read Todays poets or those of years past you will strengthen your own writing abilities. It is wonderful that you think so highly of passions poets, but it usually takes years to
get the accolades. It's probably because you have to have the course in school that you aren't enjoying it as much. When you can take the time to read what you want to, you will find out that there is much the same in the hearts of all poets..just the wording changed with the time and the historical events.

Just my opinion...*s

~Wynter


"The worst prison would be a closed heart".
...Pope John Paul II


Dopey Dope
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2 posted 03-09-2001 04:20 PM       View Profile for Dopey Dope   Email Dopey Dope   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Dopey Dope

LIke naked said.......if it wasn't for the classics we wouldn't be where we are now.
Yet I'll have to agree with you ALlan....modern poetry, in my opinion, is surely the best.
I guess it's because of the way they express it. There's a movement of like.....painting called POP ART......you can basically do a mess on the canvas and it's considered art and so on. I love that.........I like the contemporary poetry and so on.....it's much better.
Don't get me wrong though, I do love a LOT LOT LOT of classic poetry.....but it's too old. Times were dif. back then.....it's a dif. world now.....with dif. poetry......and I appreciate the changes and welcome more.



I was born myself, raised myself, and will continue to be myself. The world will just have to adjust.

I'm in love with my shadow
I admire it daily
Elizabeth Cor
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3 posted 03-09-2001 04:36 PM       View Profile for Elizabeth Cor   Email Elizabeth Cor   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Elizabeth Cor

I have to ask: what do you consider "Modern"?

... and WHAT have you (or rather haven't) been reading if you think that the best poetry in existence is at Passions???



[This message has been edited by Elizabeth Cor (edited 03-09-2001).]
Allan Riverwood
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4 posted 03-09-2001 04:49 PM       View Profile for Allan Riverwood   Email Allan Riverwood   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Allan Riverwood

Perhaps I've been conditioned, because I personally know most of these poets that I read of here in Passions. Although, I know that what I read the first time around in here, most of the first works I have read of all my friends in here, all had a great impact on me. Like I said, it's all about the audience.
By modern, I mean anything written that you may hear in lyrics to music, anything definitely here in Passions, or just anything from the current or past two decades or so.
Thanks for all of your insights.
~Allan

If I had your eyes, I'd be blind. For I can only see out of my own. ~~Carly Van Dort

Elizabeth Cor
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5 posted 03-09-2001 04:51 PM       View Profile for Elizabeth Cor   Email Elizabeth Cor   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Elizabeth Cor

Okay, so the past two decades?

Allan.. would you care to give me your e-mail address so I can send you a few things from before that time?
Craig
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6 posted 03-09-2001 05:41 PM       View Profile for Craig   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Craig

Why are classic poems better than the ones that are being written here at Passions?

In a few cases they aren’t, some of the poems posted at this site wouldn’t be out of place sharing an Anthology with a large proportion of those classic poems, but not many.

Why won’t Passions Poets ever be as famous as Poe and Co?

It’s a numbers thing and to a lesser extent a class thing, in years gone by a person’s ability to write and be published was directly influenced by their social standing. Poetry writing was not an area for the lower orders, in fact not all that long ago any form of writing was beyond them. The facts that there were fewer poets around made it easier for the ones that were to make a name for themselves. Nowadays with the blanket of mass education and increased leisure time everybody and his brother can be a poet of sorts, the problem this creates is that the number of good poets has by the same token risen. Unfortunately this means that only a few are able to make the breakthrough and rub shoulders on the bookshelf with the classic authors.

I’ve a question of my own regarding classic poetry and the Authors associated with it.

Who says fame is deserved? Or put another way, are too many books judged by their covers?

A measure of poetic prowess and an author’s elevation into the classic ranks would seem to infer that a body of work of sufficient quality is recognised and judged.
Dylan Thomas, for example, was a prolific writer, his notebooks (those that survive) contain hundreds of poems, yet if you ran a straw poll, even at this site where poetry should be a passion, I’d guess that 90% of people when asked to name three of his poems would answer. ‘ Do Not Go Gentle’ and then scratch their head. Try the same question regarding Poe and the answer would be similar with the exception that ‘The Raven’ would be the poem chosen I could go on….

Thomas Hardy – A Darkling Thrush
Yeats – The Second Coming
T. S. Eliot – The Waste Land
Wilfred Owen – Dulce et Decorum Est
Stevie Smith – Not Waving but Drowning
John Betjeman – Pot Pourri from a Surrey Garden
William Empson – The Teasers

Those same people would agree that these are great Poets, on the strength of one poem though is that justified? Without knowledge of the breadth of their work and the techniques and subtleties employed (which in my opinion does lend support to their status) can someone comment on their validity either way?


As a side note I’d be interested to learn which classic poems you regard as ‘garbage’, almost as much as I’d like to know which poems at passions you regard as being better, and why.

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.



[This message has been edited by Craig (edited 03-09-2001).]
Allan Riverwood
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7 posted 03-09-2001 05:57 PM       View Profile for Allan Riverwood   Email Allan Riverwood   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Allan Riverwood

See the yellow letter-shaped icon? That's my addy.

If I had your eyes, I'd be blind. For I can only see out of my own. ~~Carly Van Dort

nakdthoughts
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8 posted 03-09-2001 07:51 PM       View Profile for nakdthoughts   Email nakdthoughts   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for nakdthoughts

Hey D_D. POP Art is not a new movement it was around, I am almost certain at least 30 years ago when I was young myself..*s...now that isnt aged in terms of the masters..but it isn't new either... You are enjoying your friends poetry and those on here because many are of the here and now in terminology so they are easy to understand and relate to....sometimes the enjoyment one can get out of poetry is that it can be interpreted to have a meaning all it's own to an individual reader..and sometimes it's deep and has many metaphors or similies etc...I myself am enjoying all types of poetry, in form and free verse...but no matter the style, it should be written in mind that someone is going to read it if posted here and to try and correct spelling etc... writing on the fly is not the best thing. We all jot ideas down, but it shows polish when you take the time to go over it and make needed corrections for others to read it...and with all the on-line aids or spellcheck and dictionaries there really is no excuse not to make sure it has been checked before posting...and don't forget this site gives you a chance to edit...because many times I make a typo but as I reread it I make my corrections. Anyway the teacher in me is trying to reach out to you...if you need any help let me know. *s

~Wynter/Maureen


"The worst prison would be a closed heart".
...Pope John Paul II


Elizabeth Cor
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9 posted 03-10-2001 01:56 AM       View Profile for Elizabeth Cor   Email Elizabeth Cor   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Elizabeth Cor

nm.... in(a?)tent misred...disreagaurd... argh... sunsihne and butter flies(high)... ack... dying... wow... and you KNOW what I meen by 'wow', few that do... outta here. yikes. ow. ack. burn.



[This message has been edited by Elizabeth Cor (edited 03-10-2001).]
fractal007
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10 posted 03-10-2001 03:04 AM       View Profile for fractal007   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for fractal007

Allan:

Much of these classical poets often used very elagent form and technique. Have you ever read one of Shakespeare's sonnets and marvelled at the complexity? A good poem, in my opinion, must be more complex than a computer program, and yet convey huge amounts of emotion. To write something of this nature off as being garbage is rather unfair. Much of this classic literature is what defines us collectively as a species. Read some of John Donne's poetry on his love for his girlfriend. Check out A Valadiction Forbidding Mourning for example. Donne is able to take something so emotional and seemingly uncomprehendable as love, and compare it with a compass of all things!

There are a lot of acheivements that these poets made that you and I probably could not come close to with our current skill in the english language. Nor could we compare to these acheivements with our current knowledge of history/philosophy. Think of John Milton, for example. He studied his ass of before writing Paradise Lost. Now, you might write it off as being mere mythology and bull crap, but it was still an accomplishment none the less. In fact, it currently stands as the longest poem in history.

As far as which is best, I don't know if I am right to presume this, but I see no distinction between "classic" and modern poetry. According to my english literature teacher, we are in fact, in an extension of the Victorian period. Each era was characterized by a different mentality and sometimes even different forms and formats of poetry. To write one off as being better than the other is like trying to compare apples to oranges with respect to which is better at being a fruit.

However, I do find it rather annoying when poeple add stigmas to poets like Shakespeare. I remember one episode of Boston Public, in which a kid was talking about Shakespeare to a teacher. He said that he wrote about murder and sex just like everybody else. Kinda funny and kinda true eh?

I hope someone will let me know if I've made any mistakes in my reasoning or references here.

Anyhow, hope this helped.

"If history is to change, let it change. If the world is to be destroyed, so be it. If my fate is to die, I must simply laugh"

-- Magus
Moon Dust
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11 posted 03-10-2001 10:54 AM       View Profile for Moon Dust   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Moon Dust

Know what you mean, I love classical poetry but like some of the poets here more, maybe thats because I understand them more.

Don't ever give in, if you do you've lost everything you've ever had and everything you hope to gain, but if you carry on your already winning.

Dopey Dope
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12 posted 03-10-2001 11:04 PM       View Profile for Dopey Dope   Email Dopey Dope   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Dopey Dope

Naked......I know PopArt has been around long......what I meant by popart as being new was this: Classic poetry is WAY old......and you know how old that is.....like......well......OLD haha....but Popart was in the 1900's......I was being specific in the year, but I know it happened during the 1900's. I forgot the year it came about, but yea.
Anyway, NEW meant in accordance to a NEWER wave of art in contradiction to the classic poetry which is quite older than the 1900s



I was born myself, raised myself, and will continue to be myself. The world will just have to adjust.

I'm in love with my shadow
I admire it daily
LoveBug
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13 posted 03-11-2001 08:58 AM       View Profile for LoveBug   Email LoveBug   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for LoveBug

I guess I'm kinda partial, since classic writings are my favorite. Two of my favorite works date before anything mentioned in this thread, "The Iliad" and "The Odyssey". How many of us could think of all that poetry, all of that GOOD poetry, and be able to recite it so much that someone decided to write it down? (And writing wasn't the simple task that it is now, either!) I know that I couldn't! Even if you have never read these books, you know what they are, and you probably know the name of the man who created them. As for being able to relate more to modern poetry... well, the poem that I relate more to than any was written by Edgar Allen Poe. Here's a sample:

"From childhood's hour I have not been
As others were-- I have not seen
As others saw-- I could not bring
My passions from a common spring"

Now, I'm sure that I'm not the only one who can relate to this. These poets wrote about life, about human nature. War, death, hate, love, joy... have these things changed so much over the years that we can't relate to them in the classics? I don't think so. Actually, I think that's the reason why the classics still remain so popular. Go to a bookstore and ask them whos poetry is the most popular. Whatever the answer is, it won't be a modern poet. These works HAD to be quality, or else they could never stand the test of time. I know that the little crappy things that I write will be forgotten within a year of my death, and, sad to say, I'm not the only one this applies to.

"Men judge generally more by the eye than by the hand, for everyone can see and few can feel."-Machiavelli

[This message has been edited by LoveBug (edited 03-11-2001).]
Moon Dust
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14 posted 03-15-2001 07:08 PM       View Profile for Moon Dust   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Moon Dust

Have you noticed the most famous people (poets, artists, writers etc) are actully dead.

Don't ever give in, if you do you've lost everything you've ever had and everything you hope to gain, but if you carry on your already winning.

Ryan
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15 posted 03-16-2001 12:46 AM       View Profile for Ryan   Email Ryan   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Ryan

Sorry, but this post really bugs me. I think it's laughable and ludircous to say that the poetry here is better than "classic" poetry. I also don't think it's a good idea to call poetry that sounds like lyrics and poetry from the last 2 decades as modern. There's not that clear of a line.

A few of my favorite's (from before the last 20 years): Tennyson, Elliot, Garcia Lorca, the haiku of Bahso, Buson, and Issa, among others. That's just a few.

On a side note, this whole situation reminds me of the punk rock scene. Rebels who call everything from before they were born dinosaurs that should be extinct. And look where the punk rock movement went. God I hate punk. But that's a different topic.

Ryan


"ah, little girls make shadows on the sidewalk shorter than the shadow of death in this town--" - Jack Kerouac
Elizabeth Cor
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16 posted 03-16-2001 04:19 AM       View Profile for Elizabeth Cor   Email Elizabeth Cor   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Elizabeth Cor

*blows kisses at Ryan*
Romy
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17 posted 03-16-2001 09:22 AM       View Profile for Romy   Email Romy   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Romy

Here's one of my favorites;

DECADE

-When you came, you were like red wine and honey,
And the taste of you burnt my mouth with its sweetness.
Now you are like morning bread,
Smooth and pleasant.
I hardly taste you at all for I know your savour,
But I am completely nourished.-

Amy Lowell (1874-1925)

This is one example of modernist writing that became popular in the early twentieth century.

I think it seems similar to some of the poems I read today.

Debbie

Severn
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18 posted 03-17-2001 10:13 PM       View Profile for Severn   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Severn

er...I have to correct something here...

MODERN poetry refers to 1900-1945.

Now we are in the Contemporary age after passing through post-modernism and whatnot.

So really - the issue is about contemporary poetry versus the classics. I am assuming you are talking before 1900 anyway.

Allan, I think honestly that a lot of your feeling has to do with your reading environment. (No I don't mean where you read lol).

I mean the time you are reading in. Our language evolves, and the language in the classics is obviously out of this era. Often that can equal incomprehensible lol. Or boring. Or 'not as good' as the things that are written today. Human comfort levels I suppose.

Then you can couple that with what you have read in your own free time. In this case, for you, it's a lot of stuff at passions. Frankly, there is NO WAY the writing here in general is superior to the greats on a technical level. Perhaps the writing here can reach the individual more, touch them, have more meaning to the reader - so it becomes 'greater'. But that should not be confused with the 'greatness' of the writing itself, in my opinion.

I doubt it's possible to answer the question which is better - modern (contemporary) or classical. I'm sure several books have been written on the topic though lol. If that question is looked at from a responsive angle it becomes an issue of subjectivity doesn't it?

'Better' just doesn't apply.

Poetry has grown, moved in cycles...each era (including this one) has it's own level of brilliance and innovation.

K

[This message has been edited by Severn (edited 03-17-2001).]

Allan Riverwood
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19 posted 03-18-2001 01:18 AM       View Profile for Allan Riverwood   Email Allan Riverwood   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Allan Riverwood

Alright... I seem to be getting a pretty sour response...
I was just curious. Sorry about the mistake in terminoligies....
and I did admit I haven't read much older stuff. that's why I posted this... so that I could get either reassured (oh you are nuts, there is lots of good old stuff. here it is...) or have people agree with me (you are right, the older things don't hold a candle to today's writing).
I just wanted to know what I should look at to make me change my mind? 'Cause I really haven't seen any of it.
I guess I worded myself wrong.
I apoligize in this case.
~Allan

If I had your eyes, I'd be blind. For I can only see out of my own. ~~Carly Van Dort

Severn
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20 posted 03-18-2001 01:24 AM       View Profile for Severn   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Severn

Allan - read much of Emily Dickinson? She is good...also John Donne and Ben Johnson.

(You don't have to apologise silly )

K
Irish Rose
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21 posted 03-18-2001 10:24 AM       View Profile for Irish Rose   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Irish Rose

ah, my favorite topic.....I feel classic poetry is best, this is just my opinion. Why do I say that? Well, because it takes the emotions and uses more metaphor I believe, and is more feeling. Much modern poetry is depressing, stark, cold and some is even written for shock value.

Give me Emily Dickinson or Shelley or Keats any day of the week. Thanks for a great thread.

Kathleen Blake

"When red-haired girls scamper like roses over the rain-green grass,
and the sun drips honey."
Laurie Lee

LoveBug
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22 posted 03-20-2001 04:34 PM       View Profile for LoveBug   Email LoveBug   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for LoveBug

Want some suggestions? Here's just a few...

The Iliad and the Odyssey- Homer
The Anead- Virgil
The Divine Comedy- Dante
Shakespeare's sonnets
Anything by:
Edgar Allen Poe
Emily Dickenson
Dylan Thomas
T. S. Eliot
E. E. Cummings
Walt Whitman


The one exception to this rule-- Robert Frost

"Men judge generally more by the eye than by the hand, for everyone can see and few can feel."-Machiavelli

coyote
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23 posted 03-24-2001 12:59 AM       View Profile for coyote   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for coyote

Kerouac, now there was a poet!!
Yet, he does not presume to overshadow Shakespeare!!

Each stands on his own merit, notwithstanding time.
Each is there for the hearing,
The ears are yours and mine.

"The poet is the priest of the invisible."
Wallace Stevens

dreamer1 12 5 24
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24 posted 03-24-2001 03:01 PM       View Profile for dreamer1 12 5 24   Email dreamer1 12 5 24   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for dreamer1 12 5 24

Hey Allan,
I sort of agree with you. I think that there are poets who might be better than some of the ones you're reading in class (I am not saying that there are. I'm saying there might be). I think the reason you're not reading modern or contemporary poetry in class is that its new. The poems you're reading are still enjoyed today even though they were written a long time ago. Shakespeare is still one of the most popular poets. He wrote 400 years ago! (or around 400 anyway. Too lazy to do the math).

So maybe in 100 years Allan, some of the poetry here will be read in an English class or a Literature class, but not just yet. It has to stand the test of time first.

dreamer

....peace as a primary objective is dangerous because it implies that we would sacrifice any principle for the sake of it....
Robert Kaplan

 
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