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Passions in Poetry

An old cliche

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chopsticks
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since 10-02-2007
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The US,


0 posted 01-22-2009 10:36 AM       View Profile for chopsticks   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to Submit your Poem to Passions  View IP for chopsticks


When they say, he is almost human
They are not words I like to hear
He’s my best friend true and faithful
He does not want to be my peer

I’m talking about my best friend
And human he doesn’t want to be
He ‘s wagging his tail for just what he is
And will leave all the worry to me

When it’s early morning he’ll paw at my bed
Then he will jump in down by my feet
He knows exactly what he is doing
He is just coning me for a big treat

He will go and look out the front window,
While I'm driving off to earn my pay
He is not a poor dumb animal
That's not true, it is just an old cliché
© Copyright 2009 My brother John. - All Rights Reserved
turtle
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since 01-23-2009
Posts 491
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1 posted 01-28-2009 12:11 AM       View Profile for turtle   Email turtle   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for turtle

Isn't anyone helping you guys with your meter?
Balladeer
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since 06-05-99
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2 posted 01-28-2009 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

What's  stopping you, turtle? That's why it's here...give him some advice instead just knocking it.
chopsticks
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since 10-02-2007
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3 posted 01-28-2009 08:41 AM       View Profile for chopsticks   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for chopsticks

Now Turtle, if I knew meter I would still be working for the Wall Street Journal. Take Balladeer’s advice
and make me wish I had been a girl and stayed home and got married.

Btw, I see ~ Geppetto;s Dream~ and ~The Dummy~ as the same message . Two souls lamenting their unfulfilled youth and thinking and doing something about it. The biggest different  is that one is brilliant and one is ok .

There is a poem somewhere that says , “ A dreamer never dies “
turtle
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since 01-23-2009
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4 posted 01-28-2009 02:50 PM       View Profile for turtle   Email turtle   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for turtle

Hi, chopper,

First of all, I'm not interested in knocking anyone's work, but I am willing to help those who truly want to learn. Being a newbie, I don't know where anyone stands in their knowledge of meter. From your poem it looks like you have some knowledge of structure, but like so many (and I'm no exception) you struggle with identifying the stressed and unstressed syllables in a line of verse. The first thing I recommend you do is read Timothy Steele's web page on the foot and how to write stressed verse.
http://instructional1.calstatela.edu/tsteele/TSpage5/meter.html

Counting syllables is boring and mastery of the "foot" takes practice. Once one learns and is comfortable with iambic meter (and I recommend you start with iambic meter) it will be much easier to move on to other meters and mixed meters.

Thou there are exceptions, one of the easiest ways to recognize an unstressed syllable is by looking at word types and forms. A conjunction (and, but, or, etc). An article (a, an, the). Prepositions (of, to, on etc.). Prefixes and suffixes ( deform, washing etc} are almost, and I stress ALMOST always unstressed syllables. Another way to recognize a problem in a line of verse is to simply count the syllables. For example: the first line of this poem has nine syllables, but as I read I see you are trying to write iambic tetrameter which is strictly 4 feet, or eight syllables.

Now, one could write a line like:

A dog, a boy, a bone, a mess.

Alternating articles and common nouns might be perfect iambic tetrameter, but it's not very clever. There are also degrees of stress, usually expressed as a rating from one to four.

In the first line of this poem:

"When they say, he is almost human"

"When" is an adverb and "they" is a pronoun both of these commonly carry a stress of 3, but "say" is a verb that carries a stress of 4. So, as I start to read this poem, I see that it starts with an anapest, which is a three syllable foot of two unstressed syllables and one stressed syllable expressed as (3 / 3 / 4), but as I read on I see a variation in each line of verse and a common line length of eight syllables which is normally associated with iambic meter.

A way to express this line in iambic meter might be:

"They say he looks almost human"

Some express iambic meter as di-dum, di-dum, di-dum, di-dum, and this is the basic form of iambic meter, but in reading a poem the stress factors (1 to 4)
give a poem its variation in rhythm.

The next line has eight syllables, but again it starts with an anapest

   U     U   S /  S /   U S /  US
"They are not words I like to hear"

It should be US / US / US / US.

See if you can figure out how to express this line in iambic meter.

Turtle
chopsticks
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5 posted 01-28-2009 03:51 PM       View Profile for chopsticks   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for chopsticks

Thanks Turtle, a year and a half ago my  brain was a meter free zone. I know that I should pay more attention to the right way to write a poem.  When I feel a poem coming on and I want to make a
statement my eyes get glassy  and I just go for it.

When my eyes get glassy I fall back on this statement:
These metrical forms “ Iamb, trochee, , anapest, dactyl , spondee, and amphibrach,” do not need to be present throughout the whole poem or even the whole line, but should be the form which takes up most of the lines.

You have to know the rules before you can break them.

Btw, going by http://www.wordcalc.com/ the first line has eight sllyables? As my friend  the cabinet maker often says, I've cut it off three times and it's still to short.

[This message has been edited by chopsticks (01-28-2009 09:52 PM).]

turtle
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6 posted 01-29-2009 02:45 PM       View Profile for turtle   Email turtle   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for turtle

Hmmm, don't know about wordcalc? but I read 9 syllables.

...1......2.....3.....4...5...6..7....8...9
When they say, he is almost human

turtle
Balladeer
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7 posted 01-30-2009 12:45 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Seems to me that wordcalc ranks with the online foreign translations sites that create hilarious sentences when trying to translate one language to another
chopsticks
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since 10-02-2007
Posts 870
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8 posted 01-30-2009 07:48 AM       View Profile for chopsticks   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for chopsticks

Thanks Balladeer, I know I’m having a good laugh .  
oceanvu2
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since 02-24-2007
Posts 1007
Santa Monica, California, USA


9 posted 01-30-2009 07:54 PM       View Profile for oceanvu2   Email oceanvu2   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for oceanvu2

Hi Chops:  There are problems with the poem, meter aside.  It's a piece of light verse, which is fine, but it could still use a little attention.  So I'll hash away at it a little bit, too.  Any changes I make to your words or punctuation are in parentheses or explained below the actual lines.

When they say (delete comma) "(H)e is almost human
(These) are not words (which) I like to hear(.)
He’s my best friend, (both) true and faithful
(But) has no need to be my peer.

So what I get is:

When they say "He is almost human,"
These are not words that I like to hear.
He's my best friend, both true and faithful,
But has no need to be my peer.

To my ear, this cleans up the music a bit, but we're still dealing with a bit of doggerel.  I'm hoping that changing your and to a "But" helps a little, but the lastg line really seems tacked un for an easy rhyme.

"I’m talking about my best friend
And human he doesn’t want to be"

OK, you just said this in the first stanza.  Why say it again so awkwardly?

"He‘s wagging his tail for just what he is
And will leave all the worry to me"

There is a kind of laziness of thought here. Can it be something like:

He's wagging his tail for that's whom he is
And he leaves all the worry to me.

I could go on but it would just be more of the same.

My basic feeling is nice thought, lousy self edit.

Turtle:  didacticism has never added anything to a poem.  In your comment, I finally found some things to agree with, but it seems as if you are coming from some sort of academic point of view in which the mechanics of criticism are more important than the art of poetry -- not to suggest this particular piece is a work of art -- but yes to suggest that a 4 scale tonal edit is as an irrelevant preoccupation as doing the Sunday Times crossword in ink.  But, what ever floats your boat is welcome!

Best, Jimbeaux
chopsticks
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10 posted 01-31-2009 10:04 AM       View Profile for chopsticks   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for chopsticks

Ocean, when you critique like this you could say anything and not offend me, because I already know you

are intelligent .

I’m not going to try to defend the poem , but would like to say a couple words  :

The reason I was redundant in the second stanza was that ~ not being human~ was the heart of my

statement.

I am  sorry but I just could not say, “ He’s is wagging his tail for that’s whom he is “ .however

grammatically  correct that would be.

I do thank you for the gentle critique .

turtle
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since 01-23-2009
Posts 491
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11 posted 01-31-2009 03:11 PM       View Profile for turtle   Email turtle   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for turtle

Jimbo,

You do not state which of my posts you are referring to, but I will assume you are speaking to the explanation of stressed and unstressed syllables. I guess one might see my attempt to help another artist understand rhythm as dictactic, I don't see how though. I spoke to the question asked and the subject at hand....Why would I not? Understanding the conventions of verse, either structured or free, DOES help an artist add richness and readability to a piece. You appear to be a fairly intelligent person. How you can honestly make such a statement is beyond me?

Without this knowledge, this tool, one might write something as bad as a piece of rhymed free verse. Confusing the reader as to what your conventions are, or causing someone to question whether you have conventions, is not art.

How could I make an assessment of chopsticks ability based on one poem? How could you? I did not address the "art" of this poem for the very reasons you did. If you think that the mechanics of a "structured" poem are not as important as the "art", then I would have assume you have no understanding of poetry whatsoever.

Turtle


[This message has been edited by turtle (01-31-2009 11:08 PM).]

oceanvu2
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since 02-24-2007
Posts 1007
Santa Monica, California, USA


12 posted 02-01-2009 03:57 PM       View Profile for oceanvu2   Email oceanvu2   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for oceanvu2

Hi Turtle --  One way of assessing a contributor's work is to hit the little "Find Poems" icon at the top of each blue box.  This is updated monthly, and if someone has posted a number of poems, you can get a contextual sense of the work.

Best, Jimbeaux
oceanvu2
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since 02-24-2007
Posts 1007
Santa Monica, California, USA


13 posted 02-01-2009 04:51 PM       View Profile for oceanvu2   Email oceanvu2   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for oceanvu2

Hi Turtle.  If you are Praticia T. O'Connor, and the following paragraph is an accurate summation of one of your thoughts in "Woe is I", where are we in disagreement?"

“The Living Dead: Let Bygone Rules Be Gone,” O’Conner tells her readers not to worry too much about things like split infinitives and sentences ending with a preposition. She points out that Shakespeare and Chaucer and Milton couldn’t keep away from them. So why should we let them worry us just because some Victorian grammarians, one obsessed with Latin (Latin infinitives cannot be split because they are usually one word) and the other obsessed with the literal meaning of the word “preposition,” declared it to be so?"

Best, Jimbeaux
Essorant
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since 08-10-2002
Posts 4689
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14 posted 02-01-2009 11:53 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

quote:
He's wagging his tail for that's whom he is
And he leaves all the worry to me.



That "whom" is sorely red!  

[This message has been edited by Essorant (02-02-2009 01:17 AM).]

chopsticks
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since 10-02-2007
Posts 870
The US,


15 posted 02-02-2009 09:09 AM       View Profile for chopsticks   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for chopsticks

Hi Essorant,  knowing how to say it,  is just  using a few muscles.  Knowing what to say is priceless.  
oceanvu2
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since 02-24-2007
Posts 1007
Santa Monica, California, USA


16 posted 02-02-2009 12:35 PM       View Profile for oceanvu2   Email oceanvu2   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for oceanvu2

Hi Ess -- Ya mean I tripped over my shoe laces yet again?  Honestly, I laugh at myself harder than anyone else does!


Thanks, Jimbeaux
Essorant
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since 08-10-2002
Posts 4689
Regina, Saskatchewan; Canada


17 posted 02-02-2009 07:38 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

Chopsticks,

But what you write about won't make it poetry, Chopsticks.  In order for it to be poetry it needs to be written according to, or at least in a good likness of how poetry is traditionally written.  The reason your poem may be called a poem is because it bears familiar attributes of poetry: rhyme, attempt at meter, stanzas.   These are what distinguish it as poetry and in one combination or another, that is how it is for every example of poetry.  Take the special "how" away and the content no longer lives up to the name of "poetry".  It turns into prose or common speech.

Jim

I hope I didn't whomiliate you by mentioning it    

chopsticks
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since 10-02-2007
Posts 870
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18 posted 02-03-2009 08:14 AM       View Profile for chopsticks   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for chopsticks

“ I hope I didn't whomiliate you by mentioning it “

I am destroyed , but let me say a couple words about my destruction :

“ Knowing how to say it, is just using a few muscles, knowing what to say is priceless “

Ess, that wasn’t about me or poetry, it was about you . You always seem to know what to say.

So don’t join the crowed,  you will be so out of place that it would take a hundred Mounties to find you.


 
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