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Passions in Poetry

Have we run out of things to write about?

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Sven
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0 posted 06-17-2001 02:39 PM       View Profile for Sven   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Sven

I've been talking lately about cliches and how we can stop them from showing up in our work.  I'm reminded of that quote from the US Patent Office at the beginning of this century that said, "Everything that could be invented has already been."  

Obviously, they were wrong, there's so much more that can be and (in some cases) has to be invented.

But what about in writing?  More specifically, what about poetry?  I mean, how many times can we write about dancing together, or finding that one perfect love, or losing that one perfect love, or any of the other feelings that we have?  

Has everything that can be written about love, about family, about loss, or about anything else that you can write a poem about been written?  Are there really any more unique ways to write about these things?  Or, are they all just rehashes of the same tired lines and feeeings re-made for the masses??

I have an opinion, but, I'd like to see what all of you think before I give it. . . I await your replies. . . thanks!!  

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

To the world, you may only be one person. But to one person, you may be the world.

catalinamoon
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1 posted 06-17-2001 02:51 PM       View Profile for catalinamoon   Email catalinamoon   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit catalinamoon's Home Page   View IP for catalinamoon

This is something I worry about , but then I worry about everything. In some ways, everything there is to be said, has been. But everyone sees it just a little differently, and writes it just a bit differently. And the way one of us experiences a broken heart, may be slightly different than the way another does.
Look at the great painters over the years. The impressionists took the same old subjects, and decided to make them different. And it eventually became very well received, though it took a while.
I don't want to become too repititious in my own writing, and I always fear that I am, as the one or two things that move me to write never change radically. One more thought. This forum pushes us all to write more, maybe more than we would otherwise, which might bring in more repitition. But I never have a reading session at PIP that doesn't leave me in awe at some point.
So what the heck, lets keep on writing!
Sandra
Brad
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2 posted 06-17-2001 03:05 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Of course not.
Poet deVine
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3 posted 06-17-2001 03:24 PM       View Profile for Poet deVine   Email Poet deVine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Poet deVine

Nope.
Severn
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4 posted 06-17-2001 03:47 PM       View Profile for Severn   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Severn

Not at all.

Try writing about a....hmmmmmmm...write about a rubiish bin. (garbage cans you call them?)

Go on...there you go.

Bet you haven't written about that before.

K
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5 posted 06-17-2001 04:13 PM       View Profile for Dopey Dope   Email Dopey Dope   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Dopey Dope

Frankly....there's 1 billion different ways to express 1 idea.....imagine 1 billion ideas expressed in 1 billion ways....erm...ok well yea..you got me.
Allan Riverwood
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6 posted 06-17-2001 08:01 PM       View Profile for Allan Riverwood   Email Allan Riverwood   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Allan Riverwood

That is where writer's block comes from.  At least, it's where mine came from...
Elizabeth
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7 posted 06-17-2001 09:33 PM       View Profile for Elizabeth   Email Elizabeth   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Elizabeth's Home Page   View IP for Elizabeth

No we haven't...I was thinking the other day about cliches, and to one, something might be overused and void of impact, and to another it may still be beautiful and usable in writing. Take the rose.....how many people have written poems comparing a person to a rose? To Person A, it may be just another rose poem which every single poet has already written and so it has no impact to it whatsoever. Person B, on the other hand, may love roses and thinks that a rose is a good comparison to use.

I mentioned once to a friend of mine that I was trying to write a poem about being alone, and using an island metaphor (yeah, yeah, I know). She said in reply, "Oh no, don't say that. Write about being a lone peanut left in the stands after a football game." Sure. To me, the island comparison would work better for a poem. The peanut comparison, while certainly alone, seemed kind of silly to me. I wouldn't have been able to write a poem like that. She may have been, but I couldn't. Anyway, that's enough of my ramblings.
Elizabeth
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8 posted 06-17-2001 09:35 PM       View Profile for Elizabeth   Email Elizabeth   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Elizabeth's Home Page   View IP for Elizabeth

By the way, ten thousand other poets may have written about loneliness....but the rest of us maybe haven't yet. I write to express myself. Those ten thousand have already expressed their emotions. Now it's my turn.  
Paula Finn
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9 posted 06-18-2001 03:20 AM       View Profile for Paula Finn   Email Paula Finn   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Paula Finn

Ok Sven try this...ask ten people to write a poem about a subject of your choice...then ask ten more people to read those ten poems...and email you their replies...do you think you will get ten poems exactly alike? Even writing about the same subject? And ten replies alike? Words touch us all differently...even tired old cliched ones...
Sven
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10 posted 06-18-2001 06:10 PM       View Profile for Sven   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Sven

Thank you all. . . I agree with everything that's been said. . . I know that we've not run out of things to write about. . .perhaps we need, though, to look at things in ways that we've not thought of before??

To look at a rose, say, in a totally new and different way. . . or, the touch of a hand. . . in ways that have never been done before, (or, at least in ways that we've never heard of. . . )

Thank you all for your replies. . .I look forward to more discussion on this topic. . .

----------------------------------------------------------

To the world, you may only be one person. But to one person, you may be the world.

catalinamoon
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11 posted 06-18-2001 09:36 PM       View Profile for catalinamoon   Email catalinamoon   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit catalinamoon's Home Page   View IP for catalinamoon

You know, Roses have always stood out to me because of the softness of the petals. Not sure how to make that into a poem, but it might be a different way of looking at something
Michael
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12 posted 06-18-2001 10:03 PM       View Profile for Michael   Email Michael   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Michael

You know, when I was in sixth grade a teacher made my class read a poem without showing us the title.  I remember the letters P.O.W. kept reoccurring in the poem.  I, for whatever reasons, associated this with prisoners of war and was sure the poem was about Vietnam.  I was the only one in the class who came up with this observation.  As I remember it, almost everyone in the class thought it was about something different.  As it turned out, it was a poem about dandelions and only one person in the whole class had actually seen it that way.

My point is:

Poetry reaches everybody in a different way.  I can right a poem about the "touch of a rose" as you suggested, Sven, without ever mentioning the words "touch" or "rose" in it and more than likely be able to convey my emotion directly to whomever is reading it.  Anyone can.  That's what poetry is to me; far more than any imagery can portray, it is emotion incarnate.  I know many may consider my poetry obscure, but they definitely know what I'm feeling when they read my work.

The poem about dandelions may have had nothing to do with Vietnam - but it was about innocence being destroyed and that was something the whole class related to without knowing the title or story behind it.  We all felt the sadness the author was experiencing.  

I think we, as poets, will never run out of things to write so long as we still have emotion and dream; and come the day we don't, would we not be better off dead?  I also think anyone can close their eyes and write what they feel, not just what they see, and have every bit an effective poem as they could using explicit imagery or even what is termed today as cliche.  To me, cliche is something that was too good to forget - but let's not forget someone had to write it first.
Michael
brian madden
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13 posted 06-19-2001 02:52 PM       View Profile for brian madden   Email brian madden   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for brian madden

I think Michael summed it up pretty well.

We all share common experiences, there are stories that everyone, regardless of race creed, gender age can relate to because of the emotions. The challenge is come up with fresh ways of expressing these emotions. Love has to one of most written about subjects in poetry, here lies the danger. THere are so many cliches. The challenge is to dig deep and and find fresh ground. It is not always easy but in the end it is worth it.
bsquirrel
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14 posted 12-20-2002 03:07 PM       View Profile for bsquirrel   Email bsquirrel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for bsquirrel

It depends what you're in it for.

If you want to feel loved, you write easy-to-digest stuff, and find yourself spinning to the top. There's some quality, but a lot of garbage, too. And cliches are readily employed.

If you want to write from your personal experience, you will have a much harder time at finding an audience, though, supposedly, that audience will be dedicated.

So, I guess, a cliche is sort of an open arms invite for some people, and for others it's a locked gate.

(the problem continues)

Mike
 
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