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Passions in Poetry

Maya Angelou and Hallmark

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Poet deVine
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0 posted 02-03-2002 10:02 AM       View Profile for Poet deVine   Email Poet deVine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Poet deVine


Maya Angelou and Hallmark

I'd like to know what you all think of this? Has Maya Angelou sold out by teaming up with Hallmark?
Denise
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1 posted 02-03-2002 11:53 AM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

No, I don't think it's selling out to market yourself with a company that puts your work "out there". What I would bet though is that Maya has gotten compensation and consideration not given to the "average" "unknown" poet. For instance, I'm sure she didn't have to move out there and work in their headquarters and sign over her copyright to Hallmark, as is required of the other writers that they hire. But then again, when Oprah takes a liking to you, I guess the sky is the limit. I'm not saying she isn't an excellent poet, but I've seen poets here on these forums that I think outshine even her. To me it seems "celebrity" or being friends with "celebrity" seems to be the main defining factor in whether one makes it or not, especially in the publishing world.
Sudhir Iyer
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2 posted 02-04-2002 11:21 AM       View Profile for Sudhir Iyer   Email Sudhir Iyer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Sudhir Iyer

I would say "good for her" if that helps here publicity wise, monetarily etc...

If she is forced to write a brand of poetry, without her liking it, then it would be a shame... but is she giving away too much or not... it is an opinion best reserved...

regards,
sudhir
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3 posted 02-04-2002 06:49 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

I think this is a fine example of the greeting card industry feeling the pinch of technology. As to HER motives, I cannot say...but it is an interesting move by Hallmark. She is a fine poetess, but also FAMOUS--and it remains to be seen if this is celebrity figurehead endorsement, or a genuine attempt to infuse more artistry into a name-brand, that, in some circles, is now, a pseudonym for "trite." Hmmmm....
Tch...a downside of fame, eh?
Brad
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4 posted 02-04-2002 10:18 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Denise said:

"To me it seems "celebrity" or being friends with "celebrity" seems to be the main defining factor in whether one makes it or not, especially in the publishing world."

I think so too.

When we no longer discuss aesthetics, what else is there but celebrity and politics?

Brad
Marge Tindal
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5 posted 02-05-2002 10:34 AM       View Profile for Marge Tindal   Email Marge Tindal   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Marge Tindal's Home Page   View IP for Marge Tindal

Actually, I think it's a wonderful marketing strategy for a poet~

Oh ... let 'em at me ... send me a 'trivialized'contract !!!!
*Hugs*
~*Marge*~

~*The pen of the poet never runs out of ink, as long as we breathe.*~
         noles1@totcon.com                    

hush
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6 posted 02-06-2002 12:35 AM       View Profile for hush   Email hush   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for hush

Billy Collins said:

“Hallmark cards has always been a common phrase to describe verse that is really less than poetry because it is sentimental and unoriginal. ... I just think it’s surprising that she would market herself in that direction.”

Well, what if poetry that is not 'less that poetry' were to appear on Hallmark cards? That would be a truly fascinating thing... Now, I haven't really read anything Angelou has written, and the quotes in the story weren't very impressive as far as creativity/talent goes... but even supposing Her line isn't exceptional, it could pave the way for other poets to make the greeting card industry a much more interesting thing... I'll tell you one thing for sure, I'll be holding my breath for the day Lucille Clifton's "Wishes for Sons" gets printed on a 'mother to son' birthday card... LOL!

Seriously, more power to her. Maybe now people who read these things will actually realize that someone real had to write them.

"Love is a piano
dropped from a four story window
and you were in the wrong place
at the wrong time." -Ani DiFranco

Marge Tindal
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7 posted 02-06-2002 11:56 AM       View Profile for Marge Tindal   Email Marge Tindal   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Marge Tindal's Home Page   View IP for Marge Tindal

I've come back to this again~
After re-reading Billy Collins' statements in reference to Maya Angelou signing with Hallmark, I find his statements to be very condescending~
Condescending not only to Maya Angelou, but to all poets who write for greeting card companies.

quote:
‘I think it’s preposterous. It lowers the understanding of what poetry actually can do.’
— BILLY COLLINS
poet laureate of the United States


Hmmmmm !  I would have to wonder about HIS motivation in slamming Maya Angelou~

Billy Collins has developed his own Poetry 180 program to filter poetry into the minds of high school students and that is a good thing.  Exposure to poetry through greeting cards is just as valid a vehicle, in my opinion~

Poetry that reaches out and touches others should be applauded ... no matter what method of marketing is used.

Well ... down off the soap box ...
I've got some submissions to submit to Blue Mountain Arts~
(Hallmark is full - darn it !)

Love, *hugs* n' other fancy stuff~

*PoetdeVine ... you bring us the neatest topics of perusal~
Thank you~
~*Marge*~

~*The pen of the poet never runs out of ink, as long as we breathe.*~
         noles1@totcon.com                    

Brad
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8 posted 02-06-2002 09:18 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Marge,


What can poetry actually do?
Marge Tindal
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9 posted 02-06-2002 09:58 PM       View Profile for Marge Tindal   Email Marge Tindal   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Marge Tindal's Home Page   View IP for Marge Tindal


Poetry can teach
Poetry can reach
Poetry can comfort
Poetry can inspire
Poetry can enlighten
Poetry can delight
Poetry can lift spirits
Poetry can touch
Poetry can entertain
Poetry can illuminate
Poetry can guide
Poetry can take a reader where they've never been
Poetry can take a writer where they've never been
Poetry can mend
Poetry can share
Poetry can do all these things ... and more~

~*The pen of the poet never runs out of ink, as long as we breathe.*~
         noles1@totcon.com                    

Brad
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10 posted 02-06-2002 10:17 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Okay.
Martie
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11 posted 02-06-2002 11:45 PM       View Profile for Martie   Email Martie   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Martie's Home Page   View IP for Martie

Hi Sharon and others...

I had the opportunity to meet Maya Angelou at a local coffee house a couple years ago.  I had just stopped in for a quiet evening...and some conversation and had no idea she would be there, in fact, didn't know it was her at first.  She was singing and a young man with guitar was accompaning her.  The music was wonderful, even when I didn't know her name. There were no more then ten people in the room, in fact, the room wouldn't have held more.

So, I think that is the way she is.  She enjoyed just being in a small town, singing to people who were enjoying her...no matter what her name.

She reaches out...does it matter in what way, or who she touches??  It only matter that she touches.


jenni
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12 posted 02-07-2002 03:19 AM       View Profile for jenni   Email jenni   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for jenni

marge--

i think billy collins might agree with you, poetry can do all those things (and a heck of a lot more, if, indeed, poetry must "do" anything at all).  

i think the problem comes when someone buys something like a Maya Angelou Life Mosaic Thankful Vase ($24.95) with the inscription "Be present in all things and thankful for all things", or a Maya Angelou Life Mosaic Card ($2.99) reading "Do not reject / Do not demand / You can have life / in the palm of your hand", and begins to confuse cheap platitudes with poetry.  (it's gotta be good poetry, right?  it's a message of hope and inspiration written by maya angelou!)  

the Maya Angelou Life Mosaic Collection isn't about poetry, any more than any other hallmark collection is (disney, peanuts, dr. seuss, harry potter, whatever).  i'm neither here nor there on maya angelou as a poet, i haven't really read much of her stuff.  but the "sentiments" on the hallmark/angelou items could have been written by virtually anyone, and there are probably more than a thousand people right here at passions who can turn a better phrase.  it's all about money, celebrity and a Name Brand to increase market share.  

that's all well and good (i've always liked hallmark cards, btw), but i can totally empathize with billy collins.  

jenni

[This message has been edited by jenni (02-07-2002 03:23 AM).]

Irish Rose
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13 posted 02-07-2002 09:22 AM       View Profile for Irish Rose   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Irish Rose

I guess I am clueless, I don't know nor understand what is wrong with a Hallmark card?

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


Denise
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14 posted 02-07-2002 08:33 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

I like them myself, Kathleen. I am sometimes brought to tears by verse that I have read in greeting cards. I've also read some that were very sophomoric, something that could have been written by anyone, something that really didn't strike me as poetry, per se. But to each his own! What really got me about this article is that I had personally called Hallmark (long distance, no less) to inquire about the possibilty of writing for them. "Sure", I was told, "If we think you have what it takes, all you have to do is agree to move out here (it may as well have been the other side of the world) as all of our writers work out of our headquarters as we don't hire "free-lancers" and you also have to agree to sign over your copyright, as anything that you write while working for Hallmark becomes the property of Hallmark." It just burns my bisquits that I know, without even having proof, that Maya was told no such thing. She probably told them what the deal was going to be. She may be a wonderful person, a good poet, but I think the whole thing just screams the "privelege of celebrity" with its attendant bottom line profitability for Hallmark and nothing more. As I said, I have seen poets on here whose work I like much more than anything I've seen her produce.
 
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