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Passions in Poetry

Why and when poetry? - a poem

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patchoulipumpkin
Member
since 01-01-2000
Posts 203
Bermuda


0 posted 01-05-2000 05:28 PM       View Profile for patchoulipumpkin   Email patchoulipumpkin   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to Submit your Poem to Passions  View IP for patchoulipumpkin

A little call out to the free verse purveyors, and acknowledging the irony of form.

Why doesn’t anybody write real poetry?
Why are there thou’s and art’s in place of him’s and are’s
Why do we think we have to write poetry that makes a good wall poster
Where are the real words, the real expressions
That explain ourselves, honestly
Truthfully, to the point based in now
Instead of creating a fantastic realm of structure that requires membership
To understand it.

Why rhyme?
When little does in the world
Why iambic pentameter
When it sounds like a position from Kama Sutra
Why do we cede to the word poetry
Why have we created a word that has ruined its heart
What’s the point of being clever if we have nothing to say?

Is that what poetry is?  Cleverness?
Ahh, it all has a place, it all has its time and its admirers
But what is there to admire?
The words themselves, the skill of “right” vs. “wrong” word
Or the skill of the tightly knit package
The skill of mastering form

Why not?
Is the real question, I know
The same question as why a dog licks its balls
Because it can
And we hate them for it, think them vile and rude
Because secretly
We wish we could to

© Copyright 2000 patchoulipumpkin - All Rights Reserved
Kid Pedestal
Junior Member
since 01-04-2000
Posts 28
Chandler, Arizona


1 posted 01-05-2000 05:56 PM       View Profile for Kid Pedestal   Email Kid Pedestal   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Kid Pedestal's Home Page   View IP for Kid Pedestal

Outstanding.
I myself have been wondering the same thing for some time. I never got around to describing it though, and my friend...you have done an excellent job.  My hat is off to you.

Adam
hoot_owl_rn
Member Patricius
since 07-05-99
Posts 11105
Glen Hope, PA USA


2 posted 01-05-2000 06:24 PM       View Profile for hoot_owl_rn   Email hoot_owl_rn   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit hoot_owl_rn's Home Page   View IP for hoot_owl_rn

Ah...well, there's a couple of lines in here I'm not going to touch with a ten foot pool...but in answer to your question...some of us write because we have no choice. I write because the words are there and need to come out and in most cases, need to be shared.
Seaangel
Member
since 07-27-99
Posts 172
Auckland, New Zealand


3 posted 01-05-2000 06:43 PM       View Profile for Seaangel   Email Seaangel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Seaangel

I have to reply to this! Please be patient, this will take some time!

First things first, I get what you're saying, that rhyming and structure can obscure or take the place of the real meaning of a poem. That it can be an exercise in cleverness to write these kinds of poems,'the skill of mastering form;' yes.

I hope that you don't see all structured poetry this way! Shakespeare? Donne? Herbert? These greats can surely be said to be talking seriously about serious things.

And poets on Passions often do the same thing. Look at Skyfyre's In the eyes, Elizabeth Santos's macaw poem, to name some of the most recent and best...

Personally my own form is free verse, as that is how I feel able to grapple with what I want to say, but I grew up reading Shakespeare, Shelley, Keats, and recognise the worth of structured verse.

And at the end of your poem were you saying that you wrote it because you felt envious? Because you can't -or think you can't- write structured verse? Don't think it is really outside your reach until you have explored it fully.

And if you have, congrats for being honest about your reasons!
Finally, we all write poems for different reasons, whether to tell a story, get a message across, or to exercise our skill in following a form.
There are plenty of poets trying to do all of these things, including free-versers, you are not alone!
patchoulipumpkin
Member
since 01-01-2000
Posts 203
Bermuda


4 posted 01-05-2000 07:11 PM       View Profile for patchoulipumpkin   Email patchoulipumpkin   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for patchoulipumpkin

Seeangel, i like that name by the way, umm..I have tried structured verse and it doesn't suit me, but i recognise that, and the last stanza is an homage to my inability, recognizing i am unable, and that is why i get frustrated in reading it. Of course there is value for structure, i'm not denying that, and if it works for some great, i think its a definite skill, that rarely appeals to my sensibilities, which might be too coarse, who knows.  In any case, i just wanted to express the feeling of writing free verse, and living outside the "tradition" of poetry for it.
Deborah
Junior Member
since 01-03-2000
Posts 41


5 posted 01-05-2000 07:33 PM       View Profile for Deborah   Email Deborah   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Deborah

At first your poem bothered me a little.  I like structure in my poems because it gives me a challenge.  Of course I free write a lot of my poems, but there are a lot of great writers who have used sturcture to create a balance and beauty different from just writing what comes to mind.  Poems are my way of expressing myself, and it helps me think about what I'm writing when I give it a rythm.  Your last few lines are strange.  However you do make some good points and I understand your point of view.  I enjoyed reading, and thinking, about your poem.
    Deborah
Seaangel
Member
since 07-27-99
Posts 172
Auckland, New Zealand


6 posted 01-05-2000 07:43 PM       View Profile for Seaangel   Email Seaangel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Seaangel

ok, patchoulipumpkin (patch for short??)
I'm not entirely sure what you mean by 'expressing the feeling of writing freeverse, and living outside of tradition for it.' I assume you mean that in the poem you were trying to show how a freeverser might feel about structured verse?

If this is the case, I have to say you've done a good job -although I would suggest you make it clear when a poem is expressing YOUR particular feelings and when it is expressing an abstract point of view!

If there is anything I would say about structured verse and tradition, it's that it's tradition is dying out. Rhyme, particular rhythms, particular kinds of verse like villianelles(is that spelled right?), or sonnets, etc have been around for centuries, and we all read Shakespeare in school -or were supposed to!

The point is, ever since Walt Whitman especially, free verse has become the way to go. Pablo Neruda, Sylvia Plath, Ted Hughes, Ezra Pound, ee cummings, Frank O'Hara, Allan Ginsburg, William Carlos Williams, Denise Levertov, Anne Sexton, for example, and poets whose names I don't know but are writing now and being published in mainstream mags, this is the new fashion!

Tradition, the kind that you are talking about, seems woefully small and lost compared to the more than a hundred years in which free verse has become popular, distinguished and respected through the work of a great many good poets.

I understand that here in Passions the structured verse of all kinds is popular, with many prominent poets writing it. That's fine by me, because I know that there's a lot of people who want to read, write and talk about that stuff, of whom I am occasionally one. There is also a lot of people who write really interesting free verse on Passions who also are popular. For example, have you read jbouder's poem transtate thoughts or something like that? Martie's poems, which are always fantastic? Severn? caroline? Marge Tindal?  

I assume you have, and that this whole argument is redundant, but really, the tradition of poetry as structured verse is hanging on by a thin thread, no doubt to be fully revived some time, while free verse continues to run rampant. I am confident of tradition in free verse, and as confident of free verse's future.

 "Stop this day and night with me and you shall possess the origin of all poems,
You shall possess the good of the earth and sun (there are millions of suns left,)
You shall no longer take things at second or third hand, nor look through the eyes of the dead, nor feed on the spectres in books,
You shall not look through my eyes either, nor take things from me,
You shall listen to all sides and filter them from your self." >Walt Whitman, Song of Myself.


[This message has been edited by Seaangel (edited 01-05-2000).]
Severn
Member Rara Avis
since 07-17-99
Posts 8273


7 posted 01-06-2000 01:18 AM       View Profile for Severn   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Severn

Dear Sea has said it all really! But I want to add that although I am a freeverser without doubt, structured verse appeals to me. I have a current resolve to write a sonnet - iambic pentameter and all!

Although it may not seem so, most of my poems have their own internal structure - I am obssessed with flow. Structure is in the eye of the beholder - we determine it. Freeverse has definitely opened up new realms of expression - while not negating the expression of strict form. I love your last stanza - crude certainly, but great humour!

If structured verse intimidates you as you seem to suggest in your last reply - there are workshops here that teach you how to write in all kinds of styles. And I know from experience that the more you read of structured verse the easier it becomes to understand it.



 '...I want to be free - free to know people and their backgrounds - free to move to different parts of the world...' Sylvia Plath
Nan
Administrator
Member Seraphic
since 05-20-99
Posts 24426
Cape Cod Massachusetts USA


8 posted 01-06-2000 08:59 AM       View Profile for Nan   Email Nan   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Nan's Home Page   View IP for Nan

Hello M. Voyer....

Simply stated - I Am - a structured poet because:

I am lost and foundering without my rhyme.
I wonder how you write free verse.
I hear iambics in my mind.
I see rhyming, miming, words in timing. (oops!)
I want to structure each of them
I am lost and foundering without my rhyme.

I pretend to let words freely flow
I feel the need to write a sonnet.
I touch more hearts with my pantoums.
I worry not when penning villanelles
I cry no tears when quilling paradelles (oops!)
I am lost and foundering without my rhyme.

I understand we each have styles to write.
I say that this should surely be all right (oops!)
I dream pentameter at night (darn!)
I try to write in free verse, but I can't.
I hope to meter my next quatrain
I am lost and foundering without my rhyme.

... Now - to reiterate - Your poetry - this poem  - has merit, and expresses your point quite well.  You're welcome here on the "real" forums.  You do, however, need to edit out the canine reference and any other such questionable verbiage for these forums. We have an Adult Forum that is intended for any poetry that isn't "acceptable" for family perusal.

Let's see some more of your work.... appropriately posted, of course.....
 
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