How to Join Member's Area Private Library Search Today's Topics p Login
Main Forums Discussion Tech Talk Mature Content Archives
   Nav Win
 Discussion
 The Alley
 Bad poetry   [ Page: 1  2  ]
 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24
Follow us on Facebook

 Moderated by: Ron   (Admins )

 
User Options
Format for Better Printing EMail to a Friend Not Available
Admin Print Send ECard
Passions in Poetry

Bad poetry

 Post A Reply Post New Topic   Go to the Next Oldest/Previous Topic Return to Topic Page Go to the Next Newest Topic 
Poet deVine
Administrator
Member Empyrean
since 05-26-99
Posts 25869
Hurricane Alley


0 posted 07-17-99 08:33 PM       View Profile for Poet deVine   Email Poet deVine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Poet deVine

Would someone please tell me what is bad poetry?

Sally - Thanks for your response. I think there is such a thing as bad poetry. What about misspelled words? What about phrases that don't have any connection to each other?

[This message has been edited by Poet deVine (edited 07-17-99).]
Sally S.
Senior Member
since 06-07-99
Posts 887
Ohio


1 posted 07-17-99 09:02 PM       View Profile for Sally S.   Email Sally S.   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Sally S.

I don't believe there is "bad" poetry, only bad critics.

Poetry means different things to different people. Just because one person feels a poem is "bad", doesn't mean another person won't LOVE that poem. Who's the judge really....it's all in how you choose to interpret the art. Just as any other art form. (I've seen paintings that I thought were AWFUL...a few of them were considered "masterpieces")

Well, that's only my opinion.
Elizabeth
Deputy Moderator 1 TourDeputy Moderator 1 Tour
Moderator
Member Rara Avis
since 06-07-99
Posts 7296
America the beautiful


2 posted 07-17-99 09:32 PM       View Profile for Elizabeth   Email Elizabeth   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Elizabeth's Home Page   View IP for Elizabeth

Yes, Poet deVine, I agree with you that there is such a thing as bad poetry. And Sally I agree that there are bad critics.

Poet deVine, it drives me up the wall when words are spelled wrong! I can't stand that. (A girl I know thinks there is a letter E at the end of the word "prom", but that's a different story.) And what about the fact that some people will just write words down on a piece of paper, and "Guess what! Here's a poem!" It happens with both rhymimg poetry and free verse. Then there is also supposedly structured poetry with a meter that doesn't always follow. The meter isn't so bad-in some places, it seems to help the poem. But what about meter running all over (here I'm talking about when one line is five syllables and the next is about 15), very approximate rhymes, and some words that don't rhyme at all?

It seems that the definition of good poetry these days can be summed up in one word: EMOTION. If the reader feels the emotion of the poem-free verse or structured-it's a good poem. If the reader doesn't "feel" anything, then that's too bad.

OK, I just needed to vent. I'll climb off the soapbox now.

[This message has been edited by Elizabeth (edited 07-17-99).]

[This message has been edited by Elizabeth (edited 07-17-99).]
Poet deVine
Administrator
Member Empyrean
since 05-26-99
Posts 25869
Hurricane Alley


3 posted 07-17-99 09:43 PM       View Profile for Poet deVine   Email Poet deVine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Poet deVine

Sometimes I read something and can't feel the emotion because I'm too busy trying to figure out what the heck the poet is saying! Or I read something and then start thinking, this word is spelled wrong, wonder why they would let it get posted this way....on and on...it's distracting alright!
Elizabeth
Deputy Moderator 1 TourDeputy Moderator 1 Tour
Moderator
Member Rara Avis
since 06-07-99
Posts 7296
America the beautiful


4 posted 07-17-99 10:16 PM       View Profile for Elizabeth   Email Elizabeth   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Elizabeth's Home Page   View IP for Elizabeth

All right, what is good poetry?
Tim
Senior Member
since 06-08-99
Posts 1801


5 posted 07-17-99 10:25 PM       View Profile for Tim   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Tim

It depends on how you define poetry. My children were taught in grade school that grammar and spelling were not important in writing. Expression is all that matters. How times have changed. If the purpose of poetry is merely to express an opinion or feeling, then there is no such thing as bad poetry. If the purpose is to express an idea or feeling within the beauty of poetic meter and rhyme, then poetry can indeed be bad. Which might explain why I spend a great deal of time in the classic poetry section of Passions.
Sunshine
Administrator
Member Caelestus
since 06-25-99
Posts 67715
Listening to every heart


6 posted 07-17-99 10:26 PM       View Profile for Sunshine   Email Sunshine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Sunshine's Home Page   View IP for Sunshine

Poet DeVine

You hit upon a key problem, both with how I feel when I see some poetry, and the other with how I attempt to write same. My biggest pet peeves, of course, are spelling; and when the poem just doesn't make sense, five lines here, two there, three over on this end, and then a long rambling thought.

I know that I have been amiss in submitting some poetry because one of my computer programs automatically capitalizes the first word of the sentence [with or without a period]. I didn't realize until I looked back on it that it threw off the meter, because everyone is looking for where the period was supposed to have ended the previous sentence. It gets back to EDITING!!

Then, of course, I do not always do what I have read that other people do...read the poem out loud to myself to see if the meter is right. Of course, there is no meter in free verse, which is why some people probably go that route more than others.

So, I will take my pet peeves, add yours to them, and try to become a better writer of poetry, and overall, a better writer, period. Thanks for identifying what I thought was "just my own problem with others!" GB, Sunshine.
Ron
Administrator
Member Rara Avis
since 05-19-99
Posts 9708
Michigan, US


7 posted 07-18-99 09:50 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

Are we really talking about bad poetry here, guys, or are we maybe talking about careless writing? When we use loaded and subjective terms like "good" and "bad," I suspect we wander into areas where there really aren't any clear answers. Worse, we put people on the defensive and run the risk of halting the learning process we all have to go through.

Those who've been around Passions for a while know that I spend an inordinate amount of time editing the poems posted on the main site. Sometimes, I feel like I spend all my time editing poems. I fix punctuation, grammar, spelling, even line breaks - trying all the time to do so without altering the meaning or voice of the poem. I do it for two reasons.

One, I refuse to willingly post anything on Passions that isn't "right." That certainly doesn't mean that everything is perfect, but the mistakes that are there (and they are there) are because of my own ignorance or oversight - not from carelessness or a lack of caring. Tim, I've heard the modern philosophy that "Expression is all that matters," and I personally think it's a big crock. Were it true, we could all write drivel and shove it in a drawer somewhere, content that we had "expressed" ourselves. Expression, for most people, isn't enough. We also have to communicate our expressions, and that job is already tough enough without also making the reader wade through misspellings and ambiguous grammar.

The second reason I edit the poems on the main site is because I hope (and keep hoping) that the writers will learn from what I've done. I hope (and keep hoping) they'll see how much more communicative and powerful their poetry has become when it has been corrected and made readable. And make no mistake - some of the most powerful and brilliant poetry posted at Passions wouldn't be there for us to share if I insisted it be "correct" when it comes in the door. I edit the poems at Passions because I hope (and keep hoping) that the second submission I get from a writer will be better than the first. And I continue to edit those poems because, every once in while, I really do see the kind of improvement I've been hoping to see.

If you ask me what bad poetry is, I can only tell you what I find unacceptable. Vulgarity is bad. Hate and wanton violence are bad. Blood-and-guts, or anything there for simple shock value, is bad. Lurid, unimaginative (or overly imaginative) sex is bad. Trite is very, very bad. And I will be the very first to admit that, in the right hands, every single one of those bad things can transcend my own bigotry and become good poetry.

What is good poetry? I think good poetry (or good writing in any medium) is anything that gives us the opportunity to learn more about the human condition. Life is so damn short. Our time in this world is so very limited. There isn't a single one of us that has lived long enough, or can ever live long enough, to experience all that humanity has to offer. Only through the words and insights of others can we grow beyond our own meager experience. That's what good poetry does for us. It doesn't have to be beautiful, though we learn more easily when it is. It doesn't have to be clever or unique, though we appreciate its Truth more readily when it is. Good poetry makes us feel something, and allows us to learn something from our feelings. Many people regard Shakespeare as the greatest writer of all time. His meter was flawless, his use of the English language both beautiful and powerful. But what made him great wasn't his mastery of poetic techniques. Shakespeare possessed a profound understanding of the human condition - what motivates us, what moves us, how we act and react - as no other writer ever has. His characters are both complex and Universal - and True - and we understand more about ourselves and those around us because he wrote good poetry.

I think underlying this thread is an unspoken observation that concerns us all: Passions in general, and the Open Poetry forum in particular, is being inundated by a lot of poetry. Some of it is bad poetry, at least by some standards. Much of it is careless poetry, almost by any standards. And buried within the deluge are a few real gems that don't get the attention they really deserve. One of the quasi-rules that seems to have surfaced in the Open Poetry forum is that no poem should go without at least some response by someone. "Dig back and find those without a response and post something," the mandate seems to be. And I find myself sorely torn between a very strong belief that everyone should be encouraged to write and an equally strong belief that everyone should be encouraged to write better. Yes, we need to respond. But we need to be honest in our responses - while still being encouraging. I personally don't think there are more than a handful of people on this forum that can turn out two or three or more good poems a day (and I'm not one of them!). Writing takes times. Writing should take a lot more time than many are giving it. Maybe if we start encouraging people to write better, more carefully, we can reverse the trend. Wouldn't it be wonderful to find a very few careless poems buried within a deluge of gems?

I think the Critical Analysis forum was one of the best ideas you people ever came up with. It can be a wonderful tool for all of us to better learn how to write good poetry. But it brings with it a few dangers we need to be aware of, too. It shouldn't encourage us, for example, to think that the others forums can't be equally honest. Nor should we feel we don't have to encourage those who post there. I deleted one post there this morning, because there's no room or need at Passions for sarcasm. That's not how we learn, and that's what we're all here to do. But, having pointed out the similarities between the CA forum and the others, there are also some obvious differences. The only way we can hope to follow the path that's evolving, that of giving a more in-depth analysis to the poems posted in the CA forum, is if we refuse to tolerate carelessness. We all misspell words and everyone (except Nan, of course) occasionally makes grammatical mistakes. That's not the same as being careless in our posts, and I think we all recognize the difference. If a poet can't take the time to correct their obvious problems, they shouldn't expect us to take the time to help with the more subtle and meaningful ones.

Finally, I'm hoping that in the near future (when I get caught up a bit) we can find a way to better recognize those gems that are too often getting lost in the deluge. One of the things many of you have heard me say in the past is that I think the forums are for "instant gratification" and the main Passions site is for posterity. As just one example of what I meant by that, "Lover's Dance" was recently posted in the forums and has received some very favorable (and deserved) comments. But like so many others, it has followed the trend of up and down and up and down. Would it surprise you discover that at the main site that same poem has been read by over 300,000 people? And that doesn't count the nearly 20,000 that have found it in their email box, courtesy of a friend that visited the site. That's the difference between instant gratification and posterity, and I hope we can find a way to bridge that difference for those gems we all appreciate so much.

We have an incredible amount of talent at this site. Those of you who care deeply about poetry are setting an example for those who are only just learning to care, those who are just learning something of the power we hold within our hands. And I think you're setting one hell of a good example! You people are what set Passions apart from all the other poetry sites on the web. You are the ones that make this place special.

Now, I suspect it's time to set aside my soapbox. After all, I still have about 2,000 poems to edit for the main site…


Artur Hawkwing
Member
since 06-30-99
Posts 443
USA


8 posted 07-19-99 10:34 PM       View Profile for Artur Hawkwing   Email Artur Hawkwing   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Artur Hawkwing

Great going, every one of you. I'll just post what I think are "good and bad" poetry from my perspective and hope there's something that comes out of it. I'm hoping I don't offend anybody by posting this, but this is how I tend to view the difference singular-mindedly.

Good poetry:

1. It has to be sparked by curiosity or fascination or some inspiration.
2. The words pull you into the story, like a riptide, reminds you of mythology or folklore, or Shakespearan-like.
3. Not so materialistic but showing love for other things around you like the sky, sea, etc...
4. Usually brought on by memories such as childhood dreams.
5. Makes people smile, laugh, or cry.
6. Has a natural flow to the words. Very powerful convey of imagery.
7. Sometimes used as a honor to somebody, never a disgrace.
8. Something that makes others know that they aren't alone feeling the same thing.
9. Contains wise sayings and proverbs.
10. Unusual way of putting words together, like songs (musical).
11. Sounds ancient, sounds un-modern.
12. Metaphorical, riddle-like.
13. Maybe a touch of mischief or youthfulness.

Here is what I think can make a poem bad:

1. Foul language.
2. Too complex.
3. Too abstract. (maybe, depending on the topic)
4. Too insolent, hateful towards another human being.
5. Words tossed around.
6. Too city-like.
7. Written plainly, without inspiration. Sounds like school textbooks!
8. Perfectionist-like.

^ I copied and pasted it..... so it didn't say anything about spelling and grammar. Spelling can change the way the sentences carry out feelings sometimes, and what I think is important is that the ideas and intended moods come across.
But this's only my critic perspective, and it doesn't necessarily suggest any poems are bad at all. It might be masterpieces to others. Shakespeare went a long way ahead of us, and he still is...



[This message has been edited by Artur Hawkwing (edited 07-19-99).]
Sally S.
Senior Member
since 06-07-99
Posts 887
Ohio


9 posted 07-20-99 12:50 AM       View Profile for Sally S.   Email Sally S.   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Sally S.

Yes, well....you're right. There seems to be a problem here lately....I wasn't going to bring up but...I will now! It seems some people are more interested in the quantity of work they post..rather than the quality of their work. I suppose if you just slap down garbled words on paper and call that poetry..well then, it's just BAD!!! I admit it, though I hate to!

Good writing takes time and effort....I'll admit once in a while, I come up with a poem in a few minutes and am happy with it. That doesn't always happen. At least when I write something, I try to be as grammatically correct as possible. (perhaps I DO need a spell check...oops)

So, you're all right, bad poetry does exist..but I still hate to discourage someone from writing. I guess I'm too darn nice for my own good!!! LOL....oh well. Just remember, those of us who are aspiring poets...keep writing!!!! The more you write, the better you'll become!
Dragon
Member
since 07-14-99
Posts 139
Highmount,NY ,USA


10 posted 07-21-99 06:08 AM       View Profile for Dragon   Email Dragon   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Dragon

I would hate to think that someone ,who reads what I write finds it poorly written,mispelled or lacking in anyway,would not tell me so.I was here to try to learn.I wanted to improve.I have never deluded myself in to think I'm a good poet.I know what my limitations are.I write what I feel.Yes at times my spelling is lacking.Although I do try to correct any mistakes some do slip by.As for bad peotry,I think there is.I'll just make sure mine is not counted amongst them.With this I bid Adeiu to the forum.
Artur Hawkwing
Member
since 06-30-99
Posts 443
USA


11 posted 07-21-99 12:26 PM       View Profile for Artur Hawkwing   Email Artur Hawkwing   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Artur Hawkwing

Dragon, I find your poems to be quite good and imaginative. Just something I thought you should know.

[This message has been edited by Artur Hawkwing (edited 07-21-99).]
Poet deVine
Administrator
Member Empyrean
since 05-26-99
Posts 25869
Hurricane Alley


12 posted 07-21-99 07:47 PM       View Profile for Poet deVine   Email Poet deVine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Poet deVine

I think some misspelled words can be overlooked especially if the content is good.

Dragon, I second the motion..you may absent yourself from THIS forum, do not from the open forum..we deserve to read your poems, do don't deprive us of enjoyment!
Saxoness
Deputy Moderator 1 Tour
Senior Member
since 07-18-99
Posts 1176
Texas


13 posted 07-22-99 09:36 PM       View Profile for Saxoness   Email Saxoness   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Saxoness

One of the biggest things I dislike about poets...is how some of them take for granted the forum. They use it to post poems that don't have any significant meaning to them personally, they just stick something up there for the heck of it. Now this would be all fine and good, but by doing that they take away from the attention that serious poetry, pieces that are heartfelt, need. If one poet has something to say to another, there are plenty of places to do it, not taking up valuable first page space because they were bored. Perhaps it is just me, but I have heard several others express dismay that their poetry is not being given it's due. I always try to reply five times each time I enter the site, no matter if I've posted or not. Too often my time is delayed by having to sift through the myriad of uselessness, and I am not able to give others the time they deserve.

Thank you for listening to my ramblings.

------------------
"Glory remains unaware of my neglected dwelling where alone
I sing my tearful song which has charms only for me."

-Charles Brugnot


DreamEvil
Member Elite
since 06-22-99
Posts 2442


14 posted 07-22-99 09:53 PM       View Profile for DreamEvil   Email DreamEvil   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit DreamEvil's Home Page   View IP for DreamEvil

For myself, content is the important thing. While spelling can make reading a work arduous, if the intent and emotions are there, I find it worthwhile reading. Should we discourage a good poet because of poor spelling? I think not. There would be no reason for submissions to the main site to be edited for grammatical error, were that the case.
I myself, had not written in 12 years until just 4 weeks ago. How many of us are natural poets? Are those above saying that they never made errors while learning their craft? Many poets don't start writing until adulthood, shouldn't they be encouraged? Perhaps we all need to look at our early works, before commenting on someone elses. Just my opinion.

------------------
Shall I indulge in flights of fancy hampered by clipped wings?
DreamEvil©




[This message has been edited by DreamEvil (edited 07-22-99).]
Alwye
Moderator
Member Elite
since 06-16-99
Posts 3968
In the space between moments


15 posted 07-23-99 01:02 AM       View Profile for Alwye   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Alwye

I agree with Dream here, that content is the most important part. True, spelling errors and such do bother me, but hey, I make them myself. (not too often though.) If the emotion is there, if someone put effort into it, then its not a bad poem. I've been writing for 7 months, and thats what I think, from my experience (or lack there of?) and what I see here at passions.

------------------
*Krista Knutson*

"It's a crazy thing, fate has perfect wings..."-Deanna Carter


[This message has been edited by Alwye (edited 07-23-99).]
Red Letter
Member
since 05-24-99
Posts 92
Allentown, PA


16 posted 07-24-99 04:52 PM       View Profile for Red Letter   Email Red Letter   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Red Letter

Wow, just following the hot topic this has become and wanted to throw my two cents in...

First off, RON: Please don't think I'm just blowing smoke here but I honestly think you are one of the most insightful people I have the pleasure of being acquainted with online. I couldn't agree with you more (not only on this topic, but on many others that you have taken the time to comment on).

I see such a huge amount of what I see as "careless" work on the Open Forum that it keeps me from really wanting to sift through all of it to find the quality work. I go more often now to the Critical Analysis forum, hoping that the poetry posted there is work that the author has worked hard on, thought out thoroughly, has polished and improved as much as he/she can and now is looking for the insight & experience of others to make it even better. But I think ALL the work on this forum should be that way. I don't expect to read Shakespeare every time I open a thread. I don't even WANT to read Shakespeare. I know there are people posting that have been writing for decades and those who have been writing for weeks and it's a beautiful thing to see so many communicating and expressing themselves side by side. BUT at the same time, I don't want to read cliches. I don't want to read misspellings. I don't want to read work that looks like it took more time to post on the screen then it did to write. I want to see the poet's talent. If you are interested enough in poetry to be a member of this site, then you CAN be a great writer, whether you are new at it or not. I think good poetry is honest. That is almost my biggest concern. If it doesn't sound REAL or it sounds as though the poet is just trying to express emotions that he/she has never really felt, it's just not going to be good. It's not going to communicate which, to me, is my main reason for posting. I WANT to learn from others - both from their work and from their critique (whether it is aimed at my own work or another's, I still can learn)... I know that mistakes happen and are sometimes overlooked (I make them myself) but when it is simply carelessness, then I lose respect for the author - and when I lose respect for the author, I lose respect for the work. Reading becomes an ardous task because I'm so distracted by all the errors. It's completely unnecessary. If you've got a computer, you've probably a word processing program. Use the spell-checker, use the grammar checker. Buy a dictionary. Buy a thesaurus (my personal best friend). Spell your words right. Weave those words in original ways, in melodic ways, in ways that will make us all THINK. Yes, there is poetic license (I have been known to make up a word or two in my time for the sake of my work) but let's not abuse that. It's too bad there is such an onslaught of careless writing, especially when it becomes obvious that the writer is not learning from others' work or insights. I've been writing for about a year now. When I read my early work (which, truth be told, is not all that early), I realize the leaps and bounds of progress I have made myself. I have leaps and bounds to go, I realize, to become better - I am fully aware of that and I am continually learning. I have poetry sites like this one as well as one or two others that I enjoy to thank for it. Take advantage of what we have here and LEARN. Force yourself to become better, expand your horizons, take chances with your work - not everything we write is going to knock everyone's socks off, not even our own all the time, but keep writing and keep improving and show that you care, both about the work you call your own and in helping others' improve their own craft as well...
anonyogi
Member
since 07-16-99
Posts 183
United States


17 posted 07-25-99 10:00 PM       View Profile for anonyogi   Email anonyogi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit anonyogi's Home Page   View IP for anonyogi

I don't care if it has blood or gore or vulgarity or violence or if it is noble and pure. My opinion is that bad poetry is poetry that is not effective in communication its meaning and/or images. I do not favor free verse over rhyme. I am not hung up on styles, for I even consider rock and rap lyrics to be poetry.

I know what I like and what I don't. I could read a poem about a violent act or one that expresses the beauty of a sunset or a husband's love for a wife, or someone's love for God. Subject matter is irrelevant. Skill and talent level IS relavent, along with your frame of reference.

That is why I refrain from commenting on poems unless I can't help it. You see to me, some of Shakespeare's and Emily Dickinson's poems SUCK. Yes, SUCK. And, some of them that I have read are BRILLIANT.

To me, if a poem or any artwork can be felt by someone who may be outside of the culture of the writer, that touches on chords that ring throughout ALL of humanity while at the same time being true to the writer's original vision, then it is a good poem.

------------------
Anonymous Web Poet
JP
Senior Member
since 05-25-99
Posts 1391
Loomis, CA


18 posted 08-04-99 01:30 PM       View Profile for JP   Email JP   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit JP's Home Page   View IP for JP

My two cents:

First and foremost I agree with Ron most of all.

The essence of poetry is communication. Communicating an idea, a feeling, an experience, and outrage, etc. To me, a bad poem is one that does not communicate.

I know little of proper function and form of poetry (I have no idea what a sonnet is supposed to be), but does that make me a bad poet (I have my own ideas of my poetic worth by the way)?

The form and function of the piece should allow the message to be conveyed; improper punctuation, spelling, line breaks (No offence Red, but that was one looonnnngggg paragraph!), these all dictate how the poem is read, if it detracts from the work, then what use is the work?

Quality of poetry is an individualistic measure. Each of us have preferences, and none is more valid than the next. Some like Hallmark, others like death metal lyrics.

Ultimately, if I read a poem that communicates its message effectively, I consider it a good poem. I may not be moved, or touched, and I may not comment, (cause I only do that when really effected, or really irritated), but that doesn't mean it is not good.

P.S. The edit function Ron has given us is a gift from the gods, use it.

Furor scribendi
JP

[This message has been edited by JP (edited 08-06-99).]
redwriter1
Member
since 07-22-99
Posts 476
Franklin, TN


19 posted 08-04-99 01:45 PM       View Profile for redwriter1   Email redwriter1   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for redwriter1

I was always told that "good" writing, not just poetry consisted of two things.

Saying the most amount of "things" with the least amount of words and then EDIT EDIT EDIT EDIT EDIT.


Of course, I think it's more than that, but I basically stick with those two rules.


TheGreenPolarBear
Junior Member
since 05-23-99
Posts 41
Kansas


20 posted 08-04-99 02:34 PM       View Profile for TheGreenPolarBear   Email TheGreenPolarBear   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit TheGreenPolarBear's Home Page   View IP for TheGreenPolarBear

I finally had the time to read through this whole thread, and there's one thing that I really have to disagree with. I personally believe long periods of time don't have to be spent on writing and editing the poem. Some of MY favorite and some of my most commented on poems are ones that I wrote while I was sitting here staring at the little text box. Admittedly, I'll go back and edit them once, but rarely do I spend more than 20 minutes or so. There are occasions when I do spend more time revising a poem, but these are normally longer ones (page and a half to two pages). Some of my favorite poems are spontaneous things written by Jack Kerouac and other "Beat" poets. One of the main reasons I don't believe in heavy editing is because often, when you go back later to revise, you can't look at the poem from the same angle, and that takes away part of the emotion and power of the work. Now, some of you might say that going back later lets you look at the poem "tabula rosa," but I really believe that makes the poem cold and unemotional. Well, these are my views, just thought I'd throw them out. And if this seems like it's jumping back and forth a lot and seems a little confusin, it's cause I'm writing this as I go and not going back to revise it (please, no one take offense to that). So, I think I'll stop rambling now. Bubye.

The Green Polar Bear


[This message has been edited by TheGreenPolarBear (edited 08-04-99).]
Ron
Administrator
Member Rara Avis
since 05-19-99
Posts 9708
Michigan, US


21 posted 08-04-99 04:09 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

GPB - you are absolutely, 100 percent right! There have been several times someone has submitted a poem to the main site, then subsequently sent me "edits" that detracted from their original message. And in each case, I've written back and told them I would make the changes - but explained why I thought it would be a mistake.

It is very, very easy to edit a poem (or any writing) into oblivion. Granted. But not doing that is part of the editing skill we all need to develop! And make no mistake - editing is just as much a skill as writing. I'd go even farther and suggest it is a markedly different skill set - and includes the ability to maintain spontaneity while still improving your delivery of the message. You've already taken the time and effort to learn the skill of writing. I submit you'll find it well worth your time to learn the skill of editing, too.

As for setting aside a work and looking at it cold later, let me just ask a simple question. I agree that a writer has to really feel their message if they're to communicate the message in poetry. But if a "cold" poem can't reproduce in you something of the same feeling and passions as it did when you were writing it, what chance do you think it will have of conveying those to a new reader? A great poem should return you to exactly the same emotional state as when you wrote it. A perfect poem (which we know doesn't exist - but we have to keep trying!) should invoke exactly that same emotional state in the reader. I submit that looking at a poem "cold" and critically, after your original emotional state has passed, is the only way to judge your success...




[This message has been edited by Ron (edited 08-04-99).]
redwriter1
Member
since 07-22-99
Posts 476
Franklin, TN


22 posted 08-04-99 07:57 PM       View Profile for redwriter1   Email redwriter1   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for redwriter1

hehehe I noticed you "edited" your reply.

just kidding.. (smile)

I do agree.. that most of my best work is.. "off the top of my head".. the most sincere..

however.. in order to "practice" the craft of writing.. you have to be able to recocognize when you are trying to write something and the first thing that comes out of your head is not what you mean't to say at all.. (sometimes it is, sometimes it isn't) So you need to be able to go back objectively and decide.. did I really say this the best possibly way I could have
or was I just being lazy.. and just throwing words around and hope they land somewhere.

I admit, I've done it.. (but I usually get caught by a good critic).. (grin)
(namely my hubby) He will say to me "you cheated on that line, didn't you"?..
and he's usually right. ( I was looking for a match of timing or something and wrote a line that was not up to the standard of what I was written before it).. He's great for pointing that out.. and I have to confess I have to go back and admit I cheated and didn't really "work" at it.

That's what I mean by "edit". The whole point of writing is so "others" can understand what they are reading. If you don't worry about the reader, I think you're being a little self serving and self centered. (at least that's what I tell my kids about their handwriting.. hehe).

Like I said, sometimes you get lucky and the whole thing falls out of your mind, crawls down your arm and slides out on to the paper, but.. it's only happened to me twice out of 100's of songs and poems.(Barbie was one of them) However, Daniel Keenan, took 4 years, of trying to figure out a way to make others see and feel the same things I did, and then actually "care" about it.

So you see, it's still and always will be 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration.


hope I didn't babble too long..
TheGreenPolarBear
Junior Member
since 05-23-99
Posts 41
Kansas


23 posted 08-04-99 09:01 PM       View Profile for TheGreenPolarBear   Email TheGreenPolarBear   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit TheGreenPolarBear's Home Page   View IP for TheGreenPolarBear

LOL. Yep, guilty as charged (actually, I forgot to type in my name the first time, but ah well). Ron, you do ask a good question, and I think I'll have to agree with you there. I might have to go back over my older stuff (hehe, 4 or 5 months old and I'm calling it my older stuff, shows how long I've been writing) and see how I do react to some of it. And redwriter, I do agree with you that a writer does have to go back and edit to clarify their works. Looking back on it, maybe I do edit more than I originally implied. I think it must've just been the number of times you typed in "EDIT" in your post just before mine that got me going. Anyway, since I don't have much else to say, I think I'll hand the mic over to someone else.

The Green Polar Bear
Emmy
Member
since 06-29-99
Posts 204
KY

Newsletter Staff
24 posted 08-14-99 05:32 PM       View Profile for Emmy   Email Emmy   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Emmy's Home Page   View IP for Emmy

Red Letter: I absolutely understand what you mean when you said you lose respect for the author and the author's work when their poetry contains careless mistakes and such, and there is no "true feeling" put into it. I agree, but only to a certain extent. It is true that words just slapped on paper without even a once-over don't seem to have much appeal, but then again, there are many of us in Open Poetry and other forums who are posting poetry that we KNOW needs critiquing, and that's why we posted it in the first place. I know that the poems I post are definitely less than perfect, although I try to look over them for grammer and spelling errors and things like that. My poetry sometimes really NEEDS to be worked on, and it really helps to have other (and most likely more experienced) poets critique my work and provide suggestions for making it better. I'm sure a lot of the more "amateur" poets really appreciate others' comments on their work. So perhaps next time when you come across a poem that is not quite up to standards, you'll put a word or two in to help the poet out, so that their poetry can flourish. Hey, you mentioned yourself that "It's too bad that... it becomes obvious that the writer is not learning from others' work or insights." Well, if others put in their insight in replies, then maybe the poets would learn more. We're all working on "forcing ourselves" to become better writers, but it's a tedious process. Anyway... thanks for listening to my rambling!
 
 Post A Reply Post New Topic   Go to the Next Oldest/Previous Topic Return to Topic Page Go to the Next Newest Topic 
All times are ET (US) Top
  User Options
>> Discussion >> The Alley >> Bad poetry   [ Page: 1  2  ] Format for Better Printing EMail to a Friend Not Available
Print Send ECard

 

pipTalk Home Page | Main Poetry Forums

How to Join | Member's Area / Help | Private Library | Search | Contact Us | Today's Topics | Login
Discussion | Tech Talk | Archives | Sanctuary



© Passions in Poetry and netpoets.com 1998-2013
All Poetry and Prose is copyrighted by the individual authors