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Passions in Poetry

Opinion: Bad poetry

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DreamEvil
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since 06-22-99
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0 posted 07-24-99 05:31 AM       View Profile for DreamEvil   Email DreamEvil   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit DreamEvil's Home Page   View IP for DreamEvil

One point that Ron made privately, I felt needed to be addressed. I did not intend to criticize or demean the accomplishments of the free verse poets that post here. I see free verse as artfully arranged prose. People like Izzy, one of my closest friends, write free verse. I was attempting to garner more understanding of it. I wanted differing views presented and explained, so that I could develop a better feel for what it is my friends do. Sadly I did not receive such input. I did receive attacks on my position, vulgarity sent over ICQ, no one presented me with anything to support their view. I am still open to such information, for the sake of friends like Izzy, if not for myself.

End of my apology, take it as you will.

DreamEvil

[This message has been edited by DreamEvil (edited 07-24-99).]
~one voice~
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since 07-08-99
Posts 668
Billings, MT USA


1 posted 07-24-99 05:47 AM       View Profile for ~one voice~   Email ~one voice~   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for ~one voice~

I agree with you on all except for the part about prose...I would call it poetry... When I think of poetry, I think of something that is expressed in a beautiful way-thus, when I think of prose, it is somewhat the same? And who was it that said, "In the end, the poem is not a thing we see; it is, rather, a light by which we may see-and what we see is life."
And there's another that goes something like this: "Speech is like trying to nail whispers to a tree. Writing freezes thought and offers it up for inspection."

Just some of the quotes that I live by! Essay nicely written!

------------------
~onevoice~

"I never kissed somebody so that they would break my heart."

Ron
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Member Rara Avis
since 05-19-99
Posts 9708
Michigan, US


2 posted 07-24-99 07:49 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

DE, I have no idea why you thought it necessary to start a new thread on Poet deVine's topic, basically repeating much of what you said there. It seems to me that makes it very difficult for anyone else to follow the conversation...

And please forgive me, but both of your assertions are faulty. No one ever suggested that content wasn't important or was somehow less important than construction. But neither are they mutually exclusive. If you write purely for self-catharsis, then fine - but those poets aren't posting their work for others to read. If you write to communicate to others, then construction does matter. Content is paramount and everyone agrees that is where we should spend the bulk of our efforts. But content without communication is meaningless. I don't personally believe "the message is the medium," but I do believe that the medium can certainly detract from the message. I'm not suggesting, nor do I think I have ever suggested, that our poetry has to be perfect. Well, except for Nan - English teachers have to set an example. What I am suggesting is that we're all here to learn. My intent isn't to discourage writers, but rather to raise their self-expectations. If you spent twenty or thirty bucks on a hardcover book and found it full of bad spelling and ambiguous punctuation, you would be understandably disappointed. You would wonder if the author even bothered to use a spell checker. You would wonder if the author bothered to read his own words to see if they made sense. Should we lower our expectations because our poetry is posted on the Internet instead of being published in a book or magazine? I think we should all strive to be the very best we can possibly be - and spending just a few minutes with a spell checker and reading our own words is just one very, very small step in that direction.

Your second assertion is not only insulting to a lot of recognized poets, but also contradicts your first. Suddenly, it isn't Content that is important, but rather rhyme and meter? Mother Goose is poetry? But Sylvia Plath is not? The scratchings on the men's room wall are poetry? But Nobel winner Pablo Neruda isn't? DreamEvil, I really suggest you need to rethink your stance and perhaps better educate yourself on the very thing you are trying to create.

If my response seems a bit blunt, I hope you'll nonetheless consider it rather than take offense. The topic if far too important to allow tact outweigh clarity. And you did, after all, wander into the Alley.

Encouraging people to write is important. Encouraging people to writer better is even more important. Certainly that includes Content, but it doesn't exclude technique and craftsmanship. I would like to think Learning is why we're all here.


DreamEvil
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since 06-22-99
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3 posted 07-24-99 10:34 AM       View Profile for DreamEvil   Email DreamEvil   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit DreamEvil's Home Page   View IP for DreamEvil

Just a question, am I not entitled to my opinion?

You are correct in that I wandered into the Alley, but is that license to attack my opinions or beliefs?

I do not consider a short story with line breaks a poem. My opinion only, yet I have not been harsh to yours. I only state my opposing view. The same courtesy is expected.
Ron
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4 posted 07-24-99 04:01 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

Of course you are entitled to your opinion, DreamEvil.

My intention was not to "attack" your opinions or beliefs, but rather to refute your public statements. When you encourage others to set aside craftsmanship you do them a disservice - however well intentioned I know your comments were meant to be. You have a wonderful poetic eye and everything I've seen in the past indicates you are willing - even eager - to learn better ways to convey your content. I think everyone should be encouraged to learn better ways, not told that technique and craftsmanship are unimportant.

And when you express an opinion that your chosen format is the only "real poetry" you are effectively attacking some of the best poets on this website - and in the world. That kind of intolerance doesn't just invite rebuttal, DreamEvil, it demands it. Yes, you are entitled to you opinions. And so am I.

DreamEvil
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5 posted 07-24-99 04:09 PM       View Profile for DreamEvil   Email DreamEvil   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit DreamEvil's Home Page   View IP for DreamEvil

Yes, you are entitled to your opinion, but you'll notice that I didn't attack yours. I just stated an opposing view, You took it to the offensive, not I.

You want to encourage poets to become better at their craft? Why not limit yourself to replying to their work and craft and not their personal opinions?
Craig
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since 06-10-99
Posts 882


6 posted 07-24-99 07:17 PM       View Profile for Craig   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Craig

Iíve watched a difference of opinion concerning poetry good and bad unfold here in the alley and am a little confused, one person said poetry was this and the other said poetry was that, then the first person was upset that the second person didnít like what the first person said, and so removed what they had written in the first place and wrote a second piece defending their right to have an opinion as stated in the first place in the first piece, the second piece remained. What gets me is if the first person had an opinion in the first place why remove that opinion when the second opinion arrived? Surely if the first persons opinion was flawed in the first place and he was having second thoughts about the first piece, then why not just agree to the second persons opinion in the second piece. If on the other hand the first person still held the opinion given in the first place why not say so in the second place to answer the second persons remarks? Now I find the first person rethinking his position in the first place and attacking the second person for instigating second thoughts on the first persons first opinion.

Can we not just say that poetry IS and leave it at that
Gentle Soul
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since 07-12-99
Posts 274
Vinton,Ohio USA


7 posted 07-25-99 02:12 AM       View Profile for Gentle Soul   Email Gentle Soul   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Gentle Soul

I am no poet... I dont know diddley about anything of a "proper poem" I dont pretend to know.. but I do know.. that when I had a problem in my life.. DreamEvil introduced me to this forum.. it helped me.. for a season.. my poems wasnt great.. but it helped me vent.. but.. there are wrong ways and right ways to tell a person they are wrong.. publically slamming someone without confronting them.. is.. harsh.. now.. maybe it wasnt intended as a slam.. it probably wasnt.. I dont know anyone here.. so I dont know...
But.. I do know that.. I must say farewell to this forum.. Im not good enuff for it..

[This message has been edited by Gentle Soul (edited 07-25-99).]
Ladycat
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since 07-05-99
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At the edge and a doorway,TX


8 posted 07-25-99 05:19 AM       View Profile for Ladycat   Email Ladycat   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ladycat's Home Page   View IP for Ladycat

Here is the thing.. I wrote something about free verse poet before and it is in The Alley.. We are not prose writers.. I do poetry from the heart and soul.. I think that this a style of beauty.. I know that some ppl may not like the way that it is, but they don't have to read it.. None of the netpoets have ever been that way to me.. Freeverse poets get writer's block too.. I don't think that it would fall under the category of Bad Poetry though..
Gentle Soul there is no reason for you to leave.. We appreciate everyone's poetry here no matter what kind it is.. Why should we have to stop and judge? What is with the in fighting going on? We are here to post poetry, read new poetry, greet new poets, and LEARN from one another!!!!! I would only hope that this is not the way that this is going to stay.. WE are all POETS!!!

"Sometimes at night the wolves are silent and only the moon howls"

Lady

[This message has been edited by Ladycat (edited 07-25-99).]
DreamEvil
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since 06-22-99
Posts 2442


9 posted 07-25-99 06:47 AM       View Profile for DreamEvil   Email DreamEvil   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit DreamEvil's Home Page   View IP for DreamEvil

I did not mean for it to be classified as such. This thread was originally an essay written on bad poetry. The remark about free verse was an addendum to the piece.

While the addendum was out of place, it did not deserve the "attention" it got.
Poet deVine
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Hurricane Alley


10 posted 07-25-99 06:48 AM       View Profile for Poet deVine   Email Poet deVine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Poet deVine

I must say, this forum was aptly named. I'm putting my two cents in.

DreamEvil..you deleted your original message from here, so there will be misunderstandings about what you stated originally.

Here is what Coleridge said about poetry:

"I wish our clever young poets would remember my homely definitions of prose and poetry; that is, prose - the best words in the best order; poetry - the best words in their best order."

This discussion began many, many years ago. We won't settle it, our children won't settle it. It's a matter of opinion.

Let's not fight
Let's write!


[This message has been edited by Poet deVine (edited 07-25-99).]
DreamEvil
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since 06-22-99
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11 posted 07-25-99 07:27 AM       View Profile for DreamEvil   Email DreamEvil   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit DreamEvil's Home Page   View IP for DreamEvil

I removed the essay because it was felt to be extraneous.
Ohme
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since 07-17-99
Posts 831
Texas


12 posted 07-25-99 10:26 AM       View Profile for Ohme   Email Ohme   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Ohme


If we all saw the world through a shared eye we would be condemmed to tunnel vision. We must expect some differing opinions. And without them our poetry would have little emotion. Perhaps we should respect each others work, and their effort even when we have a difficult time understanding it.
May I smooth the rumpeled feathers.

Alicat
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since 05-23-99
Posts 4277
Coastal Texas


13 posted 07-25-99 01:06 PM       View Profile for Alicat   Email Alicat   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Alicat

Howdy Kids...
Had a chance to check back in and found my alley in an uproar about poetry and prose. Who cares?
Are you writing exclusively for the 'feedback' and 'ego stoking'? If so, why not consider a career with Hallmark?
And, if you are writing solely for the purpose of purging your soul of all the evil little dark secrets and life issues you've accumulated over the past years, fine...just please keep them skeletons in your closet...there are some things I just don't want to know.

Now, before all the peoples I have duely offended burn me in effigy, keep in mind my sense of humor, and I have found this discussion funny. Who cares what is or is not poetry or prose? I write what I want to irregardless of poetic niceties, but sometimes it just happens...one of them there residues from a liberal college education. I write because I love to write, not because I love posting every little trite detail in some rambling monologue...I do have some privacy.

One final note before I end this diatribe. I know that newbies get enthused about a poetry forum that they can use as a private (semi) journal, so they post their entire eclectic free-verse collection, one right after another. Not that this is a bad thing, neither a good thing...it's just a thing that grates my nerves. I can't help but feel that Ron et al would have my hide and ban me permanently if I scanned in all 1800 of my poems, cut and pasted, and served them up raw one right after the other. Wow...what an image.


Alicat


P.S.: DreamEvil, I noticed something in your first message...Ron discussed something with you in a private message and you aired such? I do hope I am misreading that. If you have an issue with a certain person, email them and hash it out, but don't put such on an open bulletin board. I do so hope I misread those few lines, for if not, then I have no use for knowing you, if anything I say in trust will not be honored, if every discussion is aired like laundry, or if indeed there are no more private conversations. Maybe it's just me. Maybe I'm a throwback to an earlier time. Maybe my dad raised me differently. But it would appear that honor, integrity, and trust are sadly lacking in your world...how sad. Now to write several musings on this point and post them. --Alicat


[This message has been edited by Alicat (edited 07-25-99).]
Balladeer
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since 06-05-99
Posts 26302
Ft. Lauderdale, Fl USA


14 posted 07-25-99 01:17 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Well, I've kept my mouth shut long enough. I hate to get into these things because I never know when to shut up and, invariably, always manage to say the wrong thing. But let me say this. I posted a poem on another site and was met with the comments "What are we gonna do, turn this into a rhyming pit?" Now, here, in this land (and I mean this sincerely) of wonderful friendship and camaraderie) I am seeing the same thing. One of our poets posted a complaint about the amount of rhyming poetry here. I didn't see DreamEvil's original comments but, from what I can piece together, they seem to be detrimental to free verse poetry. We all have the perorgative to write in the manner we choose and also to respond to poetry we like and ignore poetry we don't like. If either one of you, or anyone else, is dissatisfied with that, the answer is simple. Get the hell out. No one is forcing you to be here. You're not under contract. Why free verse poets have to feel threatened by rhymers, or vice-versa, is beyond me but I don't see why an association of hundreds of nice people who just want a decent place to post their work and get a comment once in a while should be threatened or have to be exposed to this internal bickering. You want it your way and you want us to want it your way. Ain't gonna happen. Accept it or leave it......but stop whining about it.
doreen peri
Member Rara Avis
since 05-25-99
Posts 8028
Virginia


15 posted 07-25-99 01:58 PM       View Profile for doreen peri   Email doreen peri   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for doreen peri

Ok. My turn. (whew! do I really want to do this?... who knows... here goes)

Bickering will get us nowhere. I frankly do not feel anybody is threatened by anybody else. Of course, maybe I'm being too simplistic or giving too many people the benefit of the doubt. It's a matter of writers looking for an audience, IMHO.

Perhaps all of this can be resolved if we separate the forums and make a "Metered Rhyme" forum and a "Free Verse" forum.... I don't know, seems like Ron has better things to do with his time, if you know what I mean.

But, geez, we are all writers, here. We try. Some of it sucks. Some of it is publishable. We are here to learn from each other and to respect each other, no matter how far along we are in developing our craft.

It can't be argued that free verse is not a valid, respected form of poetry. There are just too many well-respected published free verse poets out there. Obviously, rhyming metered verse is also valid and respected.... thus the classics. (But, btw, some free verse poets are also considered "classic"... think e.e. cummings, etc.)

We all want to know we have an audience here, that's all. And we should respect each other, not feel threatened by anyone. One poet makes a remark about how there seem to be many more free verse poems here than rhyming ones and wants to know if free verse is welcome, and another poet makes a remark that free verse isn't REAL poetry.... C'mon, guys.... cut it out.... Enjoy each other and learn from each other. Free verse isn't "cheap" verse. Rhyming verse isn't all "hallmark card" material. Stop arguing and start learning from each other and digging beneath the surface for the TRUTH behind what we are saying.... which, I think, is the sole purpose of poetry.... to paint a picture of truth in a moment of time.

I will close (you are all shouting hurray!) with one of my very all time favorite poems by Gerard Manley Hopkins:

Pied Beauty.
By Hopkins, Gerard Manley .


Glory be to God for dappled things -
For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches' wings;
Landscape plotted and pieced -fold, fallow, and plough;
And all trades, their gear and tackle and trim.
All things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:
Praise Him.
~one voice~
Senior Member
since 07-08-99
Posts 668
Billings, MT USA


16 posted 07-25-99 03:22 PM       View Profile for ~one voice~   Email ~one voice~   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for ~one voice~

I feel very uncomfortable with all this upheaval... so I am going to try and solve everyone's problem. No opinions, just the facts...


As stated in the Random House Webster's College Dictionary:

poetry: 1. literary work in metrical form; poetic works; poems; verse. 2. the art of writing poems. 3. prose with poetic qualities. 4. poetic qualities however manifested. 5. poetic spirit or feeling. 6.something suggestive of poetry.

free verse: verse with no fixed metrical pattern.

There you have it folks... Can't argue with Webster, can you? Now please........

Can't we all just get along?

(See, even I was wrong!!)

------------------
~onevoice~

"I never kissed somebody so that they would break my heart."

[This message has been edited by ~one voice~ (edited 07-25-99).]

[This message has been edited by ~one voice~ (edited 07-25-99).]
Gentle Soul
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since 07-12-99
Posts 274
Vinton,Ohio USA


17 posted 07-25-99 03:41 PM       View Profile for Gentle Soul   Email Gentle Soul   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Gentle Soul

ok guys.. to clear up an image that I may have made myself look.. Im not totally a gripy, depressed, always dissatisfied selfish little ----- well.. fill in the blank
its just.. misunderstandings happen.. and I never intend to offend anyone.. and I may stay.. but if not.. Im not leaving on a bad note.. Im fine now.. and I thank you.. I get edgy sometimes.. life isnt a bowl of cherries right now for me.. in fact.. there isnt a bowl.. just a couple cherries here and there... but anyways..
DreamEvil is a very good guy.. and he never meant to start the bickering.. but we are all humans.. and He is one of my very best friends.. and I will stand by his side...
LadyCat.. sometimes I feel like Im not good at poetry.. that would be my reason of leaving.. personal feelings.. and reading this just added to the fire.. and then my little brain (being imperfect as I am) decided to forget how I felt and blame others.. and I was wrong..
Also.. I would like to mention.. Dream was settling the problem b4.. he did post a thank you poem to Ron..
and to Ron I say.. "Ron.. I dont know you.. therefore. I wont make judgements about you.. and if I offended you.. I apologize.. was a misunderstanding on my part. Im sure.. "

------------------
GŽnt£Ž§ßįŻ£

Ladycat
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Senior Member
since 07-05-99
Posts 809
At the edge and a doorway,TX


18 posted 07-25-99 09:50 PM       View Profile for Ladycat   Email Ladycat   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ladycat's Home Page   View IP for Ladycat

All that I can say now is that we have just about gotten everyone over here to place there view on the subject and I think that it is wonderful that we all got together even though it had to be something as petty as this.. I'm glad that we all can find an understanding.. Gentle Soul remember that even if you do decide to leave that you will always have a place here with the netpoets and I think that everyone will agree with me on that..
I'm glad that so many ppl put in their point of view and I was able to learn from all of this.. Thank you all..
Now can we go back to being family again and put this behind us?

------------------
Live in my world just once and you'll find yourself enraptured.


DreamEvil
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since 06-22-99
Posts 2442


19 posted 07-25-99 10:23 PM       View Profile for DreamEvil   Email DreamEvil   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit DreamEvil's Home Page   View IP for DreamEvil

I would love to, but no one wants to answer my original question. Why is that?
fjones
Member
since 06-07-99
Posts 101
MS


20 posted 07-25-99 11:36 PM       View Profile for fjones   Email fjones   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for fjones

I am going to explain why some people write free verse.
As for me when I am feeling strong emotions the words
just flow on to the paper. What comes from the soul sometimes cannot be edited
for fear of losing the depth of meaning. Take this I wrote after my son lay in a coma for three months unable to completely wake. These words just came from my very being after his funeral. ĖSo all of you listen ĖSpelling, grammar, structure , and everything that makes a correct poem is a great accomplishment but itís the heart that counts. Poetry is like everything in life you can fake it just so long then you start having to nit-pick because you are not writing or reading with your heart.

Freedom

What freedom must be like after being trapped-No pain, fear or sorrow. Oh how the heart must soar the first moments in the presence of God-
Feeling the overwhelming joy, understanding all things,
enjoying the sweet reunions.
My beautiful son, you woke whole and perfect,
released from the trap of coma.


[This message has been edited by fjones (edited 07-25-99).]
DreamEvil
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since 06-22-99
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21 posted 07-26-99 12:35 AM       View Profile for DreamEvil   Email DreamEvil   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit DreamEvil's Home Page   View IP for DreamEvil

fjones,
thank you for taking the time to explain your views, the first to do so, I would add.
I think the problem I have is not with the free verse work, but in my perception of it's definition and the definition of poetry. The definition states that prose with poetic imagery is poetry. My problem is this, would you say "poetic poetry"? Probably not, seems redundant to repeat it. So saying that prose is poetry and vice versa is a bit confusing. By explaining your point, I think I see the poetry in the words. I have been applying the primary definition of poetry instead of the less tangible ones.

Thank you, very much for taking the time to explain your position. It has helped considerably.
anonyogi
Member
since 07-16-99
Posts 183
United States


22 posted 07-26-99 09:56 AM       View Profile for anonyogi   Email anonyogi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit anonyogi's Home Page   View IP for anonyogi

"Can we not just say that poetry IS and leave it at that "

I wish that we would. You see, when we spend too much time hammering people on meter, form, and grammar, we can end up stifling creativity. Especially when it is a new or budding poet.

There is so much poetry out there that it really is hard to say what is absolutely good or bad. I know I have written things that I hate and other people love, and visa versa. We all know that something we consider to be a good poem touches us, moves us, or makes us see or feel what the author wanted us to experience. What we may consider to be a bad poem is something that we either cannot relate to or was poorly communicated.

Free verse vs rhyme or whatever; when you pigeon-hole yourself like that you are limiting your own creativity. Yes, we all have our prefered method of expression, but we shouldn't exclude other forms just because we do not use them.

------------------
Anonymous Web Poet
doreen peri
Member Rara Avis
since 05-25-99
Posts 8028
Virginia


23 posted 07-26-99 10:26 AM       View Profile for doreen peri   Email doreen peri   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for doreen peri

DE, why do you say nobody's attempted to answer your question, when several of us have.

In my post above (scroll up), I wrote my own definition, "The sole purpose of poetry.... to paint a picture of truth in a moment of time." Of course, the dictionary definition includes verbiage of "imagery & meter".... In my post above, I've included a poem written by Gerard Manley Hopkins, a highly respected and acclaimed poet. This poem DOES NOT rhyme and I included it as an excellent example of free verse using imagery AND meter. It flows off the tongue. It is beautiful. It envokes our emotion. It creates feelings within our souls.

Can you say this is not poetry because it doesn't rhyme? Of course you can't.

Have you ever read Shakespeare? Much of his work doesn't rhyme yet it is metered and flowing and... omigod... POETRY without question.

Geesh... I don't get why you don't get it. Did you read the Hopkins poem I posted? Scroll up. Read it 2x, then tell me what you think. Does it rhyme? no. Does it have a metered rhythm. yes.

Is it poetry? Good God, of course it is.

Ok, I'm done.... aren't you glad? Geesh.... hehehe
Ladycat
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since 07-05-99
Posts 809
At the edge and a doorway,TX


24 posted 07-26-99 06:14 PM       View Profile for Ladycat   Email Ladycat   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ladycat's Home Page   View IP for Ladycat

One more time for me, then I shall move on.. Free verse for me is a fast and easy way of getting a thought down at the time.. Sometimes I change over to other styles, but most of the time I just leave it the way that it is.. As I see it or feel it I wrote it.. Free verse is a form of poetry that if done right it will flow like the other types of poetry..
It is not that I wasn't taugh how to do other styles or that I don't know how to do other styles.. It's just that I love free verse.. I am a free verse writer and that is the way that I'm going to stay.. I guess that also over the years of doing other stuff I got use to that style and I made it my own.
I guess that free verse is here to stay; whether or not anyone likes it..

Love,
Lady

------------------
Live in my world just once and you'll find yourself enraptured.


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