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Passions in Poetry

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serenity blaze
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since 02-02-2000
Posts 28839


25 posted 12-18-2002 07:59 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

Poetry is defined in the interpretation.
Miah
Senior Member
since 08-26-2002
Posts 1092
Pennsylvania


26 posted 12-18-2002 08:17 PM       View Profile for Miah   Email Miah   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Miah

I agree with most said here.  However, I think you can learn a lot from being here, there is the poetry workshop, English workshop. etc..  Personally, I thought this site was for posting your poetry, (or what you think is poetry) I don't know maybe I shouldn't post poetry here until I learn the proper way.  

However, in the mean time I will enjoy reading and talking with all you fine people.  



ps.  Just because a poem is in the correct format, does not mean it's good.  Again, I say to each their own

[This message has been edited by Miah (12-18-2002 08:27 PM).]

Cpat Hair
Deputy Moderator 1 Tour
Member Patricius
since 06-05-2001
Posts 12075


27 posted 12-18-2002 08:27 PM       View Profile for Cpat Hair   Email Cpat Hair   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Cpat Hair

(Laughing) Casey.... my you are are serious one aren't you? ...

What you say is in many ways true. If your goal is to be a serious published writer, then this may not be the place to hone your skills and to learn. Most people here will never be serious published authors, or funny published authors for that matter. But I have watched as the poetic devices and skill of some here have shown improvement over time and in the process their ability to communicate what is inside enhanced. I have seen people with low self esteem and what you would consider nothing but trite lines, come up with some amazing imagery and metaphor for life. You know what... they learned from that...and the people that read it learned from that... they learned a bit more baout life in some cases...and in others, they learned a bit of technical skill.  

I applaud serious writers! I applaud people who wish to be serious writers! I never will be. Still, I can get lost in a phrase, enjoy the imagery, and wallow in the emotions. Poetry and I'll use the term losely here as you may not agree it is poetry at all... for the common person... from the common person. Think of it as folk art in a way. I donot compare folk art to classical paintings, yet I see and enjoy the beauty or humor in them. Can you not do the same with poetry?

Hugs again... I am not attempting to disuade you from seriously seeking to improve nor am I saying this is the best place for you to improve your many talents. It is a place you can enjoy the beauty of word and emotion shared by people you would never have the opportunity to meet if it were not for poetry. Some I admit ( like me) you might wish you hadn't met... but others..others here.. can and do care personally about you and everyone here.. guess if you never needed a friend that isn't much to say. If you ever have just wanted to talk or vent...or share an idea... and no one was there or they were all too close for you to open up to, then of course it has a value. Some people do those things with words wrapped in a guise called poetry. Some people do it by the book and some like me forget to use basic devices like periods.

(laughing)... you have no idea how much in love with words I am ( other than the fact I have rambled on now for far too long)

relax once in a while... I'm not here to debate the merits of or even define poetry. I'm here to enjoy the idea of poetry, and hoping others along the way may also learn to do that as well.

Cpat Hair
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Member Patricius
since 06-05-2001
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28 posted 12-18-2002 08:30 PM       View Profile for Cpat Hair   Email Cpat Hair   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Cpat Hair

Oh yeah..I was out of trout... so I though instead since it is the holiday season..I'd only give you a hug....


serenity blaze
Member Empyrean
since 02-02-2000
Posts 28839


29 posted 12-18-2002 08:32 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

sigh...

"if wishes were fishes mine would smell bad..."

Kielo
Senior Member
since 02-11-2002
Posts 1259


30 posted 12-18-2002 08:37 PM       View Profile for Kielo   Email Kielo   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Kielo

If wishes were fishes I'd never be hungry. Sick of fish, but never hungry.

I know only one thing, and that thing is that I know nothing.

Miah
Senior Member
since 08-26-2002
Posts 1092
Pennsylvania


31 posted 12-18-2002 08:53 PM       View Profile for Miah   Email Miah   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Miah

Cpat Hair,  I love you! You said exactly  what I was feeling, only you did it sooo much better.  Now I feel like dancing in a medow in my bare feet.  

[This message has been edited by Miah (12-18-2002 08:55 PM).]

clve527
Member
since 07-08-2002
Posts 202


32 posted 12-18-2002 09:35 PM       View Profile for clve527   Email clve527   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for clve527

I am always serious.  I figured since this thread was going to get attention that I mine as well start a discussion.  Apparently that wasn't all that desired, so be it.  Thank you for the response.

Casey

[This message has been edited by clve527 (12-18-2002 09:35 PM).]

Brad
Member Ascendant
since 08-20-99
Posts 5896
Jejudo, South Korea


33 posted 12-18-2002 10:45 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

You learn how to write good poetry, not through workshops of CA or any of the above, you don't learn how to write good poetry by discussing linebreaks, or rhyme schemes, or the importance of profound metaphysical metaphorical allegories, you learn how to write good poetry by reading good poetry, by paying attention to what has gone on before you, you learn by being influenced by the tradition.

Now, I like to do the things above, but most of that is simply abstractions from the real thing, a kind of reductionist, nuts and bolts attitude, a short cut because you know, the tradition is difficult and I wanna be me kind a, sort a thing. It can help, but it's more of a pointer toward the real thing than the keys to the golden door of goodness.

Again, I like to discuss these things, but not because they give me answers to what good poetry is, but because they help me understand the tradition better, they help me see my prejudices and my blind spots (and gives me the choice of holding on to those or to shed them).  

They help me see the poetry better.

There's a comment I've heard bandied about at other websites that I've never quite understood, "For every one poem you write, read a hundred." Well, why not read one good poem a hundred times? Breath it in, attempt to understand it in it's full complexity and perhaps even more importantly in its full possibility, its endless possibility (This is not the same thing as intentional ambiguity). The problem with 'reading a hundred poems' is that, if followed, you'll inevitably feel forced to read poetry and you'll skim and most likely miss the whole point of what makes it good in the first place.

My favorite example of this are Ginsberg imitators. He makes poetry look easy but few match his ability at self-irony, probably his strongest selling point if you ask me. Why do they miss it? Because they aren't reading him, they are reading him in order to write poetry themselves. Ezra Pound, speaking of Eliot, once simply responded, "Read him, just read him" and I can't think of any better advice than that.

While it seems that I've only convinced myself of this, I still believe that poetry, the genre, is defined by the line break. I believe this because I believe when you break something up into lines, you read it, both physically and mentally, in a different way without them. It actually opens up the possibility of a more concentrated language, a different way of looking at the same words (and of new attention to different words) than would otherwise be the case). But many have confused this idea (many who claim an expertise in the reading and judgement of poetry I might add) with the idea that a good poem is made with line breaks, that a poem, by definition, must be good. This is a silly idea and it misses the whole point of classification.

On the other hand, there's no good reason why a journal entry can't also be good, it's exactly the same thing, a confusion of genre distinctions with quality distinctions. I suspect that's why people often write poetry rather than prose, the idea of quality is already embedded in what it is you are doing. That's a mistake.

So what's good?

I've come up with theories on it, many have, including Ron and Ron and I have said similar things about it, but in the end, it doesn't really matter what theory you espouse so long as you are reading the tradition (I include modern, postmodern, and traditional in this application of tradition) for tradition is not dead, tradition is why you do the things you don't think about (the past is dead).

So, what is good?

If you're looking for an answer, a student/teacher relationship, there are plenty of other places to go, but I don't find them any more satisfactory than what people say here, "Poetry is subjective, I like what I like." In fact, I think it's simply the same thing with a another different and equally useless word, "Poetry is objective, I like what I like." Neither answers the question, they seem more political attitudes than anything else. Neither points to what I think is the real value of asking the question: What is good poetry?

Not what is good poetry to you?

Not what is good poetry for professors?

Not what is good poetry in order to write good poetry?

But what is good poetry?

The answer changes because people continue to talk and try to answer the question. It's an infinite conversation.

I like being a part of that, not because I think anything I say is significant (significance also changes -- look at Eliot's dominance fifty years ago compared with today.), but because I like doing that.

One final comment, the reference to common poetry for common people is a mistake as well. Again, there is no necessary relationship between what is good and what class you are from (or think you are from). Read Derek Atridge's "Poetic Rhythm:An Introduction" for how complex common poetry can get. Of course, there's no reason that complex poetry should necessarily be good, but the subtext above seemed to imply that simplicity was common and complexity was elitist.  

In a nutshell, most people really prefer to avoid the question (perhaps because it's not a high school math test, perhaps because it's not a question for trivial pursuit?) because, I think, any answer can never be summarized in a poetry handbook or a sound bite, it can only be talked about, it can only be read.

Read him (or her), just read.

RSWells
Member Elite
since 06-17-2001
Posts 2607


34 posted 12-18-2002 10:48 PM       View Profile for RSWells   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for RSWells

I'm not going to attack you. You're young. And angry. It's painful to grow and painful to watch time march by as realities onset shows how precious time is. I have hundreds of books of poetry. All kinds. All the Best American Poetry anthologies since 1988. Several Norton anthologies, Beat, Classical and on and on...... I find maybe one of twenty five I like....one of fifty that move me. (Really wanna go balooey read Ploughshares) And these are published poets!
We gather here for diverse reasons. Few are here to be spanked or feel shame over their lack of academic accreditation.
Here we don't sadden to letters of rejection, or rise to the bait of jealousy, we neither seek hot breathed one-upmanship nor revel in the stumble of our neighbor's unlettered renderings.
This is escape from mundane workdays or depressed circumstances, it's the safety of the anonymous internet for those who feel voiceless or lonely.
It's a friendly gathering of just folks who will most likely never meet and common ground for we who feel better after-words.
I hope you do stay and write. I think you'll find you are forgiven.
Kit McCallum
Administrator
Member Laureate
since 04-30-2000
Posts 16920
Ontario, Canada


35 posted 12-18-2002 10:53 PM       View Profile for Kit McCallum   Email Kit McCallum   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Kit McCallum

There are plenty of other poetry sites out there on the internet that will be more than happy to welcome those poets who wish only critical feedback and diehard dictatorial learning.  

What I've found for myself, here at Passions is the "best" of the learning experience.

What I've found, is that here at Passions, even if you are not part of the Workshop or CA forums specifically, you can still enthusiastically and literally "learn" via "osmosis".

You read, you post, you make friends your read their poems, you absorb other's talents beyond your own, you take it in, you breath it out, you find within you things "you" can improve on without fear of failure.  The more you read, the more you respond, the more you learn, the more you improve, the more friends you make, the more fun you have, the more you, in turn you are able to teach a new member just starting out, where you once were, one year ago.  

Passions is cyclic it's positive it's rewarding it's friendship it's poetry heck it's life the way it "should" be ... and I'm darn proud of it.  

[This message has been edited by Kit McCallum (12-18-2002 10:57 PM).]

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


36 posted 12-19-2002 01:28 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

Casey, you're ready to bail MUCH too easily. Disagreement doesn't mean we're not willing to listen. If you can defend your beliefs, then you should. If you can't, then you should reconsider them. Giving up should be your last response, not your first.

I agree with Brad. Uh, mostly. Workshops, critiques, discussions, they all serve very  useful purposes. They don't teach you how to write, though, and for some people, I think they can even be harmful. Personally, I'd like to see a lot more one-on-one sharing of insights, and I hope our new software will facilitate that. But I doubt it will ever be more than one small facet of the process. I also agree with Brad that reading and understanding poetic tradition is important, but would probably disagree on how best to accomplish those ends. Indeed, I think the phrase "how best" is probably an oxymoron.

That's the mistake I think people make. There is no one way to learn, and there's certainly no best way that applies to everyone equally. Not only are people very different in what they need, but even the same person needs different things at different times. These forums are one small stop along the learning journey. I hope, as we continue to grow, we can expand our usefulness into more areas. But we will never be more than one small stop, if only because learning to write well is a VERY long and complex journey. You can't learn everything you need to know here. But I don't think that lessens the very real value of what you CAN learn here. Not just about writing, which is important, but about people, which is far more important. People, after all, is the only theme worth exploring.

We're not perfect and we should never stop trying to be better. But Kit's right. Those who have no intention of learning will nonetheless learn. Those who don't think they're learning will nonetheless learn. Participation is the key, learning through osmosis is inevitable, and all who are here are the teachers.

Is that the best way? Nope. Because there is no best way.
Brad
Member Ascendant
since 08-20-99
Posts 5896
Jejudo, South Korea


37 posted 12-19-2002 07:44 AM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

I still say that saying that there is no "best way, period" or to say that, "I know what the best way is, period." are essentially the same thing.

By avoiding the possibility of being wrong, you can't be right. These categories drop out, and it's either acceptance or rejection, submission or rebellion.

And nobody talks to each other about the very thing they're asking about: poetry.

That there is no definitive or exhaustive definition is the opportunity for conversation, not the retreat into silence.


  
clve527
Member
since 07-08-2002
Posts 202


38 posted 12-19-2002 08:59 AM       View Profile for clve527   Email clve527   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for clve527

Okay, I am on tight time right now, so hopefully I can make this short.  I have seen stated (in so many words) that you learn just by reading here?  Wouldn't that simply make you imitate?  I have seen many poems that are so similiar in idea to another one that it's just boring.  Is that the only way to learn?  You will learn by default by merely reading.  But how much learning can the writer of a poem do when 90% of what is stated is "Wow, this is good."?  
And Ron, by the way, I quit this easily because this fight has been fought by me far too many times.  I have learned that what is popular isn't always right and what's right isn't always popular.  This doesn't mean I'm right, but I am fighting a losing battle here.  I doubt any will come in and agree with me, which is fine.  But I am merely one person and the army versus one grows tiresome quickly.

Casey
Larry C
Deputy Moderator 1 Tour
Member Patricius
since 09-10-2001
Posts 10765
United States


39 posted 12-19-2002 09:04 AM       View Profile for Larry C   Email Larry C   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Larry C's Home Page   View IP for Larry C

Sarah,
I sent you the following email and it was blocked:

Sarah,
I wondering if you could help me? I'm trying to understand this
post that you made there? Did you have a bad day or does the site
really suck? I certainly hope you are able to respond. I will keep
our communication confidential.

larrywcsr@lycos.com
Brad
Member Ascendant
since 08-20-99
Posts 5896
Jejudo, South Korea


40 posted 12-19-2002 10:29 AM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

quote:
I have seen many poems that are so similiar in idea to another one that it's just boring.  Is that the only way to learn?  You will learn by default by merely reading.


Dana Gioa said much the same thing about the Beats: they were good examples of precisely what he didn't want to do.

By the way, I never said read here, I said read the tradition.

As far as reading leading only to imitation, do you really think reading is that easy? Don't confuse it with skimming -- "Ah, that's what you're supposed to do." -- as opposed to, "What does this poem do?"

  
Nightshade
Deputy Moderator 5 ToursDeputy Moderator 1 TourDeputy Moderator 1 TourDeputy Moderator 1 Tour
Member Laureate
since 08-31-2001
Posts 14673
just out of reach


41 posted 12-19-2002 10:39 AM       View Profile for Nightshade   Email Nightshade   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Nightshade's Home Page   View IP for Nightshade

One person's poetry might be another person's garbage, or "a rose by any other name would smell as sweet." I didn't join here to be published.....and probably couldn't be. I joined to relax and reflect. That is exactly what "poetry" should offer - relaxation and reflection. A smile, a laugh, or a tear. Passions has given all of this to me.  Oh, geesh, now I feel silly. But, silly is a good way to start the day. Season Greetings. Chris
Sudhir Iyer
Member Rara Avis
since 04-26-2000
Posts 7206
Mumbai, India : now in Belgium


42 posted 12-19-2002 11:39 AM       View Profile for Sudhir Iyer   Email Sudhir Iyer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Sudhir Iyer

Orginal Quote:
"Has anyone else ever realized that there is barely any real talent on this website... that hundreds of people post here and possibly 1 out of 200 poems are even worth reading...that the more a poem sucks, the more replies it gets...that half the members can't even spell, much less rhyme or be creative...that this poetry board sucks possibly more than any other poetry board out there, but everyone visits it frankly because, everyone visits it? I bid farewell to all of you. Good luck on your continuing efforts to not post the crappiest poems I have possibly ever read. "

---------
I will take the good parts in this, I suppose...
"but everyone visits it frankly because, everyone visits it"
if everyone visits this site, I think we all are very very popular right... makes me feel special, thank you

"Good luck on your continuing efforts"
Thank you again...

yep, many thanks to the one who shall not read anything from here anymore

------

mockery aside:
Why do humans who leave a place make an announcement to say they are leaving forever?
corollary:
What do humans expect when they do that?
---- maybe that is philosphical... and so is why am I even typing this here?
----------- is it because:
I exist so I am: I am so I exist
Cpat Hair
Deputy Moderator 1 Tour
Member Patricius
since 06-05-2001
Posts 12075


43 posted 12-19-2002 11:52 AM       View Profile for Cpat Hair   Email Cpat Hair   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Cpat Hair

(laughing at Sudhir Iyer)

Very amusing...
Ron
Administrator
Member Rara Avis
since 05-19-99
Posts 9708
Michigan, US


44 posted 12-19-2002 12:26 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

Casey, since these forums opened in mid-1999 there have been a handful of topics that have risen again and again and again, like corpses that refuse to be buried and forgotten. Tired? You don't know the half of it!

And, yes, prolific reading will, in large part,  "simply make you imitate." That's part of what Brad meant by tradition and it's a necessary ingredient in art. I suspect Brad would tell you that it is ALL of art, that it is impossible to not imitate. Anything that is not an imitation, that is completely new and unique, would be incomprehensible to anyone except the artist (and probably to the artist, too). Art is evolutionary, not revolutionary. Would you be better served by reading Shakespeare, Milton, and Tennyson? Maybe. Would everyone here be equally motivated to read the classics? Probably not. Interaction is the spoonful of sugar that makes the medicine go down.

Does that mean you should never go beyond reading? Of course not. While it's foolish to think one can skip the reading stage, it's equally foolish to think it is the only stage of learning. Getting help from others on the same journey can make the journey shorter. But even if you believe you are ready to move beyond just reading, that doesn't mean everyone around you is either ready or willing. It's okay to move forward alone, and you'll typically find others waiting for you there. But when you move forward, you should do so quietly so as not to disturb those still reading.

I applaud anyone who wants to learn to write better. But I can guarantee you, Casey, that you didn't always have that desire. That, like everything else, was something you learned. Many here are still in the process of learning that desire. In trying to push their vehicles with your own, you won't help them move faster. You'll only put a few dents in your bumper trying and there's the very real danger you'll end up pushing them off the road. You'll almost certainly attract the attention of a few traffic cops, too.

quote:
Brad said I still say that saying that there is no "best way, period" or to say that, "I know what the best way is, period." are essentially the same thing.

They can certainly have the same effect, Brad, that of closing down conversation, but that hardly makes them the same thing. The difference lies in the future tense. Adamantly claiming "one best way" shuts down exploration of alternatives, leaving nothing to discuss. Recognizing that others learn differently and at different paces opens the door to explore those differences. There is no best way applicable to everyone. That is not the same as saying there is no best way applicable to YOU. Instead of closing down conversation, we open it to infinite possibilities.

quote:
And he said By avoiding the possibility of being wrong, you can't be right.

EXACTLY!

Is learning nothing more than the regurgitation of what is right and wrong? Right and wrong are situational. Understanding is much less so. I think that only when you eliminate the possibility of right and wrong does learning take place.
Cpat Hair
Deputy Moderator 1 Tour
Member Patricius
since 06-05-2001
Posts 12075


45 posted 12-19-2002 04:18 PM       View Profile for Cpat Hair   Email Cpat Hair   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Cpat Hair

(now lauhing at Ron)...

you do get on a roll... not that you don't make sense.. it amuses me however how seriously you can discuss issues like this..

Brad
Member Ascendant
since 08-20-99
Posts 5896
Jejudo, South Korea


46 posted 12-19-2002 05:45 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

quote:
I suspect Brad would tell you that it is ALL of art, that it is impossible to not imitate. Anything that is not an imitation, that is completely new and unique, would be incomprehensible to anyone except the artist (and probably to the artist, too). Art is evolutionary, not revolutionary.


I would.

The other stuff is probably best served if I respond in the philosophy forum. But infinite opportunity and no opportunity are the same thing because everything is situational.

Ah, I'm having fun again.

Christopher
Moderator
Member Rara Avis
since 08-02-99
Posts 9130
Purgatorial Incarceration


47 posted 12-19-2002 06:03 PM       View Profile for Christopher   Email Christopher   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Christopher

if everything is situational, then wouldn't that mean that sometimes it isn't?

i love phrases like this.

and I love listening to you guys 'go off'. it's a blast!
Ron
Administrator
Member Rara Avis
since 05-19-99
Posts 9708
Michigan, US


48 posted 12-19-2002 06:22 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
Cpat Hair said .. it amuses me however how seriously you can discuss issues like this

I've found very little in life that can't be taken seriously, Ron. I've found even less that can't be dismissed with a well-meaning laugh. The trick, as always, is to know which is the most appropriate response.

Brad, is it a little scary when we can predict what the other will say? Or is that chill I feel simply a cold December wind?

Send me a dollar tomorrow, Brad, then two dollars on Saturday and four on Sunday and eight on Monday

When you've sent me infinite dollars, I'll be broke and declare bankruptcy.
Brad
Member Ascendant
since 08-20-99
Posts 5896
Jejudo, South Korea


49 posted 12-19-2002 06:36 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

But we have the concept ahistorical, asituational and we can use that as a contrast. Of course, to say everything is situational is as much an empty phrase as to say that there is such a thing as context-free situation (Huh?).

 
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