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Passions in Poetry

Secrets of Poetry

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The Lady of Shallot
Senior Member
since 10-03-2001
Posts 840
USA


0 posted 11-01-2001 12:12 PM       View Profile for The Lady of Shallot   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit The Lady of Shallot's Home Page   View IP for The Lady of Shallot


Well, I've never been in this forum, but I love poetry so much and hoped that this would give
a little knowledge to others, just some things I've learned.  I've learned a lot about poetry over the past few years and of course, the learning process is never over.  I wanted to post two things I've learned that have, I believe, helped me write better and maybe more effectively than I did when I first began writing.  

All prose, poetry, expression is important but it's not the feelngs it's HOW we get them across you know?

You can have the best intentions in the world but if the words fall flat no one is going to read.

These are the two fundamental things I believe, as a poet and a writer that will help anyone who is truly writing to reach people, to get their point across and to bring the reader into the words so they not only begin reading-but finish.

They are:

The reader/listener is most engaged when they can draw their own conclusions, i.e. do a little thinking for themselves. (Hence the old adage, "Show, don't Tell".) The best way to kill off a reader's/listener's interest is to present things they have no way of engaging with, either because their thinking and feeling is already "done for them" or they have simply no idea what is going on.


Second, Poetry is made with words, not ideas.

Thanks for reading!
Interloper
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Member Rara Avis
since 11-06-2000
Posts 8628
Deep in the heart


1 posted 11-01-2001 12:43 PM       View Profile for Interloper   Email Interloper   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Interloper

You've obviously put a lot of time in studying poetry.  I like to sum it up by saying that a poet paints a word picture so the reader can "see" it and "feel" it in their mind.
hush
Senior Member
since 05-27-2001
Posts 1693
Ohio, USA


2 posted 11-02-2001 12:04 AM       View Profile for hush   Email hush   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for hush

"The reader/listener is most engaged when they can draw their own conclusions, i.e. do a little thinking for themselves. (Hence the old adage, "Show, don't Tell".) The best way to kill off a reader's/listener's interest is to present things they have no way of engaging with, either because their thinking and feeling is already "done for them" or they have simply no idea what is going on."

Let's look more closely at this- I happen to agree that the audience is most interested when they can think about the piece in question for themselves... but that, of course, is when the audience is me. LOL.

For example:

I happen to be a fan of Ani DiFranco. She has, apart from an amazing musical talent, a knack for presenting situations that deviate from the common American experience. One of my favorite songs by her concerns cheating on a male partner with a female, and the moral and emotional dillemas that ensue. The reason I like it so much is that she explores things that most people don't even think about- there's a the  oh-so-common American attitude that homosexuality is wrong, and the even more prevailing opinion (that I happen to agree strongly with) that cheating on your partner is wrong. Ani openly admits to both of these taboos, and openly gives us her side of the issue, and that's very important, whether people agree with her or not.

There was another thread by Dorreen Peri (I think?) about this... or where I veered in this direction...

Back to the point... my personal feeling is that Ani's method is very thought provoking... her use of language, ideas, and metaphors challenges me to think about what she is saying. Ani has been recording for over ten years... I'm pretty sure... and she has her own record company.

Most of my peers have never heard of her.

Compare that level of awareness to that of.... Britney Spears, or any of the similarly interchangeable blonde pop stars.

Conformity sells, and I'm not talking about clothes, hair, bodies... I'm talking about the similar expression of "safe" emotions- those that are felt by the majority of teens at some time (though maybe this isn't a fair comparison, since Ani doesn't cater to the lowest common denominater... by which I mean adolescents, or course   ). These "artists" sing the same crap about the same crappy feelings and miraculously release remarkably similar singles at similar times so they can have pop chart battles that are probably based on who showed more cleavage promoting the music.

This is what sells.

Most Americans don't want to think about themselves and their own situations on risky (by risky, I mean challenging... risking the comfort level of "knowing" one's self) levels... let alone think about the way a bisexual adulterer feels about her own personal flaws.

I like thought provoking music and poetry... most Americans like the thought done for them. you have to consider your audience.


"Second, Poetry is made with words, not ideas."

Would you elaborate on this point?

I eat only sleep and air -Nicole Blackman

The Lady of Shallot
Senior Member
since 10-03-2001
Posts 840
USA


3 posted 11-02-2001 11:24 AM       View Profile for The Lady of Shallot   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit The Lady of Shallot's Home Page   View IP for The Lady of Shallot

INterloper, thank  you and yes I have studied it with lots more to learn and I love it.

Hush, thanks for replying, I'm afraid your first point left me a bit confused but that's my fault so maybe I'll read it more and come back ok?

about words and ideas?

Let me offer this.

first let’s get clear what we’re talking about here.
Poetry.
Not social issues, not history, not a commentary
and not a closing statement by a lawyer!

Poetry is words.

Every word in poetry must work.

Poetry must be distilled to be fine poetry.
Not cluttered with a lot of garbage and unneccessary cliches that have no job to do and do nothing but take up space on the page     

Poetry is a craft.

The words come from ideas, certainly they must
but to write a “poem” like this..

I think I will sort the mail into
baskets and leave those on the desk.”

this is an idea and gives no picture at all to the reader, nothing but an idea, and no description, no imagery. The metaphor isn't even really there, but maybe faintly

a poem is more like this….(sorry it's horrid but I didn't put much into it! just trying to make a point)

Oval and round they were
on a cherry bureau
wicker and braided, orderly,
awaiting the morning mail.

Hope this makes sense and thanks a lot for reading!



-befriend yourself and you will never be alone-

[This message has been edited by The Lady of Shallot (edited 11-02-2001).]

Kevin Taylor
Member
since 12-23-1999
Posts 192
near Vancouver, BC, Canada


4 posted 11-02-2001 11:54 PM       View Profile for Kevin Taylor   Email Kevin Taylor   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Kevin Taylor's Home Page   View IP for Kevin Taylor

Hamlet says:
To be, or not to be: that is the question:

These words are probably regarded more poetic now than when they were first penned. But they are not "show me" verse.

The "show me" school of thought obviates or tends to invalidate the direct communication as poetry.

The basic fault in any poetry is one of communication. Either the poet's intention has been transmitted or it hasn't. Either the poet's technical offering is a distraction from the intended communication or it isn't. One of the main reasons why rhyming poetry is so often rejected is because errors in rhythm and rhyme tend to distract the audience from the message. Well rhymed verse is very powerful. I'm sure that Shakespeare and Pope would be surprised to find their work relegated to the petty poets section. And it shouldn't be, because they were technical pros. Blaming the rhyme is the wrong target. The poet failed. A better grasp of communication and technical bits and pieces would stand a better chance of  standing ovations or paychecks or whatever.

So this brings me back to the show and tell argument. An ability to create poetry as direct comm is a high one. The inability does not mean that the style is bad or wrong or not as good etc. Same goes for imagist poetry. However, a direct communication of the addled thoughts of the poet is not likely to win any praise. But dish it up with a lot of looky looky's and there is a good chance that someone will clap their hands having experienced a rekindled sensation or two even if not able to grasp the poem itself.

I laugh sometimes when I get an email saying "I love your poem but I don't really understand it." The reader got the emotional hit and missed the boat. My fault entirely.

I have written a lot of poems, been poetic ad nauseum, but have written only a few that I would call poetry.

One of the other complaints I hear is when poets use the words spirit or soul or love in their poems. I've seen them attacked for it. Ostensibly because the words are meaningless to those for whom the concepts are unreal. You can't "show me" a soul to a reader who is a dedicated one-lifer. And with the 20th century preemption of poetry by the man-is-mud pseudo science of psychiatry as occupational therapy, the concepts of soul and true love are treated as delusional and treated accordingly.

The point is that a rotten soul poem or love poem is just that, a rotten poem. The solution is to write a better one and not to get out your grumbachers or white-out or ECT machines and edit out the word soul wherever it occurs.

My finger is tired.

Kevin

Poetry is the achievement of Art
through language, rhythm and form.

Poetry is the art of Achievement
through language, rhythm and form.

hush
Senior Member
since 05-27-2001
Posts 1693
Ohio, USA


5 posted 11-03-2001 02:14 AM       View Profile for hush   Email hush   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for hush

To clarify my original point:

I personally agree that poetry is most interesting when I have something to think about.

But that doesn't sell. Most people become disinterested when they are asked to think- they are too lazy or too socially conditioned against it, or simply prefer not to... it's easy to see this in the number of pop music albums and chicken soup for the [insert adjective/walk of life] soul books that are sold.

Hopefully that was more clear and succinct.

Okay, to your second point:

'first let’s get clear what we’re talking about here.
Poetry.
Not social issues, not history, not a commentary
and not a closing statement by a lawyer!'

Isn't poetry about all the topics you have above? Social issues, history (not just on a wide scale, also the history of one's life)- isn't poetry just another medium with which to offer a commentary on any of the endless experiences of life?

Ugh... I hate concept words, but you made me do it. Specifically- isn't a love poem a commentary on life? Isn't a poem about racism a commentary on a social issue? And so on...

'Poetry is words.'

Here, I would very strongly disagree with you. If poetry is words, then bathroom grafitti used as an anonymous namecalling forum is poetry. The crime reports are poetry. The UBB/HTML notifications next to the Reply to Topic screen are poetry. My reply is poetry.

If you were using the logic that everything is poetry, I'd still disagree with you, but at least you would have a solid point. But next you say:

'Every word in poetry must work.

Poetry must be distilled to be fine poetry.
Not cluttered with a lot of garbage and unneccessary cliches that have no job to do and do nothing but take up space on the page '

Here you expand (or refine) your definition- you become more specific.... but at the same time, more vague. You assume that your idea of a cliche is the same as mine... and yes, I realize that might sound like the defense of an inexperienced (bad?) poet to the criticism of a more experienced (better?) poet.

You narrow down your criteria... but aren't 'garbage' and 'cliche' overused words that don't really tell us anything specific, that just take up space and leave us with a vague notion of what you mean?

'Poetry is a craft. '

What do you mean by craft? If your explanation of poetry is vague, how am I supposed to know what you really think is good or bad? These are just catchphrases. Do you mean words are a craft? Who crafts them? Most poets use mostly pre-established words in their poems... although there are a few exceptions.

'I think I will sort the mail into
baskets and leave those on the desk.”

this is an idea and gives no picture at all to the reader, nothing but an idea, and no description, no imagery. The metaphor isn't even really there, but maybe faintly'

I disagree. There is a picture- it's in the wording- since the wording is stiff, dry, cold, and precise, I am assuming the setting is the same.

'a poem is more like this….(sorry it's horrid but I didn't put much into it! just trying to make a point)

Oval and round they were
on a cherry bureau
wicker and braided, orderly,
awaiting the morning mail.'

I disagree again. A poem you like more is one like this. You can't justify the inclusion and exclusion of certain words groupings as poetry and not poetry based on personal taste to anyone but yourself. That's fine that you feel that way... but you are presenting a point (a poorly argued one) to anyone in this forum.... and I think that your definition of poetry is a bit biased.

Anyway, I liked the first example better. It sounds less pretentious.

kevin- I agree about communication being a major fault... but I don;t think it's always a lack thereof... sometimes its that there is too much, and the reader gets hit on the head with the ideas... other times it's that we know exactly what an author means because we've heard it so many times before.

Also- the show don't tell arguement... okay in theory... good beginning advice... but for those who see it as a purely image-based idea can rephrase it into this (somethine I use when i write)

Show by the way that you tell.

I eat only sleep and air -Nicole Blackman

Kevin Taylor
Member
since 12-23-1999
Posts 192
near Vancouver, BC, Canada


6 posted 11-03-2001 03:28 AM       View Profile for Kevin Taylor   Email Kevin Taylor   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Kevin Taylor's Home Page   View IP for Kevin Taylor

On the communication thing: It is the poet's responsibility to ensure that his/her intended communication is duplicated in the minds of his readers. If the poem is poorly done he will lose their attention before he can get the message through. If he is clumsy or otherwise upsets the audience, same. If he chooses to communicate too much too fast then he and the audience are not in a mutual or successful two way communication. "Two way" because the audience is not merely a spectator, it is involved for poetry to occur. If he decides to poet about, say, a love lost and the audience he wishes to communicate it to is a bunch of seasoned, if not jaded, poets and critics, he had better know that and communicate what the audience either wants or needs or is willing to hear. Communicating anything else is really not communicating at all. There must be a willingness on both sides, or else possibly a measure of force to coerce that willingness, for communication to occur.
There are probably a few who will throw up their hands and ask what poetry has to do with the basics of communication. Or what communication has to do with poetry. And others may say -- yes but everyone knows all that. I don't believe they do. The ability to communicate undercuts the ability to create poetry. Even if the communication is self to self. The better one is at it the better he'll do when he puts pen to paper. But it is not taught at school. My son is in grade 7 and they do not teach the meanings of words. They are finally teaching spelling. They give a list of 20 words to learn to spell and no discussion of meanings. Just go to the main board here and see what passes for basic English.  "Everybody knows" .  And it shows.

Kevin

Poetry is the achievement of Art
through language, rhythm and form.

Poetry is the art of Achievement
through language, rhythm and form.

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


7 posted 11-03-2001 04:06 AM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Hmmmm, some interesting ideas being thrown out here (ideas are composed of words by the way).

Kevin (nice to see you hangin' out),

I'm a little confused by 'direct communication' -- some, myself included, would argue there's no such thing if by that phrase you mean transparent.

The real/unreal distinction isn't really all that important in poetry (I know that's not true for a lot of people but it should be). It's not that 'soul' or 'spirit' or 'heaven' or 'angel' are unreal (I have the same problems with 'rose' for example), it's that they are used so much in poetry that they've lost whatever effect they're supposed to have on the reader. If you mean, however, that one shouldn't read a poem with a checklist in mind -- a, oh my god, you've used 'love', it's a bad poem by definition --I agree.

Hush,

I practically busted my gut when I saw you disagreeing with 'poetry is words'. That was hilarious but I think I see your point.

L/Shallot,

I agree that the concrete image is still one of the building blocks of poetry (I'm a bit of a traditionalist) but there are variations -- the L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E school is a good example.

I agree that poetry is a craft as long as you mean the 10% inspiration/90% perspiration rule.  

Many disagree.

Be back later,
Brad
Brad
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since 08-20-99
Posts 5896
Jejudo, South Korea


8 posted 11-03-2001 04:21 AM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Okay, I see where you're going. I disagree with your premises but agree with your conclusions.

Your son is probably going through what's call the 'Whole language' approach to learning. As far as I can tell, it starts with a correct premise but the practice is mistaken.

I would argue that people simply don't realize that language and communication skills are not 'natural', they are learned from the very beginning.

More later,
Brad
Kevin Taylor
Member
since 12-23-1999
Posts 192
near Vancouver, BC, Canada


9 posted 11-03-2001 04:40 AM       View Profile for Kevin Taylor   Email Kevin Taylor   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Kevin Taylor's Home Page   View IP for Kevin Taylor

Brad, I'd have to disagree. "Ideas are composed of words by the way" is not quite true. Words are themselves an embodiement, a symbol, of an idea. Some might argue that without words we could not formulate ideas and I would disagree. A deaf dumb blind child still has ideas.

Kevin

Poetry is the achievement of Art
through language, rhythm and form.

Poetry is the art of Achievement
through language, rhythm and form.

hush
Senior Member
since 05-27-2001
Posts 1693
Ohio, USA


10 posted 11-03-2001 10:28 AM       View Profile for hush   Email hush   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for hush

kevin-

'It is the poet's responsibility to ensure that his/her intended communication is duplicated in the minds of his readers. '

I don't think I agree here. Readers sometimes interpret poetry very differently than the author intended... I don't think that is a failure on the part of the author. When people read, or observe art, or listen to music, they sometimes fall back onto their own exeriences in their interpretations. Anyway, I think maybe this gets back to Lady's original point.... that good poetry makes someone think. When the message is easily understood and there is nothing more to it, the thought process in reading poetry is lost. And while every once in a while, I really enjoy a straightforward poem that leaves no questions in my mind, I'd usually prefer to be challenged by what I read. And when people are challenged, they don't always respond in the same way, with the same thoughts and conclusions... and wouldn't it be terribly boring if we did, if every poem was interpreted the same way by everyone on Earth because the author was able to "effectively communicate"?

Brad-

Glad I could make you laugh.

I eat only sleep and air -Nicole Blackman

Kevin Taylor
Member
since 12-23-1999
Posts 192
near Vancouver, BC, Canada


11 posted 11-03-2001 01:05 PM       View Profile for Kevin Taylor   Email Kevin Taylor   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Kevin Taylor's Home Page   View IP for Kevin Taylor


The author is certainly not there to do the work of the audience. But if he want's to write a poem about hope then he could not consider himself entirely successful if the world thought he wrote about precambrian weather patterns instead. The poem might be wildly successful but the poet should quietly ask himself what went awry in his comm.

There will never be a perfect correspondence for all readers or listeners. Thir own experience is what gives life to the poem. The poem, like a sunset, will be as individual as all who see it.

The communication is 2 way for poetry to occur. Both sides must contribute. At least to some degree.

As far as making someone think; sure. Or look, or say Ah! or a host of other things. These are all acts of participation in the art, even if privately done or together.

If the poet is not responsible for getting his communication understood then who? I don't mean that he has to go out and correct the interpretations of the readers. His art would, I hope, be a little broader based than something like "Show Signature: You may include your profile signature."

By responsible I mean, willing to cause the effect he intends and willing to be the effect of that which he has caused in return. Otherwise he will end up in apathy or protesty or uncertain or just part of the "poetry just happens" and the "i channel poetry" school etc.

Kevin

Poetry is the achievement of Art
through language, rhythm and form.

Poetry is the art of Achievement
through language, rhythm and form.

Kevin Taylor
Member
since 12-23-1999
Posts 192
near Vancouver, BC, Canada


12 posted 11-03-2001 01:17 PM       View Profile for Kevin Taylor   Email Kevin Taylor   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Kevin Taylor's Home Page   View IP for Kevin Taylor

Afterthought... and I would always reserve the right as a poet to write something that is totally ambiguous, that could be interpreted in a thousand different ways etc. That is not a contradiction of the above. It is often the best kind. But I still have to get the pieces over to the audience. And if I get an occasional tomato in the forehead in return I'm willing to live with it. I'll post one in crit. A poem, I mean.

Kevin

Poetry is the achievement of Art
through language, rhythm and form.

Poetry is the art of Achievement
through language, rhythm and form.

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


13 posted 11-07-2001 05:15 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

I wonder if the confusion in interpretation is the problem of poetry as about something as opposed to being something.

When we ask, "What is this really about?" I think we're asking the wrong question. I think we should be asking, "What does this do?"

Once we move to this question, all the interpretations are simply different reflections on the effect, not the meaning.

Does that make sense?

Brad

Stephanos
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since 07-31-2000
Posts 3496
Statesboro, GA, USA


14 posted 11-08-2001 11:31 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Brad... I see what you are saying, and it makes sense.  The only thing that may throw a wrench in, is that alot of poetry is actually about something.  It was written to express something, not just to be something.  

A wonderful poem...but I'm not sure I agree with these lines of Archibald MacLeish:

"A poem should be palpable and mute
As a globed fruit.

Dumb
As old medallions to the thumb ...

A poem should be equal to:
Not true ...

A poem should not mean
But be."


  Poems express something on the inside.   And often the best way (not the only way, mind you) to find what poetry does, is ask what it is about.  

Stephen.
hush
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since 05-27-2001
Posts 1693
Ohio, USA


15 posted 11-09-2001 12:02 AM       View Profile for hush   Email hush   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for hush

Brad-

sometimes asking what a poem does is impossible to answer... the majority of poems on this board are written and posted for emotional satisfaction of the writer. And since we are not the author of another's poem, we can't effectively answer what it does... only what it does for us.

When I read a good poem... one of the things it often does for me is makes me ask "what does this mean?" so.... in a lot of cases we end right back up at square one.

I'm not saying that's the only thing.... a lot of times what a poem does for me is to simply take my breath away with a phrase or image.... but the image that takes my breath away is usually part of some bigger theme or message.... and I usually wonder not only about the overall theme and what it means, but what the image or phrase could mean in relation to that.

But... what a poem does for you could be totally different.

Or did you mean what a poem does on a wider scale of society? If so... that renders a lot of poems completely useless, even if they mean something, because they have had no effect on society, or in many cases, even on the immediate friends and family who may not understand or ever read the poem....

Do poems have to be appreciated by a lot of people to do something? To mean something?

I don't think I'm quite getting your drift here.

I eat only sleep and air -Nicole Blackman

Irish Rose
Member Patricius
since 04-06-2000
Posts 10553


16 posted 11-09-2001 09:56 AM       View Profile for Irish Rose   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Irish Rose

Hi, let me get in here for a moment, (I'm Lady of Shallot) but I'm sick of that name and I just want to be me....

this thread is a great thought provoker.
Poetry on this board IS written for emotional release much of it.
Many times I spend days, weeks crafting what I think is a fine poem. Sometimes there is no emotion to it. Sometimes the crafting doesn't mean anything.

Once I posted at the Gazebo and let me tell you those people hit below the belt. I was too sensitive for it and left! Oh, sure I learned a lot, about grammar, how stupid I was   or how much I had forgotten since high school and all of that but I DID learn a few things that I think helped the poem.

But the thought and the emotion and the glimpse into another's soul, you cannot learn that in any poetry class.

I am glad this brought questions to your mind, yes, I still believe these two things help poetry, but maybe, just maybe there is another unseen factor to a poem.

a person has to be writing with a free soul for it to truly be crafted.

thank you all for the time you spent replying to this!

Kathleen
nickname "Kay"

"Others can stop you temporarily, but only you can do it permanently."

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


17 posted 11-11-2001 03:04 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Stephen, thanks for quoting that poem. That's where, I believe, this whole idea comes from.

I agree with the basic premise.

If we initially like a song, we don't initially ask what does it mean, we feel it first and then pursue the meaning (and admittedly some never pursue it).

At another site, one person pointed out that reading a poem about love and being in love are two different things, two different feelings.

This is true of course but this in no way detracts from the poem because it's not trying to mimic being in love. It's trying to be a good poem.

More later,
Brad
Jericha Satchel
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since 11-04-2001
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18 posted 11-12-2001 05:32 AM       View Profile for Jericha Satchel   Email Jericha Satchel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Jericha Satchel


>At another site, one person pointed out that reading a poem about love and being in love are two different things, two different feelings.

>This is true of course but this in no way detracts from the poem because it's not trying to mimic being in love. It's trying to be a good poem.


Nonsense. A poem isn't trying to do anything. A poet is. Which is to say that the poet is doing the doing.

If she's any good at it her reader will experience something akin to the reader's concept of love.
Brad
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since 08-20-99
Posts 5896
Jejudo, South Korea


19 posted 11-12-2001 12:39 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

No, if you've been in love and read a poem that deals with love, you'd know it involves different things. You're stuck in representation, stop and start thinking about words.

You don't want to do this.

Brad
Jericha Satchel
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since 11-04-2001
Posts 11


20 posted 11-12-2001 03:38 PM       View Profile for Jericha Satchel   Email Jericha Satchel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Jericha Satchel

>No, if you've been in love and read a poem that deals with love, you'd know it involves different things.

So who said it didn't? I thought that I said "If she's any good at it her reader will experience something akin to the reader's concept of love."

Akin. Not exact. Not exactly what the writer experienced. But akin to the reader's.


>You're stuck in representation, stop and start thinking about words.

What a completely arrogant statement. Refer to the idea. Not my condition. And anyway your observation and your solution is dreck. Words are representations or symbols of symbols and ideas. Stop and start thinking.

>You don't want to do this.

More unfounded arrogance.

[This message has been edited by Jericha Satchel (edited 11-12-2001).]

The Lady of Shallot
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since 10-03-2001
Posts 840
USA


21 posted 11-12-2001 06:06 PM       View Profile for The Lady of Shallot   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit The Lady of Shallot's Home Page   View IP for The Lady of Shallot

'It is the poet's responsibility to ensure that his/her intended communication is duplicated in the minds of his readers. '

Ok since I started this topic let me refer to the above quote. The poet's ONLY responsiblity is to write a poem that IS understandable to the reader. No, absolutely there is no guarantee that in the mind of whoever is reading the poem the same feelings and same thoughts are going to be duplicated. This would be unrealistic considering everyone reads different things into everything else.

Now, certainly the poet should strive to be "understood" to the reader, but no, duplicated? A poet, a writer who crafts words and writes something can fail if he leaves the reader wondering "what the hell was that all about?"  If this happens, he may feel wonderful, satisfying his vent, his lost romance, his whatever and the reader hasn't a clue as to what he or she just read.

Write as if you are the reader.

Remember...you know what you are thinking and writing about, the reader doesn't!  Throwing out thoughts and phrases that are an "inside memory" leave the reader flat every time.

well, I started out with two hints or whatever, secrets I thought about what makes a good poem and it's evolved into a discussion I feel is healthy and needed.

always, always leave something in the piece, something the reader can either come to a conclusion on or simply ponder, but never open and close the poem as if it were a sermonette.......images, words, they all mean something. I don't know if I've made any sense here.

Leave your ego at the door if you really want to learn good poetry. There is no place for ego in a poetry workshop or any critique forum and none that can serve a poet who really wants to learn....

thank you for reading.

[This message has been edited by The Lady of Shallot (edited 11-12-2001).]

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


22 posted 11-12-2001 07:21 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

A quick note:

Sorry about the above. It wasn't intended to question whether or not you were in love or whether you have been in love, but to clarify the distinction between the poem and the feeling.

We agree on this. Thank God.

We also agree that I'm arrogant.

I guess you called it nonsense because I gave the poem agency?

I suppose I could have phrased it better but I'll explain this more later.

And you are a representationalist.

And you still don't want to do this.



Brad
Jericha Satchel
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since 11-04-2001
Posts 11


23 posted 11-12-2001 07:51 PM       View Profile for Jericha Satchel   Email Jericha Satchel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Jericha Satchel

Lady of Shallot: Mental duplication preceeds understanding. As I understand the subject, the intent is formulated by the author and then communicated by first getting an audience's attention by some means (the communication must be perceived) and then the process of the audience getting an impression or idea of what is intended thus paving the way to understanding. Of course we are all with our own life experience that we bring to the table so there is never a perfect duplication, nor perfect understanding. An approximation though.

I believe that the duplication you are referring to preceeds understanding much like a baby duplicates a word sound before understanding the symbolism or ideas behind it.
Brad
Member Ascendant
since 08-20-99
Posts 5896
Jejudo, South Korea


24 posted 11-12-2001 08:09 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

A representationalist believes this:

"Words are representations or symbols of symbols and ideas. Stop and start thinking."

Now, I have to admit I'm stuck here. Either I assume you don't know what's been happening the last three or four hundred years, you don't know that this is a very debatable idea at best, and start teaching; or I assume you have no interest in ideas other than your own.

Which one is it?

-----------------

As far as giving the poem agency, it is a fiction of course, but the moment you move into the representationalist fallacy you simultaneously deemphasize the poem as a poem.

You make it secondary to something else, the real, the idea, the feeling, the soul, the whatever.

You are telling the reader to look through the words to the person behind them (kind of like what you accused me of, looking at the condition -- although technically it was a conditional). Once you do that, you are telling people that the words aren't important.

I think they are.

Within a context of course.



Brad
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