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Passions in Poetry

What is unpoetic?

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Stephanos
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25 posted 01-27-2007 10:07 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

quote:
Stephen and Essorant,

What do you do with the King James Bible?

Brad,

I'm slow, I'm tired from work ... and for the life of me, I can't figure out what you're asking here, or how it relates to my last reply to you.  


Help me.  What do I do with the King James Bible?


Stephen.
Brad
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26 posted 01-27-2007 10:56 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

quote:
I would say "unpoetic" would describe a failure to demonstrate those qualities which most have traditionally associated with poetry and poets


The King James Bible is in free verse. It has lists, it uses phrasing that was originally intended to be familiar, not profound. It does not use line breaks, it does not use rhyme, yet few would deny that it is a great work of literature -- poetic if there ever was such a thing.

In many ways, it didn't just go against the poetic tradition, it created a new one.

PS Get some sleep.  

[This message has been edited by Brad (01-30-2007 07:04 PM).]

Stephanos
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27 posted 01-27-2007 11:03 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

zzzzzzzzzz

(Now that's poetic to me!)
Essorant
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28 posted 01-28-2007 12:24 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

Other than the songs and psalms, I don't think most of the translation of the bible is poetry.  Poetic, yes, but not poetry.  That doesn't mean the original text didn't include poetry in the Hebrew or the Greek, but in the english translations, it reads predominatly as prose, and I think most English-speaking readers shall recognize it as such.

Juju
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29 posted 01-28-2007 04:21 PM       View Profile for Juju   Email Juju   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Juju's Home Page   View IP for Juju

I agree with what Ron quoted. Without voice the poetry becomes kinda boring, even songs.

-Juju

-"So you found a girl
Who thinks really deep thougts
What's so amazing about really deep thoughts " Silent all these Years, Tori Amos

Stephanos
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30 posted 01-29-2007 10:05 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 don't think it's that incredible that the KJV Bible is considered a "poetic" work of literature, seeing that roughly 1/3 of it is literally poetry (with line breaks, and the translation-surviving parallelisms of Hebrew Poetry).  Even the non-poetry books are interspersed with quotes of poetry.  


And yet, the geneologies are still tedious repetitions of names, and the histories of Israel's Kings are still prosaic as ever.


The parts that aren't "poetry" and yet are still poetic fit the description I gave earlier ... a great Example would be 1 Corinthians 13.  


Stephen.  
Edward Grim
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31 posted 01-29-2007 11:51 PM       View Profile for Edward Grim   Email Edward Grim   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Edward Grim's Home Page   View IP for Edward Grim

Poetry is what you say it is, nothing else. If you think grass is poetic or a brick is poetic, then to you it is, no one can say otherwise. It is all opinion and the tastes of the individual.

One could say that...

Roses are red,
Violets are blue.
Sugar is sweet
and so are you.

... is a poem. I disagree. I think it's numb and pointless. That is my opinion, that "poem" is not my taste. No one here can argue with that becuase they would be saying that we have no right to form our own opinions. If I can be so frank, a lot of the poetry I read on this site and many many other sites are poems that do not cater to my tastes and in my opinion are bad. But I know they must be considered good, because many of the poems on PiP get 20, 30, 40 responses, good responses.

Now, of course, the poetry I write is my taste because obviously I wrote it. But I'm lucky to get any comments on certain poetic pieces so that tells me that my poetry does not cater to many people's tastes. I'm fine with that and actually prefer it that way. My poetry is a collection of my thoughts, and no one should be able to easily understand my thoughts or else I'd think of myself as too simple a person.

So you guys can discuss definitions and different dialects and what not; but ultimately it's all about the individual's taste in writing and poetry. That's all I really have to say.

And I said to the devil, "You better leave my spleen alone."

Stephanos
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32 posted 01-30-2007 01:27 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Ed:
quote:
Poetry is what you say it is, nothing else. If you think grass is poetic or a brick is poetic, then to you it is


Ali-G once told the Surgeon General C. Everett Koop (in a mock interview) that his cat was "a real person", to which the kind surgeon scoffed.  Though "human" may defy easy definition, we all see the absurdity of Ali-G's mistake.


Wouldn't it better to admit that it's possible for someone to lack poetic sense?  Why argue that there is no such thing as a real green and red, just because some may be color blind?  


Wouldn't it diminish poetry to say that it is total subjectivity, and that there are no real qualities which make something poetic?


Stephen.
Edward Grim
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33 posted 01-30-2007 01:00 PM       View Profile for Edward Grim   Email Edward Grim   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Edward Grim's Home Page   View IP for Edward Grim

As humorous as your cat example may be, it's a little off the topic. This discussion isn't about what is a poem and what is not a poem. It's (unless I'm mistaken, and please tell me if I am) about how a poem can be unpoetic. In other words, it is a poem, but not a very good one.

"Why argue that there is no such thing as a real green and red, just because some may be color blind?"

Excellent example, very good. Let's say someone is colorblind, they can't see red or green, ok. For them, red and green does not exist because they can't see it. Now, I want someone who is not color blind to explain to that person what red looks like and what green looks like. It's not possible to truly give them a full definition and really let them know what the color is.

This goes along the lines of a past discussion on this board about reality. I chimed in my two cents about my theory of two different realities: the worldly (authentic) reality, and the personal reality of the individual. If a mentally insane person says that spiders are nesting in his ears, then to him he has spiders in his ears. You, a sane person, cannot tell him otherwise. Sure, you can try to reason with him but he still feels their presence on his skull. It would be the same as if you, still a sane person, actually had a spider on your leg and you knew it was real; no one could tell you any different because you have a spider on your leg. It's the same concept with our insane man, it's totally real with him. Why do you think people on LSD tend to jump out windows? The hallucinations are so real to them they can't cope.

Now, let me ask you, do you like Charles Bukowski? Or William S. Burroughs, Franz Kafka, Hunter S. Thompson, Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, Gregory Corso or John Steinbeck? Is there one author in there you don't like? Do any of those people not tickle your literary fancy? There are plenty of books and authors that do not cater to our tastes. Do you have any idea how many publishers turned down Mario Puzo's The Godfather? It's insane how many turned him down until Putnam decided to do it. The other publishers didn't like the book, they thought it was "unbookworthy" if you will. So yes, I do believe that a poem can only be unpoetic to the individual and perhaps a masterpiece to another. For instance, that "roses are red" poem; I hear first graders really love it.

And I said to the devil, "You better leave my spleen alone."

Essorant
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34 posted 01-30-2007 02:57 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

A poem should be judged by what virtues are in the poem not by how well the reader's tastebuds like it or not.  Just because you don't like vegetables doesn't mean they are now predominatly unhealthy for you or others.  They are predominatly healthy for everyone and anyone.  And just because you like McDonald's greaseburgers doesn't mean they are now magically very healthy to eat.  Therefore there is an important distinction to make: good, healthy and helpful things are good, healthy, and helpful, and bad, unhealthy, and unhelpful are bad, healthy, and unhelpful, whether or not an individual's tastebuds like them.  

Edward Grim
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35 posted 01-30-2007 03:25 PM       View Profile for Edward Grim   Email Edward Grim   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Edward Grim's Home Page   View IP for Edward Grim

Ess, hmm, I wonder. Whenever I hear someone say "I hate vegetables", I usually don't hear them say "Vegetables are bad for you." In fact, I've never heard anyone say or imply such a silly thing. They just don't care for them.

"A poem should be judged by what virtues are in the poem not by how well the reader's tastebuds like it or not."

Are you saying that the reader should have no opinion about the poem? Please, let's be reasonable here. I don't like Cadillacs but everyone says what great cars they are. But I don't like them. Are you saying I should like them because they're good cars? That's almost Communistic. If you read my above statement, you'll read about Mario Puzo's trouble getting his book published. The other publishers just didn't care for it. And also, I've NEVER ever ever heard someone say that McDonald's is good for you. People don't make statements like that. Just because something has all the components to make it good, doesn't mean everyone will like it. And just because the construction of something is bad doesn't mean everyone will hate it. It would be crazy to think such a thing.

Oh and could you tell me some of those "virtues" a poem should have. I'm curious as to what they are. I'm sure they're set in stone too.

And I said to the devil, "You better leave my spleen alone."

ChristianSpeaks
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36 posted 01-30-2007 04:10 PM       View Profile for ChristianSpeaks   Email ChristianSpeaks   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for ChristianSpeaks

quote:
Excellent example, very good. Let's say someone is colorblind, they can't see red or green, ok. For them, red and green does not exist because they can't see it. Now, I want someone who is not color blind to explain to that person what red looks like and what green looks like. It's not possible to truly give them a full definition and really let them know what the color is.


Is there any definitve way to know that they, in fact, are the color blind ones? Or could it be that we've told ourselves of that red is red and green is green when maybe we started with the wrong conclusions. It gets to be a bit metaphysical, you have to ask yourself what is the true nature of poetry - Can something be poetic to one and not to another? Does it loose it's merit if it's not universally accepted?

CS
Edward Grim
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37 posted 01-30-2007 06:33 PM       View Profile for Edward Grim   Email Edward Grim   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Edward Grim's Home Page   View IP for Edward Grim

"Is there any definitve way to know that they, in fact, are the color blind ones?"

lol. It's like I was saying about the two realities. There is an authentic one and a personal one for the individual. Red is red and green is green, that is the authentic reality. But you have to understand, defining basic colors has no real complexity. Now defining a piece of written work, that is a little more difficult.

"what is the true nature of poetry - Can something be poetic to one and not to another?"

Bingo. On the money, you got it!

"Does it lose it's merit if it's not universally accepted?"

God I hope not, then my work would just be utter nonsense. I don't know if you've ever heard of this author, John Kennedy Toole. But he wrote the Pullitzer prize-winning novel, A Confederacy of Dunces (one of my favorite books). But see, he wrote it over a decade before it was recognized and given the award. Unfortunately, during that period he took his own life so he never got to accept his award. But you see my point, just because something is not hailed as a masterpiece (right away, or even at all) doesn't mean it's not.

And I said to the devil, "You better leave my spleen alone."

Brad
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38 posted 01-30-2007 07:09 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

I would hate it if someone read one of my poems and said, "I don't like it, but I know it's good for me."

Edward Grim
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39 posted 01-30-2007 07:31 PM       View Profile for Edward Grim   Email Edward Grim   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Edward Grim's Home Page   View IP for Edward Grim

lol, my point exactly.

And I said to the devil, "You better leave my spleen alone."

Essorant
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40 posted 01-31-2007 12:53 AM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

I think it is more important to write a poem with good manners and good thoughts, than write a poem that the people "like".  Many people today don't "like" things that are good for them.  So be it.  They can listen to someone scream and rant and rave into a microphone and call it " good music".  They can watch a movie full of violence and nudity and call it a "good movie" and like it.  They can look at a obscurities, blurs and warped out colours and call it "good art" and like it.  And they can spill out a bunch of words and emotions on paper, without any rhyme or reason too and call it "poetry" and like it.  But I'm not going to be one that bows to such behaviours, just because they "like" it.  To me doing what is good for people and civilization comes first, not doing what they "like".


Edward Grim
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41 posted 01-31-2007 01:43 AM       View Profile for Edward Grim   Email Edward Grim   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Edward Grim's Home Page   View IP for Edward Grim

My God, I really wonder how you would react to my work? For some reason, I'm not happy about this, lol.

"I think it is more important to write a poem with good manners and good thoughts, than write a poem that the people "like"."

Ess, do you realize that you are putting down an entire style of writing? Are you saying that if I don't write poems about flowers and what a groovy day I had or bees loving the honey out of each other, then I am not writing worthy poetry? Can you possibly be saying that!? I can't really believe this.

"Many people today don't "like" things that are good for them.  So be it."  

So you know what is generally good for everyone? The whole world Ess? How is happy, lovey poetry good for people? How can poetry on the stranger, more experimental side be bad for them? I'm really taking this personally for some odd reason. I feel like my poetry is bad for people now. Maybe that's why I get so few responses...


"They can watch a movie full of violence and nudity and call it a "good movie" and like it."  

As an aspiring filmmaker, I do agree with you about this. Certain areas of our cinema is destroying the youth. Movies that are packed to the brim with sex, violence, gore and general cerebral mutilation is a real problem and I can identify. I wish films were wholesome the way they were at one point.

"They can look at a obscurities, blurs and warped out colours and call it "good art" and like it."  

Lol, you should see my scribbles, I just can't win here.

"And they can spill out a bunch of words and emotions on paper, without any rhyme or reason too and call it "poetry" and like it.  But I'm not going to be one that bows to such behaviours, just because they "like" it."  

You know, I am actually upset about this. Because I have a lot of respect for you and now to find out that you detest that certain style of poetry, my style of poetry. I feel like you're a grandfather that doesn't approve and I find myself wanting approval. And I say all this very genuinely. I mean does a poem have to rhyme to be good? I mean seriously, think about it. Hackneyed rhyming does not make a poem good, in my humble opinion, it makes it almost bad.

"To me doing what is good for people and civilization comes first, not doing what they "like"."

Yes, I suppose. But you have to realize that you can't muzzle people's minds. Yes, I know that some people are out of control these days but not everyone is like that. Where would the variety be if all poetry was the same in such a way? Why are unique thoughts looked at in such a negative way? How can a style that doesn't follow the "rules" be bad for someone? I really don't understand.

And I said to the devil, "You better leave my spleen alone."

rwood
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42 posted 01-31-2007 07:18 AM       View Profile for rwood   Email rwood   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for rwood

I think Essorant is only being honest with his thoughts. He doesn't represent the masses, but he is an example of an audience. Obviously he would not be your target audience if you intend to market your poetry. If you simply want to post poetry for responses and have no desire to market, approval is not required nor offered as a standard. Appreciated, sure, but approval isn't even necessarily a good thing, because some never grow or continue to polish their style because they feel they are already "there."

He could also be an editor, or the head of a publishing company, which would decline anything, by all rights, which does not fit into the materials handled and represented by his company.

It's no secret that what we write will not appeal to the masses or our manuscripts wouldn't sit on desks unread or rejected, and death would not be the publisher of most poets.

If you take his reply personally, then get ready to feel defeated completely in the writing world. If you don't believe in yourself they won't grab you by the hand and say "Let me publish you. Your work is really fantastic. Love you. Mean it."

As far as happy feel good poetry? Helen Steiner Rice and Maya Angelou have done well with it.

Dr. Seuss is still awesome for all ages.

but let us not forget the dark side of the moon.

Pink Floyd proves there Are others.
ChristianSpeaks
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43 posted 01-31-2007 11:20 AM       View Profile for ChristianSpeaks   Email ChristianSpeaks   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for ChristianSpeaks

quote:
I would hate it if someone read one of my poems and said, "I don't like it, but I know it's good for me."


I feel this way sometimes when I read Faulkner or Whitman. I don't always like it, but I know that I can learn from it. It's like listening to Shoenberg or Berg or even late Beethoven, you may not fully buy into the premise, but you cannot say it's without merit or lesson.

quote:
I think it is more important to write a poem with good manners and good thoughts, than write a poem that the people "like"


I think that it's most important to write a poem/song/manuscript that you the writer like. I don't ever think that Brahms or Chopin sat down to write something that everyone would like. Look how they did. Conversely, Mozart did that very thing. Two sides of a coin I guess. Decide on one or flip again.

Great poets for me(both word and lyric): Bukowski, Paul Simon, Ben Folds

cs

Edward Grim
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44 posted 01-31-2007 12:19 PM       View Profile for Edward Grim   Email Edward Grim   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Edward Grim's Home Page   View IP for Edward Grim

"then get ready to feel defeated completely in the writing world"

lol, I know what the writing world is like, I've been in it for quite a while and find myself, as my work grows, that I'm getting deeper into it.

[If you don't believe in yourself they won't grab you by the hand and say "Let me publish you. Your work is really fantastic. Love you. Mean it."]

I agree 100%, I would never want such a patronizing thing. See when I said:

[You know, I am actually upset about this. Because I have a lot of respect for you and now to find out that you detest that certain style of poetry, my style of poetry. I feel like you're a grandfather that doesn't approve and I find myself wanting approval.]

I meant that I was upset that he thought such a thing. And I said that I felt like I wanted approval, not need it. I never need approval, simply because I've rarely gotten it. Fortunately, the few times I have received approval has been very lucrative and reaped good benefits for my work.

See, that is just the thing. I don't see my poetry as dark and unhappy. I like to think my work goes against the grain. And the only reason I like to think that is because it does. This is not me being egotistical, it's me being truthful.

For someone to say that at entire style of writing is "bad" for the population because it is different is a great injustice and that's what I was upset about and that's all I was saying. Thanks  r

"I think that it's most important to write a poem/song/manuscript that you the writer like. I don't ever think that Brahms or Chopin sat down to write something that everyone would like. Look how they did."


Bravo, well said Christian! That is exactly my point. I think you summed up the entire purpose of this thread in that statement. Well done.

And I said to the devil, "You better leave my spleen alone."

rwood
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45 posted 01-31-2007 04:23 PM       View Profile for rwood   Email rwood   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for rwood

Ed~

All is good then. I'm glad you know what it's like out there. Some feel so shot down.

"Against the grain" is great, but many will hold the opinion that such a work is inferior to the standard mediums. I do have a problem with that:

The authors of those standard mediums are dead. If alive, I doubt very seriously they would expect to be seen as model poets. Some don't even know they were published. Some may reject the idea completely. Wouldn’t that be ironic?

So while I appreciate them for what they have done, I hardly think any writer would tell another, "Write like me, or else your work is crap!"

"I think that it's most important to write a poem/song/manuscript that you the writer like. I don't ever think that Brahms or Chopin sat down to write something that everyone would like. Look how they did."

I second the praise.

I’d say that the masters didn’t feel they had a grasp on what was poetic and probably threw away many works they felt were unpoetic. I’d say there are unpublished works by unknowns that would make the masters feel they were never poetic at all.

so to me, upoetic would be something that has been overdone to the death of inspiration.




Not A Poet
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46 posted 01-31-2007 04:40 PM       View Profile for Not A Poet   Email Not A Poet   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Not A Poet's Home Page   View IP for Not A Poet

No doubt that Brahms and Chopin didn't try to please everyone. That is, after all, quite an impossibility. They did,however, surely write to please enough people to pay for their efforts and earn a pretty good living.

If you write only for yourself then you will almost surely be your only reader. There's nothing wrong with that, of course. I suspect, however, that there are damn few published authors who write with that attitude.
Edward Grim
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47 posted 01-31-2007 05:54 PM       View Profile for Edward Grim   Email Edward Grim   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Edward Grim's Home Page   View IP for Edward Grim

"All is good then. I'm glad you know what it's like out there. Some feel so shot down."


Lol, yeah. I've been shot down so many times, clay pigeons got nothing on me if you catch my drift.


"If you write only for yourself then you will almost surely be your only reader."

I beg to differ.

"I suspect, however, that there are damn few published authors who write with that attitude."

Hunter S. Thompson, William S. Burroughs, Corso, Ginsberg, Kafka just to name a few. Kafka didn't even want a lot of his work published. Burrough's Naked Lunch was banned when it came out for God's sakes. I'm finishing my own book right now with intentions to have it published. So I suppose if I get turned down enough your point will be made, we'll see. But for now, I must disagree.

And I said to the devil, "You better leave my spleen alone."

Brad
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Posts 5896
Jejudo, South Korea


48 posted 02-01-2007 05:51 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Hmmm, I wonder if I made a mistake trying to bring 'target audience' to the discussion.

Let's see what have we got:

1. One should write for civilization.

2. One should write for oneself.

3. One should write for a target audience of the future?

Am I getting it about right? Have I missed something?

I want to add a fourth one:

4. One should write based on what one likes to read.

Not very profound, but I hope it leads us to the next question:

What do you like to read?
Juju
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In your dreams


49 posted 02-02-2007 02:02 AM       View Profile for Juju   Email Juju   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Juju's Home Page   View IP for Juju

Meh. Its an opinion.  Like in chemistry, hot and cold is a quality, while the actual temperature is a quantity.  

When I mentioned earlier, that I don't like using the term un poetic, I was referring to the fact that it is an opinion.  The only thing that you can achieve out of saying something is un poetic is hurting somebody's feelings.  While saying "you need a clearer voice" gives them a goal to work forward.  

What may be poetic to some may be the opposite to others.  Just like what is hot to some maybe cold as far as I am concerned.  In science saying something is warm doesn't cut it.  in order to get to the root to what the problem an accurate account is needed like the actual temperature.  

So in my opinion saying something is un poetic is no different than saying I don't like it.  It's an opinion.

Oh well I need to get to bed

-Juju

-"So you found a girl
Who thinks really deep thougts
What's so amazing about really deep thoughts " Silent all these Years, Tori Amos

 
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