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Passions in Poetry

A Modern Troubadour's Lament

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wornways
Member
since 10-18-2001
Posts 214
CA, USA


0 posted 04-04-2004 10:26 AM       View Profile for wornways   Email wornways   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to Submit your Poem to Passions   Click to visit wornways's Home Page   View IP for wornways

A Modern Troubadourís Lament

A schism rent the quiet past and left behind confusion,
And autocentric demagogues stepped in to fill the void,
Which brought about the gushing flood of poets in profusion.

Imposters seized the Poetís name with rough and savage noise,
Demoting prosody to verse with arrogant assumption,
And autocentric demagogues stepped in to fill the void.

A few sang random songs of self with hearts full of presumption,
While others clipped and nipped at prose, indignant and inept,
Demoting prosody to verse with arrogant assumption.

The ones who wrote evolving verse, now looked on with contempt,
Were robbed of all integrity and broadly disregarded,
While others clipped and nipped at prose, indignant and inept.

An art emergent and alive had simply been discarded,
For poets wont to learn that art and dream in measured strains
Were robbed of all integrity and broadly disregarded.

So it became unpopular to work in rigid frames,
Thus stunting artís development through future generations
For poets wont to learn that art and dream in measured strains.

The masses heard the demagogues and heeded their frustrations,
And poetry itself became subjected to reform,
Thus stunting artís development through future generations.

The name of Poet once was rare, not for the average born--
A schism rent the quiet past and left behind confusion,
And poetry itself became subjected to reform,
Which brought about the gushing flood of poets in profusion.


=--------=--------=--------=--------=--------=


  A word of explanation:

  Ever since I was twelve years old, I've wanted to be a "poet". And, as I developed through the years and read books like The Oxford Book of English Verse, The Blue Book of Poetry, The Oxford Book of Regency Verse, Famous Editions of English Poets, and many more, I developed an idea of what it was to be a "poet". In my fantasizing young mind, it was a title of honor given to one who struggled for many years to master a language enough to be able to use it gracefully at its most molecular level.

  The "poet" in my mind was more than just someone who expressed a few feelings or told a story using short choppy lines, but someone who could make words dance and sing through the eyes, into the mind, and down to the heart. The "poet" was someone who's phrases made you race to the dictionary to look up words you didn't know because it was clear there was much to gain in understanding fully how the poet used it. The "poet" was someone who taught you about life, the world, adventure, trust, hate, how to lose, when to wait, why love can hurtóthose things that impact life profoundly. To me, the goal of the "poet" was to give the gift of his or her heavily inspired, crafted words to the world, to sentience.

  But, then I began to grow up and out of that small little world. I discovered that anyone who claimed the name "poet" was instantly a poet by virtue of that claim. I discovered that purely self-indulgent babbling and just "say what you feel" was also poetry. It took me time, but I could accept this. Still, in time, I came to realize that the "poet" was no different than, say, the "bicyclist" because whoever writes a single poem is instantly a poet just like whoever rides a bicycle is instantly a bicyclist. I tried to lift myself out of the classics and found myself utterly immersed beneath the byproducts of so many dead trees that I simply gave up and went back to the classics. So, no, I don't know much about my contemporaries, and nor do I care. For nearly ten years, I also gave up on writing. Such was my disillusionment with poetry.

  It wasn't so much the fact that I now had nothing special or meaningful to aim for in striving to become a "poet". No, it was because of something else. As I began to reach out for guidance, even a mentor, to help me along the path of poetry and poetics, I found that verse-writing was looked on with ridicule and disdain. I found that those who had a hopeless penchant for studying and working in structured forms were harshly disregarded. This is what disillusioned me. I found the dichotomy frustrating. Those who strove to work in and even expand and evolve such forms as those used by past artists now recognized as "the greats" were thought of as just playing around in archaic constraining forms, and that such activities could only lead the contemporary poet from one failure in writing to another. These forms were merely for feeble-minded exercises, not to be taken seriously. Anyone taking structured poetry, verse, to heart was a sort of pretentious anachronism in the realm of poetry and immediately marginalized. Yet, the greats were recognized as the greats because they mastered and danced freely within the forms they used, the same forms now ridiculed. What many don't realize is the greats worked on many of their poems for months, even years. One example is Tennyson's "The Two Voices", a masterpiece. It took Tennyson several months to complete the first draft, and several years of revisioning before he reached a point where he was a little happier with it.

  This is what so severely disillusioned me twelve years ago, and why I stopped writing for over eight years. I just couldn't take being belittled and having my efforts thought of as silly and ridiculous. This poem that I share with you is not intended to diminish free verse or any other form of poetry. It is intended to address the mistaken attitude many free-verse-only poets have toward those who work in measured forms. Personally, I feel that all poetry is valid and worth exploring. However, the name of "poet" is not at all what I once thought it was, and it means nothing to me to be considered one. Once, amazing people like Tennyson, Byron, Campbell, Service and others were called poets, where the word connoted a mastery of language, achievement, and recognition, a sense now lost. Today they are no longer poets, because this word has lost its meaning. It has become the people's word, not a word for the gifted, polished master of language. I imagine some other word may be picked from the past to recognize them by, and to recognize those who strive now as they once did. For now, the name I've decided on is that of "troubadour".
© Copyright 2004 Erin A. Thomas - All Rights Reserved
Seymour Tabin
Member Empyrean
since 07-07-99
Posts 32119
Tamarac Fla


1 posted 04-04-2004 10:41 AM       View Profile for Seymour Tabin   Email Seymour Tabin   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Seymour Tabin

wornways
Quite a dissertation, enjoyed the read.
Margherita
Member Seraphic
since 02-08-2003
Posts 21103
Eternity


2 posted 04-04-2004 10:58 AM       View Profile for Margherita   Email Margherita   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Margherita

Dear Erin, in Passions there are many who love to write in structured forms, so you are in the right place here to enjoy other's poetry and to share your own.

I understand your Troubadour's Lament. You had your idea and could not accept that poetry became a mass phenomenon. Things change though, always. What is absolutely unjust is to ridicule what was considered great poetry or poets. I agree.

Master of language can be one thing and Poet another. The best could be both combined. Anyway, I think what is really important is the message that the Poet conveys, whether in rhyme or not. Why not think that a Poet is the one who loves to use words in an efficient, harmonious way to say what's in his heart?

Please reconsider your attitude. You ARE a poet and you feel like one. Enjoy your gift. We will all be happy to read your poetry. We can't please everybody so, some may like our efforts, others not, but this does not change the fact that we love writing poems and this is what counts after all.

Erin, thank you.
Love, Margherita
Grover
Member Elite
since 01-27-2004
Posts 2016
London, ON, Canada


3 posted 04-04-2004 11:51 AM       View Profile for Grover   Email Grover   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Grover's Home Page   View IP for Grover

In my mind the only true poetry is in the book of Psalms, written long before any of your examples... but then again, "what is truth."

Enjoy whatever you have, contribute whatever you can-- none of us has anything but a "limited time warranty" in this life. And life is very brief.
DavePage
Member Elite
since 12-21-2003
Posts 2940


4 posted 04-04-2004 01:06 PM       View Profile for DavePage   Email DavePage   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for DavePage

I've printed your words out for myself to read and re-read

Thank you for writing them

It doesn't support how or what I write or why but it needs to be read and understood

I've removed all my stuff on personal but at the end was a feeling I first espoused on the Scroll - when all else is gone, and people no longer have speech, there will be words.

I support you in your statements but I ask that you do not deny people the right to understanding no matter where, no matter how and no matter why by restriction on form.

dave
passing shadows
Member Empyrean
since 08-26-99
Posts 46297
displaced


5 posted 04-04-2004 01:44 PM       View Profile for passing shadows   Email passing shadows   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for passing shadows

I don't know what to say here but I wanted to let you know I was here
nakdthoughts
Member Laureate
since 10-29-2000
Posts 19275
Between the Lines


6 posted 04-04-2004 04:58 PM       View Profile for nakdthoughts   Email nakdthoughts   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for nakdthoughts

when I first began to write, only 5 or 6 years ago other than in school, I chose to write in rhyme and form and each week   challenged myself to a new form. Now I enjoy both...and never know what will come out of m head until I begin typing.

I guess it depends on what you like and how much you are willing to study and learn.

Some of the free verse  poets will say that most rhyme seems forced...and then some of the poets who love form will say free verse is just  writing a sentence  or phrase often disjointed.

There is room for all and like fine paintings...there will be those who love a poem  and those who don't. Those who know how to interpret and those who won't understand...and besides, the poem is meant to have meaning to the one who created it and if someone else enjoys it or feels from it that is a bonus.

I enjoyed yours today.
M
wornways
Member
since 10-18-2001
Posts 214
CA, USA


7 posted 06-19-2004 02:41 AM       View Profile for wornways   Email wornways   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit wornways's Home Page   View IP for wornways


  Sorry it's taken me so long to respond. I've been, um, hrrm, BUSY. But, probably not busy with anything important.

  Anyway, I really appreciate all your responses. The feedback was more possitive than I was expecting, considering my words are flying in the face of Whitmanesque philosophy and progeny.

  Thanks again for your responses.
wornways will be notified of replies
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