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What is Poetry? by Jean Jones

PostPosted: December 20, 2011, 02:45:16 PM
by RHFay
Those first three lines are so true:

"What is poetry?
Chopped up pieces of prose
nowadays,"


It seems that way to me, anyway. A lot of modern poetry does seem to be prose chopped up into lines, with no real rhythm, with no rhyme or reason for the line breaks. (More so mainstream than speculative poetry.) I've seen some examples of modern poetry in pro poetry publications that seem to have lost touch with the artistry of poetry. They sorely lack the beauty that should be at the heart of good poetry.

"I want to get published but I don't want to read others
much less buy their books"


So, I'm not the only one, eh? I will make a terrible admission; I really don't care for the vast majority of poetry written today. I don't care to read it, and I don't care to buy books of modern poetry. There are a few poets of today that I like, mostly speculative poets. I don't mind most of what I've seen on Aphelion, when I get a chance to read the poetry here. However, there is a lot of poetry out there today that simply doesn't appeal to me at all. (Found out how badly i fit in with the local poetry crowd when I attended an open mic put on by a local poetry group.)

"I have to give them their due- These editors, these archivists,
they keep the fountain
flowing,


Thank goodness there are still some editors who are willing to publish readable poetry that doesn't require a decoder to understand!

Re: What is Poetry? by Jean Jones

PostPosted: December 20, 2011, 04:44:47 PM
by rick tornello
Et tu Richard ?

Re: What is Poetry? by Jean Jones

PostPosted: December 20, 2011, 06:38:54 PM
by Wormtongue
I have to admit, I agreed with the thoughts in this one. Me: I like scansion, I like a rhyme scheme, I like meter. It's a challenge to make your thuoghts fit these patterns, to find le mot just, to express your images in a compressed way that leaves more to the reader's imagination, and makes their response more theirs than anything I could have ever intended.

Re: What is Poetry? by Jean Jones

PostPosted: January 02, 2012, 02:35:44 AM
by McCamy_Taylor
OK, here is the dissenting opinion:

Rhyme and meter were necessary tools to allow people to memorize their tribe's history back in the days before writing. Once we had pen and paper---and then, the printing press---there was no reason to be a slave to rhyme and meter.

Even though we do not have to carry thousands of lines of text in our heads, we still enjoy rhyme, meter (and music) starting at a very young age, which suggests that the brain is programmed to rhyme and to pay attention to rhymes---probably because it helped the tribe to record and pass on its knowledge. I suspect that there is a biological basis to the feeling of "truth" that one experiences when hearing a rhyme. There is also a harmonizing effect from chant, especially group chanting. The "songs" of the humpback whales which are sung by males during the breeding season when males become incredibly aggressive towards one another may be a way of keeping the pod socially cohesive.

Here is some "good" non-rhyming poetry:

She sang beyond the genius of the sea.
The water never formed to mind or voice,
Like a body wholly body, fluttering
Its empty sleeves; and yet its mimic motion
Made constant cry, caused constantly a cry,
That was not ours although we understood,
Inhuman, of the veritable ocean.

Wallace Stevens from The Idea of Order at Key West

All manner of thing shall be well
When the tongues of flame are in-folded
Into the crowned knot of fire
And the fire and the rose are one.

T.S. Eliot Little Giddings

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;

Yeats, The Second Coming

I think that the canonical or "true" feeling that comes from rhyme is probably antithetical to the modern sensibility. Poets no longer want to reassure their readers that the old truths are still true. They present unusual word (and image) juxtaposition in order to challenge the reader to think things out for himself.

I have been writing poetry since I was a child. It is much, much easier to write in rhyme than to write blank verse. When you use meter and rhyme, the end result automatically sounds like "art". I can turn out pages of rhyming verse on the first try, but when I write blank verse I have to edit and re-edit to get the effect I want.

Re: What is Poetry? by Jean Jones

PostPosted: January 02, 2012, 11:04:48 AM
by rick tornello
McCamy wrote:
I think that the canonical or "true" feeling that comes from rhyme is probably antithetical to the modern sensibility. Poets no longer want to reassure their readers that the old truths are still true. They present unusual word (and image) juxtaposition in order to challenge the reader to think things out for himself.

Maybe you want to consider DE RERUM NATURA by Lucretius.

RT

Re: What is Poetry? by Jean Jones

PostPosted: January 02, 2012, 02:36:24 PM
by RHFay
I have no problem at all with non-rhyming poetry if it's done well, if it retains the beauty of verse. Unfortunately, so many examples of modern verse lack the beauty as well as the rhyme.

I would say that good poetry often displays some sort of pattern, however subtle, something separating it from mere prose.

Note the use of repetition in two of the three examples of good non-rhyming poetry cited by McCamy Taylor. I don't think the repetition is by accident.

I've truly seen some real trash out there, some poetry that looks like bad prose chopped into lines and stanzas. I personally feel such verse lacks beauty. Of course, it';s all subjective.

Re: What is Poetry? by Jean Jones

PostPosted: January 03, 2012, 04:47:27 AM
by Lipinski
Poetry

Words; vowels, verbs, nouns, adjectives...Wait!
Poetry consisting, yes?
(
)
(
not, I'm afraid.
of what?
of me.
(
)
(
say whats on your mind young man. go ahead, we'll wait.
(
)
(
Waiting for, we'll wait, what the hell do you say?
(
)
(
is that your answer?
not, I'm afraid.
***

Struggling with what cannot be understood,]
prose/ people: piss poor prosperity peaking,
pulling poetry like a diamond ring from shit cast upon a field by a contented cow on its way to slaughter.

Poetry is not words,
is not emotion nor magic.
It cannot be taught in school,
beaten by church,
mixed by rage, passion, sex, or sadness.

"What is Poetry, you prick?" asked by those aloof to the muse of something higher.
(wasting winds wheel about me now, sucking those tendrils of what remaining sanity resides still, still in the
quiet of a tumultuous life.)

Poetry is but a word, a word title to show there is more inside a human than a soul being corrupted by this world.
What bubbles in each and every man, woman, and child bearing the DNA of humanity, is a poem.
That is the explanation.
Simple.
Everyone is a poet by virtue of having lived and thought.
Autistic to genius.
So write, sing, bellow, shout, think, cry, your poem to the world,
in this way of expressing who you are,
you show you're alive.
Trust not what is written,
especially this poem,
as the mind who writes this,
is nonexistent.

Re: What is Poetry? by Jean Jones

PostPosted: January 03, 2012, 10:14:54 AM
by rick tornello
Music of the universe translated into a forms understandable
Horror of the universe translated into a forms understandable
painting with words, inexact.

some get it.
some don't.
too erudite convoluted
wrapping around an axle, a banana peeled tire.
Rubber/stinky-smoky /metal/screeching/hub
centered,
fingernails on the chalk board.

Mathematics can be
poetry
balance and harmony
of exactitude.

Re: What is Poetry? by Jean Jones

PostPosted: January 03, 2012, 12:50:03 PM
by RHFay
Lipinski wrote:Poetry

Words; vowels, verbs, nouns, adjectives...Wait!
Poetry consisting, yes?


I would say one thing poetry is is verbs, nouns, adjectives, and even adverbs (yes, even adverbs) used in a very deliberate way. It is oftentimes also a very economic usage. It can be more deliberate and more economic than mere prose. A poet can say in a few lines what a prose writer says in a few pages.

Of course, prose poetry and poetic prose muddy the waters a bit.

Re: What is Poetry? by Jean Jones

PostPosted: January 03, 2012, 05:55:17 PM
by Wormtongue
Is Lipinski showing off again? :P :D Send me some more stuff for the formal pages, Robin!

Re: What is Poetry? by Jean Jones

PostPosted: January 03, 2012, 07:37:54 PM
by Lipinski
Yikes! A favorite word of mine.
Simple yet elegant,
short in letters yet full of life.
But here I go again,
straying from the path,
s t r ugg l in gggggg to hold on to any t h i n g,,,,,, even this thread.

(eternal pause)

There, back for the moment.
So yikes once again,
for in your email shall flood the words,
so many running around in my head,
to you sir, good luck,
as you grab your head while reading,
and shake again.