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Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by Viviuos, May 1, 2005.
Would there happen to be any Poets among our ranks. If so would you mind sharing?
I study poetry, but I have to say that I suck at writing it myself...don't ask me why..
I'm a poet and I just don't know it !
Your feet show it: they're Longfellows.
I write it, and I've gotten to the point where I don't suck at it, but I wouldn't call myself a poet, especially with a capital P.
I'm not going to post any of it on a public forum, though, because there's very high risk of ripoffage and I have a bunch under consideration. I'll direct you to my chief contemporary influences though: Kay Ryan, Stephen Dobyns, William Logan, R.T. Smith, and of course Seamus Heaney.
Yeah. I like to think of them as lyrics, because othewise, y'know, it's kinda fruity. But, yes, I engage in that sort of activity.
The link in my profile isn't a blog, it's a Xanga I dump them into for easier dissemination. For those of you too lazy, Meet the Baron Omerta
My ongoing thematic obsessions should be clear, despite wording. I operate on a kind of stream of conscious, borderline abstract style. The trick is to not get lost in the words themselves, but the sum of the words.
People get so wrapped up in the words, they forget to just read the damn thing. "What did he mean by this word? How did choosing this specific word change the tone of the line, the poem?" I keep getting told that poems are deliberate, paced things, where each word is mulled over, it's connotations and denotations kept in mind, all this interplay...blah blah blah. I just write. My stuff is meant for being read
I also pretty much refuse to use punctuation. Another bit lorded over for rhythm, pace, meter, whatever. Piss on that, read it, figure out your own timing. I have mine, you have yours. I use question marks, and that's about it. So don't be expecting any help with "how is the phrasing on this?" type questions.
Which, I know, is a lot to ask of a reader, but there you have it.
...yes, I'm bitter about writing conventions. I'm also bitter about art conventions. Nothing is worse than being "arty."
I write poetry every now and then, though not so often anymore. I don't have time to work on writing something good when I'm at school, so I write mostly when I'm at home on breaks and stuff.
I'd post here, but yeah, there's that whole rip-offage factor to worry about. Plus, I fear disapproval!
That's what prose is for, man. If you have no consideration for the right words in the right order, your poetry will be dreadful.
Punctuation has very little to do with rhythm, except maybe in the rare instance that it clarifies a sentence with ambiguous syntax. Rhythm has everything to do with the individual words. Which is another reason you'll defeat yourself if you think they're not important.
Well, read a few of my peices. Dreadful is entirely a matter of taste and opinion.
I wasn't aware that poetry was an objective art where you can tell other people what they're doing is "wrong".
Oh well, what do I know? I'm a political science major.
I've not thought of it that way, either. Every word may matter, or the poem's general effect may be the more important factor. I think it's really up to the writer, and eventually the reader to make that judgment. I don't think it's self-defeating to write in either way.
I do tend to prefer to read more measured, metered poetry as opposed to the free verse I see so often, but that's just me. Any style of poetry is ultimately valid, as long as the intention of artistic expression is there.
Well, I write the lyrics in my band, so I guess that counts as poetry. I enjoy writing.
I'd kind of rather not, for a couple of reasons.
1) Your stance on poetry deflects meaningful criticism. I could say that a certain phrase is extraneous or doesn't convey your meaning, or that the sounds in a certain line are awkward, and you could just say "well that doesn't matter because it's all about the WHOLE THING" and I would say that I hate the whole thing because of the lack of attention to details, and it would all come back to conflicting poetics and we'd be unable to discuss the actual poem.
2) I think you're a rad dude and from what you've posted it seems that you take umbrage when people point that stuff out to you, and given that I've heard something resembling your ars poetica from a hundred terrible poets, I'd be afraid we'd end up not being e-friends anymore.
Of course! If you had the opposite impression, it's because your high school teachers told you so to encourage you to write ANY damn thing, you punk kids! That's fine; I do it too. But when you're grown up, it's reality time.
Sure, poetry is largely an objective art. Why else would everyone study Robert Frost in school as opposed to GothBloodAngel69, who posts poems about cutting herself on her Geocities website? Hint: it's not solely a matter of exposure. It's because Frost rules, and she sucks.
That's not to say there's a set of specific standards by which to evaluate any given poem. But there's definitely such a thing as a good poem, as well as a crappy poem.
No, by all means, I'm open to criticism. I don't just deflect it "oh, it doesn't matter" or anything. That'd be counterproductive. I'm willing to listen to anything anyone has to say on the subject. It's one thing to hold an opinion, it's another to hold that opinion above all others (i.e. everyone else being wrong). Just because I'm a big picture guy doesn't mean I'm not willing to talk about the gritty stuff (I'm a freakin' english major, man).
The big picture is comprised of the small stuff, I just don't favor the overanalyzation of the small stuff (seeing something where there isn't kind of stuff). I see it like music; just how deep can you look into one note, one measure? That's the point I was talking about earlier. Now, words and music are different, this is true, but I still think they share many compositional tools. Would you, for instance, not listen to music I'd recorded?
I mean, if you're not comfortable doing it, that's okay, I'd understand. But, in all honesty, I wouldn't care if you thought it was hack drivel or the third Fatima letter. Input is input, as long as it's constructive.
...not that this is a vs. match or anything.
I read Thousand and Triggered and both were pretty good. I got the jist of the ideas, I believe. But I'm not a huge reader of poetry and prose because most of the reasons you stated.
That every freaking word of a poem should be a meaningful statement, or that even their favorite writer is infallible, etc.
It's crap. To think like that and ruin a good thing by overanalyzing a something is foolish. Artistic expression can't be full quantified even by the artist; how could an outrider possibly hope to fully understand the entire meanings.
Okay, I read it. And happily enough I have some big picture stuff for you.
Main problem: It's formulaic. Both of them. Try writing a poem without using the word "of." I mean, many of the lines go like this:
the [bleak image] of [non-tangible noun ending in -ion]
to the point where it gets silly. Also, it's eye-glazingly vague. You're concerned with "the sum of the words"; for me, the sum is: bleakness, pessimism, loss. But you know what would have done the same thing for me? The words "bleakness" "pessimism" and "loss." Come on, try to convey some kind of idea, or tell a story. And let me decide that the idea or story is bleak or hopeless, don't tell me that it is.
It's like you're trying to describe the Earth when you should be working on a leaf.
About the punctuation - rethink it. Because it seems like you're leaving it out in hopes that it will cover for the way you cram stuff in haphazardly. Phrase, clause, who cares? Shove it in there! I'm not saying that this is actually the way you think, but it's sure to be the impression that the reader will get. Again, punctuation has nothing to do with rhythm (of which there's almost none anyway), but it's a big part of the failure here to convey a lucid thought.
Speaking of which: there's a ton of stuff here that might sound cool if you've been listening to too much Mars Volta, but which doesn't mean a damn thing.
"Magnum ravages opiate burnished acoustic flesh"
"Cable the dire ocean with lines of distrust and sin"
"Silo of migraine internalization"
What the Christ am I supposed to get from that?
Let me sum up. These things do not poetry make:
-lots of multisyllabic words
You have some effective sound-play in parts (not the parts with rhyming words that end in -ion). Develop that, and read lots of poetry. Poetry that's published in journals. It will be better for you than any class you can take.
Formulaic? Yeah, I'll take that. It happens. But I'd ask you to check out more than just the two on the front page, such as Dirt Acolyte, Copy Cat, and August. None of them are as "of" heavy. In facy, shoot, I think a few of them use "of" once apiece or so. Wost case scenario, you decided to need to kill me after losing 10 minutes and a billion brain cells, right?
And, erk, you did bring something to my attention. The use of "-tion" words (especially on Triggered). Yeah, a lot of them, but, those were not meant to be slant rhymed or anything, just one of those coincidences due to formula. Weird, took another set of eyes to see that. Now it looks all doofy. Thanks a heap, Ian... Dang. I wish I could cop a "repetion through slight permutation" defense or something, but I can't.
What are you supposed to think (as to abstract parts)? I have no freaking clue. Remember what I said about stream of consciousness? Yeah, that's the way it came out, that's the way I left it. It might mean something, it might not. I almost never get around to figuring that part out.
It's just the way it usually comes out for me. I generally sit down with a line rattling around in my head, and sort of include it; sometimes it's the opening, the middle, the closing, but it's always a single line (almost always out of the blue). Triggered and Thousand are heavy on the "of" stuff, but the rest aren't.
And, that's mostly the "metal" stuff. I keep it uploaded for when people say "oh, you write lyrics?" and then I can link 'em. The more rational, uh, shoot, evocative? Stuff I keep to myself. I actually took one down because I didn't like having a piece that close to home up.
That stuff is pretty much all "in the style of," all sort of unified in their themes because of the nature of the "lyric dump." I mean, if that was backed by a double bass and some slash and burn guitar (which is sort of how it's written), it'd make a lot more sense. Like the music thing I brought up. Not making excuses for the "formulaic" nature, which I'll cop to, but explaining that it's not the entire scope.
For me, stuff like sextillas, canzones, terza rimas, those actually end up being the stuff that people tend to really dig on strictly literary/objective art levels. Structure is probably better for me than I admit.
But, yeah, I'd agree with pretty much most of what you say. Odd, innit?
Oh, and the cable bit... to lay fiber optic lines or massive telephone connections, they have ships lay heavy armored cables that contain a bunch of phone/optic cables along the ocean floor. These are more common less geographically contiguous places, like the Philipines. It's how a lot of people communicate in such areas.
And, er, I think I might have set myself up as being like, really good at this or something. I probably shouldn't have front loaded it with a strong opinion, beings that a strong opinion probably implied that I was/thought I was really good or something. I should clear that up now.
I don't think I'm the second coming of, or paradigm shift of anything. Y'know, I just do my thing. So, there you have it.