Author Topic: My first attempt at modern verse  (Read 11464 times)

Offline herron

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Re: My first attempt at modern verse
« Reply #45 on: December 08, 2009, 10:24:54 PM »
Thank you Herron, most astute, and you are right of course.  The poem's amusing, not really great, but the lines about the law are just so true, chuckle chuckle.  I believe I've tried the first two of the single malts you mention, they are certainly wonderful, but don't know if I will ever get to the third.  Do you find it special?  Hugh?

Much prefer the first two, but the Knockando is head and shoulders above any blend.  ;)
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Offline eric

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Re: My first attempt at modern verse
« Reply #46 on: December 08, 2009, 10:31:53 PM »
Good to know, H., I'll be sure to stand you to a few drinks some day in the bar.

Offline herron

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Re: My first attempt at modern verse
« Reply #47 on: December 08, 2009, 11:23:39 PM »
Something to look forward to.  ;) ;D
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Offline Hugh

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Re: My first attempt at modern verse
« Reply #48 on: December 09, 2009, 08:09:35 AM »
As this is my thread, and has already strayed a long way from a simple request to ask if my first attempt at a modern poem was any good, I’m assuming the right to take it even further away.

The widely different viewpoints lead me to think that the problem is not so much one of generation gaps, but of a huge gulf in attitudes between those of us who were born before or during the Second World War, or in the years following, and those who were born in the last twenty or thirty years.

I can only speak for myself, and those who had a similar upbringing, but we learnt, partly from the example of our parents, and partly from having it instilled in us at school, that certain codes of morality and behaviour were all important. One was that a gentleman would never swear in front of a lady. Of course we knew the swear words, but rarely used them, even among ourselves.

As for explicit language in books and other published material, the use of the f-word, and other so-called Anglo-Saxon four-letter words, was taboo, liable to prosecution under the Obscene Publications Act. As I mentioned earlier, the Lady Chatterley’s Lover court case in 1960 changed all that.

I remember, when about twenty-one, and home for the weekend, an American Air Force Colonel, his wife and fifteen-year-old daughter, came to lunch one Sunday. They were going to buy our family home. We had chicken and, as usual, I had the job of carving. I asked the lady guest whether she preferred breast or leg, or a bit of both. There was a shocked silence. The Colonel glared at me as if I’d left my flies undone after taking his daughter for a spin in my sports car.

Seeing my confusion, and that I’d asked the question in all innocence, he explained that in America they didn’t use such words in mixed company. I should have said light or dark meat.

Even now, if I say a rude word in front of my wife, she frowns at me with a face that looks as if she’s been sucking a lemon.

A walk down the High Street shows how times have changed. Young people talk to each other, or shout into mobile phones, in language that consists of about three four-letter words and little else. How anyone knows what they are trying to communicate is a mystery to those of us who are more mature.

Perhaps that is the key – maturity. Is obscenity clever, edgy, cutting-edge writing, or merely unfunny adolescent smut?

Finally, Mark – and please note that I am addressing you, not making insulting remarks about you to others – the blurb about your poetry collection states that it is “scatological, profane and irreverent. If it doesn’t make you laugh out loud you’re either dead or a cretin.”

Isn’t that rather a sweeping statement, as well as being downright offensive?

Hugh

Offline Mark H

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Re: My first attempt at modern verse
« Reply #49 on: December 09, 2009, 09:46:34 AM »
Very interesting. Hopefully I can comment without making you feel that the poetry forum is a dangerous place  :)

My position is this:

1) I have my own set of standards that I live by.

2) I do not try to impose my standards on others even if, on matters such as eating meat, I wish I could.

3) I do not judge people for adopting a different set of standards to those I adopt.

4) I try my best not to be offended by people that adopt standards different to those I adopt.

5) The standards I adopt are thought through and based on my experience of life.

6) I give no weight to religion or tradition in choosing the standards I wish to adopt.

I guess you are probably with me up to point 2. Then we go our separate ways.

The problem with judging people by your own standards is that there is always someone else willing to judge you. For example, you may think it disgraceful to wear jeans with a tear in the knee  :o but what about wearing jeans at all??? My neighbour thinks that is wrong -- he even wears a tie to mow his lawn.

Moving from life in general to writing then ... it gets a bit more complicated particularly when people assume that everything you write is about you and every word uttered by a character represents the writers own views. I reserve the right to hold one view and write from the POV of another.

Regards my blurb. It is tongue in cheek which I think is obvious to most people. Anyone that IS offended will definitely NOT want to take a peek inside: so it also performs a public service.  ;D

Mark
« Last Edit: December 09, 2009, 09:48:06 AM by Mark. »
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Offline eric

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Re: My first attempt at modern verse
« Reply #50 on: December 09, 2009, 10:26:01 AM »
I used to use the word cretin willy-nilly until I realized what it meant and understood that I might be deeply insulting my drooling brethren by making a joke of the word (I am also disabled), so I quit doing that.  This I think is the only part of Mark's warning label that might be considered offensive, but after reading Leah's post (below) and looking at the warning label again, I see it's objectionable on exactly the grounds Mark uses to excuse it ... it's all in fun.  Yeah, lotsa fun, you bet, niggah.

More to the point here, I think Hugh once again makes a good case for his sadness at the loss of civility in discourse over the last century or so, but to me that pales totally in respect to the exponential increase in human suffering from genocides, child abuse, wars (often using conscripted child soldiers for human fodder) and the like.  On the other hand the old shackles, prejudices, chains are gone or going.  Yes, we live in coarser times, although in many ways freer ones, and for better or worse the language reflects that on both sides.  

To me both you gentlemen have plausible points but would likely  better focus on the points themselves rather than speculate as to whether, buried in one point or another, a personal attack is festering.  For from what I can see, it is not.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2009, 11:58:31 AM by eric »

CCRP

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Re: My first attempt at modern verse
« Reply #51 on: December 09, 2009, 11:05:09 AM »
3) I do not judge people for adopting a different set of standards to those I adopt.

Your blurb tells me otherwise. Or do you think calling someone who doesn't enjoy 'scatological, profane and irreverent' a cretin is not judgemental?

Regards my blurb. It is tongue in cheek which I think is obvious to most people. Anyone that IS offended will definitely NOT want to take a peek inside: so it also performs a public service.  ;D

You call it tongue in cheek. I think it's plain rude.
Is rudeness a public service now?
« Last Edit: December 09, 2009, 11:08:51 AM by Leah »

Offline Mark H

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Re: My first attempt at modern verse
« Reply #52 on: December 09, 2009, 11:27:47 AM »
Leah

The book is called Bristle Side Down. On the front cover it says: Warning May Contain Poetry. The cover design looks like a ransom note. The publisher is called Scribblers Ring. The quote continues ... Don't stand there dithering; put your hand in your pocket and buy it now!

The blurb also talks about me winning a Mr Kipling prize for exceedingly good poems (that's an English joke) and mentions a pretend novel called the Goat Whisperer.  ::)

There are plenty of hints that this is not a book that takes itself seriously. I have also watched many people pick the book up, flip it over, and chuckle.

BUT ... you can't please all of the people all of the time.

Mark

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Offline eric

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Re: My first attempt at modern verse
« Reply #53 on: December 09, 2009, 11:39:14 AM »
Looking at Mark's warning label, I decided that "cretin" doesn't work for me for reasons different than the ones Leah mentioned.  While what you say in defense of your scatological etc. humor is relatively valid, Mark, you might want to review my previous post (now edited) to peruse my point.  If you're using a search, just look for the word "niggah."  

This would be a post in support of Hugh's general view, which, oddly, refers to a time when there was no compunction about using words like nigger or cretin at all.

And let me be very clear about something.  In the brain damaged community, there is zero difference between nigger and cretin. Zero.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2009, 11:53:44 AM by eric »

Offline Mark H

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Re: My first attempt at modern verse
« Reply #54 on: December 09, 2009, 11:56:03 AM »
Ah I see. There are words in UK English like mong and spas that I would never use because they are offence to people with certain disabilities. I don't view cretin (in UK English) in the same way -- although I stand to be corrected. I have just done a non-scientific straw poll of half a dozen English people and they all said cretin is synonymous with stupid person. No one I asked was aware of any link to the medical definition I've found in my on-line dictionary.

If cretin is offensive in the same way as say "spas" then it was unintentionally and I will change it.

Mark



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Offline eric

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Re: My first attempt at modern verse
« Reply #55 on: December 09, 2009, 12:27:01 PM »
Point taken, Mark ... but it's that definition (the other being deformed/handicapped etc.) that is so infuriating to the bashed-brained/infected-brained people and others who tend to be facially all screwed up.  They are real people like you and me but are considered stupid and inferior because they look funny, drool, and so on.  So yes, on this side of the puddle at least it is highly offensive, probably the number one word in the high-offense category for such people, very like nigger, in fact.

This is especially ironic because the root of the word, in 18th C. French, meant "Christian" ... "apparently used to convey a reminder that handicapped people are human," according to the Oxford Concise dictionary.

We have words like spazz (for spastic) and so on that might be similar to the words you mention, I have not heard of them.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2009, 12:33:18 PM by eric »

randolph

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Re: My first attempt at modern verse
« Reply #56 on: December 09, 2009, 12:38:31 PM »
Crikey, looks like I missed all the fun on this one.

Never knew cretin had the connotations Eric mentions. My grandpa, who lived in North America for much of his life and in the North of England and London the rest, used to say we were two nations divided by a common language. Always thought there was a lot in that.

This has no relevance to anything, of course. Sorry for butting in!

Offline eric

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Re: My first attempt at modern verse
« Reply #57 on: December 09, 2009, 12:47:06 PM »
Randolph your grandpa was a wise man, but I suspect he stole that quote from a famous writer.  Don't remember who.

Mark's warning states:  "If it doesn’t make you laugh out loud you’re either dead or a cretin.”  So the word cretin is meant to portray a very extreme condition, blithering idiocy (which is a typical definition) or physical handicap or both.  Something far less than aware or sufficient.

I suspect that people on either side of the puddle with brain damage or nerve damage history would notice that.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2009, 12:49:23 PM by eric »

Offline herron

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Re: My first attempt at modern verse
« Reply #58 on: December 09, 2009, 02:53:20 PM »
Randolph your grandpa was a wise man, but I suspect he stole that quote from a famous writer.  Don't remember who.
....

I believe that was Winston Churchill.   ;) ;D
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Offline Mark H

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Re: My first attempt at modern verse
« Reply #59 on: December 09, 2009, 03:46:34 PM »
Mark's warning states:  "If it doesn’t make you laugh out loud you’re either dead or a cretin.”  So the word cretin is meant to portray a very extreme condition, blithering idiocy (which is a typical definition) or physical handicap or both.  Something far less than aware or sufficient.

It was intended (as per one of the dictionary definitions) to mean idiot: as in a casual insult. I have never heard it used in any other context. Cretin is a synonym of idiot.

Leah,

Was it actually the word cretin you found rude?

Mark
Buy Bristle Side Down, The Man Who Wore Brown Shoes and Middleclass Machismo here:
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If poetry is not your thing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PueM04F0Qz8 or: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x0Zm8cj9MGg