Author Topic: Definitions  (Read 13265 times)

Offline Amie

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Re: Definitions
« Reply #30 on: October 21, 2010, 01:35:10 PM »
That you don't understand this proves you don't understand free verse.

Why do you keep doing that? Who made you the authority? Why can't you simply state your opinion without putting other people down?

Mark, from what I've seen of his postings, is aware that free verse can have all the elements you mention - what he was saying was that the poem in question had a form, and one that conformed to requirements so that it could be called a 'sonnet' apparently. What he seemed to be asking was how can it be free verse, if it claims to meet externally imposed requirements? (as in, "This is a sonnet because sonnets have qualities X, Y and Z, which this poem has" - this differs from a free verse poem - which I'm sure you'll tell me I don't understand - in that the requirements are defined at least partly by an external standard, rather than solely by the poet)

Why can you not simply disagree with someone by reference to the facts, rather than attacking their person and making judgements about what they do or don't understand?
« Last Edit: October 21, 2010, 01:39:44 PM by Amie »
"You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet." - Kafka

Brownlee

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Re: Definitions
« Reply #31 on: October 21, 2010, 01:44:28 PM »
Amie - What can I say? You all seem like an intelligent bunch but I've found this discussion incredibly exasperating because, as I've maintained throughout, this is NOT my opinion. Free verse sonnets are a definable form of poetry. That you are all unwilling to accept this shows me that you don't understand free verse poetry. The many examples I gave should be proof enough. Read the poems and they explain themselves. If you can't analyse them, then do you really think you should be involved in an argument about what something is or is not, when you have a fundamental lack of understanding about what is being discussed?

I've asked repeatedly for other people to give me an analysis of a free verse poem, stating why they believe them not to be free verse sonnets. I keep stating this, because no-one seems capable of answering this.

And as I recall, it was you who challenged me, so as far as I'm concerned, it should be up to you to prove what you're saying before I respond. So far - despite the fact I have given clear evidence and analysis of a free verse sonnet - you, and everyone else, have not responded with anything other than vague comparisons with fruit or religion. Show me you know what you're talking about and we can take it from there.

Offline Amie

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Re: Definitions
« Reply #32 on: October 21, 2010, 01:45:40 PM »
I haven't seen these defined as 'free verse sonnets' anywhere but from you. I've seen them defined as a deviation from the form. I've also seen others define them differently. Why does the definition you prefer prevail? Why do you have to insult others in your defense of it?
"You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet." - Kafka

Offline Amie

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Re: Definitions
« Reply #33 on: October 21, 2010, 01:47:20 PM »
And as I recall, it was you who challenged me, so as far as I'm concerned, it should be up to you to prove what you're saying before I respond. So far - despite the fact I have given clear evidence and analysis of a free verse sonnet - you, and everyone else, have not responded with anything other than vague comparisons with fruit or religion. Show me you know what you're talking about and we can take it from there.

I provided that on the previous page. I've explained why I don't think it's free verse. I've explained my definition of free verse. What more do you want?
"You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet." - Kafka

Offline Mark H

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Re: Definitions
« Reply #34 on: October 21, 2010, 02:13:11 PM »
Mark - Free verse can incorporate rhyme and rhyme schemes, as well as all the other aspects of poetry available to the poet such as assonance, alliteration, internal rhyme, etc. Look at the Bishop sonnet. Look at 'Why Brownlee Left' by Paul Muldoon among many others, including the Paterson sonnet quoted.

That you don't understand this proves you don't understand free verse.

B

You mentioned, and quoted from, the poetry archive earlier. You seem to believe what is written there. It has a definition of free verse, the opening sentence of which is unambiguous: What free verse claims to be free from is the constraints of regular metre and fixed forms.

Perhaps this will help you. It is very simple.  :)

a) All sonnets have a recognisable form.

b) Free verse has no recognisable form.

c) Therefore a poem cannot (logically) be both a sonnet and free verse.

Mark
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Offline Mark H

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Re: Definitions
« Reply #35 on: October 21, 2010, 02:21:28 PM »
B

And just in case you wanted to argue that a sonnet doesn't have a fixed form, here's another quote from your favoured source of poetry definitions.

Formal Verse: Poetry that overtly uses the effects of metre, rhyme and form, especially the fixed forms (sonnets, villanelles etc) is known as formal verse.

M
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Offline Mark H

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Re: Definitions
« Reply #36 on: October 22, 2010, 05:20:51 AM »
You would have thought that after all the effort I put in researching this matter, just to help clear up Brownlee's confusion, he would have least said thanks. Oh well, perhaps he's having trouble extracting himself from his own petard.  :-\

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twisted wheel

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Re: Definitions
« Reply #37 on: October 22, 2010, 05:39:05 AM »
You would have thought that after all the effort I put in researching this matter, just to help clear up Brownlee's confusion, he would have least said thanks. Oh well, perhaps he's having trouble extracting himself from his own petard.  :-\



 ;D

Brownlee

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Re: Definitions
« Reply #38 on: October 22, 2010, 07:51:02 AM »
This is depressing. I thought this was a poetry forum. You can have free verse sonnets because free verse can incorporate aspects of form and the poet is free to choose the extent to which it does this. It's a very flexible form... but I'm wasting my time.

As no-one has taken me up on the offer to actually provide detailed analysis of a specific free verse sonnet, stating why they know better than Elizabeth Bishop, or Wallace Stevens, or Emily Dickinson, Paul Muldoon, Don Paterson, Simon Armitage, Glyn Maxwell, Louis MacNeice, Carol Ann Duffy, Robin Robertson etc, etc, I can only presume this is because you can't, therefore you don't know how to read free verse poetry properly, which is why you insist on keeping things in their nice little boxes. The whole development of poetry over the last 100 years or so has been to blur boundaries, to play with forms and to try to create something new. Part of the reason for this was to undermine the inherent conservative traditionalism of fixed form and metre. An attitude which is alive and well on this forum, sadly.

Amie - Thank you for your definition (albeit brief) of what you understand free verse to be. I was then asking if you would care to put that understanding to the test and give me an analysis of a free verse sonnet. In doing so, the point was that you should see how the forms combine to produce something new (relatively).

There have been several comments about 'authority'-based statements, from you and others, which is a curse of the postmodern age. There are and have been poets out there better than you, better than me, better than anyone on this forum... so isn't the best thing to do to learn from them if we want to improve? People seem more than willing to bow to the 'authority' of the Earl of Surrey, but not Elizabeth Bishop and others who dare to innovate with form in the way they want to, seemingly just because the former has been around longer, which is a nonsensical statement as far as poetry is concerned.

Mark -
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b) Free verse has no recognisable form.

So what about the role accentual stress plays in replacing metrical stress? Isochrony? Cadence? Lineation? I notice no-one has mentioned these. You've clearly never heard of them, so I can only repeat what I have believed all along, that you don't understand free verse. It's up to the individual poet to choose and determine the form of their poems. You should be able to recognise this by simply using your eyes and looking at it. Clearly not.

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Oh well, perhaps he's having trouble extracting himself from his own petard.

Hilarious. That you don't know what a 'petard' was, that is. But maybe that should come as no surprise.

Offline Amie

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Re: Definitions
« Reply #39 on: October 22, 2010, 08:01:35 AM »
As no-one has taken me up on the offer to actually provide detailed analysis of a specific free verse sonnet, stating why they know better than Elizabeth Bishop, or Wallace Stevens, or Emily Dickinson, Paul Muldoon, Don Paterson, Simon Armitage, Glyn Maxwell, Louis MacNeice, Carol Ann Duffy, Robin Robertson etc, etc,

Have any of these people actually called their creations 'free verse sonnets', or have they just called them sonnets? I got the impression it was the latter. Even your source of definitions, as Mark has pointed out, makes a clear distinction between free verse and fixed form poems, and never seems to use the term 'free verse sonnet' even once.

I get the impression that we are arguing semantics, which is rather tedious. I can accept modified sonnets, innovations in sonnet-writing, etc. I can accept someone writing something that follows some, but not all, of the rules for sonnet-making, and calling it a new kind of sonnet. What I found confusing was the reference to 'free-verse sonnets', which sounded, and still sounds, like a contradiction in terms.
"You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet." - Kafka

Offline Amie

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Re: Definitions
« Reply #40 on: October 22, 2010, 08:09:09 AM »
ps - I have twice previously asked you to stop making personal comments about other posters. Your conclusions about their levels of understanding, erudition, narrow-mindedness etc all fall into this category. I notice that every other poster has been able to defend their position without resorting to personal slights. I am asking you now to do the same. This has been discussed with the other moderators, and you can take this as a formal warning.
"You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet." - Kafka

Brownlee

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Re: Definitions
« Reply #41 on: October 22, 2010, 08:30:31 AM »
Amie - Thank you. This is my last post on the subject. It is taken from the introduction to Don Paterson's book '101 Sonnets, from Shakespeare to Heaney' (Faber and Faber, 1999):

"Somehow it crawled out into the twentieth century intact; thereafter the sonnet becomes so popular and varied in its forms that its story becomes impossible and probably pointless to delineate other than through the pages of this book: almost every major twentieth-century poet has written sonnets - and sonnets strictly rhymed, free-rhymed and unrhymed, in long lines, short lines and free verse, with stanza breaks and turns in the strangest places imaginable." (p. xiii)

So in answer to your question, yes, poets do call their own free verse sonnets free verse sonnets.

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This has been discussed with the other moderators, and you can take this as a formal warning.

In which case, I presume you'll be issuing the same warning to Mark for these comments, which I found offensive:

Quote
Oh well, perhaps he's having trouble extracting himself from his own petard.

Offline Amie

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Re: Definitions
« Reply #42 on: October 22, 2010, 08:43:03 AM »
In which case, I presume you'll be issuing the same warning to Mark for these comments, which I found offensive:

No, I don't see any need to issue a formal warning to Mark. He was commenting on your actions, not on you as a person. And, on the basis of PMs I got, most people agree that you were in fact hoist by your own petard. If he had said, "Brownlee is a buffoon who can't understand simple logic" I would have warned him - but in this case, he was simply commenting on the fact that you had based your arguments on a source of information which seems to directly contradict your conclusions.

There are lots other reasons why I won't be issuing a warning to Mark on this occasion, but that's the main one.

Call me unfair if you like - it won't be the first time we've disagreed, obviously :)
« Last Edit: October 22, 2010, 08:47:52 AM by Amie »
"You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet." - Kafka

Offline eric

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Re: Definitions
« Reply #43 on: October 22, 2010, 08:56:22 AM »
Now that Brownlee says he shall speak no more, let me ask him a few questions.  

The numerous sonic and other devices you mention are well known to any experienced poet, whether by name or not, and do not bear mention here except to say these are devices, manners of writing, like punctuation and capitalization the province of the writer's will, not a matter of strict form (or not).  I notice two exceptions, isochrony and lineation, apparently inserted to confound and defeat the linguistic heathen.  Lineation means line-drawing, which brings to mind that obscure and ill-defined thing known as a "line," thus "an aural and visual stretch of words."  Isochrony refers to line-drawing to points in synchronous fashion, an interesting spelling bee word but of apparently little use in normal writing.  If you would be so kind to do so, please explain their poetic use.  

You also include, in your latest list of post-modern radicals, Emily Dickinson and Wallace Stevens.  I am something of a Wallace Stevens fan, less so of Ms. Dickinson, but it would be of great interest to know how either of them got on your list of free-verse sonnets.  So please provide citations.

Also, for the umpteenth time you say that no one on this site knows how to read or understand free verse, implying that we don't know how to write it either.  This brings up an interesting question, since all the people who frequent these boards are either well experienced poets or younger ones giving it a try.  The ones who have been writing for years or decades could be presumed to know how to read a poem.  Honestly, this is just a matter of common sense.  We often agree or disagree on these boards, but that is far from not knowing what we are talking about.  What makes you think that, as a group, the case is contrary?   I mean, rather than just using it as an attribution like the the rosy colored fingers of dawn, could you be more precise in why you think, seemingly solely because we disagree with you on points, this group is a crowd of ignoramuses?  Not in so many words, of course.  You don't want to hurt our feelings.

Last, to be hoisted on one's own petard is about as elegant a way to suffer self-inflicted indignity as exists in English.  Surely offense is not an appropriate feeling to have in that instance.  Chagrin might be more to it.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2010, 09:13:39 AM by eric »

Offline Mark H

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Re: Definitions
« Reply #44 on: October 22, 2010, 09:01:11 AM »
B

Can you post here, the definition of free verse (and its source) as it applies to a free verse sonnet.

Thanks

M
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