Author Topic: Definitions  (Read 14726 times)

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Re: Definitions
« Reply #45 on: October 22, 2010, 09:11:35 AM »
I'm not going to enter into this discussion (I hope) but I just wanted to stop by and tell you I've thoroughly enjoyed reading this thread. The wisdom in B's words is - of course - beyond my understanding, but that must be because I'm just another ignoramus.

Offline Bar

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Re: Definitions
« Reply #46 on: October 22, 2010, 10:20:37 AM »
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...

I'm not a poetry theoretician, but does not the above look fairly acceptable? What do I miss? Why the majority DOES NOT accept this?

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.

That seems to be happening in poetry (and not only in poetry...) indeed, blurring boundaries is our times' watchword...

As no-one has taken me up on the offer to actually provide detailed analysis of a specific free verse sonnet, ... etc,
+
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).

if not for B., would anyone volunteer to do it for me (and perhaps for another few?) to understand in what way they can't be sonnets?  I'm trying to learn and nothing teaches better than an example!

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.

I find it to be a good point. Anybody else? And if I err -
please could anyone answer this for me or tell me why E. of Surrey and why not E. Bishop?  Actually, I already asked about it in a previous stage of this discussion.

I first thought this discussion very instructive, but it seems to degenerate, which is a pity, I find...



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Offline Amie

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Re: Definitions
« Reply #47 on: October 22, 2010, 10:31:44 AM »
It seemed to me that the argument became one largely of semantics, blurred by B's tendency to dismiss anyone who disagreed with him as ignorant, rather than providing logic-based rebuttals.

Free verse can incorporate aspects of form, but once you start saying that you are following a form, then logic suggests that you are ... well, following a form. Once you start making arguments for why something is a sonnet, then it seems that you are arguing that you are following a form, and making arguments for why your poem fits that form.

By similar logic you could say that a rigidly followed Petrarchan sonnet is free verse, because "free verse can incorporate aspects of form and the poet is free to choose the extent to which it does this" - so, if I choose to comply 100% to the requirements of a Petrachan sonnet, by the definition provided by Brownlee I can still call it free verse, because I am incorporating aspects of form, and have chosen the extent to which I do this (in this case 100%).

"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 #48 on: October 22, 2010, 10:36:39 AM »
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...

I'm not a poetry theoretician, but does not the above look fairly acceptable? What do I miss? Why the majority DOES NOT accept this?

I don't know about the majority but I don't accept it because it is not the definition of free verse. I agree free verse is flexible, I agree it can contain aspects of form, and of course the poet is free to choose the extent to which he uses aspects of form, BUT, when he uses form to a point that the form is recognizable (as a sonnet) then it is no longer free verse.

Mark
« Last Edit: October 22, 2010, 10:54:44 AM by Mark. »
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Offline Bar

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Re: Definitions
« Reply #49 on: October 22, 2010, 11:02:45 AM »
Thanks Amie and Mark, but as it seems, Brownlee did not invent the term! He was not giving his own opinion as far as I could follow... It seems to be an existing term and I've just found the following quotation at the Poets Garret, adorned with an example:

"With Free Verse, there is no meter nor any rhyme scheme. What else can be said except that it has 14 lines, and some great sonnets have been written in this form.

A dark red rose..

You came in the house smiling,
Clutching a dark red rose
You had found it comming home
You held out your treasure
And offered it to me to smell
I did and shared your pleasure
A lovely fragrance made more so
Simply by your gentle touching
Such simple things so easy, so grand
So long I have known you
You have taught me love
And the meaning of true friendship
Now you have taught me how to fly
Please show me where to land

Ryter Roethicle

what do you think?

Mark, maybe nowadays things are changing and with extended boundaries and acceptable anarchy (ideal, not disorder) it is indeed possible to use aspects of form even to the point of nearing a sonnet for ex, and still be able to call it free verse... just because the whole era is in the process of redefining, adjusting vocabulary to new phenomena... just a thought.

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Lifelessness is only a fašade concealing forms of life unknown to us.
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Re: Definitions
« Reply #50 on: October 22, 2010, 11:04:10 AM »
I agree with Mark.

Free verse sonnet is - as has already been mentioned - a contradiction in terms. What is it? A sonnet or free verse? It's either one, but can't be both.
Sure, free verse can contain sonnet-like qualities. Or other form aspects. But that doesn't make it a sonnet, which is a strict form. After all, the essence of free verse is that it's not restricted by form - even if it incorporates elements of form, it's still not restricted by it. The moment that happens, the boundary between free verse and form poetry is crossed and the work in question becomes a (traditional) form verse.


To me, it's more or less like how a man cannot be a woman or a woman a man, even though they can be androgynous. For the sake of the argument, let's presume I look like a guy, walk like a guy, talk like one and fancy women over men. That still doesn't make me a man. Or a man-woman, or whatever. I'd (most likely) be a cross-dresser and (obviously) a dyke. But still a woman.

However, the moment I had surgery - yes, the kind that removed my female assets and gave me male parts, I could argue that I were a man. I wouldn't be recogniseable as a woman anymore, not even naked. (Still... there'd be some room left for argument, as my DNA would still be the DNA of a female - but that's nitpicking and not related to the discussion we're having here.)


Back to poetry:

Free verse can contain elements of form. It can contain many elements of form. However, the moment you doctor it to such a degree that it's recogniseable as a particular form, it's a form verse.


« Last Edit: October 22, 2010, 11:08:32 AM by Nelodra »

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Re: Definitions
« Reply #51 on: October 22, 2010, 11:08:03 AM »
Thanks Amie and Mark, but as it seems, Brownlee did not invent the term! He was not giving his own opinion as far as I could follow... It seems to be an existing term and I've just found the following quotation at the Poets Garret, adorned with an example:

"With Free Verse, there is no meter nor any rhyme scheme. What else can be said except that it has 14 lines, and some great sonnets have been written in this form.

I know, I'm not Amie or Mark, but... read what it says. It doesn't say it's a free verse sonnet (not in your quote, anyway). It just says that some great sonnets have been written in this form. The analogy is being made here, but no more than that as far as I can see.

Offline Mark H

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Re: Definitions
« Reply #52 on: October 22, 2010, 11:17:00 AM »
...With Free Verse, there is no meter nor any rhyme scheme. What else can be said except that it has 14 lines, and some great sonnets have been written in this form.

Bar,

If that is the definition he's using, why would he say this?

Blah blah blah

her sleek
thigh
on my
cheek

Oh look - it's a closed / Petrachan quatrain rhyming ABBA but written in free verse.

Blah blah blah

If he is not using the definition you gave then what?

Mark
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Offline Bar

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Re: Definitions
« Reply #53 on: October 22, 2010, 11:18:09 AM »
I know, I'm not Amie or Mark, but... read what it says. It doesn't say it's a free verse sonnet (not in your quote, anyway). It just says that some great sonnets have been written in this form. The analogy is being made here, but no more than that as far as I can see.

Hey Nel, nice to read you. I just provided the first reference I've found and which actually says some great sonnets were written in free verse. I'll look for more knowledge about free verse sonnet, but were it not an established term, I don't see the reason why Brownlee would insist it were! We all base ourselves on our feelings and opinions, deductions and preferences, while it's a question whether the term exists and has become a part of poetry lexicon or not.

And I get back to my last idea - perhaps we live a turning point at which we redefine the old and define the new world, also in the realm of poetry...
Facing it, always facing it, that's the way to get through. Face it!
(Joseph Conrad)
Lifelessness is only a fašade concealing forms of life unknown to us.
(Bruno Schulz)

Offline eric

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Re: Definitions
« Reply #54 on: October 22, 2010, 11:36:07 AM »
Bar, this is a losing argument.  I have a better idea for you.  Send me a PM.

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Re: Definitions
« Reply #55 on: October 22, 2010, 11:44:48 AM »
I just googled on free verse sonnet and guess what came up on the first page?

Yup. This thread. And it's the only one of the results on the first page that actually includes the words free verse sonnet in that particular order.

I did have one mention of free form sonnet, though. I'm not sure that it's the same, or even accurate...

Offline Bar

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Re: Definitions
« Reply #56 on: October 22, 2010, 11:45:16 AM »
Bar,

If that is the definition he's using, why would he say this?

If he is not using the definition you gave then what?

Mark

Innovation of form, like, as I would imagine lending free verse to a sonnet is one, doesn't mean following a scheme, since in free verse it's up to the author to choose as s/he wills. Rhyme and rhythm as well as their absence are at the author's disposal and up to her/him, while any shared characteristic justifies calling a poem Sonnet. This of course at my budding level of comprehension... For as I said, it's me thinking out loud. I'm not a specialist AT ALL. Just don't see why we could not at least consider Brownlee's references might have some value, or novelty.

"Hoist with his own petard" is elegant indeed, if Shakespeare is considered elegant  :), but the sarcasm added makes it unpleasant to read.

I understand everybody got heated up too much, and I feel responsible because it all started with my unfortunate Ascent...

Could we all just share ideas, thoughts, conjectures etc... friendly?

Friendly and gratefully yours

Bar

Facing it, always facing it, that's the way to get through. Face it!
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Lifelessness is only a fašade concealing forms of life unknown to us.
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Offline Bar

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Re: Definitions
« Reply #57 on: October 22, 2010, 11:49:37 AM »
Bar, this is a losing argument.  I have a better idea for you.  Send me a PM.

Please don't be condescending to me...
I'm trying to get the max of the discussion, and it's a pity if you consider my questions irrelevant, because one gets wiser through questions, especially when answered.
Please pm me.
Facing it, always facing it, that's the way to get through. Face it!
(Joseph Conrad)
Lifelessness is only a fašade concealing forms of life unknown to us.
(Bruno Schulz)

Offline daisydandelion

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Re: Definitions
« Reply #58 on: October 22, 2010, 06:42:51 PM »
(which may be the absense of a rhyme scheme) and a volta,
I'm sorry, I read this as having a vodka !  ;D
Might have been the wine I was on at the time of reading  :-\
Can't even remember the start of the thread?
Free verse?To me that means free; just be free.  ;)

Offline Mark H

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Re: Definitions
« Reply #59 on: October 22, 2010, 06:56:35 PM »
Bar

I'm in no way heated. B did attempt to insult me (and others) on a number of occasions and so I think a tiny bit of sarcasm is a fair trade.  :)

Can I have one more go at trying to convince you? Thanks  :)

From what I know of those that disagree with B, I don't think any of them object in any way whatsoever to tinkering with form. Or even pushing the sonnet form to its limits. We are NOT die hard purists fighting for the good old days. The issue we have is that if you take B's implied definition of free verse it makes the term meaningless. He's changed its meaning; rather he's removed its meaning altogether.

How I think this might have come about is that others have used the term free verse sonnet as a sort of short hand to say: I have written something sonnet-like (or a quasi sonnet as Victor called it) and it has similarities to free verse in that (for example) it has no meter. I don't think those poets would necessarily insist their sonnet was truly free verse (or at least I hope they wouldn't). But B has taken it literally and now thinks there is such a beast as an actual free verse sonnet.

If you strip out the personal abuse form B's posts you won't find much or indeed any facts in support of his argument. He is a typical sophist. Note how he lectures us on things that were never in dispute. At one point he states (as if correcting me on some point I don't understand) that free verse could include assonance, alliteration, internal rhyme. Why did he say that? Where did I say that free verse couldn't include those things? Take away the sophistry and abuse and you have nothing remaining.

I hope I've convinced you.  :)

Mark
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