Author Topic: Poetic This!  (Read 59463 times)

heidi52

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Poetic This!
« on: February 17, 2014, 09:22:12 AM »
Iím starting this thread in the hopes of giving the poets, and anyone interested in poetry, a place to come and discuss anything and everything having to do with poetry.

Want to talk about form, what you like what you donít? How about rhymes and what you think of them? Feel free to bring up any topic, ask any question, and post your own opinions. All I ask is that we keep it civil.

Iím going to start the discussion with something that comes up frequently. Is it wrong to offer an explanation for our poems? We all know that people interpret what we write through their own internal filter and often a readerís interpretation can be vastly different from the poetís original intention.

So, how important is it for you, as a poet, for people to understand your poem? On the same token when you read poetry, how important is it for you to understand the poem?
 
And, if an explanation is either included originally or given later how do you feel about that?

Offline duck

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Re: Poetic This!
« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2014, 09:54:00 AM »
Hi heidi
Then let me quickly add a comment. For me it is absolutely unimportant if the reader understands what I understand. I am happy if they do understand that the poem expresses something and I love it to have the various interpretations the readers may have. At the same time if the poem seems to make little or no sense this just wastes time. nor do I see the point in a reader rejecting a sense the poem has because they are unable themselves to grasp it or don't like it. there is a tendency to believe the reader must be right if she/he does not understand.
Duck

heidi52

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Re: Poetic This!
« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2014, 10:46:43 AM »
I don't think any of it is a question of right or wrong.

If a reader doesn't understand something, they aren't doing it deliberately. And you certainly can't write to the lowest common denominator. But how else does a reader decide if they like or don't? Or do you feel poetry as art s/b just accepted and not judged at all?

is the main goal of your poems to impart a just a 'sense' and not a concrete image?

Offline Amie

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Re: Poetic This!
« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2014, 11:23:12 AM »
Generally, I think an explanation should not be required to enjoy the poem - and if it is, then the author should publish the explanation along with the poem. Since that tends not to happen, I think it follows that if the poem isn't enjoyable without an explanation, and an explanation won't be available when it is finally ready, then something is missing....
"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 midnight candle

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Re: Poetic This!
« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2014, 11:49:02 AM »
i'd agree about the explanation. i like it when a reader has a totally different interpretation from the one i intended. so rather than give an explanation, i agree with amie that something is not working in the first place.

Offline Tom 10

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Re: Poetic This!
« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2014, 11:54:48 AM »
This is a great idea Heidi, thanks for launching it.  And youíve started it off with quite a topic, or series of topics.  Iím going to have to put in my two cents a little at a time.

How much explanation should be shared when discussing a poem with folks who read and review is a big topic. 

A small part of the topic is the matter of what explanation should accompany the original posting of a poem.  I say none, nothing, nada Ė a writer should never include a preamble or introduction with the initial posting of a poem.   That pollutes the neutral frame of mind for the first reading.  A reader needs to have a clean slate.  If you want me approach the poem without any preconceptions, donít tell me you just got dumped by the three-week love of your life, or that you are so deeply in love your eyes are swimming backwards, or you wrote this twenty years ago.  Donít tell me youíve posted the poem three times before or that its been published twice.  And especially donít tell me you donít care much about the poem or you just whipped it out of nowhere in 5 minutes.  If you donít care about it, I wonít, and if you spent 5 minutes writing it, Iíll be damned if Iím spending more reviewing it.

And finally, donít say this is your first poem, or that you are new or the mind-numbing ďIím not a poet.Ē   You wrote and posted a poem Ė thatís an act of courage.  Donít back-pedal on it.   

Proviso: if there is some particularized situation, local custom, special jargon or something like that of which you are pretty certain the reader will be unaware, then it might be fair to consider a footnote type informatory entry- brief and concise. Still, it will color in some way the first impression of readers so do it only sparingly.

Back soon with more. 
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Offline Vienna

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Re: Poetic This!
« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2014, 12:01:03 PM »
well I was like broken-hearted when I like wrote this lurv poem to my ex (the b*s*a*d) and I like wrote  it in like about like 5 minutes............

no personally I don't think this kind of "explanation" before a poem is neccessary.................
« Last Edit: February 17, 2014, 02:28:47 PM by Vienna »
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Offline Tom 10

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Re: Poetic This!
« Reply #7 on: February 17, 2014, 12:01:43 PM »
It kills a fair reading, right?
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cmb

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Re: Poetic This!
« Reply #8 on: February 17, 2014, 12:05:18 PM »
I think, if a poem needs an explanation, it needs to be revised. Or binned - depending on how good/bad it was to begin with.

Sure, I don't mind if my readers don't understand exactly what I mean, or maybe even interpret my poem completely different from how I intended it to be. But it has to make sense to my readers of I haven't done my job.

It's that simple. And that hard.

Offline midnight candle

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Re: Poetic This!
« Reply #9 on: February 17, 2014, 12:50:08 PM »
I think, if a poem needs an explanation, it needs to be revised. Or binned - depending on how good/bad it was to begin with.

Sure, I don't mind if my readers don't understand exactly what I mean, or maybe even interpret my poem completely different from how I intended it to be. But it has to make sense to my readers of I haven't done my job.

It's that simple. And that hard.

i remember a poem of yours that had so many things in it that i didn't understand, so i googled for info. for me that was entertaining and made the poem understandable. if you'd have told me, i may have just passed it by. so the fruits of research were rewarding.

Offline Tom 10

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Re: Poetic This!
« Reply #10 on: February 17, 2014, 12:57:49 PM »
That's certainly a point, Candle -- what kind of knowledge base should the writer assume of his reader?  What is fair?  How much research by the reader should be expected as a matter of course?
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cmb

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Re: Poetic This!
« Reply #11 on: February 17, 2014, 01:05:14 PM »
i remember a poem of yours that had so many things in it that i didn't understand, so i googled for info. for me that was entertaining and made the poem understandable. if you'd have told me, i may have just passed it by. so the fruits of research were rewarding.

Thanks, MC.  :)
I'm glad your research was rewarding.

Having said that, I think that is a bit of a flaw of mine. I tend to write about things that pretty uncommon. Mental illness, medical stuff, other shit that most ordinary people don't encounter on a daily basis, and I tend to forget that most of my readers don't have that kind of knowledge that I think is common - but really isn't.

Offline Mark T

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Re: Poetic This!
« Reply #12 on: February 17, 2014, 01:37:36 PM »
Sometimes the right title can help to put a complex piece in context upfront. Poems with blurb - I usually just pass without reading or maybe skim. MWC is readership based so there is a responsibility not to write and post here while doing LSD but no matter how carefully crafted, each reader will take something a little different out of it and some won't understand all of it. It's word-graffitti, ponder or hurry on by.    

Offline Vienna

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Re: Poetic This!
« Reply #13 on: February 17, 2014, 02:30:36 PM »
If we all got the same meaning from the same piece of writing, it would be quite boring, don't you think? Wouldn't be anything to discuss.........
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Offline Tom 10

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Re: Poetic This!
« Reply #14 on: February 17, 2014, 03:20:27 PM »
If we all got the same meaning from the same piece of writing, it would be quite boring, don't you think? Wouldn't be anything to discuss.........

It would be like. . . prose :o :o
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