Author Topic: Poetic This!  (Read 61645 times)

Offline drab

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Re: Poetic This!
« Reply #30 on: February 27, 2014, 09:43:38 PM »
Here's a can of worms...don't rhyme.   :o
Us here only have so many words to do the things we want to do and get across the things we want to get across.
That's what I observe with rhyme. It restricts your vocabulary, and turns potentially wonderful poems into appallingly predictable....
 
« Last Edit: February 28, 2014, 04:20:25 AM by drab »
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Offline CorneliusPoe

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Re: Poetic This!
« Reply #31 on: February 27, 2014, 10:19:56 PM »
You may want to consider posting some sort of manifesto. It would prevent others who love the art and do not share your narrow and extremely restrictive view of what it is from wasting their limited time and words. Some are interested more in poetry than in being part of 'Us Here'.

You do younger writers a great disservice by presenting a single facet, no matter how beautiful, as the whole. To do so is to fail as mentor for the art you profess to love.

"Poetry is not speech raised to the level of music, but music brought down to the level of speech." - Paul Valery

InterestedNewbie

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Re: Poetic This!
« Reply #32 on: February 27, 2014, 11:19:34 PM »
Could you outline the importance of form and meter?
Does having a meter improve the poem?

heidi52

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Re: Poetic This!
« Reply #33 on: February 28, 2014, 11:49:21 AM »
Drab didn't say you couldn't rhyme he just said what he himself has observed. If you stick around long enough you'll see it too.  ;)

Can contemporary rhyming poem be good? Sure they can, just look at some of Dylan di Vilde's poems in the Gallery. However it is really hard to do well. And when it's not done well it can be awful to read.

So often what the poet is trying to say gets lost because the lines get mangled, and new ideas fall victim to predictable word choices for no other reason than they have to rhyme.

If you want to write beautiful rhyming poetry, I applaud you, go for it. But that doesn't discount what drab said.

Offline Tom 10

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Re: Poetic This!
« Reply #34 on: February 28, 2014, 12:24:24 PM »
In my view poetry that rhymes can be incredible.  Poetry written to traditional forms can be absolutely beautiful and unforgettable.  But the same goes for free verse. 

Its not the rhymes that make poems breathtaking.  Its great writing -- the ability to tell a story in a compelling manner, to convey an experience, to share a feeling, and to handle a metaphor, a simile, to speak symbolically, and perhaps to speak with some measure of sonic pleasantness, and maybe in a gentle rhythm.  If a writer can do that, and add internal rhymes, partial rhymes, slant rhymes, and vowel repeats, the narration can start to sound and feel a little like music.  For example, read some of Frost's blank verse - Birches would be a good start. 

Some of Frost's rhyming poems are incredible, my only point is that its the highly developed craft of writing that makes them incredible, not the end-rhymes.

Trying to do couplets and hit hard end-rhymes for them every time is the last place to start in trying to write poetry.  Us beginning writers need to learn the tools of writing poetry, and putting end-rhymes first is a wrong road.   
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Offline CorneliusPoe

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Re: Poetic This!
« Reply #35 on: February 28, 2014, 07:48:50 PM »
Could you outline the importance of form and meter?
Does having a meter improve the poem?

Let me answer your questions in reverse order.

Does having a meter improve the poem?

It depends on the poem. If your goal is a metrical poem then of course. If free verse, no, but it both case it is critical that you remain conscious of the syllabic arrangement of the words you are using and the impact on not only the music, but the meaning, and the emotional effect of your poem.

The effect of a series of unaccented followed by accented syllables is the same regardless of form. The same with successive accented ones. The former has a lazy almost conversational tone and the later communicates urgency, sometimes frivolity. This is true no matter of form. Thats only two examples, but I hope you see where it's going.

In traditional metrical verse there are standard patterns governing the effective use of these sound patterns. These patterns evolved as poets explored the most effective means of conveying their intention in pleasing manner. As rigid as these forms can seem, the best practitioners often deviate from the pattern at key points for effect. Think of accidentals in music.

Could you outline the importance of form and meter?

No. Not without writing a book. I will try and illustrate. First with a metrical poem:

Quote
No Bird - Theodore Roethke

Now here is peace for one who knew
The secret heart of sound.
The ear so delicate and true
Is pressed to noiseless ground.

Slow swings the breeze above her head,
The grasses whitely stir;
But in this forest of the dead
No bird awakens her.

Can you hear how the music has a delicacy that fits perfectly with the imagery and the theme of poem?  Its opens in iambic tetrameter,  followed by a trimeter. The pattern then repeats. It culminates in a sense of extreme gravity by the time we get to the last line where "No Bird" can almost be read as a spondee and then the 3 syllables of "awakens" rush to finality of "her".  Which is fitting since the poem is about the finality of her, the subject of the poem.

This is a very cursory look at a great poem deserves much better treatment, but I hope it helps.

Now for something completely different:

Quote
This is Just to Say - William Carlos Williams

I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox

and which
you were probably
saving
for breakfast

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold

This poem has been Blockedyzed a bunch of ways. Some that  make it out to be some obscure reference to man's fall, or some form of repression. The whole forbidden fruit thing. I take it on face value. It's delightful. Everything does not have to be deep. But in any case, its structure an tone are whimsical.

This is no accident. Dr. Williams' use of line breaks and accents are brilliant. If you just beat the syllables out on a table they are a joy. Combine the sound and the form and it's easy to picture a man playfully teasing his wife about eating her plums. So again the words and the structure combine perfectly to convey the authors intent.

So at long last my point: Both of these poem are excellent examples of completely different styles. If you really want to understand the importance of the forms involved, try to apply their styles to each other:

Here peace is
For one
that loved
some music

or

As for the plums that were for you
I ate them and was feed
you planned to eat them very true
Once risen from your bed.

It really is about picking the style that best fits your voice or your intent at the time. Please forgive any technical inaccuracies, etc. I think the point should still be clear and its the best I can do without actually have to put work into it :P

If you are real interested:

http://www.amazon.com/Poetry-Handbook-Mary-Oliver/dp/0156724006/ref=sr_1_5?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1393634775&sr=1-5&keywords=by+mary+oliver
http://www.amazon.com/Rules-Dance-Handbook-Writing-Metrical/dp/039585086X/ref=la_B000APELGO_1_9?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1393634800&sr=1-9
http://www.amazon.com/Free-Verse-Charles-O-Hartman/dp/0810113163/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1393634833&sr=1-1&keywords=free+verse+hartman
http://www.amazon.com/Poetic-Meter-Form-Paul-Fussell/dp/0075536064/ref=pd_sim_b_2?ie=UTF8&refRID=00C2J2P32Q7QH78QQ0QE

I can't believe that last one is $60. I bought mine for $5.25 25 years ago :P

 
« Last Edit: February 28, 2014, 08:01:30 PM by CorneliusPoe »
"Poetry is not speech raised to the level of music, but music brought down to the level of speech." - Paul Valery

Offline bri h

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Re: Poetic This!
« Reply #36 on: February 28, 2014, 07:54:25 PM »
Good to see you still posting CP. B
Fare thee well Skip. We're all 'Keening' now. xbx

Offline CorneliusPoe

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Re: Poetic This!
« Reply #37 on: February 28, 2014, 07:58:11 PM »
I apologize for my earlier outburst. I rely have no agenda. I like this stuff. All of it. and it saddens me to see some of it summarily dismissed as useless.  
"Poetry is not speech raised to the level of music, but music brought down to the level of speech." - Paul Valery

Offline Tom 10

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Re: Poetic This!
« Reply #38 on: February 28, 2014, 07:59:44 PM »
Holy crap CP!  That's a university level semester of poetry instruction!!

I'm working my way through Rules for the Dance currently, along with a couple of others.  I have a harder time with Mary Oliver's prosody essays than her splendid free verse.  But, such it is.

Anyone interested in the subject of this would do well to read it a couple of times, and then come back to it.

Well said.

T
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Offline Tom 10

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Re: Poetic This!
« Reply #39 on: February 28, 2014, 08:00:31 PM »
Welcome back, now put some clothes on your avatar! :o :o :o :o :o :o
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Offline CorneliusPoe

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Re: Poetic This!
« Reply #40 on: February 28, 2014, 08:07:24 PM »
That little guy was going to star in a children's book of verse, but I kept getting all dark and broody.
"Poetry is not speech raised to the level of music, but music brought down to the level of speech." - Paul Valery

Offline irallan

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Re: Poetic This!
« Reply #41 on: February 28, 2014, 08:20:45 PM »
Thanks Heidi , as a total newbie to the world of poetry this has been helpful. I really enjoy poetry, though confess to understanding little of the complexities. I found myself needing to over explain and hence give more of myself than I would have liked. Perhaps here for instructional purposes a new poet may need to explain more so as to get proper feedback as to where they are coming from and what they want to achieve, but out in the public forum the poem I believe should stand alone without explanation. Most poetry ive seen unless your familiar with the poets life and history you don't get this insight. Remember many an argument with my English Lit teacher many years ago because I never got the sense of a poem as he did.

Iain
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Offline CorneliusPoe

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Re: Poetic This!
« Reply #42 on: February 28, 2014, 09:29:07 PM »
...
I'm working my way through Rules for the Dance currently, along with a couple of others.  I have a harder time with Mary Oliver's prosody essays than her splendid free verse.  But, such it is.

Anyone interested in the subject of this would do well to read it a couple of times, and then come back to it...

I'm not familiar with her poetry. I should kick myself. Going to correct ASAP.
"Poetry is not speech raised to the level of music, but music brought down to the level of speech." - Paul Valery

Offline drab

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Re: Poetic This!
« Reply #43 on: February 28, 2014, 09:32:20 PM »
Impressively argued. And yes, there are exceptional rhyming poems, but most of them send me to sleep. I dislike any form of imposed structure. Haiku is another form that leaves me cold. I could go on. But I'll end up insulting people who enjoy the disciplines and challenges involved in constructing them. I understand that art can be contemporary, and as such a particular form (like cubism) can appear to be like 'painting by numbers', but it is an evolution. When an ancient form like rhyme 'evolves' into a 'school', and countless books are written telling people how to create art I have to take exception. When any structure is imposed on art it becomes a craft. Of course there are certain restrictions in poetry; words should be used (not always) and an attempt to communicate is preferable.
Some might argue that by communicating within the constraints of poetry (words/lines/stanzas) I've already bought into the 'imposed structure' thing.
A painter needs a medium and something to adhere it to. After that he can decide to copy the past masters, or explore the possibilities. To me, free form poetry is a blank canvas; structured poetry is a canvas with shapes designed by others you are required to fill in. Poetry by numbers.
Just my opinion.  
To live, with gentle but cunning deceit, and accept the consequences, is the destiny of every man.

Offline CorneliusPoe

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Re: Poetic This!
« Reply #44 on: February 28, 2014, 10:03:48 PM »
Impressively argued. And yes, there are exceptional rhyming poems, but most of them send me to sleep. I dislike any form of imposed structure. Haiku is another form that leaves me cold. I could go on. But I'll end up insulting people who enjoy the disciplines and challenges involved in constructing them. I understand that art can be contemporary, and as such a particular form (like cubism) can appear to be like 'painting by numbers', but it is an evolution. When an ancient form like rhyme 'evolves' into a 'school', and countless books are written telling people how to create art I have to take exception. When any structure is imposed on art it becomes a craft. Of course there are certain restrictions in poetry; words should be used (not always) and an attempt to communicate is preferable.
Some might argue that by communicating within the constraints of poetry (words/lines/stanzas) I've already bought into the 'imposed structure' thing.
A painter needs a medium and something to adhere it to. After that he can decide to copy the past masters, or explore the possibilities. To me, free form poetry is a blank canvas; structured poetry is a canvas with shapes designed by others you are required to fill in. Poetry by numbers.
Just my opinion.  

Thanks drab. I actually agree in terms of preference. I like reading well crafted metered verse, but when I write I prefer free verse. I'm doing a little personal project and meter fits these little four liners nicely. That Faith thingy was a total reach for me. Anyway, most of stuff I really feel is free form.

I will say sometimes the exercise of trying to conform to a form forces some ingenuity that can turn out remarkably pleasing. This is essentially nerding out, but it's fun.
 
"Poetry is not speech raised to the level of music, but music brought down to the level of speech." - Paul Valery