Poetics and Poetry Discussion

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  • Gulsher John (6/9/2014 12:58:00 PM) Post reply | Read 3 replies

    prose poem OR poetic prose...?

    This blurriness of the century new burns
    my wondering eyes;
    and slowly i take on all the glamour of alluring life,
    but still i host resistance from the glutton bellies: often babbling sillily.
    I pass and pause, but
    two steps forward drag me miles back.
    Ah! no asylum to retreat.

    How can i wipe off
    my teary eyes with hollow smiles.
    behold! the golden sky
    turning dark and dyes heaven;
    And the Demons reign begins,
    that incessantly showers
    fortunes false, upon the wrecked hearts,
    immersed in dark.

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    • Gulsher John (6/11/2014 4:41:00 AM) Post reply | Read 1 reply

      Just saying JC, and i'm agree with you, it's realy a doggrel, a flabby attempt... in fact i was just trying to PAINT those sentiments in a non traditional verse form, and to mirror the Romance ... more

    • Jefferson Carter (6/10/2014 2:44:00 PM) Post reply

      Gulsher, this is neither. It's verse, a text organized by line and stanza; notice that right-hand margin—you, the author, chose those breaks. Now whether it's poetic verse or prosaic verse is up to ... more

    • Paul Butters (6/9/2014 1:44:00 PM) Post reply

      Gulsher - This is full of colour, feeling (senses and emotions) , noise...al that some call lyrical. Free verse poem for me.

  • ... Dog God 8hate (6/9/2014 2:19:00 AM) Post reply | Read 1 reply


    a-CROSS the RIVER

    Yes, engineering... brewing conception
    for demanded thirst... nature does drink
    beyond its own... jigger

    THINK = cureless imitation; relenting installs
    character... lucid renditions beyond impeded...
    they and their assumed device. Hey! ! !

    Yet?... what do i know?i imbibe variously:
    brew, the new, and vainglorious designs
    in old old curiosity. i don't take a salary, though,
    so... don't complain. You all do, yet...
    YET (sorry) ... don't... work
    (bubbles, boxes, and delusions don't count) .

    And so... i get along...
    living here, across this...
    old... Roebling...
    river... rout....


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    • Frank Ovid (6/10/2014 8:42:00 PM) Post reply

      They nixed my first response. I like it! Nothing like a cold glass of beer!

  • Mike Acker (6/8/2014 2:58:00 PM) Post reply | Read 1 reply

    For The Taking (revised) ....as reply

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    • Mike Acker (6/8/2014 2:59:00 PM) Post reply

      For The Taking Tunnel vision, I over-heard him say. His sight was weakening, but you wouldn't have guessed it with the contentment he showed, holding his brand new over-sized phone, and play ... more

  • Jefferson Carter (6/8/2014 12:23:00 PM) Post reply | Read 2 replies

    Professor Plumster, you can always justify as " tongue in cheek" any truly bad poetry. Poe, as far as I can tell, did not consider his poetry a joke he was playing on his readers. Ask any pro-Poe critic and you'll be told how WONDERFUL " The Raven" or " Annabel Lee" is! I even had a good friend and poet tell me " The Bells" is one of the great poems written in English! !

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    • Professor Plum (6/8/2014 3:52:00 PM) Post reply

      " Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken! Leave my loneliness unbroken! — quit the bust above my door! Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my ... more

    • Professor Plum (6/8/2014 3:47:00 PM) Post reply

      The guy was writing 160 years ago fur christ sake. Give him a break. You think he's gonna sound like Eminem or something?I love him. How about when he had the dude walled up inside a wine cellar?That ... more

  • Jefferson Carter (6/8/2014 12:22:00 PM) Post reply | Read 2 replies

    Paul, I've had month-long Facebook threads on this topic with accomplished poets and critics, and we've never come to any conclusion. The best response (IMO) : the opposite of prose (a text organized by paragraph) is verse, a text organized by line and stanza. It's the form that makes the difference.

    Poetry is such a loaded term, it can and does mean anything and everything (mostly what I would call good writing) . People use the term " poetry" as an honorific, and this is just stupid. Saying a poem is NOT a poem is ridiculous. The question is whether it's a GOOD poem or not.

    A useful term is the adjective " poetic, " with its connotations of musical, vivid, intense, inspired; the term " prosaic" is also useful, suggesting pedestrian, dull, commonplace. It makes little sense to say " prose poem" when what you're talking about is a poetic paragraph.

    If I had to characterize Underwood's poem, I'd call it prosaic verse because of its line breaks, its plain diction, the relative lack of figures of speech and emphasis on sounds. Asking whether it's a " poem" or not is fruitless, tempting you into the bramble-bush of endlessly subjective and contradictory definitions of the term.

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    • Paul Butters (6/9/2014 1:53:00 PM) Post reply | Read 1 reply

      Good answer Jefferson. My only quibble is that I would say, " It's the WORDS that make the difference" . James Reeves talked of " magic" and I think he referred to WORDS charged wi ... more

    • Lamont Palmer (6/8/2014 1:45:00 PM) Post reply | Read 2 replies

      I agree on Underwood. Very prosaic. Its nice writing, but it doesn't work as a poem. Thus its not good poetry. -LP

  • Paul Butters (6/8/2014 8:19:00 AM) Post reply | Read 1 reply

    How is this poetry, not prose - (from " Thank you for your Email" by Jack Underwood (contender for a UK Forward Prize) , from The White Review -

    " Two years ago I was walking up a mountain path

    having been told of excellent views from the summit.

    The day was clear and hot, the sky wide and cloudless.

    There was only the sound of my breath, my boots treading,

    and the faint clonking of cowbells back down the track.

    What little wind there was on the climb soon dropped

    as I reached the summit, as if it had been distracted

    or called upon to cover events elsewhere. I drank eagerly,

    catching my breath, and then took in the view, which was

    as spectacular as I had been told. I could make out a tree,

    a shrub, really (it being so distant in the valley below

    I couldn’t say how high) , silently on fire, the smoke

    trailing a vertical black line before dissipating. I watched

    the flames consume the whole shrub. No one came to stop it.

    No one seemed to be around to see it, and I felt very alone.

    From nowhere a great tearing came: a fighter-jet, low

    and aggressive, ripped above me and, surprised, I dropped

    on one knee and watched it zoom, bellowing overhead.

    As it passed I saw a shred of something fall, a rag, spinning.

    I shielded my eyes to see, bewildered and pinned watching

    the object, the rag, gather its falling weight, its speed, until

    it flumped down without a bounce, only ten footsteps

    to my right. It was part of a white bird, a gull. No head,

    just a wing and a hunk of body. No leg, or tail, just

    the wing and the torso: purple and bloodied..."

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  • Paul Butters (6/8/2014 5:05:00 AM) Post reply | Read 2 replies

    How is a stanza any different from a paragraph?Ignore the 2 sentence paragraph rule and we are talking about blocks of writing. A verse is but a line of writing in which the writer decides the length (usually by counting syllables) . Surely poetry can be written in verse, prose, " concrete" or any form you choose.

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    • Gulsher John (6/8/2014 11:42:00 AM) Post reply

      Thats great u r an ex fellow of PH.. in a sense PROSE can be 'poetic', for example the work of Plato (english translation) and John Milton's Aeropagetica to some extent qualify this difition... ev ... more

    • Gulsher John (6/8/2014 6:48:00 AM) Post reply | Read 1 reply

      Mr Paul.... before taking you to Mr Jefferson Carter(he will surely respond) just read a stanza (any stanza from a poem) and a paragraph aloud.... ........... (did) you feel any difference?wh ... more

  • Lorraine Margueritte Gasrel Black (6/6/2014 11:02:00 AM) Post reply | Read 1 reply

    If a student new to the art of poetry asks you " how do you tell the difference between prose and poetry?" What would your answer be?What is the first poem in the earliest years of human history written?Is Poetry older than Prose?

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    • Paul Butters (6/8/2014 8:42:00 AM) Post reply | Read 1 reply

      Lorraine - Most sources cite the oldest epic poem as being " The Epic of Gilgamesh" - many years BC - " He who has seen everything, I will make known (?) to the lands. I will teac ... more

  • John Zwerenz (6/6/2014 10:11:00 AM) Post reply | Read 3 replies

    “ON POETRY AND POETICS by John Lars Zwerenz I believe anyone can be a poet if they want to be one. Although I also believe one can not simply compose verse or prose and then go on to live in a common, conventional way that gives no heed to the intangibles of life, to the ethereal and to the mystical aspects of existence. Poets, to be true poets must live as poets, perpetually. That is to say they must sacrifice their own personal wills, inclinations and psyches, and offer them to God, to His muses, and to His providential wisdom, come what may. Often, as in the case of almost every bard whose works have survived through the centuries, to be a true poet entails trusting in the Lord enough to willingly go through ineffable hells and heavens here below, to go through ecstasies and agonies, to go through tortures and raptures, freely- as an oblation, for His sake. Thus the human spirit profits from such an oblation, which is infinitely more important spiritually to humanity than the sum effects of what one has written in books. Edgar Allan Poe wrote profound, beauteous verse because he was a profound and beauteous poet, not the other way around. One first must become a poet in life before one becomes a poet on paper. Such are my beliefs concerning poetry and poets. John”
    — ~ John Lars Zwerenz

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    • Peter Stavropoulos (6/7/2014 8:08:00 AM) Post reply

      " A poet is someone who writes poetry. A good poet is someone who writes good poetry" . Jefferson's comment is, actually, profound.

    • Jefferson Carter (6/6/2014 5:50:00 PM) Post reply | Read 1 reply

      AND Poe is a truly minor poet, a scene chewer who thrashes around in the musty, dusty curtains of Gothic melodrama. PU! !

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  • Gulsher John (6/6/2014 9:52:00 AM) Post reply | Read 3 replies

    What is more important in a POEM?

    (the list can be extended to Sign, Symbol, imagery etc...)

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    • F. J. Thomas (6/11/2014 9:02:00 AM) Post reply | Read 1 reply

      If the only thing that can be said about a work is that " it is perfectly formatted" then it is not poetry. Make me understand your philosophy or feel your pain. Raise my spirits with your h ... more

    • Lamont Palmer (6/6/2014 2:20:00 PM) Post reply | Read 1 reply

      " The importance lies in what the poem is. Its existence as a poem is of first importance, a technical matter, as with all facts, compelling the recognition of a mechanical structure. A poem whic ... more

    • Lorraine Margueritte Gasrel Black (6/6/2014 11:04:00 AM) Post reply

      I would say that the elements required in writing a poem would depend on the style and subject.

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