Poetics and Poetry Discussion

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  • Max Reif (9/17/2005 1:57:00 PM) Post reply

    Just posted a long poem entitled, 'IN SEARCH OF MY FATHER AND MYSELF'. A little prosy for some, maybe, but it has a lot of meat in it!

  • Michael Shepherd (9/17/2005 8:29:00 AM) Post reply

    I was this very minute going to post to you, Sherrie, and all, what a magnificent work and a scrupulously loving translation this is, from 1996..for Europeans at least, he is the poet's poet, and every line is for me like a self-dedication...

  • Nathaniel Jarvis (9/17/2005 12:25:00 AM) Post reply | Read 2 replies

    Dear Herbert:

    I have been called in to set something straight. Apparently you are having a fun time bashing some poetry on this site that you think to be atrocious and even more atrociously translated into your native language.

    Before you know the backround of a thing you should be very hesitant about what you say, and particularly what you propose to advertise about it. It is one thing to speak directly to the persons involved and it is another thing to inspire a mob scene.

    I will give you some background to provide you some lost perspective. The poems you are criticizing belong to a collection that were inspired by beautiful valley in the Black Forest, and though written in English, were very tightly linked to the language and culture of that area. To make the poetry more accessible to the people where we live, Marcy decided to have them translated and called in a native German speaker (professional translator) , and myself with many years experience of academic and practical study of the language.

    If you find a problem with any of the poems and their translations it would be much more constructive for you to make a suggestion or a 'better' translation if you are able, rather than low level commentary. Any attempt at multi-cultural cross-over should be praised and encouraged.

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    • Marcy Jarvis (9/19/2005 12:12:00 AM) Post reply

      I'm extremely grateful to you, Nat, and to my friend Dorothee, for translating the Poems of the Zinsbachtal. They have more meaning to me when I can read the two languages side by side and working tog ... more

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  • Jerry Hughes (9/16/2005 7:27:00 PM) Post reply

    Spot on Sherrie, Poetry is a beautifully written poem.

  • Herbert Nehrlich1 (9/16/2005 5:15:00 PM) Post reply | Read 2 replies

    On the topic of language. How do you convince a person who writes poems in her native tongue and adds a translation into a language she has not at all mastered?
    It hurts my ears and gives me a toothache to have my native tongue so 'mutilated'.
    I have lived in the English speaking world for some time yet find that on many occasions I am at a loss of how to properly express a thought.So I know about the problem.
    Apparently she either does not or wants to give the impression to those who are not familiar with both languages that she is soooooo brilliant.
    This is not meant as an ad hominem barb by the way.
    Any ideas?

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  • Max Reif (9/16/2005 3:29:00 PM) Post reply | Read 2 replies

    Hunters & gatherers,

    I received an e-mail searching for the complete text of this old rhyme:

    My father use to recite a poem, but I only know a few lines....'The countries are few that i haven't been through...I sailed every sea on the map. I journeyed to Rome, called Cairo my home.'

    Anyone know? Any of you Brits, maybe?

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    • Michael Shepherd (9/16/2005 3:59:00 PM) Post reply

      or.. is it an old music-hall song, like My Old Dutch? Then it would be the verse before the chorus '..but there isn't a lye-dee (lady) in the whole wide world..' (voice quavers...)

    • Michael Shepherd (9/16/2005 3:39:00 PM) Post reply | Read 1 reply

      Sorry. Max... it could be one of those poems that simply sing the praises of the old home at Little Shrinkingham... or it could be the first verse of one of those Rudyard Kipling poems that expand int ... more

  • Michael Shepherd (9/16/2005 5:55:00 AM) Post reply | Read 3 replies

    I'd propose that there's a curious affinity between the careful, respectful use of words and that of money. Then charity takes its rightful place in both currencies.

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    • Michael Shepherd (9/16/2005 1:34:00 PM) Post reply

      I meant charity as in love-and-charity rather than 'organised' charities. One of the privileges of being retired on our miniscule state pension here (taxable of course...) is that one can instead give ... more

    • Poetry Hound (9/16/2005 9:43:00 AM) Post reply | Read 2 replies

      Charities are like any other kind of institution. Some are good and some are bad. Dismissing all, or even most of them, as being corrupt is ignorant.

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  • Laura Cummings (9/16/2005 4:35:00 AM) Post reply | Read 1 reply

    New artist on the block people. Gaia Moore, kinda raw in a teenage way me thinks: P

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    • Poetry Hound (9/16/2005 5:43:00 AM) Post reply

      Seems like pretty standard cliche stuff - 'tied up in knots.' What do you find original about her?

  • Poetry Snob (aka Jefferson Carter) (9/15/2005 7:37:00 PM) Post reply | Read 1 reply

    Michael, I've logged on as Snob, pointlessly. To answer your question about my students attitude toward rhyme, it's the usual. Since they haven't read any contemporary poetry, they think Poe is the cat's pjs and Longfellow is a great poet. Once I've exposed them to such good poets as Kate Daniels, Marvin Bell, Gary Snyder, Marie Howe, etc., on their own they'll decide there's a lot more to poetry than rhyme. My mantra: rhyme's easy to do badly and hard to do well. JC

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    • Michael Shepherd (9/16/2005 5:48:00 AM) Post reply

      If they like Longfellow, have they read Lewis Carroll on Hiawatha's photography, in seven instalments? It's a riot and on this site...

  • Michael Shepherd (9/15/2005 11:22:00 AM) Post reply | Read 1 reply

    Invent a new language anyone can understand.

    Climb the Statue of Liberty.

    Reach for the unattainable.

    Kiss the mirror and write what you see and hear.

    Dance with wolves and count the stars, including the unseen.

    Be na•ve, innocent, uncynical, as if you had just landed on Earth (as indeed you have, as indeed wwe all have) , astonished by what you have fallen upon.

    Write living newspapers. Be a reporter from outerspace, filing dispatches to some supreme managing editor who believes in full disclosure and has a low tolerance for hot air.

    Read between the lines of human discourse.

    Avoid the provincial, go for the universal.

    Think subjectively, write objectively.

    Don’t bow down to critics who have not themselves written great masterpieces.

    Remember everything, forget nothing.

    Work on a frontier, if you can find one.

    Go to sea, or work near water, and paddle your own boat.

    Associate with thinking poets. They’re hard to find.

    Don’t be so open-minded that your brains fall out.

    Be a poet, not a huckster. Don’t cater, don’t pander, especially not to possible audiences, readers, editors or publishers.

    Come out of your closet. It’s dark in there.

    Be committed to something outside yourself. Be militant about it. Or ecstatic.

    To be a poet at 16 is to be 16, to be a poet at 40 is to be a poet. Be both.

    Thanks, Marcy...

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    • sheila knowles (9/15/2005 2:12:00 PM) Post reply

      and mine is definitely the second last one...passion for something. Where the hell is it gone? ?

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