Poetics and Poetry Discussion

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  • Poetry Snob (aka Jefferson Carter) (10/17/2005 3:19:00 PM) Post reply | Read 1 reply

    I've finally gotten around to reading Daniel's poetry. I'm amazed that a fifteen-year-old can write with such sustained sophistication. His work is impressive. An insane thought just popped into my head, the dreaded p-word: is he a pseudonym? Daniel, who are you really? My question is a compliment, because your work is far beyond any 15-year-old's I've ever encountered, but I'm sensing someone messing with my so-called mind. Maybe I need to double the meds. JC

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  • Rev. Dr. A. Jacob Hassler (10/17/2005 7:37:00 AM) Post reply | Read 2 replies

    i hope i didn't completely miss the boat with this, but i got started into poetry at an early age, mostly writing 'songs'. these so-called songs were horribly cliched, nothing more than a mimic to what i heard on the radio. i didn't start to blossom as a poet until high school, where thru some strange inspiration, i became an ersatz rap artist, composing my own rhymes and beats and passing out mix tapes and such. the rap stuff was total machismo tripe and grand bravado, much like it is today. i would hardly say any of it was notable. (except my poem 'Self Defense', which was actually a song on my last album in 1994.)

    poetry became the run-off from the rap lyrics i was writing. after i discovered the Beat poets, it was all over. a few of my poems were published in a few school publications and local newspapers. my Spanish teacher confiscated one of my poems in class once, and became so impressed with it, she submitted it on my behalf to a local magazine. her encouragement really gave me the confidence to pursue my interest in poetry.

    i graduated high school and retired my microphone, but i've never stopped writing, sharpening my skillz and honing my craft.

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    • Rev. Dr. A. Jacob Hassler (10/17/2005 9:15:00 AM) Post reply

      Max, i hadn't posted the confiscated poem yet; it's in one of my dusty notebooks. i'll see if i can't dig it up, dust it off and put it up here. i'l be sure to let you know when i do! Sherrie, i ... more

    • Max Reif (10/17/2005 7:56:00 AM) Post reply

      wow, good story, Jacob! That's pretty cool about your teacher sending in the confiscated poem. You got that one on this site?

  • Poetry Hound (10/16/2005 7:59:00 PM) Post reply

    For fans of W.S. Merwin, he has a new book out, not poetry but his memoirs. It's called 'Summer Doorways' and received a good notice in the New York Times Book Review today.

  • Max Reif (10/16/2005 6:33:00 PM) Post reply | Read 4 replies

    Is there anything else for a poet to work with, or work from,
    besides intellect and emotion?

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    • Ernestine Northover (10/17/2005 1:11:00 PM) Post reply

      How about a sense of humour! Sincerely Ernestine.

    • Michael Shepherd (10/17/2005 6:40:00 AM) Post reply

      Observation of those wonderful and weird fellow human beings who are myself in heavy disguise... I'd say that the use of the senses, meeting that inner self we call intuition, is absolutely the essent ... more

    • Marcy Jarvis (10/17/2005 3:19:00 AM) Post reply | Read 2 replies

      Oh, and I would say I work from intuition.

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  • Rookie - 0 Points Max Reif (10/16/2005 4:51:00 PM) Post reply | Read 8 replies

    Here's some meat to chew on, maybe, rather than fight over:
    how'd you become poets? Some people tell that story on their bio, others don't have one.
    (I'll reply to this and answer for myself)

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    • Michael Shepherd (10/17/2005 6:02:00 AM) Post reply | Read 1 reply

      I've loved reading all hyour entries and wished they were longer..they seemto add up to something even greater. I'm a latecomer to poetry. My zero self-esteem in a difficult family put writing poetry ... more

    • Marcy Jarvis (10/17/2005 2:25:00 AM) Post reply

      I grew up as a letter writer but I think my first conscious poem was for my 4-H leader's birthday when I was 10. And I bought a little book of classic love poetry that year that I think Hallmark produ ... more

    • Lori Boulard (10/16/2005 9:26:00 PM) Post reply

      btw, I am fascinated by the variety of responses. I hope we hear from more 'hunters'.

    • Lori Boulard (10/16/2005 9:25:00 PM) Post reply

      It's Shakespeare's fault...and my sevent ... more

    • Mary Nagy (10/16/2005 7:37:00 PM) Post reply | Read 2 replies

      I started writing as a way of survival. ... more

    • Herbert Nehrlich1 (10/16/2005 5:26:00 PM) Post reply

      I overheard my paternal grandfather ask ... more

    • Max Reif (10/16/2005 5:04:00 PM) Post reply

      I thought of myself as 'a writer' for so ... more

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  • Rookie - 0 Points Max Reif (10/16/2005 12:12:00 PM) Post reply | Read 1 reply

    'I went to a boxing match and a hockey game broke out.'-Rodney Dangerfield
    Van Dyck, didn't he also invent the beard?
    But seriously, folks...
    (continued next post. I've jested myself into a corner here.)

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    • Michael Shepherd (10/16/2005 2:57:00 PM) Post reply | Read 1 reply

      No it was the other way around - I went to a poetry site and a boxing match broke out... Van Dyke invented Hollywood Cockney, and Vandyke Brown that you used at art school, called that for unmentiona ... more

  • Rookie - 0 Points Ikazoboh Austine Jeffrey (10/16/2005 10:10:00 AM) Post reply | Read 2 replies

    If there were no figures of speech, iwoudnt have been writing poetry.What do you think?

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    • Max Reif (10/16/2005 12:32:00 PM) Post reply

      go figure! (that's my 2-word Poet's Manifesto)

    • Michael Shepherd (10/16/2005 11:29:00 AM) Post reply

      I'd say, perceptive, and correct - but try to define a 'figure of speech / trope / schema', and you're into pages of the encyclopaedia of poetics, and take your machete...

  • Rookie - 0 Points John Kay (10/16/2005 8:38:00 AM) Post reply | Read 1 reply


    I wouldn't expect that you would agree with me. You just seem rather angry and out for a fight. You want to defend the scratches and the right for shoddy workmanship. Is that what you're saying. What exactly are you fighting for. What is your point?

    On the personal side, thank God for people like you. The next time I get in a fist fight behind a bar, I hope we're on the same side.


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    • Herbert Nehrlich1 (10/16/2005 4:57:00 PM) Post reply

      John, it is rather amusing that you say I am angry and looking for a fight. I am not. Not agreeing with you doesn't agree with you, so you need to attack the messenger? I am well aware of the diff ... more

  • Rookie - 0 Points John Kay (10/16/2005 7:18:00 AM) Post reply | Read 2 replies

    Herbert: I like the website myself, or I wouldn't spend so much time here, and I know that there are many dabblers, but there are also many poets who take this seriously-as I expect you do. You're not a dabbler are you? The question of responsibility and standards can be better seen by looking at another medium-photography. If you looked at a photograph with scratches all over the surface, would you immediately jump up and say they were unacceptable, no how good the photograph was? We all would-even if we aren't photographers. It's simple. The minimum standard for a photograph is 'no scratches.' The same applies to poetry. No cliches. And the Van Dyke poem is nothing but cliches, line by line. It was hard for me to read, frankly. Herbert, are you agruing for cliches? For scratchs. Is the photograph beautiful if someone is blind to the scratches? I have been trained to see the scratches and go into the darkroom with other photographers and help them produce negatives and prints that don't have scratches, that don't have cliches. That's what we learned in school; but even more dramatically, during my time writing poems and working with thousands of my own students, I have learned this lesson over and over again from Frost, Stevens, Whitman, Neruda, etc., that there are standards, and that their poems are the expression of those standards. After you read Van Dyke, do yourself a service, go read a Frost poem. I am not here devoting my time to putting people down with 'harsh criticism' as you call it, Herbert, and why you would want to characterize me as childish, even though you are my senior, I believe, I don't know. None of us are great poets here. At best we are average, but I am working every day to become a 'good' poet, to write a poem that will offer you a new experience, not just another poem that you will have to swallow like a spoonful of mushy peas. If, when I die, they will say, 'He was a good poet, and he tried to share is experiences along the path with other poets, ' then I will be satisfied. I am a firm believer that the better we get at something the more we will experience the joy associated with the process or activity. Even the 'dabblers, ' who would probably be offened to be classified as such by you, might enjoy their writing experience more if they have standards. In an 'anything goes, ' 'everything is in they eye of the beholder, ' atmosphere, there is little motivation for improvement. Herbert, there is no art form that does not have minimum standards. That's simply not the way it is. I challenge you to look through my postings for any 'harsh criticism.' I am a teacher, and I only offer suggestions for improvement or praise; and having said that, I know that you all have something to teach me that you have learned along your poetic paths.

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    • Herbert Nehrlich1 (10/16/2005 7:48:00 AM) Post reply

      Thanks John, for taking the time to answer at length. However, I do not agree with you on most points. I am a dabbler. I dabble in skydiving, marathon running, off-road racing and poetry etc etc. I ... more

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  • Rookie - 74 Points Ernestine Northover (10/16/2005 5:29:00 AM) Post reply

    I do not count myself as a 'high calibre' writer of poems, I write because I enjoy composing, although, I am sure, it is not in the 'elitist band' I try to give people pleasure in reading poetry, albeit on the simple level. Reading the comments on poetry, I feel that whatever form a poem takes, it, I believe has to make sense to the reader, be a pleasure to read, either in an emotional way or in a humourous way. Some people may think a poem cleverly written, others think against this. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so to speak. I tend to keep mine simple, but with a story or fun theme which possibly lifts the heart. Whether rhyming or non-rhyming as long as it's understandable, we should enjoy writing them and not get too belligerant about it. Lets all be writers writing what we feel in our own way. OK, of course we are all striving to write 'the best poem ever' but, when the joy of writing goes then it becomes a stressful thing and you no longer achieve anything. There will always be someone on your wavelength. If people don't connect with my poems, thats alright with me. I'm not saying people can't discuss and comment, I have been given some very constructive comments, and have rsponded to them, and they have raised my poems to read much better, but I am not into pulling other peoples work to pieces. We all have different ways of writing and all I can say is that you are all really great, and deserve praise on all your individual styles. Variety is the spice of life, it would be a very dull world otherwise. Sincerely Ernestine Northover

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