Poetics and Poetry Discussion
(7/17/2005 8:34:00 AM)
Has anyone read Michael Symmons Roberts collection 'Corpus' (Cape,2004) ? If so, could you be kind enough to let me know what you thought of it. I am having some problems. Thank you.
(7/17/2005 4:01:00 AM)
Some authors I read 'recently' and their relevance to my poetry...Ron Price, Tasmania.
AMOR FATI: IN PART
I often think that my poetry is not just a reflection of the world around me, but that it constitutes that world.* Put another way, my mind forms and reforms the world around me. This forming of my world is my way of trying to find and constitute its meaning. Language becomes, in this process, a medium through which I exist, the core of my tradition, my access tool to meaning by inspecting events, arranging patterns. It also becomes the critical means by which I narrow the gap between knowledge and action. With Max Weber, I see the ‘meaning relation between words’ as ‘the outcome of genuinely creative activities of individuals in changing historical circumstances.’2 Meaning emerges from these relations. With Rene Descartes, too, my meaning, my unity, is ‘my process of shaping this welter of material into a consistent pattern of feelings.3 -Ron Price with thanks to *Rollo May, The Courage to Create, W.W. Norton and Co., NY,1975, p.139; Max Weber in The Weberian Project and R. Descartes in Rollo May, op.cit., p.140.
In this little blink,
this twinkling of an eye,
it’s hard to know
what we really think,
what real power, you or I.
Will is that active force1
that forges all our choices,
by which we invent ourselves,
define our poetic selves
and find our special voices.
Sometimes one senses:
‘this is right’;
‘this was meant-to-be’,
as if part of one great
force: I can say for this
part ‘I love my fate’-
4 January 1999
1 ‘Abdu’l-Baha, Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Baha, USA,1978, p.198.
2 Nietzsche’s famous phrase ‘love of one’s fate’.
allan james saywell
(7/16/2005 5:31:00 PM)
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people who have thirty poems seem to hate the people with 600 poems do any of you and there are not many, who know how hard it is to write 1000 poems and remain original let me know your thoughts on thisReplies for this message:
(7/23/2005 11:13:00 AM)
Nigel As a person who has written 6000 poems I don't think the question or the issue of hating those who write more even comes into it. Emerson used to worry about losing his creative faculty. Twen ... more
(7/17/2005 2:58:00 AM)
I don't follow your logic here. Where are all your poems? I am getiing to the point I am writing a poem and find that I have written it already 6 months ago...... How Nikhil keeps track is beyond m ... more
- Ron Price (7/23/2005 11:13:00 AM) Post reply
(7/16/2005 5:19:00 PM)
On (I guess you could call it) Compassionate Critism:
I'm having a correspondence with a poet (half way 'round the world from me, which I feel is cool!) about a poem she wrote. I appreciated the poem, except for lines in several places. Reading them I 'went blank'. I asked her what she was trying to say. She replied with clear paraphrases. Then I replied in an attempt to show the poet that she wasn't saying what she said she was trying to say. It wasn't just a case of 'poetic ambiguity', but of the poet not communicating clearly.
I don't know whether the poet will 'see' what I said. Often our egos prevent us from taking in truly constructive criticism. I said what I had to say as kindly as possible, giving the poet the choice whether to read on to an appendix-my specific suggestions for bringing lines into congruence with her intention.
A paragraph or so of my letter might be relevant in this discussion:
'Now I understand what you are trying to say. I think some very small imprecisions in the language used, made the lines so ambiguous for me I couldn't follow them.'
'I'll try to explain below. Please know I'm NOT a grammarian, and I don't see myself as a 'poetry snob' like some people on this site (one fellow uses 'POETRY SNOB' as his name here!) But the grammar of a sentence HAS to flow clearly if the poet wants the reader to get what the poet wishes to say. And the poet surely does, or why go to the trouble to write and post the poem? '
'Ambiguity has its place in poetry, but it has to be CONSCIOUS ambiguity that the poet intends for artistic purposes.'
(7/16/2005 4:43:00 PM)
Good point, Max. Post a new one like this, I say, if it takes the discussion on. Then it stays in sequence. If it's just a hissy fit and mutual wrist-slapping, keep it to those smaller-font replies, or don't bother at all!
(7/16/2005 4:35:00 PM)
QUESTION (point of information) : Do most people READ the 'replies' to posts. Or, in order to fully take part in the discussion, does one have to format a post as a new message?
(7/16/2005 3:21:00 PM)
Opinions are free as sunshine, but they don't count in literary criticism unless they can be backed up with reasons. Again, why do you like (or hate) the poem? What use has the poet made of the craft of writing poetry? If the poem has metre and rhyme, does the poem scan well? Does the rhyme get in the way with meaning? If free verse, how close is it to prose? Ah, there's the rub! ! ! Is the language mundane or creative? Are the metaphors tired and worn or fresh and unique? Is the theme used in a creative way? I have had poems published that were not my best. They seemed to fit what an editor wanted. (Makes me happy anyway) But any one of us who wants to improve should be willing to listen to true criticisms and by that, I mean people who give a 'because' to the reasons they like or dislike a poem. I have found people who aren't interested in what I have to say, and that is fine. There are many who really want help and I take time with those who have a good start on being a poet. This is an exciting place, in that there are poets in all stages of development and then there are some very accomplished poets.
(7/16/2005 2:11:00 PM)
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Many, many years ago, children, I was told 'There is only one question a critic should attempt to answer: 'Does this achieve what it set out to do? ' '
That's quite a demanding and broad-minded exercise.
(7/16/2005 8:41:00 AM)
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The discussion here seems completely polarized, like that on other listservs I've been on. People choose up sides, commiserate with their allies in deriding the other side, etc.
I can see that you have a point, Lamont et al. I'm going to try to read more established poets. Not that I haven't read any, but I'm going to make more of an effort.
Can you see ANY merit at all in trying to see the good in what someone's written, even if it's one line, even if it's an uncut jewel? And that there's lots of good?
I'm certainly not saying everything's good, though there may be some good that comes of the writing/posting of everything, for someone.
What's the purpose of this discussion? That might be a question to contemplate.
(7/16/2005 6:58:00 AM)
It looks like the least capable poets scream the loudest.