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Poetics and Poetry Discussion

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  • Rookie Raynette Eitel (7/16/2005 3:21:00 PM) Post reply
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    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.

  • Rookie Michael Shepherd (7/16/2005 2:11:00 PM) Post reply | Read 1 reply

    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.

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    • Rookie Max Reif (7/16/2005 2:30:00 PM) Post reply | Read 1 reply

      Very good question to bring up! 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 ... more

  • Rookie - 7 Points Max Reif (7/16/2005 8:41:00 AM) Post reply | Read 1 reply

    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.

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    • Rookie - 7 Points Poetry Hound (7/16/2005 10:46:00 AM) Post reply

      Useful question, Max. I don't mind the polarization, but it would be nice if we could carry on without folks lobbing insults. Regards.

  • Rookie Herbert Nehrlich1 (7/16/2005 6:58:00 AM) Post reply

    It looks like the least capable poets scream the loudest.

  • Rookie - 7 Points Max Reif (7/15/2005 11:19:00 PM) Post reply | Read 1 reply

    (note: I have found the courage to re-post this 'reply' where it will really be seen!)

    I would add the caveat that I don't apply the same standards to every poet. I mean, I can be awed by something and feel every word is perfectly chosen and placed to create an almost miraculous effect, but I don't hold every person who picks up a pen to that kind of standard. If a young or beginning poet expresses something that moves me, I can appreciate it without insisting it be as perfectly crafted as Yeats. I have more grades than 'A' and 'F'.

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    • Rookie - 7 Points Herbert Nehrlich1 (7/16/2005 12:59:00 AM) Post reply

      Max, my previous (somewhat covert) comment has followed you in the open, see below: Max, you have your brain substance in perfect order and all the glial cells appear very efficient. As to judg ... more

  • Rookie - 150 Points Poetry Hound (7/15/2005 10:32:00 PM) Post reply

    It's hard to discuss these things on a theoretical level for very long. No one thinks that the poetry they like is mediocre, and I assume those who like Tiffany Etter's poems do not consider them mediocre. So Robert '$$$' Rorabeck or some other Tiffany fan, please point us to one of your favorite Tiffany poems and we'll have a look and see if folks find it mediocre.

  • Rookie Robert Rorabeck (7/15/2005 1:57:00 AM) Post reply | Read 4 replies

    I have new poems to put on but I keep getting a 'server error' when I try- yet I can comment on other poets' poetry. Can anyone give me a suggestion on what I might try doing to fix this? (And I don't want to hear the suggestion of not submitting, Poetry Hound, or any other rightwinger paladin conquistador hunchback crusaders) . Cheers, Rob.

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    • Rookie Michael Shepherd (7/15/2005 2:38:00 PM) Post reply

      Hey $$$ $$$ (may I call you $$$?) - people who want to read you can 't call you up on the check list of poets... just thought you ought to know. Maybe connected with your problem?

    • Rookie Michael Shepherd (7/15/2005 4:18:00 AM) Post reply

      It's been happening quite a bit recently - and not only on this site. Generally, a second attempt works fine. Good luck!

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  • Rookie Robert Rorabeck (7/15/2005 1:56:00 AM) Post reply | Read 1 reply

    The only person I read anymore on Poetry Hunter is Tiffany Etter- is that wrong? (It feels so right.)

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    • Rookie Poetry Hound (7/15/2005 11:33:00 AM) Post reply

      Lamont, how open-minded of you! I can just see you squirming as you wrote that, just dying to proclaim which poets are lousy and which are great. I'm not sure I like this new, non-absolutist Lamont. N ... more

  • Rookie Poetry Snob (aka Jefferson Carter) (7/15/2005 12:44:00 AM) Post reply | Read 2 replies

    The best kind of snob holds himself to the same standards as he does others. I thought the two poems I posted ('Market Forces' especially) were good but Michael, Lamont & Poetry Hound thought otherwise. I guess Ill have to reconsider my opinion. An admirable poetry snob asks himself, 'if this werent my poem, would I still like it? ' Im going to post two more poems, after asking myself this question about them and answering yes. P-Snob

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    • Rookie Michael Shepherd (7/15/2005 10:29:00 AM) Post reply

      Good thinking, PS. I do this all the time - but if I still stand by it, i post it just the same, and to hell with the critics. I usually know what's sub-standard about it anyway. But your 'Market ... more

    • Rookie Herbert Nehrlich1 (7/15/2005 3:16:00 AM) Post reply | Read 1 reply

      For once I must agree with your reasoning.And if you after re-reading them over a large can of Coors or a glass of Valpolicella, still think they are good then they are. H

  • Rookie Allan James Saywell (7/14/2005 5:22:00 PM) Post reply

    my blood buzzes like a hornets nest, i hope i dont spend all my life searching for a line of poetry, just like that

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