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Poetics and Poetry Discussion

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  • Freshman - 1,228 Points Professor Plum (9/18/2014 4:23:00 PM) Post reply | Read 3 replies
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    I just looked up Robert Bly and I like him very much. He reminds me of someone who used to be on here called " The Literal Poet" . I think it was Bluebird. She wasn't too bad. Anyway, here's my poem inspired by (and in the style of) Robert Bly:

    The Table

    There’s a piece of food encrusted on the
    side of the kitchen table where Mom
    forgot to wipe with her blue rag. She’s
    behind me now sloshing dish water
    around as I read a book about biology.
    The glob of food is bothering me so
    I tell her about it and she says wipe it
    up yourself, I’m busy doing the dishes.
    The table is five shades lighter than it
    used to be because it’s 25 years old.
    I complain to Dad about this hunk of
    food, but he’s asleep already in his
    chair and he has a lit cigarette about
    to burn his fingers. His nails are yellow.

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    • Freshman - 1,228 Points Professor Plum (9/18/2014 9:05:00 PM) Post reply | Read 2 replies

      @ Jeff, I like Bly, from what I've read (4 poems) . I didn't see much humor in the poems though. VERY serious guy. I think if you use that " plain" style in your poetry you'd better have som ... more

    • Freshman - 1,228 Points Lamont Palmer (9/18/2014 8:50:00 PM) Post reply

      Actually I was trying to amend my comment to JC (not sure if it went through or not) but, yes, Bly was a pretty good early on. But like a lot of poets who let the attention go to their heads, he bec ... more

    • Freshman - 1,228 Points Jefferson Carter (9/18/2014 6:08:00 PM) Post reply

      Well, Prof, I'm not sure this is in the style of Robert Bly, but.... Read his early books, " Silence in the Snowy Fields" and " The Light Around the Body." They're deceptively si ... more

  • Rookie - 592 Points Jefferson Carter (9/18/2014 11:48:00 AM) Post reply | Read 1 reply

    Here is Lamont babbling again about his idol Wiliam Logan: " Logan, here, is not referring to meter and rhyme at all. He's speaking specifically about language. He seems to be saying that, while there's a place for the plain style, there's such a thing as being too plain. And if one is too plain, then one is probably not creating 'powerful, original figures of speech', and thus not creating strong verse. In other words, no, he does not think a poet like Bukowski is equal to a poet like Hecht, in terms of pure language."

    One of the frustrating things about arguing with Lamont is his refusal to directly answer my questions. Here's one: WTF is " pure language" ? Please answer.

    Willie L. exposes his ongoing bias toward meter and rhyme in 2 ways: he always cites as his models the formalists Hecht, Wilbur and Lowell (early Lowell, not the plain-spoken champion of " Life Studies" ;) . He himself writes in form, truly stiff and stale attempts at his kind of " music." Both in theory and practice, Logan IS " referring to meter and rhyme" as the essence of admirable verse. His attack on the plain style derives from his infatuation with formal poetry.

    He (and Lamont) don't see that the plain style fosters powerful figures of speech and vivid imagery. Bukowski sucks not because he uses plain diction but because he can't create strong imagery and figures of speech. If Lamont and Logan read James Wright and Robert Bly and other " deep image" poets, they'd see how the plain style necessitates other poetic devices to heighten the reader's experience of the work. Good contemporary poets know this. Bad ones don't.

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    • Rookie - 592 Points Lamont Palmer (9/18/2014 2:15:00 PM) Post reply | Read 1 reply

      Some day, if Bly is ever critically considered to be a greater poet than Auden or Hecht, I'll buy your argument about the plain style, JC. Till then, I'll continue to say that the closer a poem gets t ... more

  • Rookie - 577 Points Frank Ovid (9/17/2014 1:51:00 PM) Post reply | Read 1 reply

    Here's one of my favorite essays on poetry. It's a guy out of Boston who claims to be a " professor" . Of what, I have no idea.

    Professor Plum (out of Boston) ,08/16/2006:

    " See, when you got words, you got letters put together in a specific order. Sometimes these words are big, and sometimes these words are little, but the letters always stay the same size. Why?You may ask?Have no f*cking clue. That's just the way it's always been.
    Now, sometimes the words rhyme, and sometimes they don't. Doesn't matter which way you do it, just pick the right word and you'll be okay. Try and use colorful words like 'purple' or 'flower' and this will make your poem better. DO NOT talk about how you feel, like maybe you're depressed or something. DO NOT do that or people will hate you and so will I. And, if you speak a different language than most of your potential readers, DO NOT attempt to write poetry at all. Just forget it. Play a piano or something. The test to show if you should write poetry or not is: if you leave out crucial words when you write, or use words that don't make sense, DON'T attempt poetry. Now, someone go buy me a beer."

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  • Rookie - 788 Points Dan Reynolds (9/17/2014 7:51:00 AM) Post reply | Read 2 replies

    OK Lamonty, this is long so I'll post as a reply.:

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    • Rookie - 788 Points Jim Hogg (9/18/2014 8:42:00 AM) Post reply

      Hadn't read this one Danny.. I never leave a CJ essay without having the doors of my mind thrown a little further open... Thanks for that..

    • Rookie - 788 Points Dan Reynolds (9/17/2014 7:51:00 AM) Post reply

      Interior Music Interior Music The poetry of the plainspoken. by Clive James An unusually successful example of that most easily mangled of verse genres, the philosophical disquisition made fully po ... more

  • Rookie - 774 Points Lamont Palmer (9/16/2014 11:53:00 PM) Post reply | Read 2 replies

    A quote from one of my favorite critics and thinkers on poetry. Post your own favorite quotes. Its fun. -LP

    'Surely we read poetry because it gives us a sense of the depths of language, meaning nudging meaning, then darting away, down to the unfathomed and muddy bottom. Critics, generations of critics, have devoted themselves to revealing how those words work, to showing that each sense depends on other senses. Not every poem has to be as devious and shimmering as Shakespeare (there is room for plain speaking, too) : but the best poetry depends on the subtlety and suggestiveness of its language. If we demand that poetry be so plain that plain readers can drink it the whole plain day, we will have lost whatever makes poetry poetry. (This plainest of plain poetry often goes, “Once upon a time, blah, blah, blah... ha! ha! ha! ”) It’s curious that complex or difficult poets of the previous generation, Robert Lowell and Anthony Hecht and Richard Wilbur, are still praised for the elegance and intransigence of their words, while young poets are told, in not so many words, that subtlety is old fashioned.' - William Logan

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    • Rookie - 774 Points Lamont Palmer (9/17/2014 8:41:00 AM) Post reply | Read 2 replies

      Logan, here, is not referring to meter and rhyme at all. He's speaking specifically about language. He seems to be saying that, while there's a place for the plain style, there's such a thing as being ... more

    • Rookie - 774 Points Jefferson Carter (9/17/2014 12:37:00 AM) Post reply

      What a shallow ass! What makes poetry poetry? Or more precisely, what makes good verse? Willie L. would probably say rhyme and meter, since he's so stuck on Wilbur and Hecht. He admits " There ... more

  • Bronze Star - 6,008 Points Frank Avon (9/16/2014 6:37:00 PM) Post reply

    We are asked to post our favorite poems and our favorite poets on PoemHunter. What I would like to see are some of your favorite anthologies. I'll begin with just four of mine:

    Brinnin, John Malcolm and others, eds. The modern poets an American-British anthology

    Collins, Billy Poetry 180: a turning back to poetry

    Janeczko, Paul B. Strings: a gathering of family poems

    Miller, E. Ethelbert In search of color everywhere: a collection of African-American poetry

  • Rookie - 261 Points ... Dog God 8hate (9/16/2014 9:17:00 AM) Post reply

    . . . . Your Party

    yes ... (please observe!) ...

    i wish i could attend ...
    alas! a strenuous distance
    forbids, a disabling factor
    for a ... disabled shoe?
    i wear boots! But contingent on
    where worn ...
    this execrated traveler, an
    impeded chattel ...
    so subject ... so imposed
    of they so imperious ...
    they so masked in their
    invisible, non approachable
    lair... they, those stealthy,
    deceitful, but guileless ...



  • Veteran Poet - 2,555 Points Abekah Emmanuel (9/15/2014 1:43:00 PM) Post reply

    Let me express my sincerest gratitude to all senior hunters who have been reading my poems with much attention. Thank you all.

  • Gold Star - 12,355 Points Mohammad Skati (9/15/2014 12:36:00 PM) Post reply

    I would like the other members to share discussing a certain topic in poetry like love, peace, ..., in detail about a certain poet or poets. Thanks.

  • Rookie - 0 Points Nicole Binder (9/14/2014 8:59:00 PM) Post reply | Read 1 reply

    Hello! I am in search of Maya Angelou reciting her poem " I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" ?I heard a snippet of it on the news but have no found the full version of here actually reciting it. Thanks for your help!

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    • Rookie - 0 Points John Westlake (9/17/2014 6:59:00 PM) Post reply

      http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/i-know-why-the-caged-bird-sings. If you can clear the stupid advert then you can hear the whole poem. Am not sure if it is her reciting it or someone else, but it is a ... more

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