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Poetics and Poetry Discussion


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  • Gulsher John Rookie - 1st Stage (5/27/2014 12:58:00 PM) Post reply

    Question 2:

    INTERVIEWER:

    When you say that sometimes you think your poetry is weird, what do you mean exactly?

    ASHBERY:

    Every once in a while I will pick up a page and it has something, but what is it?It seems so unlike what poetry “as we know it” is. But at other moments I feel very much at home with it. It's a question of a sudden feeling of unsureness at what I am doing, wondering why I am writing the way I am, and also not feeling the urge to write in another way.

  • Gulsher John Rookie - 1st Stage (5/27/2014 10:19:00 AM) Post reply | Read 1 reply

    An interview with John Ashbery (must read)

    INTERVIEWER:

    You said that reading modern poetry enabled you to see the vitality present in older poetry.
    In your mind, is there a close connection between life and poetry?

    ASHBERY

    In my case I would say there is a very close but oblique connection.
    I have always been averse to talking about myself, and so I don't write about my life the way the confessional poets do.
    I don't want to bore people with experiences of mine that are simply versions of what everybody goes through.
    For me, POETRY starts after that point. I write with experiences in mind, but I don't write about them, I write out of them.
    I know that I have exactly the opposite reputation, that I am totally self-involved, but that's not the way I see it.

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  • Lamont Palmer Rookie - 1st Stage (5/26/2014 7:40:00 PM) Post reply | Read 8 replies

    I reread Gwynn's poem again. Surprisingly he added some flab instead of cutting it, like the formalist he claims he is. So I fiddled with it too for fun. I stuck with many of JC's words, but cut (the word 'old' is such a boring adjective) and added where I thought the music could be enhanced. -LP



    Sombrero


    You bitched about my kisses: 'too perfunctory',
    You said, like toy birds dipping their beaks
    Into glasses of water.

    You're coming to visit. But who wants to hear
    Etta sing, 'The Jealous kind, jazzing up wasted tales
    We'll tell; a party thrown in regret.

    I compared a lover's nipples to small sombreros.
    You looked at me with languid pity;
    I felt myself shrivel and disappear.

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    • Alexander Rizzo Rookie - 1st Stage (5/29/2014 8:28:00 PM) Post reply

      i would say palmer's poem is an 'improvement', but did it really need it?carter's style is his. why 'sonnetize' a poem if if the tone and language and heart of the poem is open form?if he had left out ... more

    • Jefferson Carter Rookie - 1st Stage (5/27/2014 4:33:00 PM) Post reply | Read 1 reply

      The original: SOMBRERO You bitched about my kisses, too perfunctory, like one of those toy birds dipping its beak into a glass of water. You’re coming to visit me & my wife. Who wan ... more

    • Lamont Palmer Rookie - 1st Stage (5/27/2014 3:31:00 PM) Post reply | Read 1 reply

      The original poem has mysteriously vanished, but from what I can remember you had a line that went: 'once I compared an old lover's nipples to tiny sombreros' I cut that down to, 'I compare ... more

    • Lamont Palmer Rookie - 1st Stage (5/27/2014 2:30:00 PM) Post reply

      If you think my version is such a 'disas ... more

    • Mike Acker Rookie - 1st Stage (5/27/2014 2:12:00 PM) Post reply

      Ovid, who I think is Scotty Dogg(who is ... more

    • Lamont Palmer Rookie - 1st Stage (5/26/2014 11:08:00 PM) Post reply

      I'm rarely so bold, but I believe my ver ... more

    • Frank Ovid Rookie - 1st Stage (5/26/2014 9:20:00 PM) Post reply | Read 1 reply

      I'm wondering why she looked at him that ... more


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  • Tee Daniel Rookie - 1st Stage (5/26/2014 5:40:00 AM) Post reply

    A word of advice: Don't choose the one who is beautiful to the world, choose the one who will make your world beautiful.

    When things aren't adding up in your life, start subtracting.

  • Mike Acker Rookie - 1st Stage (5/25/2014 8:29:00 PM) Post reply | Read 1 reply

    The Savoury Deal as reply...

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    • Mike Acker Rookie - 1st Stage (5/25/2014 8:30:00 PM) Post reply

      The Savoury Deal Contact the broker of special deals and ask her to procure a savory one for me. See if there may be an advantage were I to acquire two, instead of one. Make sure she knows all ... more

  • Gulsher John Rookie - 1st Stage (5/24/2014 6:09:00 AM) Post reply | Read 1 reply

    Quick Guide to Prosody

    Think of the major technical components of poetry as roughly equivalent to the way music is represented on the page, turning
    something you hear into something you can see.

    I. RHYME involves matching sounds of words. As melody is to music, so is RHYME to poetry. The sounds of vowels are
    what create most rhymes. Because you can hear the words that match they have sounds that are (somewhat) analagous to
    different notes (do, re, mi etc.) .
    To scan a poem for ryhme, you assign a single alphabetical letter, starting with a to the sound of the last word in the line.
    Whatever the first sound or end rhyme is, mark it " A." If the next word has the same vowel sound (tree, sea or tree, see) , mark
    the next line " A." IF the next line has a different vowel sound, mark it " B." Lines with the same end vowel sound, the same
    rhyme, get the same letter.

    Example: The first four lines of Byron's " She Walks in Beauty" :

    She walks in beauty like the night a
    Of cloudless climes and starry skies b
    And all that's best of dark and bright a
    Meet in her aspect and her eyes. b

    In this case a and b are both exact rhymes. Any pattern of lines that alternate in this way form an example of alternate rhyme.
    When any line rhymes with the very next line, that is called a couplet. If three lines in a row rhyme, that's a triplet.

    II. METER
    If rhyme is like melody, meter is the aspect of time, involving rhythm and accents of poetry. Whereas musicians represent time
    and beat with a time signature, like 4/4,3/4, or 6/8, readers of poetry record the beat of poetic words by dividing them into
    kinds of FEET based on lengths of syllables, and locations of spoken accents.

    Here are the major kinds of POETIC FEET:
    A foot can match one single word, or it can span several words.

    iamb any two syllables, usually a single word but not always, whose accent is on the second syllable.
    Example = upon, arise

    trochee any two syllables, usually a single word but not always, word whose accent is on the first syllable.
    Example = virtue, further

    anapest any three syllables, usually a single word but not always, word whose accent is on the third syllable.
    Example = intervene

    dactyl any three syllables, usually a single word but not always, word whose accent is on the first syllable.
    Example = tenderly

    spondee any two syllables, sometimes a single word but not always, with strong accent on the first and second syllable.
    Example (in this case no one word, but a series of words in this line:
    The long day wanes, the slow moon climbs. The words " day wanes" form a spondee.
    pyrrhic any two syllables, often across words, with each syllable unstressed/unaccented

    To name the kind of foot, use the adjective form of these words.
    A line of iambs = iambic
    A line of trochees = trochaic
    A line of anapests = anapestic
    a line of dactyls = dactylic
    a line of spondees = spondaic

    The number of feet in a given line is maked as a form of the word meter.
    dimeter - a 2-foot line
    trimeter a 3-foot line
    tetrameter a 4-foot line
    pentameter a 5-foot line
    hexameter a 6-foot line

    III. Names of Groups of lines
    Any group of lines forming a unit is a stanza.
    Stanza of 3 lines is a tercet
    Stanza of 4 lines is a quatrain
    Stanza of 6 lines is a sestet
    Stanza of 7 lines is a septet
    Stanza of 8 lines is an octave


    IV. How to Scan a poem.
    Mark the rhyme, with single alphabets (eg. abab) and the meter by counting the number of feet, and the kind of feet in the line.
    Not all lines contain only one kind of foot. For example, quite often the first foot of an iambic line is reversed, making it a
    trochee. When this happens in a poetic line it is called a " trochaic inversion." As you'll see these poetic laws are meant to be
    interpreted, and they are often bent.

    Iamb = Ú / (second syllable gets the accent)
    Ú / Ú / Ú / Ú /
    My love is of a birth as rare a number of feet = 4 iambs
    Ú / Ú / Ú / Ú /
    As 'tis, for object, strange and high; b number of feet = 4 iambs
    Ú / Ú / Ú / Ú /
    It was begotten by Despair a number of feet = 4 iambs
    Ú / Ú / Ú /Ú /
    Upon Impossibility. b number of feet = 4 iambs

    Remarks: the first stanza of Marvell's poem is therefore in iambic tetrameter. The basic foot is the iamb, and there are four of
    them in each line. Note how the first line shows iamb can be split across two words, and in line 4 how multiple iambs can occur within one word.

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    • Jefferson Carter Rookie - 1st Stage (5/24/2014 1:23:00 PM) Post reply | Read 1 reply

      This is sort of useful. Formal poems on PH seem to do ok with the easy part, rhyming, but totally f**k up the harder and more crucial part, maintaining a powerfully expressive meter. My only quibble ... more

  • Dan Reynolds Rookie - 1st Stage (5/23/2014 6:59:00 PM) Post reply | Read 3 replies

    If you could find a piece of this earth, so blessed with its people, landscape and laws, content with its own individuality, to such a degree, that it would willingly let all else drift into obscurity.... to abandon contact with the trading mentality of many nations, (regardless of the possible failure of OUR own CRUCIAL crop) . to rely on the faith of the fingers, rather than the fingers of faith.... and to live in true tolerance of our mutual failings and failure to forgive....would you even consider such a tenancy as attainable?
    As we grow more and more out of and away from our conditioning, we grow more into our personal desires. These desires may well be attributed to and influenced by our upbringing and environmental surroundings, but...in the best of people, they/we will wish to do no harm (without a little humour) .

    If you could find a place like this....would you leave the place that could be like that?

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    • Bull Hawking Rookie - 1st Stage (5/25/2014 8:44:00 PM) Post reply | Read 1 reply

      Dan....such a place did exist....if only in the story of Candide....by Voltaire.....called Eldorado....Candide and his servant left because he wanted to find his true love Cunegonde again.....and....u ... more

    • delilah contrapunctal Rookie - 1st Stage (5/24/2014 5:05:00 AM) Post reply | Read 1 reply

      We must, I believe, do what we can to discover such a place inside ourselves....and give of it that which we are able to others...indeed with humor, whenever possible.....good job for, I know...poets. ... more

    • Frank Ovid Rookie - 1st Stage (5/23/2014 9:18:00 PM) Post reply

      We're talking nudist colony, right?Count me in.

  • Gulsher John Rookie - 1st Stage (5/23/2014 1:56:00 PM) Post reply | Read 2 replies

    What Is Poetry ________John Ashbery

    The medieval town, with frieze
    Of boy scouts from Nagoya?The snow
    That came when we wanted it to snow?
    Beautiful images?Trying to avoid

    Ideas, as in this poem?But we
    Go back to them as to a wife, leaving

    The mistress we desire?Now they
    Will have to believe it

    As we believed it. In school
    All the thought got combed out:

    What was left was like a field.
    Shut your eyes, and you can feel it for miles around.

    Now open them on a thin vertical path.
    It might give us- what?- some flowers soon?

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  • Jefferson Carter Rookie - 1st Stage (5/23/2014 1:42:00 PM) Post reply | Read 1 reply

    Adam, I'm sorry about your dad.

    What's irrelevant to a poem's quality, its artfulness, is its biographical background or its author's emotional state. When I read a poem, all I have (and all I really should need) is the poem itself, its diction, its sound, its effect on me. I do sympathize with your loss. The poem still stinks to high heaven, but that's a different matter.

    Perhaps you should separate poetry as art from poetry as therapy for the self. Thy have little to do with each other.

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  • Adam M. Snow Rookie - 1st Stage (5/23/2014 11:23:00 AM) Post reply

    @ Jefferson Carter
    Maybe you should think before you speak. This poem was written about my father whom I lost to cancer in 2009. I wrote this while I was reminiscing about the past, when he was still alive. It's getting close to my birthday and I couldn't help but think of him.

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