Poetics and Poetry Discussion

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Mary Morstan Female, 55, New Zealand (8/9/2013 6:55:00 AM)

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Hi Sue Ann, thanks for this. I was wondering: did you have poems read to you as a child, or hear a lot of poetry during early years?I went to a playschool run by two women who read poems constantly and I learned them off not because I had to but because I wanted to. In primary school (age 6-12) , we had to learn poems and so it continued... My mother also read a lot at home. That love of words and their sounds never leaves, I think. Re criticism, I think it depends how it's given. I agree with you, though, that those who love words will value criticism. But I think it's hard when young people start out in a void, feel the same inspiration, sense of connection, as any artist, but are then told what they are doing doesn't work. It takes time for some to get around that.... I had the support of an older poet from my early 20s up. It was great - nothing interfering, just a series of questions usually...then I would wonder.

I would get angry as a poetry editor - don't know how you did it. I lose faith in humanity sometimes after correcting essays and/or exams...

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  • Rookie S. A. S. (8/10/2013 12:23:00 AM) Post reply | Read 1 reply
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    Wendy, My mother wrote in my baby book that I could recite something like three dozen nursery rhymes when I was two. She told me years later that she never liked reading stories to children- she enjoyed reading Mother Goose and rhymes. I knew all the eenie meenies and jump rope songs.
    In third grade, we learned penmanship by handwriting poems off the blackboard first thing every morning. The teacher posted many Psalms- something that would never happen public school today.
    I grew up in a house without books. A set of encyclopedias that I pored over, and one book " The Album of Horses" by Marguerite Henry. Other than that I lived at the library.
    I had a close friend in junior high that we used to write stories back and forth. We both had characters and we started out with mainly dialogue and progressed to more description and trying to outdo each other over time. This went on when I was about 12 to 14. She was two years older than me and I had to work at it to keep up with her- she definitely wrote better than me. (She became a nurse and never wrote as an adult) . I'd probably die of embarrassment if ever read a single paragraph from that time.
    I went to a high school where we were constantly writing book reviews, essays, themes, and research papers. I remember getting back one paper that said, " Paper is word heavy. Ever try poetry?" That strikes me as funny, as I strive to not be word heavy.
    I learned more about writing poetry when I worked at an ad agency in my twenties. Every word had to be justified. That's when I started to automatically edit everything and be hard on myself.

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    • Rookie Mary Morstan (8/10/2013 7:19:00 AM) Post reply

      I still remember the nursery rhymes and poems, have forgotten most of the stories (but not the fairy tales) . I had a friend like yours too, did the same thing, wrote stories and illustrated them. I s ... more

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