View Full Version : Understanding poetry.

June 19th, 2013, 05:08 PM
I can view abstract art and appreciate it but with poetry I struggle with , layers,metaphors or hidden meanings.I do keep to more direct poets like Larkin and Clark but my question is..Why do you prefer to write the obscure as opposed to a direct title and content that is easier to understand?

June 19th, 2013, 05:30 PM
It's how I think. Everything reminds me of something else. I once hired an architect. I gave him my drawings; my design. He came back with "Oh no, when you have the eaves down so low with such a high angled roof, it's like a big hat pulled way down, covering the eyes and face." I may be ty-ping, but he was a Taiwan poet from Taipei. Okay, he wasn't really a poet, but he was from Taiwan, and he really did say that. Hope that clears it up for you.

June 19th, 2013, 06:55 PM
Kevin, this is what I do not grasp..why use a topic that is not related with the emotions expressed?

June 19th, 2013, 07:34 PM
Probably for much the same reason an artist paints an abstract, rather than a straight up realistic painting, only the poet is painting it with words.

For me, it's simply the way my mind works and it adds layers and depth to the story I am telling. My mind simply makes connections and sometimes they work for other people, too, and other times they don't. It's kind of like saying 'Birds of a feather, flock together', which does apply to birds, but is used when talking about certain types of people. It paints a more vivid picture in the imagination, than if I just said, 'people prefer people like themselves'.

June 19th, 2013, 08:27 PM
When you read a poem it becomes yours it no longer belongs to the poet, so it is up to you to make of it what you will. Writing and/or reading poetry that is all tell gets to be boring for both writer and reader; better to lead and be lead towards the end of the affair. A poem is like a relationship, a joint venture and who would go into a relationship if they knew that their potential paramour was going to tell them to bog off after the second date/verse? A poem can be a treasure hunt or a mystery tour in which the poet doesn't tell the reader that the sun rose but that rosy fingered dawn crept over the horizon and from which the reader may infer all sorts of things the poet didn't even think he'd said...

June 19th, 2013, 08:46 PM
Interesting points of view , what is happening then is abstraction in words and subject to personalise hidden emotions about the aurthors intent.

June 19th, 2013, 09:35 PM
Interesting points of view , what is happening then is abstraction in words and subject to personalise hidden emotions about the aurthors intent.
You may very well say that, I couldn't possibly comment...

June 19th, 2013, 09:41 PM
I think it's because poetry is the closest to visual art you can get with words. Some writers of poetry feel that part of the enjoyment that their readers will get, will come from trying to figure out what the author is trying to say. By using indirect references to things, it opens up a way for each reader to see something different, or even the same reader who reads it more than once to see something new. It's almost like one of those great comedy movies where each time you watch it, you catch something funny you might not have seen the first time.

June 20th, 2013, 02:41 PM
If I like a piece, I will often return to read it again..some stuff I go back to after a brief insight from the writer and try and read what is expressed but sometimes it feels so layered and hidden you just have to accept you ain't going to get it.