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andrewclunn
June 30th, 2017, 05:22 PM
Unstructured poetry aside, I often come to a crossroads (during the editing process) where I must determine whether I'm intending for the poem to be read aloud, or viewed on a page. Controlling for line length vs the number of syllables being an obvious example. Kerning or stylize font faces for a visual aesthetic, or legibility first and foremost to not interrupt pacing being another.

What's the assumed medium by which others here assume their poetry will be consumed? And how do you deal with these trade-offs?

Space Cadet
July 1st, 2017, 06:07 AM
Unstructured poetry aside, I often come to a crossroads (during the editing process) where I must determine whether I'm intending for the poem to be read aloud, or viewed on a page. Controlling for line length vs the number of syllables being an obvious example. Kerning or stylize font faces for a visual aesthetic, or legibility first and foremost to not interrupt pacing being another.

What's the assumed medium by which others here assume their poetry will be consumed? And how do you deal with these trade-offs?


Hi Andrewclunn. I personally doubt my work on here will be read aloud any time soon. It's all in critique mode. I can't speak for other, more seasoned contributors, but I believe when they post pieces their working on a thread, it will be read directly from the thread. I'm sure some plan to publish their poetry they've shared on WF, as for how they plan their poetry to be consumed (in print, digitally, or audio) is up to the specific writer. Editing work by reading it aloud helps determine how you think it should be viewed/read on page. Does this answer the question(s)?

As for the stylization, WF is pretty easy to use when incorporating your original format in a thread. As for kerning and unique spacing of lines and letters, I tried cutting and pasting some lines with unconventional line and letter spacing, and the format changed. Hopefully a more seasoned member can help with this.

I'm really new, saw your post hanging out here without a response, and thought I'd touch base with what I've experienced and answer your questions the best I can.

Let me know if you need anything
Best,

Wesley

sas
July 1st, 2017, 11:47 PM
Personally, I try for the visual impact & the auditory. I use Character Map to copy & insert, into my WF poems, extra spacing and symbols, such as the em dash. I record my poems & play back to hear possible stumbles & cadence problems. Of course, I've the advantage of knowing how it should be read. I spent a year writing in syllable count. I still wanted something visually somewhat balanced. But, that is for each to decide. I also make sure my furniture is pleasingly arranged, but not in an expected way. Smiles.

-xXx-
July 3rd, 2017, 04:29 PM
yes.
i write multiple layer works.
one layer of presentation may be most apparent,
or "easier" to connect.
syllable count is very important to me.
visual presentation is important,
and critical to specific pieces.
rhyme(and imperfect)/assonance
are also important to me.

i always read aloud.
if it doesn't work at an acceptable level
spoken, it usually goes into the box.
sometimes that means a complete
conceptual communication
(image/sound/technique) rebuild.

i use the bus principle.
if i am hit by a bus today,
what one type of person
do i wish this work to mean something to.
all else can fall back a notch.

best of luck,
:)

sas
July 4th, 2017, 02:02 PM
xXx,

Except for my being nailed by a bus, I say, "Ditto".

Jay Greenstein
July 5th, 2017, 02:16 AM
Traditionally, poetry is meant to be read aloud, by the individual reader, which is why the flow of words should, as the Bard said, flow trippingly from the tongue.

Darkkin
July 11th, 2017, 06:11 AM
Poetry is as much about the visual as the auditory. The auditory, however, is a critical tool in gauging a poem's seaworthiness. Ideally reading aloud should be a habit of writers, (more rounded information, two senses instead of one allowing for an override of the brain's autocorrect, what we see and what really is...). If a poem looks cool on a page, but crumbles because content is lacking chances are the piece needs work. There is also something to be said for a reader's translation of a poem from written to verbal. White space does not have quite the same effect of a pause indicated by an em dash, a comma, or a period. The visual impact is more for form instead of function, but it comes down to the author's intent for a poem.

Slam poetry is meant to be heard, it is often a fright when seen on paper. Classical forms, well, they are very linear, geometric in nature and pleasing to the eye. Yet when read aloud, especially if rhymed, they can have almost a hypnotic effect on listeners. Akin to free form jazz is compared to Mozart or Beethoven. Same language, yet different interpretations.

Phil Istine
July 11th, 2017, 06:23 AM
I read both my poetry and prose aloud. I find it helpful in eliminating gremlins that way. Sometimes, I find it is even desirable for part of a work to not flow so well if it is describing difficulties - letting how a piece flows mirror the content. I did that in a more recent poem - made it a bit choppy when describing a struggle then allowing it to flow more smoothly as the problem was resolved. It was fun changing voice part way through and an interesting experiment.

Darkkin
July 11th, 2017, 06:29 AM
I read all my pieces aloud. I also do it when I critique. And as Phil pointed out, it makes it much easier to spot the holes where trucks are getting in. A lot of folks don't like a close scrutiny of such a tool, but as a writer, a reader, one would be hard pressed to find a more thorough and effective tool of the trade. The ear knows as much, if not a bit more than the eye.

Verbalizing is a standard problem solving tool, as such, it allows the writer to get out of their head and into a multi-dimensional construct.

JustRob
July 11th, 2017, 08:05 AM
Even though I only occasionally venture into the poetry forum I already gave my view on this fundamental issue a long time ago. See Captives (http://www.writingforums.com/threads/155382-Captives?p=1838038&viewfull=1#post1838038). There's no more to say.

P.S.
Rubbish! I always have more to say. During our recent cruise the Spanish (Catalan actually) cruise manager mentioned to me that he liked English poetry, especially William Blake, so I recited this short poem to him complete with the associated gestures, which you don't see on WF. He was very impressed and no doubt convinced that all English are poets at heart.

So, let alone reciting a poem, there's the problem of the associated movements that go with it to make it a complete performance. It's only a script without stage direction as it stands on the page, so you have to use your imagination.

Darren White
July 11th, 2017, 09:46 AM
I wish I could read my poems out loud, but I can't, I depend on what's in my head, or sometimes on friends who will read it to and for me. It's annoying because yeah, I miss a lot.

sas
July 11th, 2017, 12:43 PM
Darren,

I meant it when I previously said I would record your poems and email to you. My voice is not the best. And, I think you "hear" your poems in a male voice. I'm hoping some male here will buddy with you. If not, you can hear yourself speak like an elderly woman. I understand if you prefer not. Hell, I prefer not.

Darren White
July 11th, 2017, 12:54 PM
Sas,
Oh! I wasn't sure if you meant that seriously, but you do. If I ever post a poem again that just reads weird while I cannot figure it out myself, I will hold you to your promise, deal? :) Thanks!!

(Space Cadet sometimes reads aloud for me, it helps, but he isn't always available of course)

sas
July 11th, 2017, 01:10 PM
Yep, I meant it! I will try not to sound feeble. I did record one of my poems for WF Podcast. The poets read their own work. Think it's the last one they did. I was the one that sucked. I recorded a second one, but they've not done another Podcast. I may have ruined concept. Smiles. Believe me, it's not how I "hear" my poems. I belong to an in-person poetry group. We read each other's work aloud. When I hear another recite mine, I want to shake them. Could my poems possibly be that crappy?

Just private message me your email address and I can do it, pal. Sas

sas
July 11th, 2017, 04:05 PM
Darren, Check your personal email. I sent a test recording, just saying "hello", to you. Hope it works. sas

Rick Keeble
July 11th, 2017, 04:23 PM
Speaking as a musician, I would say always verbalizing you piece far outweighs the aesthetic value. IMHO

Darren White
July 11th, 2017, 04:48 PM
Rick, true. It's not so much about the aesthetic value, but often to be able to hear where you go wrong.... In meter, rhythm, wherever.

andrewclunn
July 11th, 2017, 05:01 PM
Hmmm, now this brings up a follow up question. Assuming another person will be reading your poem out loud, how do you preserve the proper timing? I mean the ellipsis is useful, but short of attaching a musical score, the timing and dynamics seem out of your hand.

Darren White
July 11th, 2017, 05:27 PM
Hmmm, now this brings up a follow up question. Assuming another person will be reading your poem out loud, how do you preserve the proper timing? I mean the ellipsis is useful, but short of attaching a musical score, the timing and dynamics seem out of your hand.

Exactly, but isn't that always the case when someone else performs what you have written? I mean, I have translated for poetry festivals, where the poem is performed on stage, both the original and the translation.
You have to make sure you have punctuation and spacing right, and, if possible, communicate beforehand with the person performing your poem.

sas
July 11th, 2017, 06:30 PM
Personally, and what I suggest is never done, the full appreciation of the poet's intent can only be had if reading along while the poet recites. I often have visual elements (em spaces for instance; italics; parentheticals, etc) that cannot be "read aloud". Pity.

Correction: The New Yorker Magazine publishes poems that can be read while hearing it recited by poet. Awesome way to appreciate it fully.

JustRob
July 11th, 2017, 06:51 PM
I mean the ellipsis is useful, but short of attaching a musical score, the timing and dynamics seem out of your hand.

I'm never sure about the use of the ellipsis as it primarily implies missing words rather than a silent pause, even though the latter is the purpose for which I most use it in my prose, which is also my normal way of writing poetically because it fills the page better. After reading this thread I posted a revised version of my short poem Captives (http://www.writingforums.com/threads/155382-Captives?p=2093204&viewfull=1#post2093204) with stage directions and that shows that perhaps I should have included an ellipsis on the last line even though the poem itself doesn't demand it. It's presentational and the question here is whether that is a separate form of the piece.

My stage directions also suggest a tempo, so evidently one does virtually need a musical score to state exactly how a piece is intended to be read. With only sixteen words in the poem it could end up with more Italian words than that in the score though. That's heavy, overweight in fact, but characteristic of very short poetry where much of the meaning is implicit.

My angel and I were watching an episode of The Man From Uncle one night when I noticed that the actor who played Waverly, a rather wooden actor to my mind, stressed the wrong word in a sentence and as a result completely changed its interpretation. You know the sort of thing, something like "I wouldn't do that to you," where the stressed word is all important. There's actually a story about how that actor got the job. The chap in charge said, "Get rid of that man with the name starting with a 'K'," meaning David McCallum who played Illya Kuryakin, so they got rid of the original actor who played Waverly, whose real name did start with a 'K', and brought in Leo G. Carroll to replace him. This was a fortunate misunderstanding for David McCallum considering his later popularity in the series. So, getting back to the subject, maybe italics are pretty important in poetry as well.

Space Cadet
July 14th, 2017, 08:37 PM
...letting how a piece flows mirror the content...

Aptly stated here, Phil.

Jay Greenstein
July 15th, 2017, 06:47 AM
Hmmm, now this brings up a follow up question. Assuming another person will be reading your poem out loud, how do you preserve the proper timing? I mean the ellipsis is useful, but short of attaching a musical score, the timing and dynamics seem out of your hand.Prosody. My favorite example of how to provide a tempo is Robert W. Service's, The Cremation of Sam McGee (http://www.shmoop.com/cremation-sam-mcgee/poem-text.html). And for a good intro to the power of word choice to to accomplish wha you're looking for, I recommend the excerpt from Stephen Fry's, The Ode Less Traveled (http://www.amazon.com/Ode-Less-Travelled-Unlocking-Within/dp/B000YFE8D6/ref=pd_bbs_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1222571976&sr=8-1), on Amazon. It has thoughts and observations useful for both structured poetry and other writing.