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Firemajic
October 16th, 2017, 11:03 PM
" Who says fictions onely and false hair
become a verse? Is there in truth no beautie ?
Is all good structure in a winding stair?
May no lines passe, except they do their dutie
not to a true, but painted chair?"


Author: George Herbert, Jordan [these are just the opening lines] [ Poetry Analysis, Wikipedia]

I read this and thought "what the HELL does this mean?" When does a metaphor become too obscure.... does it cause the reader to lose that emotional connection to the message? How much is too much...

George Herbert was criticizing the overuse of Allegory, Symbolism, or elaborate language...

False hair and painted chair are decorations of the mundane. The winding stair is obstructive concealment of meaning....

WTF... I have thumped my melon, and I STILL don't "get IT"....
Now I do love a metaphor, but does obscuring the message squeeze the passion from the fruit?

Olly Buckle
October 17th, 2017, 12:35 AM
Whip off your wig and show your pate, mate
The bald truth, a shining example.
No convolutions, give it to them straight
every line an explanation an exact sample
Of the complexities of life

Firemajic
October 17th, 2017, 11:32 AM
:coffeescreen:
I can't stop laughin'..... ahhhh, I actually understood that.... ;)

midnightpoet
October 17th, 2017, 12:06 PM
I do read contemporary poetry while looking for a place to send my poetry and much of it leaves me scratching my head. I wonder if a lot of publishers are focusing on imagery, flow, and other things (like metaphor) besides meaning. Unless it's nonsense like Darkkin's, I've always thought poetry should have meaning and be relatively clear but it seems the more obscure the better. Maybe some of the more experienced and published poets here can answer that mystery.

Firemajic
October 17th, 2017, 12:22 PM
That is my dilemma... poetry is first and foremost, about the message... if the message is so obscure that you don't get it , then one of several possibilities exists....
1: The metaphor was not executed properly...
2: I am missing the "metaphor gene"..

If you don't understand the message, then what is the point... how much is too much..

Kevin
October 17th, 2017, 01:28 PM
In defense of gobbledygook

When you say 'thumped your melon' what does that mean?
First off, I'm either too old or too young to know about selecting cantaloupes, so that doesn't work for me. So there goes half your audience...
And second off, thumping your tits makes no sense at all. How does testing your tits mean something? Wouldn't that hurt thumping them? And there goes the other half...

Okay, so I'm joking, but I can't help , no... I won't 'help' it. If I do then I'm just doing a paint-by-numbers. "What the hell is a 'paint by numbers'?"'says the person born after such an such year. I guess I still don't know how to explain rock roll to strangers... Oh shit! There's another one... Look at that head scratching... Get the impression? No. I didn't think so. Wait...Yes? Maybe? So, how does that make you feel? Probably, not a thing. I'm guessing... Wait! I'm giving hugs; smooches, even ( you know I love you...yes, unspoken.. always; everyone..)but I have to say it; say this.
..:
It's not that I'm trying to be obtuse; it's that I'm trying to write something new; something not borrowed. Maybe it's just me , but I don't care if it doesn't work.

Of course I do, we all want to connect, but the attempts, in my opinion, are what matter.

Each of us, all of us are separate up inside our heads. Yet everything we say, every phrase we use is borrowed. And all phrases are a 'gobbledygook' or else no one would know what 'thumping your mellon' means except as something you do at the market. See that? Another jump. I'm jumping to a conclusion that you know 'gobbledegook' as an example of language metaphor...which I mean to represent any language metaphor. I mean,look at it-- what the f...is "gobbledegook" even, anyway?! It's a complete twisted staircase of a... Not even a word. But then it became a word; is a word, and now we use it. And the year before, the day or even minute before (it was invented) it wasn't anything. Not even made up.

Literally, I could take anything... I could say that dog over there is a 'tank'. And if I get enough people to say 'tank', then it's tank. Why? Because people agree it iis. They didn't used-to, but now they do.

So, you see how bullshit and "truthful" our language is? Everything is made up. "Bullshit"- yet another ..

So what's wrong with pushing it (another goddamned metaphor, "pushing the envelope", which by the way... wtf does that even mean? Is that some sort of mailman reference?) "But it won't sell a million." Really? Is that what matters? I'm just asking.

sas
October 17th, 2017, 01:54 PM
Olly: astute rewrite.

Kevin: nailed it.

What a dull read, if it weren't for metaphor. And, yes, it is difficult to use and still retain meaning. I love it, but struggle to maintain the balance needed for clarity. As some know, I put cliff notes, on mine , for my grandgirls. I write for them.

I prefer metaphor over simile. Whenever, "like" pops into my poem, the "unlike" key, in my brain, lights up. I am disappointed when I can't get around its use. But, I try.

.

midnightpoet
October 17th, 2017, 02:09 PM
Yes, there is a line, I believe, between clarity and obscurity. You can get close to the line, but if you cross it, you've lost the reader. I have noticed that despite Darkkin's insistence that there is no real meaning in her poetry some judges here have found some anyway. I suppose if a publisher can see some kind of meaning in your poem - even if they're wrong, you might improve your chances of being published (written with tongue firmly in cheek).

sas
October 17th, 2017, 02:18 PM
That's what self-publishing is for. My fantasy is to have my poetry three ring binders discovered long after my death and then become famous like Emily Dickinson. What a pity she never knew of her influence. I dare to say, if she were a man, she might have been published while still breathing. I'm not holding my breath on mine.

Pete_C
October 17th, 2017, 03:08 PM
Interestingly I have recently posted something on a crit thread about this very subject!

I think that whilst it's nice to bury a few nuggets deep in a poem, finding them should not be a prerequisite of appreciating a piece. Readers don't always want to work to find meaning, and if they have to isn't that an argument that we, as writers, have got it wrong? We should make the experience as immersive as possible for the reader, not try to bamboozle them or trip them up. I often wonder if those who fall short of the mark are simply hiding an inability to present a message in a cloud of confusion.

When I write I do so with the intention of the work being read, preferably by a number of people. Therefore I see my challenge as to ensure that readers can consume my work and experience the feelings and emotions I'm trying to convey. In short, I want the reader to be able to access what I am saying without having to work hard or have studied literature or poetic devices.

Making the poem accessible is a significant concern for me. I don't try to hide too much or insert gimmicks or devices that make me look clever. I want them to read, to experience, to absorb and to feel challenged/happy/angry/sad/whatever by what they read. That ain't happening if I've buried it all in a big pile of ego.

If my style or hidden meaning places a distance between the work and the reader, then I've failed because the reader may not read the work, or may not apply as much attention to it and miss something. I believe that I have no right to demand my readers dig out a message I have hidden.

I respect my readers and I believe that making my work accessible is what they expect from any writer, including myself. Anything else is a disservice, because they are the ones doing me (and other writers) a courtesy. Writers do not have a right to readers; we have to earn them!

Firemajic
October 17th, 2017, 04:22 PM
In defense of gobbledygook

When you say 'thumped your melon' what does that mean?
First off, I'm either too old or too young to know about selecting cantaloupes, so that doesn't work for me. So there goes half your audience...
And second off, thumping your tits makes no sense at all. How does testing your tits mean something? Wouldn't that hurt thumping them? And there goes the other half...

Okay, so I'm joking, but I can't help , no... I won't 'help' it. If I do then I'm just doing a paint-by-numbers. "What the hell is a 'paint by numbers'?"'says the person born after such an such year. I guess I still don't know how to explain rock roll to strangers... Oh shit! There's another one... Look at that head scratching... Get the impression? No. I didn't think so. Wait...Yes? Maybe? So, how does that make you feel? Probably, not a thing. I'm guessing... Wait! I'm giving hugs; smooches, even ( you know I love you...yes, unspoken.. always; everyone..)but I have to say it; say this.
..:
It's not that I'm trying to be obtuse; it's that I'm trying to write something new; something not borrowed. Maybe it's just me , but I don't care if it doesn't work.

Of course I do, we all want to connect, but the attempts, in my opinion, are what matter.

Each of us, all of us are separate up inside our heads. Yet everything we say, every phrase we use is borrowed. And all phrases are a 'gobbledygook' or else no one would know what 'thumping your mellon' means except as something you do at the market. See that? Another jump. I'm jumping to a conclusion that you know 'gobbledegook' as an example of language metaphor...which I mean to represent any language metaphor. I mean,look at it-- what the f...is "gobbledegook" even, anyway?! It's a complete twisted staircase of a... Not even a word. But then it became a word; is a word, and now we use it. And the year before, the day or even minute before (it was invented) it wasn't anything. Not even made up.

Literally, I could take anything... I could say that dog over there is a 'tank'. And if I get enough people to say 'tank', then it's tank. Why? Because people agree it iis. They didn't used-to, but now they do.

So, you see how bullshit and "truthful" our language is? Everything is made up. "Bullshit"- yet another ..

So what's wrong with pushing it (another goddamned metaphor, "pushing the envelope", which by the way... wtf does that even mean? Is that some sort of mailman reference?) "But it won't sell a million." Really? Is that what matters? I'm just asking.


OO GAWD! You have "flipped your lid" [ is that a metaphor?] Kevin, calm down! Go sit over there, in the painted chair, now breath into this paper bag.... you are as pale as a corpse [ that, I believe is a simile ]

Thumping my melon = Banging my head against a wall.... I was going for another metaphor, but I see now I was pushing the envelope and this is gobbledygook.... ;)

Firemajic
October 17th, 2017, 04:31 PM
Interestingly I have recently posted something on a crit thread about this very subject!

I think that whilst it's nice to bury a few nuggets deep in a poem, finding them should not be a prerequisite of appreciating a piece. Readers don't always want to work to find meaning, and if they have to isn't that an argument that we, as writers, have got it wrong? We should make the experience as immersive as possible for the reader, not try to bamboozle them or trip them up. I often wonder if those who fall short of the mark are simply hiding an inability to present a message in a cloud of confusion.

When I write I do so with the intention of the work being read, preferably by a number of people. Therefore I see my challenge as to ensure that readers can consume my work and experience the feelings and emotions I'm trying to convey. In short, I want the reader to be able to access what I am saying without having to work hard or have studied literature or poetic devices.

Making the poem accessible is a significant concern for me. I don't try to hide too much or insert gimmicks or devices that make me look clever. I want them to read, to experience, to absorb and to feel challenged/happy/angry/sad/whatever by what they read. That ain't happening if I've buried it all in a big pile of ego.

If my style or hidden meaning places a distance between the work and the reader, then I've failed because the reader may not read the work, or may not apply as much attention to it and miss something. I believe that I have no right to demand my readers dig out a message I have hidden.

I respect my readers and I believe that making my work accessible is what they expect from any writer, including myself. Anything else is a disservice, because they are the ones doing me (and other writers) a courtesy. Writers do not have a right to readers; we have to earn them!



Pete, you perfectly expressed what I was trying to say... My concern is losing the emotional connection that the reader is after...

Consider abstract art... for me, I cannot "feel" any emotion when viewing it... and art, of any kind is about making people FEEL something... lyrics, Painting, sculpture, poetry... the artist wants the audience to feel SOMETHING...

Kevin
October 17th, 2017, 04:59 PM
Fire- I knew exactly what you meant. Melon= head was common in my day. I was hoping to illustrate that all things can be misinterpreted. Anyway, I'm awake, not angry. That's all.

Firemajic
October 17th, 2017, 05:07 PM
I did not think you were angry, Kev... I did see your point, and you made it highly entertaining ... That was me, trying to match your cleverness.... ;)

sas
October 17th, 2017, 05:41 PM
Pete, you perfectly expressed what I was trying to say... My concern is losing the emotional connection that the reader is after...

Consider abstract art... for me, I cannot "feel" any emotion when viewing it... and art, of any kind is about making people FEEL something... lyrics, Painting, sculpture, poetry... the artist wants the audience to feel SOMETHING...


I have always been eclectic, in my tastes, including people. The same is true for writing, books, art, decor, entertainment, recreation.... I always notice, in someone else's home their reading material, and if it is homogeneous. The best I can say for it is that I instantly know what they are like. I hope, no one would be able to so easily "peg" me by what is on my bookshelves.

I love art and my walls reflect both realism and abstract tastes. My furniture does not match, on purpose. Neither do my friends. So, I like poetry that is a little more adventuresome, not predictable, and, yes, even those that make me reach for understanding, like I do with the science books I buy and struggle to understand. I'm not a meat & potatoes, with just salt & pepper, kinda gal.

There is room for all tastes.
.

Firemajic
October 17th, 2017, 08:16 PM
I have always been eclectic, in my tastes, including people. The same is true for writing, books, art, decor, entertainment, recreation.... I always notice, in someone else's home their reading material, and if it is homogeneous. The best I can say for it is that I instantly know what they are like. I hope, no one would be able to so easily "peg" me by what is on my bookshelves.

I love art and my walls reflect both realism and abstract tastes. My furniture does not match, on purpose. Neither do my friends. So, I like poetry that is a little more adventuresome, not predictable, and, yes, even those that make me reach for understanding, like I do with the science books I buy and struggle to understand. I'm not a meat & potatoes, with just salt & pepper, kinda gal.

There is room for all tastes.
.



Yes, there is room for all tastes... I completely agree... I love metaphors... but like I said... "when is it too much, and do we alienate the reader when they are floundering, trying to comprehend the message...

Firemajic
October 17th, 2017, 08:19 PM
Yes, there is a line, I believe, between clarity and obscurity. You can get close to the line, but if you cross it, you've lost the reader..



Exactly... ;)

Olly Buckle
October 17th, 2017, 08:36 PM
There is a thing about what poetry is for; if you are reading the poem for its own sake and you find a poem that is obvious, straightforward and clearly states some basic, important principle in a light you had not seen it before, but which is instantly obvious, you will probably enjoy it and find it good. If, on the other hand you are one who makes their living from poetry, a critic, or a professor it may have personal interest, but it will have very little professional interest, there is nothing for him to say, no hidden meanings to discover, no clever, tricksy, metaphors, no living to be made. That means it won't get quoted in lectures or reviewed.

PiP
October 17th, 2017, 08:43 PM
Thumping my melon = Banging my head against a wall.... I was going for another metaphor,;)

*laughing*

I completely missed that when I first read the thread title: Thumping the melon and squeezing the fruit (https://www.writingforums.com/threads/173969-Thumping-the-melon-and-squeezing-the-fruit/page2)

Confused, I consulted google. Got sucked down the rabbit hole and like Alice in Wonderland I ended up through the looking glass. Oh and what joy! I now know how to select fruit.
I discovered an informative article: Thumping, squeezing and sniffing: How to choose your fruit (http://www.gilroydispatch.com/lifestyles/thumping-squeezing-and-sniffing-how-to-choose-your-fruit/article_409e2794-e0cb-5bbb-93ae-8ac6cd99dad9.html)

this in turn led me to the conclusion that in order to understand a metaphor we need to thump, squeeze and sniff it. In other words, don't judge it until we have fully explored the options.

Firemajic
October 17th, 2017, 08:48 PM
Well, you were inside my head, Olly... I was thinking maybe the key to understanding this ...is, not HOW we write, but WHY we write....??? maybe? ;)

Firemajic
October 17th, 2017, 08:52 PM
*laughing*

I completely missed that when I first read the thread title: Thumping the melon and squeezing the fruit (https://www.writingforums.com/threads/173969-Thumping-the-melon-and-squeezing-the-fruit/page2)

Confused, I consulted google. Got sucked down the rabbit hole and like Alice in Wonderland I ended up through the looking glass. Oh and what joy! I now know how to select fruit.
I discovered an informative article: Thumping, squeezing and sniffing: How to choose your fruit (http://www.gilroydispatch.com/lifestyles/thumping-squeezing-and-sniffing-how-to-choose-your-fruit/article_409e2794-e0cb-5bbb-93ae-8ac6cd99dad9.html)

this in turn led me to the conclusion that in order to understand a metaphor we need to thump, squeeze and sniff it. In other words, don't judge it until we have fully explored the options.



LMAO!!!! OOooo..... this is priceless.... I have hurt myself laughin'..... quotable! Trust you to make sense of my nonsense,,, hahahaaa......

PiP
October 17th, 2017, 08:59 PM
LMAO!!!! OOooo..... this is priceless.... I have hurt myself laughin'..... quotable! Trust you to make sense of my nonsense,,, hahahaaa......

Nonsense...? That's scary!!! It made perfect sense to me. Maybe we've been drinking too much Sangria... that is also full of fruit :)

Firemajic
October 17th, 2017, 09:05 PM
Nonsense...? That's scary!!! It made perfect sense to me. Maybe we've been drinking too much Sangria... that is also full of fruit :)


Yeah! THAT must be the reason EVERYTHING is making purrrrfect sense.... ;) I know it ALL now....pour me another double.....

jenthepen
October 17th, 2017, 09:14 PM
" Who says fictions onely and false hair
become a verse? Is there in truth no beautie ?
Is all good structure in a winding stair?
May no lines passe, except they do their dutie
not to a true, but painted chair?"


Author: George Herbert, Jordan [these are just the opening lines] [ Poetry Analysis, Wikipedia]

I read this and thought "what the HELL does this mean?" When does a metaphor become too obscure.... does it cause the reader to lose that emotional connection to the message? How much is too much...

George Herbert was criticizing the overuse of Allegory, Symbolism, or elaborate language...

False hair and painted chair are decorations of the mundane. The winding stair is obstructive concealment of meaning....

WTF... I have thumped my melon, and I STILL don't "get IT"....
Now I do love a metaphor, but does obscuring the message squeeze the passion from the fruit?






Maybe the problem is not so much about metaphors but the way that language changes over time. This was written in the 1630's after all.

If you strip out the old fashioned expressions it becomes a bit clearer, I think.


How about…


Who says only fiction and disguise
is good poetry? Doesn’t truth have beauty?
Does all good expression have to be obscure?
Are no lines allowed, unless they work
not towards truth, but to a disguised idea?

It looks like poor old George was making the very point that you are, Fire - poems should be understandable! Sort of ironic that he has become so obscure.

Great thread! It's sparked an interesting debate and I learned a thing or two about buying fruit too. :)

Firemajic
October 17th, 2017, 09:22 PM
Maybe the problem is not so much about metaphors but the way that language changes over time. This was written in the 1630's after all.

If you strip out the old fashioned expressions it becomes a bit clearer, I think.


How about…


Who says only fiction and disguise
is good poetry? Doesn’t truth have beauty?
Does all good expression have to be obscure?
Are no lines allowed, unless they work
not towards truth, but to a disguised idea?

It looks like poor old George was making the very point that you are, Fire - poems should be understandable! Sort of ironic that he has become so obscure.

Great thread! It's sparked an interesting debate and I learned a thing or two about buying fruit too. :)


I understand it now... but the painted chair and the twisted stairs is key to what he was sayin'... and that was the part that tripped me [ and before you ask, I tripped BEFORE I has a glass of wine ;) ]
see, how YOU said the same thing is understandable, while still being poetic...

and jen, if a melon sounds hollow when you thump it.... buy it... ;).... I think...

jenthepen
October 17th, 2017, 09:28 PM
If you thump a melon down this way you have to buy it. They breed aggressive shopkeepers here.

Firemajic
October 17th, 2017, 09:32 PM
What happens if you thump a metaphor....;)

midnightpoet
October 17th, 2017, 09:40 PM
What's a metaphor? That where cows graze.:icon_cheesygrin:

Firemajic
October 17th, 2017, 09:53 PM
Invoke thy aid to my adventurous song,
that with no middle flight intends to soar
above th' Aonian Mount

John Milton, Paradise Lost, Book 1

Here, Milton is comparing his poetry to a dove.... did you understand that? I.... did NOT....

sas
October 17th, 2017, 10:36 PM
[QUOTE=Firemajic;2112762]Invoke thy aid to my adventurous song,
that with no middle flight intends to soar
above th' Aonian Mount

John Milton, Paradise Lost, Book 1


Here, Milton is comparing his poetry to a dove.... did you understand that? I.... did NOT....

/QUOTE


I understand everyone's POV regarding metaphor. I am content, if at the end of a more obscure poem, I find overall meaning, but perhaps, not line by line. In truth, those types of poems are more enjoyable. I lean back, in my chair, and say, "Oh, this is where it was going." It is enough. sas

.

Firemajic
October 18th, 2017, 07:37 PM
I agree, sas... If a poem has a lot going on and I feel connected to the message, then I love to study it... the metaphors I have posted, I consider a little extreme... I will be posting other metaphors in this thread, that I fell in love with.... ;)

aj47
October 18th, 2017, 08:37 PM
I never metaphor I didn't like but that five is a registered six offender.

Olly Buckle
October 18th, 2017, 09:23 PM
Invoke thy aid to my adventurous song,
that with no middle flight intends to soar
above th' Aonian Mount

John Milton, Paradise Lost, Book 1

Here, Milton is comparing his poetry to a dove.... did you understand that? I.... did NOT....


The more I read it the more I wonder; are you sure someone isn't having you on? Could it just be some double meaning? 'Come on and lend aid to my adventurous song.' What is his 'adventurous song'? And who is the 'Aonian Mount' ?

I really would have expected better from Milton ;)

Firemajic
October 18th, 2017, 09:34 PM
The more I read it the more I wonder; are you sure someone isn't having you on? Could it just be some double meaning? 'Come on and lend aid to my adventurous song.' What is his 'adventurous song'? And who is the 'Aonian Mount' ?

I really would have expected better from Milton ;)



Aonian Mount is the place where the muse dwells... a place sacred to the muse... I think "adventurous song" is maybe.... his poetry?

See what I mean, Olly? When a metaphor is too obscure.... it can sound like gobbledygook..... yes?

Olly Buckle
October 18th, 2017, 09:52 PM
Yeah, sorry, a bit tounge in cheek. I guess the thing is that when only a fraction of the population was literate, let alone educated, then they shared a classical education. In the last couple of hundred years knowledge has increased hugely, in the 1600's a man could still know almost everything there was to know, that is another factor determining a shared understanding.

Firemajic
October 19th, 2017, 12:46 AM
"Busy old fool, unruly sun
why dost thou thus,
through windows and through curtains call on us?"

John Donne, The Sun Rising

Here, I think this metaphor is clear.. and it works for me... I like it ;)

Olly Buckle
October 19th, 2017, 11:20 AM
Did you notice Dannyboy's poem about the birth of the Minator? A good example of an occasion where everyone with a classical education would know what he was on about, and the rest ofus go look the name up wondering if it is that; well I did. :)

clark
October 26th, 2017, 11:46 PM
RE METAPHOR---

On tab 2 of POETRY DISCUSSIONS, you'll find no less than six threads on METAPHOR, four written by Ron Peat, one by Chiefspider, and one by me. Mine is called "How Metaphor Works", and its basic[[I], designed for very new poets and certainly too far down there to be of interest to this group. But, though basic, it does concern itself with the component elements of a metaphor and might be worth a look by you guys, because that's what we're doing here. . .looking at the component elements of a metaphor. Those threads garnered almost no comments--one of Ron's, and a very good one, got zero comments--which tells us I know not what about level of interest in the subject of metaphor. Being a poet and not being interested in metaphor is rather like saying you want to be an auto mechanic but have no intention of learning about or using tires and wheels. A poet can certainly decide not to use metaphor but the 'device' is so fundamental to the history and practice of poetry in English for the past 1200 years, that surely those poets who find metaphor more obfuscation than intensifier would want to understand it fully. . .just so they know what they are turning away from.

RE MILTON--
Elsewhere (can't remember where) Milton declares that [I]Paradise Lost is for "fit audience, though few." Even in an era where about 10% (a guess) of the population were literate, Milton knew only a few of even that elite group would have the level of education or the interest to read the 12,000+ lines of his epic poem, including its hundreds of arcane metaphors. Clearly, Milton didn't care. Oh, by the way, the 'great wings' that know All are those of the Holy Ghost (now called the Holy Spirit), and "my song" is the whole of Paradise Lost.

When WE create metaphors in our poetry, we can only give it our best shot vis-à-vis the reader understanding the components of the metaphor. And I don't think we should permit 'audience concern' to factor much when the metaphor you want is the metaphor you want for your poem. Write it as you need to write it, knowing that if you write "she plummeted towards her unaware prey, eager for flesh and blood" to an audience that has never heard of hawks and how they shop for lunch, you'll lose them at that point. Who cares? If that image is what the poem needs, you shouldn't sacrifice your own sense of the poem on the altar of audience approval. Hmm--anyone hazy on rites of sacrifice or the use of altars?

Firemajic
October 27th, 2017, 12:13 AM
OOoo.... I see..., Clark... I was asking a question... The threads you spoke of are wonderful, and I believe I made a comment or two... I am not trying to teach anyone anything, I was asking a question... I posted [ and will continue to post] examples of metaphors that puzzled me, hoping to open a dialogue about how much obscurity is too much, and do we lose the meaning and distance the reader from the message... ;) this is just my simple quest to find... balance. Some metaphors like one of my examples about the painted chair, is waaaaay out of my league of understanding... here is a simple one I love, from the bible that says something about casting your pearls before swine.... I really think that is one of the first metaphors I heard, as a child....of course my mom explained that one to me.... ;)

TL Murphy
October 27th, 2017, 04:55 PM
I get so frustrated with poets who keep saying that poetry is about meaning. No, it isn't. If you want to read about meaning, read pholosophy. Kant is a good start. Poetry is about feeling. It's about discovery through feeling. Meaning is what the reader brings to the poem, not the author. Metaphor is probably the best way to convey epiphany through feeling. It works through association (which is really how the human mind works). Association allows us to understand an obscure concept or feeling because of its congruity to something else that is not so obscure, like a rose or house. Metaphor invokes knowledge through association that one thing we don't understand is like another thing we do understand. The universe is fractal. Patterns repeat everywhere. Love is a summer day. Sorrow is a dead robin. Dissappointment is missing the last bus. Anger is a volcano.

Robbie
October 27th, 2017, 05:09 PM
Well said Tim.

sas
October 27th, 2017, 05:31 PM
I get so frustrated with poets who keep saying that poetry is about meaning. No, it isn't. If you want to read about meaning, read pholosophy. Kant is a good start. Poetry is about feeling. It's about discovery through feeling. Meaning is what the reader brings to the poem, not the author. Metaphor is probably the best way to convey epiphany through feeling. It works through association (which is really how the human mind works). Association allows us to understand an obscure concept or feeling because of its congruity to something else that is not so obscure, like a rose or house. Metaphor invokes knowledge through association that one thing we don't understand is like another thing we do understand. The universe is fractal. Patterns repeat everywhere. Love is a summer day. Sorrow is a dead robin. Dissappointment is missing the last bus. Anger is a volcano.


I had to include your comment, so it could be read again. I've a one word reply: "Precisely"

.

Firemajic
October 27th, 2017, 06:20 PM
[QUOTE=Firemajic;2112762]Invoke thy aid to my adventurous song,
that with no middle flight intends to soar
above th' Aonian Mount

John Milton, Paradise Lost, Book 1


Here, Milton is comparing his poetry to a dove.... did you understand that? I.... did NOT....

/QUOTE


I understand everyone's POV regarding metaphor.**** I am content, if at the end of a more obscure poem, I find overall **meaning**, but perhaps, not line by line. In truth, those types of poems are more enjoyable. I lean back, in my chair, and say, "Oh, this is where it was going." It is enough. sas

.


I get so frustrated with poets who keep saying that poetry is about meaning. No, it isn't. If you want to read about meaning, read pholosophy. .


I had to include your comment, so it could be read again. I've a one word reply: "Precisely"

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If one does not understand the poem.... how can you "Feel" any emotion.... you might as well write in Attic Greek, or try to decipher the carvings on the walls of King Tutankhamun tomb.....
Maybe different people want different things from poetry...

TL Murphy
October 27th, 2017, 06:47 PM
Feeling and understanding aren't the same thing. Understanding is intellectual. Feeling is emotional. Relate might be a better word. And it's true that we don't relate to every poem. But maybe that's because we're trying to UNDERSTAND what it MEANS instead of allowing ourselves to feel it.

Firemajic
October 27th, 2017, 06:59 PM
Feeling and understanding aren't the same thing. Understanding is intellectual. Feeling is emotional. Relate might be a better word. And it's true that we don't relate to every poem. But maybe that's because we're trying to UNDERSTAND what it MEANS instead of allowing ourselves to feel it.


Hummmm....interesting... and I respect what you are expressing....BUT, because I don't understand your POV, I am NOT feeling it.... ;)

Firemajic
October 27th, 2017, 07:07 PM
If I wrote you a poem, declaring my passion for you... and I wrote that poem using complex metaphors and obscure phrases, and you could not understand what the hell I was saying.... how could you "Feel" my passion, my desire, my love.... that is the question I have been asking in this thread... can one be too obscure, thus distancing your reader from the very emotion you want them to receive ....

TL Murphy
October 27th, 2017, 08:05 PM
We don’t understand a summer day. We don’t understand a dead robin. We relate to it emotionally, we can grasp it poetically. We can find a feeling in these metaphors that we can transfer to emotions that are much more difficult to grasp. Understanding is a function of critical analysis. We can dissect the poem intellectually and understand how a summer day helps us grasp the feeling of love or how a dead robin helps us grasp the feeling of sorrow. But it’s a very different process than absorbing a poem. “A poem doesn’t mean, it just is.”

Firemajic
October 27th, 2017, 08:12 PM
We don’t understand a summer day. We don’t understand a dead robin. We relate to it emotionally, we can grasp it poetically. We can find a feeling in these metaphors that we can transfer to emotions that are much more difficult to grasp. Understanding is a function of critical analysis. We can dissect the poem intellectually and understand how a summer day helps us grasp the feeling of love or how a dead robin helps us grasp the feeling of sorrow. But it’s a very different process than absorbing a poem. “A poem doesn’t mean, it just is.”


I understand the dead robin/death, summer day/ love.... I like that.... but still no one has answered my question.... :(

TL Murphy
October 27th, 2017, 08:21 PM
If I wrote you a poem, declaring my passion for you... and I wrote that poem using complex metaphors and obscure phrases, and you could not understand what the hell I was saying.... how could you "Feel" my passion, my desire, my love.... that is the question I have been asking in this thread... can one be too obscure, thus distancing your reader from the very emotion you want them to receive ....


First of all, a complex phrase is not a metaphor. I have no idea what you mean by a complex phrase. If you mean an abstract phrase, then a would agree. Abstractions generally make for bad poetry as we can’t pin them down or form an image. They are metaphorical to nothing.

As to the poet’s intent when writing metaphorically, that is a subjective thing. What the poet intends may not be what the reader grasps. Does that make it a bad poem? Not necessarily. Not every reader will get the poem in the same way. Does that make it a bad poem? Of course not. The reader brings his own experience, his own subjectivity to the poem. If I paint an abstract painting of a bridge and you looked at it and see an airplane, does that mean it has failed as a painting? Hell, no. There is a lot more going on in an abstract painting than the subject of the painting. There is colour, tone, value composition, depth. All of these things are what make the painting what it is and we can appreciate the painting for how it makes us feel. The subject of the painting is more-or-less irrelevant.

Firemajic
October 27th, 2017, 08:28 PM
If the bridge is irrelevant, then why call it a bridge? I am not trying to be disrespectful to your POV... I am trying to understand...

Firemajic
October 27th, 2017, 08:37 PM
I guess I want something different from the poetry I read and the Art I view... I want an emotional connection, for sure.... but to have that emotional connection, I need to find some meaning/understanding... I cant "feel" anything when viewing an abstract painting, or when reading an abstract poem... it leaves me empty....

TL Murphy
October 27th, 2017, 08:41 PM
Why call it a love poem? I don’t know. I think it’s fascinating to look at an abstract painting titled “The Bridge” and I don’t see a bridge. It’s poetic as hell. It makes me look deeper into the painting. EURIKA! It’s not the bridge I’m Looking at, it’s the FEELING of bridge.

aj47
October 27th, 2017, 08:43 PM
I get so frustrated with poets who keep saying that poetry is about meaning. No, it isn't. If you want to read about meaning, read pholosophy. Kant is a good start. Poetry is about feeling. It's about discovery through feeling. Meaning is what the reader brings to the poem, not the author. Metaphor is probably the best way to convey epiphany through feeling. It works through association (which is really how the human mind works). Association allows us to understand an obscure concept or feeling because of its congruity to something else that is not so obscure, like a rose or house. Metaphor invokes knowledge through association that one thing we don't understand is like another thing we do understand. The universe is fractal. Patterns repeat everywhere. Love is a summer day. Sorrow is a dead robin. Dissappointment is missing the last bus. Anger is a volcano.

This. I can't explain well by description, but let me give you some examples...

... and that's how good poetry is spun.

Firemajic
October 27th, 2017, 08:56 PM
"While poetry engages your emotions, it does so in a structured way. Poetry is smart. It does a formal dance around the emotions and engages them while also engaging the brain. EMOTION ON IT"S OWN IS MERE SENTIMENTALITY."
Dwight Longenecker [ Published by the Intercollegiate Studies Institute]

soo, like I said, different people want different things from poetry....')

clark
October 27th, 2017, 09:13 PM
Fire -- Yes. Absolutely. Someone recently posted a piece in the Workshop that various of us called "regional" to the poet. One responder said she spent a lot of time researching certain proper nouns, place names and local 'points-of-interest' , all parts of metaphors, and failed to decipher all. This poem would have been fine in the local monthly Newsletter, but most 'unfine' outside that neighborhood. Tim's point about 'meaning', 'understanding' and 'feeling' is well-taken, and of course the last is the prevue of poetry. I didn't think, however, that you were looking for MEANING within the metaphor in your comment; rather, I thought you were concerned about clear IDENTIFICATION of both parts of the metaphor. For example, "Her breastplate shone, a razzledink among those in rusted chainmail armor" cannot be "felt" by a reader, because'razzledink' is a peculiar usage known only to the poet's family. The poet cannot use it, unless she provides a glossary or some other means of making that non-word available to a broader audience. Where is that fine line? As poet, you will probably 'find' it most of the time because of your intuitive connection to your own culture.

TL Murphy
October 28th, 2017, 05:38 AM
Senitmentality is not emotional knowledge. Sentimentality to emotion is as rote memorization is to meaning. Sentimentality is a base form of emotion that mocks depth of emotion and is the antithesis of emotional knowledge. Sentimentality is Hallmark cards and country western pop tunes and tini-bop. It has nothing to do with epiphany through artistic revelation. So to reduce poetry as emotional epiphany to sentimentality is an extremely narrow perspective. Like mistaking a meteor for a firefly.

Firemajic
October 28th, 2017, 05:37 PM
Fire -- Yes. Absolutely. Someone recently posted a piece in the Workshop that various of us called "regional" to the poet. One responder said she spent a lot of time researching certain proper nouns, place names and local 'points-of-interest' , all parts of metaphors, and failed to decipher all. This poem would have been fine in the local monthly Newsletter, but most 'unfine' outside that neighborhood. Tim's point about 'meaning', 'understanding' and 'feeling' is well-taken, and of course the last is the prevue of poetry. I didn't think, however, that you were looking for MEANING within the metaphor in your comment; rather, I thought you were concerned about clear IDENTIFICATION of both parts of the metaphor. For example, "Her breastplate shone, a razzledink among those in rusted chainmail armor" cannot be "felt" by a reader, because'razzledink' is a peculiar usage known only to the poet's family. The poet cannot use it, unless she provides a glossary or some other means of making that non-word available to a broader audience. Where is that fine line? As poet, you will probably 'find' it most of the time because of your intuitive connection to your own culture.



Thank you.... Thank you, Clark.... thank you for taking the time to answer my question, you "got IT".. I really appreciate it.. ;)