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Pelwrath
December 24th, 2017, 05:01 PM
Poetic License: The freedom to depart from the facts of a matter or from the conventional rules of language when speaking or writing in order to create an effect:"he used a little poetic license to embroider a good tale"


Here's my question. Does this actually exist? If so are there circumstances when it's not allowed? What circumstances? If it does exist, what does it allow you to do and not allow you to do? Can I use "..." in a title? Can you deviate from the norms of a type of poetry?

Firemajic
December 24th, 2017, 05:14 PM
Poetic License: The freedom to depart from the facts of a matter or from the conventional rules of language when speaking or writing in order to create an effect:"he used a little poetic license to embroider a good tale"


Here's my question. Does this actually exist? If so are there circumstances when it's not allowed? What circumstances? If it does exist, what does it allow you to do and not allow you to do? Can I use "..." in a title? Can you deviate from the norms of a type of poetry?



I think that to write poetry, one cant help BUT to use poetic license.... and the use of the metaphor is just one example of using that license...Poetry is about using language in new ways to express well known emotions... so the reader can experience these emotions in a new, different way..
I believe one should deviate from the norm and forge new styles/ types of poetry.. but a wonderful mentor here at WF said you need to know the rules before you break them... ;)

Darkkin
December 24th, 2017, 05:25 PM
Poetic License: The freedom to depart from the facts of a matter or from the conventional rules of language when speaking or writing in order to create an effect:"he used a little poetic license to embroider a good tale"


Here's my question. Does this actually exist? If so are there circumstances when it's not allowed? What circumstances? If it does exist, what does it allow you to do and not allow you to do? Can I use "..." in a title? Can you deviate from the norms of a type of poetry?


You can do anything you want in poetry, but logic is still a contibuting factor. Try and call quatrain a limerick, don't get mad if a reader calls bullshit. Shed's piece Greek to Me is a good example of how outside sources can be incorporated into poetry. Content is up to the writer, but classic forms are tricker to utilize. The issue with 'poetic license' is that it too often become an excuse for shoddy construction of a piece. e.g. misspellings, misused words, illogical pairings, ungrounded content...

Essentially, be cognizant of your content, line to line and as a whole and you should be all right.

- D.

aj47
December 26th, 2017, 12:57 PM
Poetic License: The freedom to depart from the facts of a matter or from the conventional rules of language when speaking or writing in order to create an effect:"he used a little poetic license to embroider a good tale"

And you ask if it exists. Read carefully. The first part is freedom to depart the facts. That means I can say something like "I'd christened my laptop with evian water" when maybe I'd spilled an aquafina or ozarka or even ordinary tap water on it but it flows better (read it aloud if you can't spot what I'm talking about).

"To boldly go where no one has gone before" breaks a grammar rule, but for an effect. That's the kind of thing meant. Not wholesale disregard of logic.

HorseDragon
December 26th, 2017, 01:15 PM
'Poetic License' is generally not applied to the field of poetry. Poetry is the object of that term, not the subject. The term is used to refer to the practice of deviating from clear and specific language in conversation and writing. You almost never see it used in scientific papers, legal documents, legislation and the law, for example. These are cases where poetic license is deeply frowned upon. In fact, any sort of clear and unambiguous communication assumes that poetic license is forbidden - otherwise it leads to confusion.

Poetry is the object of the term - it is the origin thought or notion. You may apply it to poetry if you feel like a bit of mental recursion but it is wholly unnecessary - something like saying 'the cat is catlike'. It is self-referential.

But, we live in odd times where even an attempt to be clear can be seen as an affront to someone's liberty. So who knows. Maybe all the foundational rules that define a lot of things have been watered down to the degree that applying 'poetic license' to poetry somehow makes sense to someone. It doesn't to me.

In my view, of course.

aj47
December 26th, 2017, 01:26 PM
lol

It's a term. The idea is, if you name it, you can discuss it more readily.

It's not a requisite of poetry or prose, but it does exist, so naming it was wise. Saying things that aren't threefold truth1 is poetic license. So it happens often. That's actually its usual meaning.









1 - The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth

Kevin
December 26th, 2017, 02:10 PM
'Poetic License' is generally not applied to the field of poetry. Poetry is the object of that term, not the subject. The term is used to refer to the practice of deviating from clear and specific language in conversation and writing. You almost never see it used in scientific papers, legal documents, legislation and the law, for example. These are cases where poetic license is deeply frowned upon. In fact, any sort of clear and unambiguous communication assumes that poetic license is forbidden - otherwise it leads to confusion.

Poetry is the object of the term - it is the origin thought or notion. You may apply it to poetry if you feel like a bit of mental recursion but it is wholly unnecessary - something like saying 'the cat is catlike'. It is self-referential.

But, we live in odd times where even an attempt to be clear can be seen as an affront to someone's liberty. So who knows. Maybe all the foundational rules that define a lot of things have been watered down to the degree that applying 'poetic license' to poetry somehow makes sense to someone. It doesn't to me.

In my view, of course.
Q: do you think in words? Really? Do you not think the thought first, and only then put it into words? So when you dream do you see text? Mm.
Why am I asking this? Because I don't think you do. I think all your words are a translation into text of your thoughts. You do that. We all do that. So we can talk to others.

Words are a description of things. They are a translation of an idea, or thought of a thing into words.

What if there was a thing you had no word for? What if you went in the books and you looked for it but you found no perfect word for it? Okay... What if you saw something a certain way, and no one else seemed to see it the same as you? Then what would you do? Would you simply call it what everyone else does? describe it the same way everyone else does? Because that's what the books say?

So...if you then share that description, have you not done a poor job of it? You've followed the rules, the accepted way of doing things, yes, but your translation is not accurate. It's not really what you see, is it? One might say that you're not being truthful by being inaccurate.

So there is an example as to the 'why' of poetic license: to come up with a way to describe something and thereby share an experience, with others, in a way that has not been done before in order to be more 'true' to your personal vision.

HorseDragon
December 26th, 2017, 03:21 PM
lol

Who are you laughing at? And why?

HorseDragon
December 26th, 2017, 03:24 PM
Q: do you think in words? Really? Do you not think the thought first, and only then put it into words? So when you dream do you see text? Mm.
Why am I asking this? Because I don't think you do. I think all your words are a translation into text of your thoughts. You do that. We all do that. So we can talk to others.

Words are a description of things. They are a translation of an idea, or thought of a thing into words

You state the obvious like it is a revelation. What is your criticism? I have no idea what you are getting at with this line of reasoning. What point are you trying to make?

PS: Is there any reason for the patronizing tone? It's not like I'm a spring chicken, ya know.

Kevin
December 26th, 2017, 04:36 PM
You state the obvious like it is a revelation. What is your criticism? I have no idea what you are getting at with this line of reasoning. What point are you trying to make?

PS: Is there any reason for the patronizing tone? It's not like I'm a spring chicken, ya know. patronizing... Oh, if I am, sorry.

What is my point? I was attempting to offer a reason as to why someone might employ poetic license. You stated that you don't agree with the use of poetic license, that it waters down things, and I was attempting to say or show that when encountering the established rules or limitations some use poetic license in an attempt to better communicate. I am offering a different viewpoint.

HorseDragon
December 26th, 2017, 04:48 PM
Oh. So I see. Sorry, I found it impossible to read past the first paragraphs to get on to your main point. Thanks for clarifying.

So... what exactly gave you the impression that I found no need for poetic license? In fact, I was responding with my point of view that poetry - in and of itself - is poetic license made manifest. Also, that the term poetic license is most applicable when speaking outside the subject of poetry - as in relating to other forms of writing - where license is given for stating a point poetically.

I'm sorry that you got the wrong impression. I may have not stated that clearly enough.

Kevin
December 26th, 2017, 05:06 PM
HD, I think I made an assumption. After re-reading I think I understand better.

aj47
December 26th, 2017, 05:13 PM
Who are you laughing at? And why?

Your disclaiming statement that what you wrote was "in [your] view" with the implicit suggestion that we're too (pick an adjective, any adjective) to figure that out ourselves.

HorseDragon
December 26th, 2017, 05:30 PM
Your disclaiming statement that what you wrote was "in [your] view" with the implicit suggestion that we're too (pick an adjective, any adjective) to figure that out ourselves.

Implied suggestion? Maybe you could point that out to me because it ain't there. Why would you read that into it, anyway?

Pelwrath
December 26th, 2017, 05:48 PM
Maybe if I give an example. The title of a poem below.

Malleable as ...

using the "..." in a title is, I'm told a no no. Does poetic licence allow me to do so?

HorseDragon
December 26th, 2017, 05:59 PM
Maybe if I give an example. The title of a poem below.

Malleable as ...

using the "..." in a title is, I'm told a no no. Does poetic licence allow me to do so?

Honestly, I have no idea if there is any such rule, but I've read comments by people over the years that say that it is just a trendy thing that kids do/did, and nobody should do it. Does that make it bad? I don't think so. I would assume that it has a lot to do with how or why someone would use an ellipsis in a title.

Personally, I tend not to use them. At least I never have as far as I recall. But - when posting to a writing site, one can expect a certain amount of pedantry in critiques. Maybe for a reason? I don't know.

aj47
December 26th, 2017, 06:04 PM
Maybe if I give an example. The title of a poem below.

Malleable as ...

using the "..." in a title is, I'm told a no no. Does poetic licence allow me to do so?

Told by whom? I've never heard that you can't put ellipsis in titles. What other rules for titles have you heard?

HorseDragon
December 26th, 2017, 06:17 PM
I have no memory of whom, but I do remember reading a few comments on sites I have used in the past. Here's a quick first-google answer by one person - just as an example: https://english.stackexchange.com/questions/286193/ellipsis-in-a-title

Meanwhile, IMDB has a list of movie titles with ellipsis in the title: http://www.imdb.com/search/keyword?keywords=ellipsis-in-title

So, like I said, I don't think that it is a problem, personally.

sas
December 27th, 2017, 03:33 PM
There are no rules in poetry, only examples as to what has successfully worked. Poetry is a creative art form, which by its very nature allows for individuality. How boring, otherwise.

I have used ellipsis in title when it is meant to be part of the first line of a poem.

ned
December 27th, 2017, 10:14 PM
well said Sas

but there is one golden rule - by some measure, it must be poetic...

sas
December 27th, 2017, 10:33 PM
well said Sas

but there is one golden rule - by some measure, it must be poetic...

We are in agreement. Guess I shouldn't have assumed "successfully worked" clarified poetics.

As an aside, I don't think children (grade school K-8 should be taught poetry forms. Don't ask me how to do it, but it's not that way. Maybe ask them to closely observe three things a week (animals, plants, people, even buildings) and try to describe them in detail, not necessarily uniquely, but that would be the goal. Teach them to observe first. Or, later ask them to make comparisons between diverse things, the beginnings of simile without that heavy word. I hate boxes. Personally, I think teachers ruin creative writing and history classes. Neither can be appreciated if regurgitated.

escorial
December 27th, 2017, 10:43 PM
poetic license is like 007 license to kill....

Nellie
December 28th, 2017, 06:22 PM
poetic license is like 007 license to kill....

And if the license is revoked, what will the poet do?

escorial
December 28th, 2017, 06:54 PM
Fill in appeal application form an send it to district council offices but make sure you send it with c/o M office or it will end up in traffic wardens ticket appeals floor...

Squalid Glass
January 2nd, 2018, 09:22 PM
We are in agreement. Guess I shouldn't have assumed "successfully worked" clarified poetics.

As an aside, I don't think children (grade school K-8 should be taught poetry forms. Don't ask me how to do it, but it's not that way. Maybe ask them to closely observe three things a week (animals, plants, people, even buildings) and try to describe them in detail, not necessarily uniquely, but that would be the goal. Teach them to observe first. Or, later ask them to make comparisons between diverse things, the beginnings of simile without that heavy word. I hate boxes. Personally, I think teachers ruin creative writing and history classes. Neither can be appreciated if regurgitated.

If they do ruin creative writing and history, they're a crap teacher.

When I teach creative writing or even literature for that matter, I always stress feeling first. An artist is, after all, entitled to their own feeling about what works and what doesn't. If they weren't, then what the hell is the point, right? But I do think that poets, more than most other artists, have a tendency to excuse technique in the name of feeling and then hide behind the all-encompassing "free-verse". I think that's a problem. For example, free verse is not good if it is not grounded in anything. It is best when technique and content match, when attention is paid to imagery, flow, poetic devices, rhetorical and figurative language, theme, purpose, etc. This is the same in any medium. Hell, modern art has this problem. What I mean is a lot of people see modern art and think it's just mindless crap. A lot of people see Jackson Pollock and think, "Hell, I could do that." They don't have the technical training to properly understand the technique, thus the ill-informed opinion forms and people think Pollock was a no-talent fraud. This is why art critics appreciate Pollock (for the most part) and most laypeople don't. It's not that the critics are smarter; it's that they've been trained to see beyond what they see. There's a lot of chatter these days about how that's crap too and how students just become indoctrinated in theory because they're professors force it on them. I think that's either an argument made by people who don't know what they're talking about or an argument made by people who had bad professors. Good teachers provide the structure and allow the student to choose how they will apply that structure to their own lives. Bad teachers preach a narrow view and punish students for varying from it. I count myself lucky because I only had 1 or 2 teachers who ever did that to me.

Anyway, it is important to be well versed in technique and form and all those academic things. Eliot recognized this. Pound did. Kafka did. Wordsworth and Coleridge did. Ginsberg did. Other artists too. Hell, you can see it in Shakespeare and all his borrowing and, of course, his form. Becoming a student of your craft allows you to explore your creativity in stronger ways. It also allows you to build upon what has come before you, as Eliot points out in "Tradition and the Individual Talent." It's the same thing with interpretation. It used to be the new critics preached the poem and only the poem. Well, academics evolved and realized an understanding of the artist is more important for interpreting their work, thus new historicism took over. And that's for the best!

The point is you need have an understanding of a lot of things. From a purely pedagogical perspective, teaching kids that poetry has no rules first is backwards logic as children learn better when there is structure put in place first. I do agree that starting with observation and description is best, and that's actually what a lot of educators are doing now. Pedagogy is constantly evolving, and the old rote instructional methods are quickly becoming extinct among educators who have been properly taught. That being said, government standards are the real blockade for children. We're constantly forced to check boxes, as you noted, because if we don't our scores will lower and we'll be out a job. That's the problem with education; it's the mandates, not the teachers.

But I digress.

This all reminds me of a stupid anecdote I learned my first year of college in Intro to Literary Theory. I came out of high school steeped in feeling and lacking any sense of technique. The first day of class, we read "A Good Man is Hard to Find" by Flannery O'Connor. My professor asks us what the story is about. I offer an explanation and he says I'm completely wrong.

I was pissed. I even told him (brash young freshman I was) that interpretation is an individual exercise: what I get out of the story is equally as valid as what he got. He laughed at me.

So then he said something to the effect of, "Okay, this story is about aliens. It's my interpretation. Interpretation is an individual exercise, so what I get out of the story is equally as valid as what you get."

I realized immediately my mistake then went on to suffer through the complicated mess that is literary theory and the various critical approaches. It's similar to a scientific approach. I can shout all day that the world is flat because I feel I'm right, but when a scientist comes around and uses a structured, grounded approach to prove I am wrong, then I am wrong. Interpretation and feelings be damned.

Point is that all interpretation, just like all art, is not equal. I can love Star Wars 100 times more than I love Citizen Kane, but that doesn't mean Star Wars is technically a better movie. I can scribble some random words down and say it's good art because there is feeling behind it, but unless my approach has been informed by some sort of conceptual structure, what the hell did I do except scribble?


As for the OP question about poetic license, sure. Poetic license is real and a good thing. But if you're going to use poetic license (and in this sense, I'm applying the term to poetry form) then you better know why the hell you're doing it. Your explanation better not be "because I can." If that's all you got, I call BS.

sas
January 2nd, 2018, 11:14 PM
S. Glass,

(typing with one finger on iPad)

My comments were focused upon those who teach in grade/middle school. I've seen them kill poetry interest in my grandgirls. Just when I had the most creative one showing interest, a teacher ruined it. Contained her, so she was afraid to step out of the box.

I know Picasso was an exceptional artist of realism, before his abstract works. By that measure, what you said is validated. Yet, I can't help thinking that if Picasso taught children, he would tell them to just paint what they felt, not duplicate what they saw. At least, I hope so. Free the children first, then introduce them to form.

Squalid Glass
January 3rd, 2018, 12:12 AM
I can appreciate your concern, but I am currently a middle school teacher, so I’m right in the thick of it. I do stand by the idea that your grandchildren probably got a bad teacher, and that sucks. Hopefully they get a better one going forward because the worst thing a teacher can do is kill that spirit.

And I appreciate your sentiment about Picasso, but I disagree. I think he’d teach them form first then encourage them to destroy it haha. Then again, I think you can teach both at the same time.

Robbie
January 3rd, 2018, 03:37 AM
Loved his humanitarian “Blue Period” for me his best works.

escorial
January 3rd, 2018, 03:42 AM
drink to me,drink to my health...you know i can't drink anymore...clock strikes 3

Robbie
January 4th, 2018, 05:08 AM
Yes Annie, split infinitive.

sas
January 4th, 2018, 02:16 PM
As an example of how we adults ruin creativity, I have a screened porch where I display artwork paintings my grandgirls have done, in my home art studio. The youngest, was the most creative, until art in grade school put a stop to it. A neighbor stopped by, and not knowing a five year old had painted one, asked me where I got it, because she loved it so much. I said it was created by a former butterfly, who became a pupa (aka pupil, my definition for those who are taught, too young, the creative arts. I want them to try their wings without telling them how. Mother birds push their fledglings out of the nest. I've yet to know of one who didn't soar, not so with ours.)

.

Pelwrath
January 4th, 2018, 02:33 PM
How is exploring something new to you related to creativity?

Robbie
January 4th, 2018, 06:08 PM
They do much better when they are unaware they are being watched....when they do it because they want to. Being “taught” too soon can demolish creativity.

sas
January 4th, 2018, 06:26 PM
They do much better when they are unaware they are being watched....when they do it because they want to. Being “taught” too soon can demolish creativity.

Uncage them when young. They'll fly to unusual places, not to the destinations we point them to. I've learned from them.

TL Murphy
January 19th, 2018, 12:24 AM
There are not rules. There are schools of thought. There are conventions, expectations and forms. And there are opinions on what is good and what is bad, what is poetic and what is not. But there are no rules. It comes down to who you want to listen to, who you want to be influenced by - whether what someone says about “good” poetry makes sense to you. Poetry can be anything that involves creative use of language. The licence is potentially unlimited. But it doesn’t go very far in a vacuum. For poetry, or any art, to exit, there must be an artist, a venue (form), and an audience. Without an audience, how can the poetry be said to exist? So, yes, poetry can be anything involving language, but if you don’t manage to somehow reach an audience, then the words are irrelevant and you have only made an attempt at poetry. This is where convention and the opinions of other poets matter. Because it helps us find the place of relevance for poetry.

Language and thought evolve together. They are really two aspects of the same thing. They are the inward and outward expressions of intellect. One cannot develop without the other because thought cannot evolve in a vacuum. Intellect devolves in isolation.

Art is no different. Art drives change. It drives the evolution of consciousness. Art will always challenge the status-quo of conventional thought. This is why we get so excited about originality in art and about radical artists/poets who turn the art world on its ear. Poetry is in a constant state of evolution, as is everything else, but poetry and art show us the evolution as it is happening. They are immediate and apparent manifestations of conscious evolution. But to be a painter, one must first learn to paint. Throwing buckets of paint at a canvas is not art unless it’s done in a context that has evolved to recognize that process as part of a relevant movement. To write poetry, one must first learn to write. Random words on a page is not poetry, it’s gobble-di-gook. So even though poetic licence is potentially limitless, there are parameters only within which it can be relevant.

Cunningstuff
January 2nd, 2019, 01:59 PM
But to be a painter, one must first learn to paint.

I just wanted to chime in a bit. Your entire statement is grand, it pretty much encompasses all, but, there is something to be said for gobbledygook, if that is your medium. What part of nonsense is sense, or lack of it. We can use negative spaces, if you would. Plenty of examples of art that are made of derivatives, nonsense, random parts put together in no order. It lets our brains find the order, to let our senses spin a bit. Art is found, not necessarily created, and done so by non-artists. We may have no interest in bad poetry here in this forum, only because we like to fool ourselves about how clever we really are. Words may only have an audience of one, and that is fine.

TL Murphy
January 4th, 2019, 10:05 PM
Cunningstuff, this is an old discussion so I had to back to the original question:

Poetic License: The freedom to depart from the facts of a matter or from the conventional rules of language when speaking or writing in order to create an effect:"he used a little poetic license to embroider a good tale"

Here's my question. Does this actually exist? If so are there circumstances when it's not allowed? What circumstances? If it does exist, what does it allow you to do and not allow you to do? Can I use "..." in a title? Can you deviate from the norms of a type of poetry?


I would say that poetry is built on poetic license. That's what makes it poetry instead of something else. Poetry, by definition, presses the boundaries of language. And to take up your comment:


"... there is something to be said for gobbledygook, if that is your medium. What part of nonsense is sense, or lack of it. We can use negative spaces, if you would. Plenty of examples of art that are made of derivatives, nonsense, random parts put together in no order. It lets our brains find the order, to let our senses spin a bit. Art is found, not necessarily created, and done so by non-artists..."


Gobbledygook is gobbledygook, not poetry. A horse walking around on a canvas with paint on it's feet is not a painting unless there is an artist behind the action that somehow connects that random act with some relevant context. Otherwise, it's just a horse making a mess. In the same way, the random fall of autumn leaves is not art unless a photographer takes a photo and places it inside some kind of form and context that creates a statement. That's what Marcel Duchamp did in 1916 when he hung a urinal on the wall in a gallery and called it art. He was making a statement about the nature of art. Take the classic example of "Jabberwocky" known as a gobbledygook poem, which is a genre. Jabberwocky is, however, anything but gobbledygook. It has made up words in it (which is an example of poetic license) but the context (grammar and syntax) around those words endow them with meaning, if not precise meaning, at least an expanded possibility of meanings. This would be similar to writing common words using the correct first and last letter and the correct number of syllables but filling the middle of the word with the wrong letters. By placing such a word in the context of an understandable sentence the reader can understand the word. Natural beauty or random beauty is not art. Only a sentient being can make art because it is a form of communication, however obscure it may be.

Now, poetic license allows us to push the boundaries of language and meaning within the context of poetry. However, without a recognizable context or an intelligent hand behind the words, there is no poetry. Found art only becomes art by manipulating or endowing that which is found into an artistic context - which is an intentional act.

Pelwrath
January 8th, 2019, 01:38 AM
My ability or lack there of, doesn’t make the words, scheme or structure I use a poem. At least I don’t think it does. It only becomes a poem when it finds meaning in the mind of a reader. I’ve used or at least have tried to use poetic license with good and very bad results.
My thanks to all for their comments and thoughts on this. You’re all wonderful, helpful, and dear to me.

Darkkin
January 8th, 2019, 12:49 PM
I just wanted to chime in a bit. Your entire statement is grand, it pretty much encompasses all, but, there is something to be said for gobbledygook, if that is your medium. What part of nonsense is sense, or lack of it. We can use negative spaces, if you would. Plenty of examples of art that are made of derivatives, nonsense, random parts put together in no order. It lets our brains find the order, to let our senses spin a bit. Art is found, not necessarily created, and done so by non-artists. We may have no interest in bad poetry here in this forum, only because we like to fool ourselves about how clever we really are. Words may only have an audience of one, and that is fine.

Define bad poetry...within quantifiable parameters. e.g. Precisely and concisely delineate why poem X is bad and why poem K is art. Forum boards are the designated limits, so which poems are good and which poems are bad. Please show work and reasoning behind conclusions drawn.

All art has humble origins so flexibility in the abstract and adaptation to context and construct is requisite.

No interest in bad poetry...Talk about limiting one's horizons. Sure, maybe a poem is not great, but what can be learned from it? From a critique of the work? Form, thoughts about how a poem works, imagery that defies its current situation.

By taking apart the pieces that seems to have little to no value is when one can truly learn the most.