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Olly Buckle
November 19th, 2019, 01:48 AM
I made a remark in relation to Dylan Thomas about not liking alcoholics, although I do like a lot of his writing, and Clark observed that it is a big question, how much are the poet and his poems interrelated?
What if 'Dulce decorum' had been written by a conscientious objector? Or 'Prufrock' by a lothario? Would it change the poem? How much does the poet impact on the poem?

Firemajic
November 19th, 2019, 01:31 PM
It would be hard,{ for me} to separate the poet from his poetry... when I posted a poem about war, written by Wilfred Owen, and later learned from a comment Phil made, that Wilfred Owen lost his life in a war... for me, it made his poem heartbreaking... so ironic... I think one cannot help being in some way influenced by the history of the poet, seems to me the poet's life and his poetry are entwined...most of us write from personal life experiences or observations....

should we separate the poet from his work? Probably... but poetry is different than other art forms...jmo, but poetry is more intimate than say... a painting or a sculpture...

luckyscars
November 19th, 2019, 02:12 PM
I think it depends on the poem. Wilfred Owen being a soldier is relevant because he wrote war poetry, but I don't think it would matter so much if he wrote romantic poetry, or poetry about his dog. For me the significance is in the realism. Reading 'Dulce' I can see Owen writing it in a dark trench while poison gas drifts across No Man's Land. It creates an image that feels real, which is all a poem is designed to do in the end.

This made me think of the controversy surrounding Morrisey, who despite being a pop star is often considered a 'poet'. I know a lot of people who have stopped listening to him purely because he's a racist. I also know a lot of people who haven't. I'm somewhere in the middle. His unpleasant views have affected my opinion of some of his work greatly, and all of his work slightly, but I can't say I'm not able to still listen to some of his songs without thinking 'bastard, bastard'.

It doesn't massively bother me knowing Edgar Allan Poe was a pedophile, either. Not sure why. Maybe because it was so long ago and his generally oddball reputation makes it possible to fudge that fact - 'maybe he didn't actually have sex with her'. Maybe it's a moral failure on all our part?

Firemajic
November 19th, 2019, 02:33 PM
ok, well maybe we are talking about 2 different scenarios... if a poet writes about just his life experiences, it most likely would sound more authentic... and would be difficult to separate that poet from his work.

But knowing a poet was a serial killer writing love sonnets ... well, how could you NOT be just a tad biased...

escorial
November 19th, 2019, 03:10 PM
I think therefore I am

TL Murphy
November 19th, 2019, 04:40 PM
We don’t need to know anything about a poet to appreciate his or her poetry. A poem is like a painting in that way. Everything we need to know about the poem is in the poem. The poem is not the poet. It is not an extension of the poet. The poem stands on its own as a work of art. Knowing something about the poet might help give us some historical context for the poem. But that is entirely outside the poem itself. Knowing something about the poet might aid us in analysis of the poems. But poems are not written to be analyzed. Wilfred Owen is a good example. It is apparent from his poetry that he was a soldier. He did not know when he wrote those poems that he would not survive the war. Knowing that he died may enhance our desire to read and absorb the poetry. But it doesn't change the poems or their intent.

Firemajic
November 19th, 2019, 06:25 PM
Well, maybe it's just me...but as humble human beings, can we really separate our own private emotions concerning the poet... I mean seriously, if we knew a writer was a child molester, might we read his poetry about the innocence of children differently?? I know I would...

No, we do not NEED to know about the poet's life... but when we do.... well, it is bound to cause a bias...

Olly Buckle
November 19th, 2019, 07:49 PM
Dulce is interesting in other ways, we have Owen's notebooks and it is apparent that he wrote it whilst home on leave, not in some dark trench. The other thing they tell us is that it was written over an eighteen month period. I am always rather sceptical about the 'Here's something I wrote last night' poets, producing something really good takes time. One of my favourite Wordsworth poems has parts that were written a bit over twenty years apart before they were adapted and amalgamated.

Phil Istine
November 19th, 2019, 10:37 PM
I first looked more closely at Dulce... when I chose it as one of the poems to dissect in an exam a few years ago. About a year ago I stumbled across an old, dilapidated book of Wilfred Owen's poems in a charity shop. It cost the Brit equivalent of about a dollar. Result!

clark
November 19th, 2019, 10:45 PM
Olly -- You're diabolical, Olly Buckle! This thread will run to 300 posts. . .and fail to 'answer' the question. But what the hell! . . .all the questions worth asking can't be answered because we need mystery in our lives and, perhaps, the play of active minds probing the mysteries is the finest exercise of intellect/imagination. When we take on Theseus's famous "the poet' eye in a fine frenzy rolling/doth glance from . . ." we always focus our attention on the last part of the pronouncement, the functional part where he talks about how the poet takes common bits and pieces and creates something that never existed before. NO ONE wants to get into the 'trance' that begins it all, or the fact that the poet merely 'glances' ('tis enough!) to come to his extraordinary new fusions. That way might lie madness.

I am torn. On the one hand, I reject the biographical/historical/sociological blurring endemic to Victorian literary criticism, perhaps exemplified by the work of George Saintsbury, a giant in the field, who continued writing until his death (I think) shortly before the rise of Hitler and the advent of WW II. Saintsbury did focus on the texts of poetry, or tried to, but he couldn't resist approaching literature as a crystallization of the cultural values from which it came, or relating key aspects of text to events in a poet's life or notable historical 'movements' to which a poet was responding. The various 'schools' of literary criticism dominant in the early decades of the 20th century also came to literature with the baggage of philosophical or sociological presuppositions which were then applied to text as a means of "understanding". The Marxist approach, the Psychoanalytical approach, the Biographical approach . . .and of course the radical New Criticism (IA Richards, Wm Empson in the 1930s and Cleanth Brooks in the 1950s), which looked on the poem in absolute isolation from everything but the text on the page.

Pre-dating the New Critics is William Carlos Williams famous opening to his best-known poem (1923): "so much depends upon. . .", an important lead-in that IMO does not receive the attention it deserves as the preamble to the objects that comprise the poem. I look on that preamble as a hot knife slicing the modern era of criticism away from the centuries of criticism that preceded. I need to remind myself that poetry as Handmaiden to culture and history, and approached through those filters , has been the norm for most of human history. The poem as standalone Art is a relatively new idea and "so much depends" on our grasping the concept, opening our senses to the world around us, unencumbered with imposed values or beliefs.

So, there's the very broad context within which I say I am "torn." A huge part of the way I write, read, and criticize poetry--huge--totally agrees with Tim (see post #6) that the poem must standalone. But Tim makes two statements that bring me up short. I do not know quite what to do with them . . .and I've been in this quandary for years. Tim says:

the poem is not an extension of the poet
knowing details of the poet's life "may enhance" our interest, but that doesn't "change the poems or their intent."

On the first point, of course the poem is not an extension of the poet-as-person. It is very bad criticism to say "the sentiment in L4 is simply spillage from Joe's well-known Marxist leanings." SCA-REEM! The poem has just disappeared in the fog of my completely unsubstantiated projection. My reader is now thinking about Joe's politics, not the poem at all. BUT, though not a "projection" of the poet, the poem did not mysteriously drop from the sky, either. Am I forbidden as a critic from considering any aspect of the poet? His or her vulnerability in expressing the poem at all? Is ot there an aura of the poet's values tissued through the standalone poem? . . .wurra, wurra . . .

The second point is even more problematic: " . . .the poems or their intent." (my emphasis) The poems themselves are not sentient. They do not have "intent". Only the poet can have 'intent'. And determining that intent from the text of the poem is vital to determining the gestalt of the poem, essential to determining how the pieces of the poem come together . . .and where they appear to be going. Does not this determining of Intent require me to "get inside the poet's head"? Or can I sidestep that accusation by arguing that i have proven Intent solely from the interlocked elements in the text and only the text.

For me, getting a clearer sense of these two issues is at the heart of this thread.

Bloggsworth
November 19th, 2019, 10:46 PM
It may or may not. I was congratulated on my poem about Tuscany, on how I had captured it, how acute were my observations, trouble is, I had never been near the place, probably about 1,000 miles or so when we flew from Malta to Cyprus in 1954. In fact, I've never been to continenetal Europe, the nearest being Dover... Once.

It is perfectly possible for a poet to seperate imagination and experience, the two may never meet on a daily basis. Some writers have their personalty and sexual, religious or political leanings a consistent thread running through their writings. Was Nabakov a peadophile? No, but he was a considerable expert on the penises of butterflies...

Firemajic
November 19th, 2019, 11:14 PM
sorry, pardon my faux pas.... but I thought the OP was about separating the poet from his poetry...

I understood the question to be something like this: IF, knowing something about a poet, would that knowledge change one's perception of the poet's work... anyway... that is what I thought Olly was asking...;)

Pelwrath
November 20th, 2019, 01:19 AM
What if the question was backwards? Famous poets, older poets and good poets are known to you, how many of the poets here are? We recognize a poets style, their subject matter(genre?) much line a painter. I plead ignorance and ineptitude. Sometimes I think I recognize one of our poets poems but to me that’s unimportant. The poem is important. What does it mean? Why does it mean that? Could we be clouding our perspective based on history of a poet? Then again I don’t venture into the deep end very often. I loved all the points that have been made here.

TL Murphy
November 20th, 2019, 07:32 AM
Clark, I am not sure that it is necessary to grasp a poet’s intent in order to grasp the poem’s gestalt. Or perhaps there are different ways to understand intent. Intent can be revealed in the poem, and if it is not revealed, perhaps that is because the poet did not intend to reveal his intent. How’s that for a semantic twist? I think of John Ashbury and even Ron Peat. I would even suggest that many poems are written where the authors don’t even understand their own intent themselves. Intent is revealed in the act of writing, or perhaps only years later. So I’m not sure how readers in this case would benefit by knowing anything about the poet. Of course, if you read a poet long enough you start to recognize their voice and style. But does that, in itself, give you deeper insight into the poem?

Phil Istine
November 20th, 2019, 07:38 AM
sorry, pardon my faux pas.... but I thought the OP was about separating the poet from his poetry...

I understood the question to be something like this: IF, knowing something about a poet, would that knowledge change one's perception of the poet's work... anyway... that is what I thought Olly was asking...;)

Indeed, I got in a muddle and thought I was on your other thread about Wilfred Owen's poem. A lesson for me there when reading in separate sessions: scroll back and check.

In brief, I can appreciate a poem more when knowing something of the writer. An understanding of the possible reasons why a poet writes a particular way can be gleaned by knowing something of the poet's life - sometimes. For example, with some of Owen's war poems I can feel empathy for his situation, even though I've never been to a war zone. With Heaney's account of his younger brother's death (Mid-Term Break) in a car accident, I can feel the numbness of shock, but it's probably enhanced by the knowledge that this really happened.

So, yes, knowing something about as poet can add to a poem and give an enhanced perception.

escorial
November 20th, 2019, 09:56 AM
When a rockstar or film star says I'm shy by nature I just think behave...as for poets the the word I should be replaced with three words..me,me,me

Olly Buckle
November 20th, 2019, 10:37 AM
Olly -- You're diabolical, Olly Buckle!
.

You are too kind, I try.

Hey, Phil, sorry mate, but you were ripped, Wilfred Owen's poems is a charity shop regular, you should get a perfect copy for about 20p tops. On the other hand of course, how can you put a value on something like that, and a copy that's been loved and read.

clark
November 20th, 2019, 10:53 AM
Oh ESC! Do rein in your one-line shots at how much poets at large get your shorts in a knot! Do you seriously think poets and their work are some kind of egotistical conspiracy to undermine REAL writing? Poets are the most vulnerable of all writers, because they reveal so much of their inner lives, their fears and failures, hopes and dreams, in between the lines of everything they write. That takes guts, real guts. "me, me, me" indeed. Nonsense. How about YOU putting your sentiments on the line: write an essay arguing . . .whatever. . .position you wish to argue, about poets and poetry. We would all enjoy your thinking about the issue. And we could probably ALL learn something along the way :couple_inlove: . Think about it, please.

Olly Buckle
November 20th, 2019, 11:06 AM
Poets are the most vulnerable of all writers, because they reveal so much of their inner lives, their fears and failures, hopes and dreams, in between the lines of everything they write.

In that case poets really are inseparable from what they write, but surely this is only one sort of poetry, how about the poem about an historical event that has caught the poet's imagination, or the sort of poem Bloggsworth wrote about Tuscany, or mine about Australia which The Backward Ox said he felt could only have been written by a native Australian, when I have never been there either?

escorial
November 20th, 2019, 11:20 AM
It's tuff being a luvy

clark
November 20th, 2019, 05:50 PM
Olly -- of course. I agree and should have qualified, going in. Thanks for the head's up. A poet can write a piece in which little, perhaps none of his Self is involved. ALL of Browning's major poems, for example, are Dramatic Monologues. The aesthetic distance between poet and speaker in Browning's poems is huge--one of his characters ("Porphyria's Lover"), for example, has just strangled her and arranged her corpse leaning on his shoulder as he speaks to it softly and lovingly. In contradistinction, the aesthetic distance in a Keats Ode, is very close, very tight. Or--a local example--most of Neetu's short poems are intensely personal, as she says herself.

It is dangerous, however, to make assumptions about a poem based on either extensive reading of the poet's works or extensive information about his life. In the end (and beginning) it is the text of the poem to which we must turn as the arbiter of its 'value'.

escorial
November 23rd, 2019, 12:53 PM
the writers who wrote in their journals and keep their work private are different from everyone one WF....writers on here want to share their work for many reasons but the common denominator is the self...the easiest person to decieve is oneself...your here because you want something from all other members...and you cannot transcend your work

Olly Buckle
November 23rd, 2019, 10:34 PM
Olly -- of course. I agree and should have qualified, going in. Thanks for the head's up. A poet can write a piece in which little, perhaps none of his Self is involved. ALL of Browning's major poems, for example, are Dramatic Monologues. The aesthetic distance between poet and speaker in Browning's poems is huge--one of his characters ("Porphyria's Lover"), for example, has just strangled her and arranged her corpse leaning on his shoulder as he speaks to it softly and lovingly. In contradistinction, the aesthetic distance in a Keats Ode, is very close, very tight. Or--a local example--most of Neetu's short poems are intensely personal, as she says herself.

It is dangerous, however, to make assumptions about a poem based on either extensive reading of the poet's works or extensive information about his life. In the end (and beginning) it is the text of the poem to which we must turn as the arbiter of its 'value'.

On the other hand there must be aspects of self in the poem because it is the product of self. It would take a Macauley to write Horatius on the bridge, I'd never come up with that for a subject.

JustRob
November 24th, 2019, 11:21 AM
Oh ESC! Do rein in your one-line shots at how much poets at large get your shorts in a knot! Do you seriously think poets and their work are some kind of egotistical conspiracy to undermine REAL writing? Poets are the most vulnerable of all writers, because they reveal so much of their inner lives, their fears and failures, hopes and dreams, in between the lines of everything they write. That takes guts, real guts. "me, me, me" indeed. Nonsense. How about YOU putting your sentiments on the line: write an essay arguing . . .whatever. . .position you wish to argue, about poets and poetry. We would all enjoy your thinking about the issue. And we could probably ALL learn something along the way :couple_inlove: . Think about it, please.

I have noticed that the poets here discuss matters in the context of poetry which actually apply equally to all types of writing, so I feel justified in butting in. I have on occasion, probably several, mentioned that it seems much harder for a novice prose writer to get published than one with an established career because the prose is not separated from the writer. There are of course commercial pressures involved there, but the principle is the same, that how a reader views any work is strongly influenced by their foreknowledge of the writer.

I would also suggest that novice writers of prose or poetry are actually the most vulnerable of all writers, because they reveal so much of their inner lives without realising it. After writing my solitary spontaneous novel I analysed it carefully because I assumed that to have written it so fluently and quickly I must have been expressing long-standing thoughts, feelings, attitudes and experiences of my own, but I couldn't find signs of these. No person in their right mind would have considered that they might be writing about their future life though, so I didn't realise that I had indeed drawn heavily from my own life, or rather the one to come. Maybe poets choose to embed themselves deeply in their work but novice writers tend to by default simply because they don't yet have the skill to stand back from their writing and consider that it must stand on its own merits.

Regarding how deeply the meaning is embedded within poetry compared to prose and how much effort and soul-searching (literally in my case as only the soul can know about one's future) is endured by the writer, that is again an example of foreknowledge influencing the reader. If they assume that poetry has deeper meaning than prose because that is its primary purpose then they will seek it out in a way that they might not with prose, thereby maintaining their illusions. I have claimed that my prose is my poetry and part of that claim lies in the way that I write simultaneously at two levels, providing a simple prose story for the superficial reader alongside a deeper, more amorphous flowing set of experiences for any reader who chooses to engage their poetic appreciation.

Please don't tell me that only poets give their all when writing either. I typed parts of my novel with such tears in my eyes that I could barely read what I was typing. Even when I returned to review and revise that section the tears also returned. However, I could not relate the scene to any experience of my own; I was simply deeply involved in the story itself, which had become a part of me in the writing. According to a highly qualified reader those tears found their way into his own feelings when he read my words, surely the intention of any writer of prose or poetry, to pass on the experience fully.

The reader should not need to have foreknowledge of the writer but find him within every page of his writing, but only if they choose to look carefully enough. Now I will get out of bed and return to my prosaic everyday life.

TL Murphy
November 25th, 2019, 04:18 AM
Just rob writes:

“Maybe poets choose to embed themselves deeply in their work but novice writers tend to by default simply because they don't yet have the skill to stand back from their writing and consider that it must stand on its own.”

The difference is understanding how to represent the personal experience as a universal experience. The experienced poet or fiction writer turns to archetypes and expresses his personal experience in archetypal terms. This act separates the poem from the poet by expanding the experience through figurative language to take on a symbolic role, which broadens the reader's opportunity for interpretation and opens a way to internalize the experience.

Ditchweed242
November 25th, 2019, 05:57 AM
Most good questions only have one answer: Depends on who you ask.

clark
November 25th, 2019, 07:42 AM
Ditchweed: Interesting. If "it" depends on who you ask, then all answers are idiosyncratic. That's glib . . . but Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle seems to offer some support, in that he insists that in observing any quantifiable phenomenon--perhaps ANY research phenomenon--the reporting scientist himself must be added as a component of the phenomenon. The old objective/subjective dichotomy is a handy separator in pursuing a dialectic, but it cannot be trusted in arriving at conclusions. Ultimately, I suppose there is literally no such' thing as 'objective'. Empty language.

escorial
November 25th, 2019, 10:10 AM
I read a quote from Bruce Lee...when you put water into a bottle..it becomes the bottle..and like him sum people believe they can shapeshift and I guess some believe they can wordshift..

Ditchweed242
November 25th, 2019, 11:24 AM
Ditchweed: Interesting. If "it" depends on who you ask, then all answers are idiosyncratic. That's glib . . . but Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle seems to offer some support, in that he insists that in observing any quantifiable phenomenon--perhaps ANY research phenomenon--the reporting scientist himself must be added as a component of the phenomenon. The old objective/subjective dichotomy is a handy separator in pursuing a dialectic, but it cannot be trusted in arriving at conclusions. Ultimately, I suppose there is literally no such' thing as 'objective'. Empty language.

That is my belief, anyway. You can never completely remove yourself
from anything because we only have ever had one point of view.
Our own.

So many things in life are subjective, which is another way to say,
depends on who you ask. Another way of asking Who am I?

Like escorial spoke of with his Bruce Lee quote. Some people people
try to shape shift. I call them chameleons because they have no
real identity of their own. Bouncing from life to life trying to find
one that fits. Like an identity can be tried on and bought.

To be any kind of objective, you have to have at least have a general
answer to the question of: Who am I? You have to at least be able
to look in the mirror and not think about what a great selfie it
would be.

Look at that, made me get all philosophical and shit. Lol.

Fun question to think about.

TL Murphy
November 25th, 2019, 08:47 PM
Most good questions only have one answer: Depends on who you ask.

I had to laugh at this statement. The paradox is axiomatic. If there were only one answer to a question, then it would not matter who you ask. Everyone would have the same answer. In fact, everyone may have a different answer. There are an infinite number of answers to any given question. Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle implies that all answers are true at the same time. It depends on the circumstances. In Schrodinger’s box, we know there is a cat inside. Is the cat dead or alive? The cat is both dead and alive until we open the box. Then the cat is either dead or alive.

Knowing who you are does not change whether the cat is dead or alive. It does not change how fast the earth goes around the sun. It doesn’t change the temperature outside. Of course these truths are also subject to change. Any truth is mutable. It is only true for the given moment. We have know idea what the state will be a minute from now or a thousands years from now. We can only speculate. People also change. I dare say that people who claim to know who they are, are the last people who know who they are. The only honest answer to “Who are you?” is “I don’t know.” There are too many factors. But of course, that depends on who you ask.

The older one gets, the more one knows one doesn’t know. When we are young, all knowledge seems within our grasp. When we are old it becomes apparent that we know nothing.

clark
November 25th, 2019, 10:51 PM
Pope put it rather well:

Know then thyself, presume not God to scan
The proper study of mankind is Man.

In other words, your examination of your Self will be a never-ending Study. . .but it's all you've got, and Esc's sneer at those who 'think' they can shapeshift or wordshift is misguided: Heraclitus knew what he was talking about when he said, "No man can step into the same river twice". The face you shave on Tuesday is not the same face you shaved on Monday, and the firm idea you had as a youth goes thru profound change as the years pass. The river flows. When I was fifteen I thought my Dad was the stupidest dulled-out old fart on the planet--and when I was twenty-one it just amazed me how much he'd learned in ​six years! Uh-huh. h

Ditchweed242
November 25th, 2019, 11:01 PM
I had to laugh at this statement. The paradox is axiomatic. If there were only one answer to a question, then it would not matter who you ask. Everyone would have the same answer. In fact, everyone may have a different answer. There are an infinite number of answers to any given question. Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle implies that all answers are true at the same time. It depends on the circumstances. In Schrodinger’s box, we know there is a cat inside. Is the cat dead or alive? The cat is both dead and alive until we open the box. Then the cat is either dead or alive.

Knowing who you are does not change whether the cat is dead or alive. It does not change how fast the earth goes around the sun. It doesn’t change the temperature outside. Of course these truths are also subject to change. Any truth is mutable. It is only true for the given moment. We have know idea what the state will be a minute from now or a thousands years from now. We can only speculate. People also change. I dare say that people who claim to know who they are, are the last people who know who they are. The only honest answer to “Who are you?” is “I don’t know.” There are too many factors. But of course, that depends on who you ask.

The older one gets, the more one knows one doesn’t know. When we are young, all knowledge seems within our grasp. When we are old it becomes apparent that we know nothing.



I suppose that I was using a little circular logic there. But things
like cats being alive or dead, earths rotation, orbit, and temperature
are facts. Not questions.

Questions like "who am I?", "why am I here?", "what now?", and
"where are my pants?", all will have different answers no matter
who you ask.

Except for possibly the pants one, they are questions that cannot be
answered. The whole point of the question is to make one think.

The answers really are not that important anyway. It is the journey
of finding the right place to ask the questions that is important. A
journey that needs to be taken again and again. The first circle.

clark
November 25th, 2019, 11:45 PM
I suppose that I was using a little circular logic there. But things
like cats being alive or dead, earths rotation, orbit, and temperature
are facts. Not question It is constructive to speak of different ORDERS of questions, to further a discussion, say (Plato's character, Socrates, in the Republic, uses this method frequently to maneuver his interlocutor into a position advantageous to Socrates).. "Is it not true that water is wet?" or "Is every man going to die someday?" are indeed questions of a different Order than "where are my pants?" The latter question will be resolved quickly and easily and applies only that once because the situation is entirely transitory..

0Questions like "who am I?", "why am I here?", "what now?", and
"where are my pants?", all will have different answers no matter
who you ask.

Except for possibly the pants one, they are questions that cannot be
answered. The whole point of the question is to make one think.

The answers really are not that important anyway. It is the journey
of finding the right place to ask the questions that is important. A
journey that needs to be taken again and again. The first circle. Yes. Poets esp. are more concerned with the journey or process than the destination. . .but they are not UNconcerned with the answer. It is the POSSIBILITY of an "answer" that makes it possible to ask a question in the first place.

Ditchweed242
November 26th, 2019, 12:11 AM
All very true clark, but I never said that one should be unconcerned with the answers.
I stated that the answers were not that important. Not the same thing.

Asking questions is the important thing. When people are convinced that they actually
have real answers, they stop asking questions. They stop growing.

At that point they have either become dead or extremely dangerous.

clark
November 26th, 2019, 12:32 AM
Ditch -- I wasn't referencing your comment. I was talking about the Gestalt
of Q & A, how they work as aspects of thought and units of language.

There's a fuck of a lot of dead and extremely dangerous people out there, ain't there?!

Ditchweed242
November 26th, 2019, 12:42 AM
Sorry clark. My misunderstanding.

And yes, the world full of interesting sociopaths indeed. Lol

clark
November 26th, 2019, 12:46 AM
QUOTE] Some people people
try to shape shift. I call them chameleons because they have no
real identity of their own. Bouncing from life to life trying to find
one that fits. Like an identity can be tried on and bought.[/QUOTE]

Hmm. I thought Esc. was disparaging the idea that people change, because he put 'shapeshift' and 'wordshift' in parallel. . .and poets (and some prose stylists) are in the BUSINESS of 'wordshift'. It is part of our job to stretch the range and possibility of language. I may have misunderstood what Esc was getting at, or he may have been less than clear. Let's blame him. . .much better idea than blaming me :glee: .

Ditchweed242
November 26th, 2019, 03:16 AM
Excellent! We have determined the correct blame and can now
move on since it is neither one of us. Lol.

Cheers.

Darkkin
November 27th, 2019, 04:09 AM
Words are masks people don to suit their moods and thoughts, clay that retains the fingerprints of their authors. Those exposed to the kiln of review and critique, if fired correctly, incredibly strong and versatile ceramics are the result, work that stands on its own merit, but still carries the fingerprints of its maker. Good poetry has a strong voice that connects with the reader, its edges cutting clean.

Context will affect how a reader considers a poem by influencing perspective, but solid pieces can be separated from their authors. (Consider how often we, as readers look up the context of a poem or book, and if we are honest, it does not happen very often outside of an academic construct.) For the most part, readers are blind to the context of the author's circumstances. The perspective of the reader can be from any point within dimensional space and time, context drawn from the reader's own experiences. And like fingerprints baked into clay, traces of an author will always remain, even if they are shrouded by the context patterns of the reader.

Keep in mind that our brains are hardwired to seek parallels and patterns, and for the majority of the population to empathise with archetypial themes. Good writers, like memorable actors are chameleons, shifting to fit their roles, but doing it with their own style and voice.

Just some thoughts.

- D.

Pelwrath
November 27th, 2019, 08:14 AM
Then does what we apply to a good poet/poem apply to a bad poet/poem? Is a good poem one you identify with with? One that stirs something in you? Then by logic we like that poet? If the poem does the opposite do we not like/identify with the poet? That IMHO seems to be the question: Does a good poem make a good poet or does a good poet make the poem good?

escorial
November 27th, 2019, 09:01 AM
life imitates art far more than art imitates life...OW

clark
November 27th, 2019, 09:03 PM
Darkkin -- Elsewhere, if memory serves, you have disassociated your work and yourself from metaphor. I believe you have claimed not to 'understand' it. That said, would you please tell me what to call the trope you so elegantly employ to carry your compelling explanation of the relationship between poet and poem in your post #39?

Darkkin
November 27th, 2019, 10:12 PM
Allegory in tongues...Readers fill in their own context, I just lent a few words. Work stands or falls by itself, but it does not negate an author's style or voice.

clark
November 28th, 2019, 03:27 AM
Pelwrath -- I don't think Darkkin was arguing a strict correlation, at all, bur I'll leave that for her to tidy up if she wishes. Methinks, however, there might be a fundamental flaw in your reasoning. Your logic is shaky. Arguing polarities, yes--if I can define "the good", then I must have a pretty clear sense of "the bad" to do so successfully. Plato's character Socrates uses this method of argument to chew up his interlocutors in The Republic. But you're trying to use a similar kind of syllogistic reasoning to arrive at acceptable conclusions, and it won't wash To illustrate:

1. A good poem will stir my emotions
2. this is a good poem
Therefore this poem will stir my emotions

That argument is VALID. It has too many variables built in, too many 'undefinables', to be "true", but it is structurally valid. You're doing something different. You are proposing

1. A good poem will stir my emotions
2. this poem stirs my emotions
Therefor, this poem was written by a good poet

OR

1. good poets write good poems
2. Joe is a good poet
Therefore Joe's poems are good

…....or something along those lines. The conclusions are non sequitur, given the premises. Granted, you framed the issues as enquiries, not affirmations, so you may have been more curious than anything else. For me, it's an argument of limited interest, because it really gets into razor-thin speculation about the poet's thoughts at this or that point in his/her life, what might have influenced them etc. Victorian literary criticism love that kind of musing, but the bottom line is always a revelation about the critic as much as the author or work. and I don't think Darkkin was going there.

clark
November 28th, 2019, 03:58 AM
Darkkin -- Some of the most skilful side-stepping :barbershop_quartet_I've seen in my 4 years on these boards!! :cool: :barbershop_quartet_

Darkkin
November 28th, 2019, 03:51 PM
I'm not delving into the pedantic war of defining a good poem or poetry, (it is without purpose because as a creative medium filtered through the perceptions of a vast contigent of readers, there is little that is quantifiable as functional fact. Too subjective by half and more. Like the Pirate Code laid down by Morgan and Bartholomew, definitions of quality serve more like guidelines.)

What does remain is the fact that recognizable writers are able to produced material that stands on its own merit, but because of their sytle and/or voice. Dylan Thomas and Do Not Go Gentle into that Goodnight and Plath's Mad Girl Love Song are instantly recognisable. Work (an individual animal) that is seperate from its writer, but is clearly a specific species. Like griaffes, a reader knows the animal, but some are able to identify the four unique subspecies because that first encounter with the giraffe sparked an interest. Readers with favourite authors learn to recognise writing patterns, turns of phrase, and argument styles often used by their source. These unconscious inclusions are a writers fingerprints, and fingerprints that are recognised are what make an author known. And until an author is firmly established their work will countinue to stand or fall on its own merit. Thus, work is seperate from its author, but still bears subtle hints of its origins.

- D.

Gofa
April 28th, 2020, 09:51 PM
In an infinite universe
The infinite monkey theorem states that a monkey hitting keys at random on a typewriter keyboard for an infinite amount of time will almost surely type any given text, such as the complete works of William Shakespeare.

Taking this theorem and applying it here That same monkey has also typed every poem ever written

quantum mechanics the equations need an observer a constant
to say the poem stands alone removes the observer that generated it and we default back to the monkey

My point in the absence of knowledge of the observer you assume that role when knowing the observer you are now looking through your assumption of their perspective

Theglasshouse
April 30th, 2020, 01:20 AM
I made a remark in relation to Dylan Thomas about not liking alcoholics, although I do like a lot of his writing, and Clark observed that it is a big question, how much are the poet and his poems interrelated?
What if 'Dulce decorum' had been written by a conscientious objector? Or 'Prufrock' by a lothario? Would it change the poem? How much does the poet impact on the poem?

I did not read the whole thread yet but it seems impossible to separate the writer from the poem. The inspiration for poetry seems to be experiences and feelings. Anything can be considered poetry that we experience and feel. This statement includes maybe if one wanted to write about a milk carton. As long as it makes sense to you. Think of a honey bee even as the theme of the poem but behind that theme is a personal belief that a person came up with.

Recording experiences and feelings thus are the poet's tools I read. That way maybe a poet develops an attitude about the world. Maybe a person in writing a poem even tries to feel better because of expressing even negative thoughts (almost as if releasing negative thoughts makes you a smarter person regarding knowing how you feel over time).

Some poets keep a journal for everything they feel.

It could be to write reactions to what you feel concerning people, animals, and places, sights, and sounds, and whatever else impresses them.

I honestly found it easier to be inspired to write a poem because using journals, human experiences, feelings, is something that is more difficult than a story. In a story you usually imitate life and consequently end up writing with a different creative process in mind.

I've been reading how to express my thoughts to start a poem. To me there is little writers block in poetry. The subject I draw from I am thinking is life itself. To me that is a good way of being creative.

So right now, every day journaling my experiences and feelings is what I am doing as I study a poetry book.

A current challenge is figurative devices, which can help one transform an image. Even images are based on feelings in poetry it seems.

Jp
May 17th, 2020, 02:10 PM
I sure hope the poet can be separated from his works for most people. For me I must separate the poet from his works or else writings that by social justice or some other convention might be considered off-limits. In writing I hope we transcend our mortal coil. On one hand, if I learned of say racism on the part of a poet who wrote beautiful verse expounding the very same evil I would be taken aback, but the validity of such works would only make them that much more powerful. Perhaps saying (this fictional poet) knew better than his ways. The opposite, can a 50ish male poet write a sonnet if the voice of a five-year-old girl? And does him not being a five-year-old girl take from the poem if the verse is good? As Firemajic pointed out Wilfred Owen lost his life in war, but does that make his poem Dulce et Decorum more heartbreaking or ironic or is that we see things in life that take us back to the poetry, modifying it in our conciseness. The words of a dead man/ Are modified in the guts of the living - In Memory of W. B. Yeats by W. H. Auden