What is Poetry - Page 2


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Thread: What is Poetry

  1. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Martin View Post
    Rob, indeed, **** the money though, I would just be interested in hearing what he had to say...
    But would the fish veer towards classical form or free-verse?

    Imagine a beat fish! Quick, get the frying pan before it starts...

  2. #12
    Baron
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    Does calling a squirrel a lion make it so?

    Does calling a piece, no matter how amusing or readable, which uses no poetic device, a poem mean that it's a poem?

    Calling a witty anecdote with line breaks a poem doesn't make it so. Even decent free verse uses some poetic device and much of what is termed poetry by those unable to apply poetic device is little other than flash fiction without a proper beginning, middle or end.

  3. #13
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    I have always had a beef with the term "free verse."

    Free verse should have meant to develop your own conventions, to move away from the traditional conventions. These days (ever since I was a kid and started dabbling in poetry) free verse means "no rhyme, shortish lines."

    Anybody can write free verse
    if you follow the public use
    of the term.

    You don't need to pay attention
    to where the line breaks
    or the rhythm of the line,
    to the way the sounds of words
    trip and play over each other,
    or how the meaning of a hanging word
    echoes in the head during
    the lines that follow.

    Free verse, by the usage I've heard from aspiring poets ever since I was a child, means "write whatever, man. You're a poet." So, really, we should have a new category of writing, there is non-fiction, fiction, poetry, and free-writing with short lines.

    So, to hell with free verse until people start applying it to poetry. What's poetry? Any word means only and exactly what the greatest number of people agree on for its meaning. So, to define poetry one has to look at what everybody else calls poetry. Not everybody now (the meaning of "free verse" shows how reliable modern assessments of meaning are), but everybody who has cared about and loved poetry through the ages. An overwhelming majority will point to the understanding of classical forms, attention to word phonics, connotations, rhythms and the meter of the line.

    The OP and almost everybody since is right, poetry can't be easily defined by saying what it is. But, we can say what elements are in poetry that are usually important, and we can say what poetry isn't: modern free-verse.

  4. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Baron View Post
    Does calling a squirrel a lion make it so?

    Does calling a piece, no matter how amusing or readable, which uses no poetic device, a poem mean that it's a poem?

    Calling a witty anecdote with line breaks a poem doesn't make it so. Even decent free verse uses some poetic device and much of what is termed poetry by those unable to apply poetic device is little other than flash fiction without a proper beginning, middle or end.
    Here, here!
    There is no life I know
    To compare with pure imagination.
    Living there you’ll be free
    If you truly wish to be.~ Willy Wonka

  5. #15
    ~
    Last edited by WhitakerRStanton; April 10th, 2013 at 01:38 AM.

  6. #16
    Coleridge said that while prose is the right words in the right order, poetry is the best words in the best order.
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  7. #17
    WF Veteran Bloggsworth's Avatar
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    I would suggest that line breaks are even more important in free-verse, get them wrong and you can destroy the poem. A sudden break can leave a thought dangling to very good effect, it can make enjambments even more telling. If you think line breaks are capriciously arbitrary, you're doing it wrong.

  8. #18
    WF Veteran Bloggsworth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Baron View Post

    Does calling a piece, no matter how amusing or readable, which uses no poetic device, a poem mean that it's a poem?
    A very elitist attitude.

    The only poetic device required by a poet is the ability to put words on paper. The ability, when required, to use the carriage return before the line has reached the opposite side of the page. Poets don't have to use alliteration, don't have to use enjambment, don't have to use any particular poetic device, poetic devices are not compulsory, they are tools, options available for use when wanted or needed.

    It is not the business of anybody to tell poets what they must or must not do; if it were we would only have one poetic genre, ee cummings would be banned, there would be no room for a Stevie Smith or a Larkin; Betjeman would have been outlawed as impossibly trite, Charles Olsen condemmed for his idiosyncratic typographic layout.

    There is room for all who consider themselves to be poets, it is not our job to tell them that they are not.

    Poet are poets, and answerable only to themselves...

    Ernest Hemmingway said that the best short story he ever read was this one:

    For sale.
    Baby shoes.
    Never worn.

    Is that not a short story because it does not cover several pages, is it too short? Or does it completely fulfill the requirements of a story, short or long? It does for me - as far as I'm concerned it tells me all I want to know about a family tragedy. A poem does not have to meet with your approval to be a poem, or indeed, mine, it just has to meet with the approval of the poet.
    Last edited by Bloggsworth; July 10th, 2011 at 11:14 AM.

  9. #19
    WF Veteran SilverMoon's Avatar
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    Poetry is the pugilist who punches with sweaty words till you fall to your knees and bleed. It's when you bleed you feel most alive in the arena of a beige life.

    Poetry is the old woman who knits soft yarn words onto a page you can never tear. It's when you smile you feel most alive in the dark parlor room of life.

    Poetry is a thief of breath.


    moi
    Last edited by SilverMoon; July 10th, 2011 at 07:21 PM.
    “The man who cannot visualize a horse galloping on a tomato is an idiot.”
    Andre Breton

  10. #20
    I must say SilverMoon defined poetry so elegantly...Peace...Jul

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