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Thread: What is Poetry

  1. #21
    How about; "bringing the experience of reality within a structured verbal form" ?
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  2. #22
    I take it Prose Poems are not recognized as poetry but perhaps only as tight prose.

  3. #23
    To define poetry is to limit it. Why would anyone want to do that? That's the real question. The only way to define poetry is to write a poem.

  4. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by Nellie View Post
    From Open University-Approaching Poetry
    just taking part of the quote from the opening post

    "Some might say that the form and content of art, in this case poetry, is untranslatable."

    Art is an expression of inner-self which only the artist has a clear idea (or not) of what they want to express through whichever medium they chose. To me poetry is like viewing an abstract painting: words painted on the page instead of shapes. The colours in a painting are the poetic language the poet uses to convey the image and paint a picture in the reader's mind.

    So can we translate poetry? No, I don't believe we can any more than we can translate an abstract painting. However, unlike a painting, poetry is not flat on the page, the poet has many poetic devices on his palette, so when we read aloud it is like music and the reader listens to rhythm, assonsonace, sibilance etc.

    Sometimes, I stand back in awe when I read critiques which say... the poem means this, that or the other and I feel inadequate because I cannot translate the poem.

    Quote Originally Posted by TL Murphy View Post
    To define poetry is to limit it. Why would anyone want to do that? That's the real question. The only way to define poetry is to write a poem.
    Tim, your comment leads me back to my dilemma what is the different between Prose poetry and Prose? And can you define prose poetry?
    https://www.writingforums.com/thread...-do-you-prefer
    Last edited by PiP; March 24th, 2019 at 08:39 AM.
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  5. #25
    PiP, I've given up trying to define anything and just write what I want to. Several times here I've written what I thought was poetry only to have someone say it's not. Don't drive yourself crazy; back in the 60's we "did our own thing." I think it still works.
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  6. #26
    This poem from Susan Holbrook rearranges the letters of the title on every line, using every letter and only the those letters. It’s as good a definition of poetry as any.


    ​What is Poetry


    Susan Holbrook

    (a twelve-tone poem)

    trite yap show
    rosy twit heap
    posterity haw
    a wept history
    it’s yawp rot, eh
    a wisher potty
    a power shitty
    a whitey sport

    poetry is what
    whips yo tater
    pets it awry, oh
    oh, twisty pear
    two hearts yip
    it’s paw theory

    hi! try wet soap

    ear whist typo
    ape with story
    or what ye spit
    or what yeps it

    throaty wipes
    or what I types







  7. #27
    Now that is impressive! And is as valid an answer as any I've heard.
    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

  8. #28
    Nice thread. I'm inspired by two bannings, two hot chick avatars, and one deep, pensive, possibly sleeping one.

    I was reading Patrick Rothfuss, erm... I don't know, and he wrote that the lowest form of writer was the poet. This was a maxim in a sword/ sorcery 'world', something about the "- wind"( I forget) was the title. Struck me as about right, for the most part. "Poetry is self-indulgence."- me. I say this tongue and cheek, but you have to admit it's about as self-centered as you can get, mostly. I mean, considering the idea that all art is self-portraiture ( autobiographic) which I agree with. Yes, you can do someone's dog statue, but for the most part...

  9. #29
    Carole --from Keats's LETTERS:"Coleridge would let go by a fine isolated verisimilitude caught from the penetralium of mystery due to an irritable reaching out for fact and reason". Keats was an extremist in his passion for the efficacy of emotion over reason, but he DOES make the point that "defining" and/or insisting on the limits that go with definition may actually close our consciousness to the reality that insisting on "definition" is NOT natural or even a part of the functioning of the universe. We invented categorization because the act of doing so creates a predictable set of 'frames' within which we feel comfortable, protected, and much more able to function. That does not make it 'real' and it certainly will not be found in nature. The Zen Master holds his tight fist up to the novices. "What is this?" he asks. "A fist, Master," they reply. The Master abruptly splays his fingers wide open. "Where did it go?" he asks, and leaves the room. For bedtime reading there is the 'definition' of HORSE in Dickens' HARD TIMES: Sissy Jupe (Girl number 20), whose father is a circus rider, horse breaker and horse trainer, is unable to define "horse" to the satisfaction of Mr. Gradgrind, the teacher:

    ‘Bitzer,’ said Thomas Gradgrind. ‘Your definition of a horse.’‘Quadruped. Graminivorous. Forty teeth, namely twenty-four grinders, four eye-teeth, and twelve incisive. Sheds coat in the spring; in marshy countries, sheds hoofs, too. Hoofs hard, but requiring to be shod with iron. Age known by marks in mouth.’ Thus (and much more) Bitzer.‘Now girl number twenty,’ said Mr Gradgrind. ‘You know what a horse is.’

    HARD TIMES is a heavy-handed satirical indictment of the monomaniac fixations on 'provability' that beset the standards of mid-Victorian public education, but poor brainwashed Bitzer is a good measure--for me at any rate--to hold up to myself when I'm trying to talk to myself about poetry. In frustration at failing to find any kind of normative benchmarks for the 'nature' of poetry, I sometimes slap myself with Bitzer's pathetic misunderstanding that a body of 'facts' constitutes a 'definition' of . . . .anything. Never mind poetry.

    So, Carole, when you say, ". . .my dilemma what is the different between Prose poetry and Prose? And can you define prose poetry?" I am right there with you, as a 'categorizer', just like you. Gimmee! Gimmee! Gimmee a clear sense of what is wanted, what its limits are, exactly where we're going. . .and I will happily whip off a dazzling answer! But do not ask me where the fucking fist went! That just messes up my head. That doesn't help me to stride forward. Hmmmm.

    Yeah, I know--my mind richochets all over the bloody place, then i just shoot myself (and you) in the foot. And here we are, still in the same spot. . .spinning around. But that works for me. That helps me understand, or it reminds me, that asking these questions seriously, and expending time and concern searching for answers, deflects me away from the real issue. If by some miracle, I actually came up with a normative definition of The Prose Poem, that definition, ipso fact, would be intellectual. Because it would have to be normative. So now I have an intellectual frame for an aesthtic/imaginative process/product.

    Will having that intellectual frame help me write a better prose poem? Or would the shadow of Bitzer be cast over my efforts? what would be the net gain?




    ________________________________________________

    "I believe in nothing but the holiness of the heart's affections and the Truth of the imagination". Keats, ​Letters

    "No man is an island entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main . . . any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind. And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls -- it tolls for thee. " John Donne, Meditation XVII

  10. #30
    The Zen Master holds his tight fist up to the novices. "What is this?" he asks. "A fist, Master," they reply. The Master abruptly splays his fingers wide open. "Where did it go?" he asks, and leaves the room.
    But do not ask me where the fucking fist went!
    Ponderous... prose poetry cannot be explained anymore than the disappearing fist as it morphs into something else.

    Will having that intellectual frame help me write better prose poem? Or would the shadow of Bitzer be cast over my efforts? what would be the net gain?
    Probably not, as prose poetry is too fluid. Perhaps only the imagery and maybe poetic devices will set it apart from prose.

    You create a GM fruit. Example: You bite into a pear. On the outside it's a pear yet inside it has the texture, taste and colour of an orange.
    poetry is not always what it seems and we must open our minds to the unexpected.
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