I must be Very Short ... - Page 2


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Thread: I must be Very Short ...

  1. #11
    Actually, in college I had a professor (in a poetry writing course) rant about those kinds of poems and he called them drivel. This cheered me up immensely because I I always felt that I just wasn't writing poetry if I didn't go in that direction. I was shocked when I started meeting poets and they turned out to be down-to-earth normal types.

    Last edited by Ariel; January 6th, 2013 at 03:23 PM. Reason: I think my autocorrect is a gangsta. It keeps dropping g's at the end of words.

  2. #12
    Well, now this whole thread depresses me even more than I had been. I'm currently working on a rather long poem with numerous five and ten dollar words. So far, it's running at 2060 words and I expect at least another thousand before I'm through. I'm really liking it - so there's that. I'm trying for more of a Rossetti/Whitman accessibility over a Wasteland vibe, but I don't want to dumb it down anymore than it would naturally be, given my completely non-academic (self-taught) folk art credentials. Up until this thread I was just a little depressed, firstly, because I can't post my work yet and secondly, because I'm getting the impression that I won't be allowed to post something so long anyway. Now, I'm also worried that I've apparently written epic drivel, but that no one will tell me to my "face" - saving their true feelings for threads like this. Or worse (maybe) that you will tell me it's crap to my face, but only because of some tl;dr prejudice that you've brought to the table.

    I don't know. It's just upsetting to read that people who use words like fora, esoterica, and concatenation can complain with straight faces about the rest of us poor, pretentious slobs. I find myself wondering why you get to flaunt your vocabularies and others don't.
    By the way, I like the words fora, esoterica, and concatenation. I even like that I had to look up concatenation.
    Last edited by bajmahal; March 16th, 2013 at 06:34 AM.

  3. #13
    It isn't vocabulary that has certain poems going over people's heads but rather the execution or obvious free-form style that ignores all logic and draws comparisons between two objects that can't truly be compared. It's poetry that is winding and long-winded without saying anything.

    Considering that the class of which I was speaking had an emphasis on grammatical and logical structure and that subjects were to be kept in the solid and real world then yes, by that professor's opinion, a poem exploring smoke and dreams and even more abstract concepts with other intangibles would be drivel.

    There's nothing wrong with flaunting vocabulary but there is when the vocabulary does nothing for the poem.

    I like free-form poetry because what I write isn't always suited for an established form. However, I think that free-form doesn't mean it has no structure and is just prose with funny line breaks and if-y punctuation. Grammar and its use is even more important in poetry because it is economy of words and good word selection that turns an ok poem into an outstanding poem.

    If all of that can be achieved using $10 words then great but sometimes . . .

    Sometimes as poets and writers we need to let go of our egos and accept that a $1 word works in place of that fancy word we worked so hard to put into our poem. We need to step up and go, yeah, there was no reason for me to end that line like that or to use that meter.

  4. #14
    Okay, fair enough. Clearly I was taking this all too personally. Even as I was writing what I wrote, I was thinking how I haven't been here all that long and I really need to sit down and shut up. However the OP opened with, "They don't look like total nonsense--more like someone tried too hard to exercise a vocabulary that they read about somewhere or maybe had dropped into their inbox by a daily word service." And Cran directly agreed with that statement, adding, " Although this type of approach is common among new writers of poetry, it also turns up in occasional efforts by poets with more experience. It is usually a case of trying too hard; either an attempt to impress, or to force a result... - some might describe it as "all head, no heart". And Gumby wrote, "I enjoy poetry that makes me reach a little, but not poetry that seems like it's trying so hard to be 'intelligent' or 'clever', that it's a chore to decipher."

    I respect and appreciate that you've clarified that it's not just about pretentious word choices, but also gratuitous obscurity.

  5. #15
    Member Segrotlo's Avatar
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    There's nothing wrong with flaunting vocabulary but there is when the vocabulary does nothing for the poem. ~amsawtell
    bajmahal - I am relatively new here and I was glad to find this particular thread. I appreciate your comments, especially the irony of large word usage - I didn't catch it till you pointed it out.

    What I would say is to give it a chance because there are many different kinds of people here and you will surely have a place.

    You write what you write and try to encourage others and learn from others as well - it took a little while for me to catch on but I have definitely improved my understanding of many facets of poetry (It's where I have been hanging out)

    Keep reading and posting.

    A tough life lesson for me was, "It is better to understand than to be understood."

    I hope I helped. : )
    A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.
    ~ Proverbs 25:11 ~

  6. #16
    There are no length restrictions currently in place for pieces, bajmahal.

  7. #17
    Thanks. That's good to know. I'm looking forward to torturing everyone with my epic drivel any day now.

  8. #18
    If I've learned anything about poetry, it's how much I don't know, and to not judge someone's work by my lack of understanding.

    What I meant by my above statement was that I like poetry that makes me stretch and I certainly don't mind looking up words that I don't know. However, if I have to have a thesaurus by my side in order to attempt to understand a particular poem because of its word usage, then I usually move on.
    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

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