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Thread: What the reader expects

  1. #1

    What the reader expects

    I think that our readers are what legitimizes us as poets and that we owe them a little something.

    If, for example, I write a stanza that rhymed ababcc, it would behoove me to write one of the following: dedecc, dedeff, ababdd, or ababcc

    Something that would logically follow from the expectation I had set up.

    Now, if I'm not rhyming at all -- then turning around and rhyming my last two lines might look Seussian.

    Again, it makes sense, if you set up an expectation, to follow through on it.

    Now, if you deliberately mess with the expectation, that is another matter and another kind of poetry and not what I'm talking abut here.

    This is especially important in poetry that's intended to be heard, such as slam or lyrics. Your reader can't go back and reread the line to make sure thy got it--they are listening and if they get confused, might miss something in your next line that you're trying to say.

    Note that I'm not advocating rhyming or not-rhyming or whatever. But part of the deal is communication and you can't communicate as well with someone who is confused.

    My $.02.
    thisWomanCodes
    A twice-weekly programming blog
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    Eclectica: Genre Poetry



  2. #2
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    Last edited by WhitakerRStanton; April 10th, 2013 at 12:58 AM.

  3. #3
    WF Veteran Kevin's Avatar
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    So...if you start off with one form, and suddenly break into another, you will lose the audience? Like if you start out with a rock'n'roll, and break off into a slow country/western. Hmmm.

  4. #4
    I suppose it really doesn't matter unless one intends to be published by other than oneself.
    thisWomanCodes
    A twice-weekly programming blog
    Infield Singles: Baseball Poems myFoodWeek.com
    A weekly menu for a family of four
    Eclectica: Genre Poetry



  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin View Post
    So...if you start off with one form, and suddenly break into another, you will lose the audience? Like if you start out with a rock'n'roll, and break off into a slow country/western. Hmmm.
    No it's more if you *almost* follow a form, the dissonance you create may interfere with the reader/listener's appreciation of a piece.
    thisWomanCodes
    A twice-weekly programming blog
    Infield Singles: Baseball Poems myFoodWeek.com
    A weekly menu for a family of four
    Eclectica: Genre Poetry



  6. #6
    WF Veteran Kevin's Avatar
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    I think you have a point. You brought up the live performance. I can imagine bombing in front of a crowd. I would be humiliated if I just read something and no one got it. Not even one person. I imagine that most would just have nothing to say to you afterward, and the few that patted/consoled you might say something like "better luck next time." Uhhhhg....

    edit; I just read your reply. I think I get it. The 'almost' would make your piece drab. So form might be as important as idea and precise word choice. Consistency , like not mixing a piece of modern in with an otherwise classic. Rhyme or don't rhyme, but not one at the start and none thereafter.
    Last edited by Kevin; January 11th, 2013 at 04:43 AM.

  7. #7
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    Last edited by WhitakerRStanton; April 10th, 2013 at 12:58 AM.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by WhitakerRStanton View Post
    What doesn't matter? The point? The poem? The person who wrote the poem? Also, what is the relevancy of publishing?
    Depends on one's goals. What do you want to accomplish? If you want to make money writing poetry, then you should use different strategies than if you're scribbling away with no intention of sharing your work with anyone.

    One could make a strong case that posting work on the internet is an attempt to garner attention. In which case, what one posts will determine how one is perceived by the online community. If one didn't care what that opinion was, what would be the point of sharing work online?
    thisWomanCodes
    A twice-weekly programming blog
    Infield Singles: Baseball Poems myFoodWeek.com
    A weekly menu for a family of four
    Eclectica: Genre Poetry



  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin View Post
    edit; I just read your reply. I think I get it. The 'almost' would make your piece drab. So form might be as important as idea and precise word choice. Consistency , like not mixing a piece of modern in with an otherwise classic. Rhyme or don't rhyme, but not one at the start and none thereafter.
    Yes--whatever the expectation you set up -- to rhyme, to not-rhyme, to have a certain syllable count or whatever -- consistency makes it easier for you to convey your message.

    I like to try the Japanese-style forms and they do not rhyme. They are expected to not-rhyme so if I were to put a rhyme in, it would be the same kind of interrupted expectation that having one near-rhyme in an otherwise true-rhyme piece.

    So it's not rhyminess I'm supporting -- it's consistency.
    thisWomanCodes
    A twice-weekly programming blog
    Infield Singles: Baseball Poems myFoodWeek.com
    A weekly menu for a family of four
    Eclectica: Genre Poetry



  10. #10
    ~
    Last edited by WhitakerRStanton; April 10th, 2013 at 12:58 AM.

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