A question or two if I may


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Thread: A question or two if I may

  1. #1

    A question or two if I may

    Sitting out a blizzard by the wood stove today, I had time to get back to this.

    I read a bit of poetry that appeals to me, and happen on a lot that either doesn’t interest me, or at best is labeled poetry to my perplexity.

    I understand that basically poetry is a form of literature that uses aesthetic and rhythmic qualities of language (such as sound connections, symbolisms, and meter) to evoke meanings beyond the literal reading. I also realize that some amount of generally accepted poetry skirts around aspects of my basic understanding, and that, like all else, poetry evolves.

    Poetry certainly takes many different forms, such as R. Hal Watson’s Cycles (A Sestina), to Jennifer Christie Temple’s Ode To Winter, to Baxter Black’s The Buckskin Mare, to Campbell McGrath’s The Prose Poem, to Henry David Thoreau’s I Am a Parcel of Vain Strivings Tied and Men Say They Know Many Things, to Brian Simoneau’s Natural History, and on and on.

    My first question here is how many of you consider the likes of William Blake’s Auguries of Innocence and Matthew Olzmann’s Letter to Someone Living Fifty Years from Now poetry?

    My second question, to those that think they aren’t poetry, why each of you think not?

    Alternately, to those that think they are poetry, then why isn’t something like the following poetry [other stanzas need work], as stated and not contested in our poet’s workshop.

    Lands apart, an elephant's teardrops glisten,
    trembling and trumpeting at the savagery,
    in coming on a killing sans ivory.
    Hyenas scenting profit, watch and listen.


    Dare you step up to the plate? I won’t bite as I value and respect a range of opinions. Indeed, it could be a real learning exercise for many.

    Thank you all

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  2. #2
    Global Moderator Squalid Glass's Avatar
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    I’m confused: why would someone consider any of those “not poetry”?
    "I don't do anything with my life except romanticize and decay with indecision."

    "America I've given you all and now I'm nothing."

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Squalid Glass View Post
    I’m confused: why would someone consider any of those “not poetry”?
    Thank you Squalid Glass, that's my thinking also. There were a few allusions to the draft containing the stanza mentioned having no place on the Poet's Workshop, which left me wondering if that was a general consensus here. I've found the approach alive and well, especially in environmental poetry. At the same time, I'm interested in hearing other's thoughts. Never too old to learn



    PS: My recall of the Springs is from the late 50's, before they tore down the old Antlers Hotel. Even then the whole stretch of Denver, through Castle Rock, and the Springs, to Pueblo was converging.

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  4. #4
    Global Moderator Squalid Glass's Avatar
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    It's getting worse now. Springs is one of the most burgeoning cities in the states right now. Still beautiful, but definitely changing. Even Castle Rock is starting to blow up.
    "I don't do anything with my life except romanticize and decay with indecision."

    "America I've given you all and now I'm nothing."

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Squalid Glass View Post
    It's getting worse now. Springs is one of the most burgeoning cities in the states right now. Still beautiful, but definitely changing. Even Castle Rock is starting to blow up.
    I grew up in Golden, CO and moved away back in 1980. I came back to beautiful Colorado in 2002, the year my daughter went to college at [email protected] Denver. I was amazed at the how much the southern part of Denver has grown. When I left years ago, there was no Highlands Ranch, now it almost extends to Castle Rock.

    Still beautiful.........but not enough SNOW this year...... YET. At least, not like the folks up in the nor'east are getting.

  6. #6
    Having considered my footing, and finding a lot of similar published poetry, I continued my effort of revamping the piece that prompted this thread. I'm including a finalized draft below out of curiosity as to how many think it poetry, and how many think it not.

    I believe your reasons might be enlightening to a wider audience interested in poetry

    Oil And Water
    by L. G. Cullens
    © 2018

    As shadows grow longer at eventide's door
    a mirror lake emulates the sunset's trace,
    and waterfowl glide with ballerina grace
    to Nature's soothing fantasia ashore.

    As eventide spreads o'er the vale of trial
    the lake reeds contort in whirlwinds of fates,
    and a loon's fervent tremolo resonates,
    reminiscent of a fictive banshee's wail.

    Above, an osprey wheels and swoops with deftness,
    on the hunt to feed its brood before night's lee.
    With talons outstretched it ensnares its quarry,
    the Pandion fisher's form pure elegance.

    Above, an osprey wheels, stirring souls to weep,
    its cheereek cheereek call inconsolable.
    A clutch of broken egg shells relatable
    to a fell consequence of poisoned deceit.

    Beyond, bison's proxy poise on the prairie,
    revealing the rightness of our blue planet.
    Old-world beasts picturesque in afforded billet,
    speak to caring for life's bountiful glory.

    Beyond, gone bison's once thundering presence,
    numberless denizens slaughtered in base greed.
    So too the prairie plowed under for our seed,
    now monocroped -cided wasteland of absence.

    Lands apart, the trumpet of an elephant.
    A matriarch warning, beware her fury
    should any harbor harm to her family.
    Nature's conveyance succinct and eloquent.

    Lands apart, an elephant's teardrops glisten,
    trembling and trumpeting at the savagery,
    in coming on a killing sans ivory.
    Hyenas scenting profit, watch and listen.

    Birds, bees, and blossoms spawning, a paragon
    of boundless beauty and bounty in our lives.
    Nature a bricolage of restoratives,
    with countless variety hither and yon.

    Birds, bees, and flora diversity ebbing,
    victims of a quickly evolving pantry.
    A gift of consequence for our progeny,
    with reason's province present desiring.

    Hearken in the wilds to the wolves' awing choir.
    Their silken fur warming and their teeth stained red,
    stirring our souls with admiration and dread.
    To be alpha over all our prime desire.

    The keystone predators of Earth on their knees,
    leaving dying forest and coral decay
    in a consuming cascade of rampant prey.
    Nature preserved in stale documentaries.

    Distant snow caped mountains striking and stalwart
    define our horizons and feeling of place.
    White altars ever seeking heaven's embrace,
    cradling life's fragility in their bulwark.

    Distant mountains with foretelling snow cap melt,
    shrinking the elusive wolverine's quarters,
    and waxing seas for waning marine creatures,
    nearing what the Paleocene epoch dealt.

    Sashaying along the streets of Pompeii,
    our steadfast way naďve to natural sway.
    Oil and water seething at every crossway.

    Nature cares naught of considered right or wrong,
    only adaptive changes in moving on.

    Oil and water.

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  7. #7
    Dear LeeC,
    These are words that need to be heard. Thank you.
    As a tree hugger, I appriciate them and the pictures
    they evoke, especially S1. Adding sound to imagery
    is brilliant.
    ...’wolves’ awing choir’, ‘loon’s fervent tremelo’,
    ‘trembling and trumpeting’...creates a ‘whole’
    experience.
    Birds and bees in S9 & S10 however, were like
    daja vu and distracted the flow for me.
    The message is strong and easily understood.
    Saddly, ‘Nature preserved in stale documentaries’,
    let’s hope it’s not permanant.
    Just realized this critique is in the wrong
    thread...say la vie

  8. #8
    Thank you TuesdayEve Your reply is fine here, being the poetry discussion board. I didn't post it here for critiques, but rather because of some allusions to the poem having no place on the Poet's Workshop. I didn't take offense, and respect other's perspectives, but it made me curious about what others here think about it being poetry. I'm particularly interested in the reasons behind other's thinking, pro or con. Heavens, if it isn't poetry there's an awful lot of published poetry I've seen that isn't really poetry

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  9. #9
    Lee, I did have a brief look at the post in the Workshop area, and while I did see a number of comments that offered ways to strengthen the piece and develop it, I wouldn't say anyone said it had no place there. Of course, some people might think it, because poetry is so divisive it could start wars! Just look in the poetry discussion forum and you'll see vehement and aggressive battles, sometimes taken to a personal level, over what poetry actually is, and who has the right to define what is good or bad.

    The reality is that no one has a divine right to define poetry, and you'll find published works of just about every style and every genre. Just as in prose, there are examples of just about everything under the sun. There are books that have sold millions that I'd ashamed of if I'd have written them (I'd still bank the cheques, of course).

    Poetry is arguably more personal in terms of taste than prose. That makes it a minefield. Including poetry in a novel is a bold step, as there are many potential pitfalls. Firstly, many readers of novels don't care for poetry. If they do, they'll probably have preferences with regard to style and form. If they themselves write poetry, you'll possibly be in for a kicking, especially if they adhere to one of the many sets of dead mens' rules that are chucked around with abandon.

    All work is worthy of being posted in the workshop, and all criticisms are opinions. Read those opinions, take what you will from them, and revise over and over again until you are happy that it's the best it can ever be.

  10. #10
    I did not read all Workshop comments, but I remember none saying this poem did not belong. I've no idea why poetry seems to evoke such a preponderance of sensitivities by both the writer and the commenter. Pete, is right. I've looked at other WF groups, and they appear to give and take without feeling as wounded. I wish I did not write poetry. I'd like to fit elsewhere in WF.

    There are no rules in poetry. There are guideposts, as to what has been successful. I pick the ones that I prefer,,or I can do, then try to adapt them differently, because I hate to goose step.

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