Understanding poems - Page 4


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Thread: Understanding poems

  1. #31

  2. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by TL Murphy View Post
    The poet is not the poem.
    That topic is worthy of its own thread.

    To further expound on a reader's perspectives and methods...as reader, it might be harsh to say that to use an author's mindset and reasoning as a guide to a piece is a failure to understand the purpose of reading. To learn, to escape, to see things from a different perspective through the eyes of the reader. The true test of any work is: Is its the message strong enough to hold water? Does it stand on its own merit. (Not the author's explanations...)

    To discount one's own observations for that of the 'purest truth of meaning' of a work is missed opportunity to think critically and form an opinion. Active engagement in the process of reading.

    Yes, origins and influences are interesting and can provide greater detail about the process, but they are not the work anymore than the author.

    Just some thoughts.

    - D.
    Last edited by Darkkin; September 14th, 2020 at 07:40 PM.


  3. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by john1298 View Post
    It seems to me that the understanding of poems begins with the analysis of the author's personality. What has this person lived in the past? What is bothering him now? What delights him? What is his environment? And other questions. As a rule, finding answers to such questions helps to find the true meaning of the works of other authors.
    I would say that a person's "personality" is probably the most superficial attribute of an individual's existence. As difficult as it is to define, or poetry, we can at least start by saying that it's not conventional communication. Poetry/Art, if anything, is an attempt to reach below the surface of intellect into deeper perceptions which may not be conscious and into subliminal forms of expression which are largely unavailable to us in our daily interactions within community. This is probably why writing poetry requires such solitude and deep inspiration. The goal of writing poetry is precisely to NOT be affected by one's superficial ego in expression, which is probably why there is so much emphasis on convention, form and symbolism. There is a focus toward archetypal avenues of perception and expression which is really an attempt by the artist/poet to access underlying realms of interconnected human consciousness that rely on a kind of primordial perception which is possibly innate within the human condition. Something all human beings have access to if certain aspects of the self can be opened, or triggered, or blocked. I would say that in order to perform effectively in this field, the artist needs to do whatever he can to abandon his personality in service to the art. Of course, some people can do this better than others and suffice it to say that it takes a lot of practice and discipline to do it effectively. But such an endeavour, if successful, would take the poet outside of their personality, so that the work itself would be in effect, independent of the artist.
    Last edited by TL Murphy; September 14th, 2020 at 09:14 PM.

  4. #34
    Phil

    The best poems I have read can be interpreted both literally and laterally simultaneously. Sometimes a reader needs to reread in order to sense multiple analogies within the same poem. You may be criticising yourself too harshly when you say 'too literally'. There may be a parallel universe you do not see; but equally you may see a universe the writer did not intend; for example s/he may have bypassed the literal.
    Kind regards,
    Hidden Content Katrina
    Hidden Content
    Choreographing Calligraphy


  5. #35
    Quote Originally Posted by TL Murphy View Post
    The poet is not the poem.

    I wrote a poem once from the POV of guy who cheated on his wife and was making excuses about. I posted it on poetry forum -- and boy, did I catch some shit. I had to explain -- this is a character!

    Quote Originally Posted by TL Murphy View Post
    I would say that a person's "personality" is probably the most superficial attribute of an individual's existence. As difficult as it is to define, or poetry, we can at least start by saying that it's not conventional communication. Poetry/Art, if anything, is an attempt to reach below the surface of intellect into deeper perceptions which may not be conscious and into subliminal forms of expression which are largely unavailable to us in our daily interactions within community. This is probably why writing poetry requires such solitude and deep inspiration. The goal of writing poetry is precisely to NOT be affected by one's superficial ego in expression, which is probably why there is so much emphasis on convention, form and symbolism. There is a focus toward archetypal avenues of perception and expression which is really an attempt by the artist/poet to access underlying realms of interconnected human consciousness that rely on a kind of primordial perception which is possibly innate within the human condition. Something all human beings have access to if certain aspects of the self can be opened, or triggered, or blocked. I would say that in order to perform effectively in this field, the artist needs to do whatever he can to abandon his personality in service to the art. Of course, some people can do this better than others and suffice it to say that it takes a lot of practice and discipline to do it effectively. But such an endeavour, if successful, would take the poet outside of their personality, so that the work itself would be in effect, independent of the artist.
    Oh man. I think of my poems, such as they are, as just little short stories. There's a narrator and usually another person involved. Someone once disparagingly called them "letter poems." Some are about me -- but usually I just draw on experiences to a degree and whatever emotions came with them and play "what if." I like to throw in imagery that conjures up a scene. That's it. I don't think they're that deep (and maybe they're not all that good) but that's what I'm interested in doing. I'm just hoping some people can relate...

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