the great pretender

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Thread: the great pretender

  1. #1

    the great pretender

    one often thinks of poetry as a literary survivor...I can't recall once being influenced by adverts for the next big thing in poetry or recall hearing a conversation about a great poet outside the luvy first poetry memory was at a funeral and it wasn't until much later did I get into it...maybe it was my education or family background that never sparked my interest then or the feeling now that it's just the greatest literary survivor of the ages...
    The only one who can heal you is you.

  2. #2
    Poetry isn’t for everyone. W.H. Auden once famously wrote in a poem about Yeats, “poetry makes nothing happen”.

    This line is often misinterpreted to mean that ‘poetry doesn’t make anything happen’ when it could just as truthfully mean
    that poetry actively makes “nothing” happen...

    Seamus Heaney said “If you’re going to say something, say nothing.”

    Both of these statements show the active role of poetry by showing its inverse role of non-action. In other words, poetry invokes reflection rather than action. It is the yin to the yang. It is the snake that eats its own tail. When you consider that everything man does to improve his own lot tends to backfire, then the appeal of non-action becomes more palatable. Aren’t you glad you heard that poem at the funeral so long ago? What else would have moved you that much at a time when there is nothing to do but to accept the finality of death and the urgent need to carry on living?

  3. #3
    my fav poetry quote is John Cooper one thinks I need to make some money so I'll write a book of poems... watching Clive James last night I had no idea he had published books of the stuff and he wasn't to complimentary about poetry in of the best selling poetry books in the UK was The Mersey Sound but that seemed like write place right time does admire poetrys ability to just keep going but I don't know how...
    The only one who can heal you is you.

  4. #4
    i asked the owner of a bookstore and a worker in waterstones which was their best selling poetry book and both gave a similar reply....don't think there is one.....when i stand at a poetry section i can be pretty sure i'll be the only one there....i know of one used bookshop that doesn't have a poetry section and when i asked the owner why he said the only time i get asked for certain books is when a student comes and again....i don't reckon poetry has ever been cool or ever will be but it might have its moment in the spotlight now and again......
    The only one who can heal you is you.

  5. #5
    Most poetry isn't instant. There are people like Sue Townsend, Cooper Clark or Benjamin Zephaniah, the 'popular poets' whose work is instantly accessible, but most of it takes repetition and thinking about to 'get it'. I guess people at funerals are in the right frame of mind for that.

    My childhood was some time ago but the instant sort of poetry , like limericks and 'The mad gardener's song' (bit dated now) were what I was introduced to first, and I guess that is so for most people. Then comes something like Wilfred Owen, which is instantly available in some ways, but susceptible to discovery and analysis, most people got something like that in school. I'm not sure it helped me 'get it' though, pretty much a journey of personal discovery even though I was deliberately introduced at a young age.
    Visit my website to read and connect to my 'soundcloud', where you can listen to stories songs and more
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  6. #6
    that poetry mood...short bursts of words to describe a moment in time....funeral poetry seems like a good category for a book shelf....the top ten funeral poems would probably be the most well known poems....maybe poetry is to much of a bedfellow with miserable experiences...
    The only one who can heal you is you.

  7. #7
    Not so sure about that, the best liked/known poem in a survey a while a go was Kipling's 'If'. I'd call that aspirational, not funeral stuff at all, more like the sort of desiderata that people put on the fridge.

    I can't think of something like 'Daffodils' being associated with a 'miserable' experience, is it intensity that counts?
    Visit my website to read and connect to my 'soundcloud', where you can listen to stories songs and more
    Hidden Content

    A thread of links useful to writers wishing to learn
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  8. #8
    i have not read you have a link to that particular survey...
    The only one who can heal you is you.

  9. #9

    IF you can keep your head when all about you
    Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
    If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
    But make allowance for their doubting too;
    If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
    Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
    Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
    And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:

    If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
    If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
    If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
    And treat those two impostors just the same;
    If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
    Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
    Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
    And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools:

    If you can make one heap of all your winnings
    And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
    And lose, and start again at your beginnings
    And never breathe a word about your loss;
    If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
    To serve your turn long after they are gone,
    And so hold on when there is nothing in you
    Except the Will which says to them: 'Hold on!'

    If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
    ' Or walk with Kings - nor lose the common touch,
    if neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
    If all men count with you, but none too much;
    If you can fill the unforgiving minute
    With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
    Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
    And - which is more - you'll be a Man, my son!

    You probably came back while I was writing my edit, and it is called 'I wandered lonely as a cloud', not 'Daffodils', but here is that too.
    I wandered lonely as a cloud
    That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
    When all at once I saw a crowd,
    A host, of golden daffodils;
    Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
    Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

    Continuous as the stars that shine
    And twinkle on the milky way,
    They stretched in never-ending line
    Along the margin of a bay:
    Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
    Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

    The waves beside them danced; but they
    Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
    A poet could not but be gay,
    In such a jocund company:
    I gazed—and gazed—but little thought
    What wealth the show to me had brought:

    For oft, when on my couch I lie
    In vacant or in pensive mood,
    They flash upon that inward eye
    Which is the bliss of solitude;
    And then my heart with pleasure fills,
    And dances with the daffodils.

    You can hardly call those last lines 'miserable'
    Visit my website to read and connect to my 'soundcloud', where you can listen to stories songs and more
    Hidden Content

    A thread of links useful to writers wishing to learn
    Piglet's picks. Hidden Content

  10. #10
    so there the two most popular poems regarding the survey you mentioned...
    The only one who can heal you is you.

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