With too many forms of poetry, how can rules for readers' analysis be the same? - Page 3


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Thread: With too many forms of poetry, how can rules for readers' analysis be the same?

  1. #21
    Llyra -- I' m pretty confident you did NOT intend it, but your words " . . .thinking about the author is something you might train yourself to do, maybe?" are patronizing. I am fascinated by the authors to whom I am especially drawn and not only know as much as is available to know about them and their lives NOW , but sop up new bits of information about them, if new stuff comes available. That is not at all what you and I are talking about. We are talking about your view that there is a specific and knowable 'hand' or presence of the author in the piece that we can 'know', and we have a responsibility to do that, and when we do we will 'see' the poem as the author saw it, or intended it, thereby getting a richer, deeper reading of the poem. Is that fair? I want you to tell me how to do that , how to know that the author-presence, their specific life-experience that I declare to be welded into the poem is the correct assignation of their self into the form/content of the poem. Every human being on this planet is locked inside their own perceptions. Language is the primary tool we all use to project our perceptions out to other minds. You are saying that YOUR full reading experience somehow captures the author BEHIND or WITHIN the words of the poem. I think that's what you're saying. I think I know every tidbit of information that has come down to us about the life of John Keats, but I would never presume to write "in the defeatist imagery of Lamia's pure fantasy at the hands of "cold philosophy"--the poem written when the poet knew his love for Fanny had failed and his own early death was imminent--we feel in the imagery the poet's bitter personal agony that Fate had indeed dealt him a bad hand he did not deserve." Keats was twice subjected to vicious reviews of his poetry, but most of the viciousness arose from critics who attacked his person, his youth, his lack of aristocratic breeding, which they "found" in his poetry. The 'great five' Romantic poets--Wordsworth and Coleridge (first wave) and Keats, Shelley, Byron (second wave) were emotionally closer to their work than the detached Rationalists before them and the more constrained Victorians who followed them. It is an advantage for any reader to be familiar with their lives as you experience their poems, But even with the Romantics, it is one thing to present your close in-depth readings of their work FOLLOWED by a presentation of life details, influences, larger events that you know to have been on the path and in the air when they wrote a particular book of poetry, leaving your reader to 'see' whatever she chooses to see . . . but quite another to say that this SPECIFIC image clearly reflects a SPECIFIC event in the poet's life. I guess I could speculate, i could guess, I could insist (it just seems so clear . . . .) but I can never KNOW.

    Please understand . . .I have the deepest respect for your need to honour the poet, to feel their presence in their work, to want to know them. All of that shows your sensitivity and your need to get close to the Artist. I simply do not see the ADVANTAGE of your insistence that we See them, personally, at this and that point in their work. Unless I am truly missing the boat in trying to understand your POV, it seems to me you are elevating speculation and guesswork to the status of a 'provable' foundation for literary
    criticism



    ________________________________________________

    "I believe in nothing but the holiness of the heart's affections and the Truth of the imagination". Keats, ​Letters

    "No man is an island entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main . . . any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind. And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls -- it tolls for thee. " John Donne, Meditation XVII

  2. #22
    Ritu -- I just noticed that none of us has 'answered' your direct question: With too many forms of poetry, how can rules for readers' analysis be the same?

    Let me try an analogy: there are, I'm sure, thousands of different kinds of rifles in the world. Different purposes, different calibres, different mechanisms (lever action, bolt action, automatic), different sighting kinds (open sights, 'ladder' rear sights, scopes) . . . and a great many more defining characteristics within these broad differences.

    But the principles and procedures for getting the weapon to hit the target accurately with a bullet, are fundamentally the same, regardless of the kind of rifle. You hold it, aim it, squeeze the trigger, breathe pretty much the same, regardless of the kind. Of course, there are nuances, subtleties of difference . . .but the basics are the same.



    ________________________________________________

    "I believe in nothing but the holiness of the heart's affections and the Truth of the imagination". Keats, ​Letters

    "No man is an island entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main . . . any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind. And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls -- it tolls for thee. " John Donne, Meditation XVII

  3. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by clark View Post
    Ritu -- I just noticed that none of us has 'answered' your direct question: With too many forms of poetry, how can rules for readers' analysis be the same?

    Let me try an analogy: there are, I'm sure, thousands of different kinds of rifles in the world. Different purposes, different calibres, different mechanisms (lever action, bolt action, automatic), different sighting kinds (open sights, 'ladder' rear sights, scopes) . . . and a great many more defining characteristics within these broad differences.

    But the principles and procedures for getting the weapon to hit the target accurately with a bullet, are fundamentally the same, regardless of the kind of rifle. You hold it, aim it, squeeze the trigger, breathe pretty much the same, regardless of the kind. Of course, there are nuances, subtleties of difference . . .but the basics are the same.
    Such a beautiful poetic reply. Actually all that indirectly said above ( from different writers), it really opened many pores of thoughts, to breath freely. I highly appreciate that you all came forward to clear my doubt, and I really learned a lot from this discussion.

    Thanks again

    Ritu

    Here I should have said " Me and other readers are learning a lot from this discussion "

    Thanks
    Last edited by ritudimrinautiyal; February 23rd, 2021 at 04:36 AM.

  4. #24
    Ritu - Thanks for taking the time for your comment above. The purpose of discussions like these is not to 'close' a line of reasoning with a definitive Answer; rather, the purpose is to ask intelligent questions that oblige respondents to look deeper at issues from different perspectives and to hold up your OWN beliefs for critical re-examination. Someone said, "the man who will not change his mind has no mind to change." Often, we have a deeply vested egotistical interest in a particular slant on the 'truth' and to alter or abandon our position on that 'slant' threatens our sense of Self, our identity. I would like to think, for example, that I will yield to a superior argument and retire to my corner to like my wounds . . . and return another day, perhaps, with superior arguments of my own. Usually, the so-called 'conclusion', "we'll just have to agree to disagree" is pure bullshit. The parties to the argument are just tired or bewildered and do not wish to carry on.



    ________________________________________________

    "I believe in nothing but the holiness of the heart's affections and the Truth of the imagination". Keats, ​Letters

    "No man is an island entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main . . . any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind. And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls -- it tolls for thee. " John Donne, Meditation XVII

  5. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by clark View Post
    Ritu - Thanks for taking the time for your comment above. The purpose of discussions like these is not to 'close' a line of reasoning with a definitive Answer; rather, the purpose is to ask intelligent questions that oblige respondents to look deeper at issues from different perspectives and to hold up your OWN beliefs for critical re-examination. Someone said, "the man who will not change his mind has no mind to change." Often, we have a deeply vested egotistical interest in a particular slant on the 'truth' and to alter or abandon our position on that 'slant' threatens our sense of Self, our identity. I would like to think, for example, that I will yield to a superior argument and retire to my corner to like my wounds . . . and return another day, perhaps, with superior arguments of my own. Usually, the so-called 'conclusion', "we'll just have to agree to disagree" is pure bullshit. The parties to the argument are just tired or bewildered and do not wish to carry on.
    I have realised my mistake Sir. I didn't want to conclude the thread, the only thing is with first and second response I had got answer to my query. With the limitation of my intellectual capacity right now, I am in listening and reading mode only. You, R. H Peat Sir, Llyralen had great discussion which enhanced my knowledge definitely. The thing which I forgot, though the question was asked by me, but replies or responses were not only for me, but the whole lot of readers were there, who might have not asked the question, but definitely deserve to read more on that, for the learning and thinking part, that is what this forum is for. Hoping for more intellectual discussion on this.

    With all regards

    Ritu
    Last edited by ritudimrinautiyal; February 23rd, 2021 at 04:37 AM.

  6. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by clark View Post
    Llyra -- I' m pretty confident you did NOT intend it, but your words " . . .thinking about the author is something you might train yourself to do, maybe?" are patronizing. I am fascinated by the authors to whom I am especially drawn and not only know as much as is available to know about them and their lives NOW , but sop up new bits of information about them, if new stuff comes available. That is not at all what you and I are talking about.
    .

    I do not want to sound condescending. I apologize. I think Iím just spouting because I havenít really heard the full counter-argument or counter-experience yet. I think a full description or argument might have been laid out in threads before my time here. I would think there is more same-page to find as I hear more description from others. I was reading just the other day about ďToneĒ and it was talking about the world-view of authors in much the same way that I described, so at this point I just need to hear from you the other side. I donít think my experience can be too different from that of other peopleó so all my descriptions and metaphors were more to say ďIsnít this how it is?Ē But letís hear from you.

    We are talking about your view that there is a specific and knowable 'hand' or presence of the author in the piece that we can 'know', and we have a responsibility to do that, and when we do we will 'see' the poem as the author saw it, or intended it, thereby getting a richer, deeper reading of the poem. Is that fair?
    .

    I think there is a presence and hand for sure. I donít think itís a responsibility, although I do think it just happens when you are also a writer... I think? Like if I was a potter looking at pottery then I would see the potterís method and reasoning/vision and if Im not a potter you see something pretty but donít discern as much of the method. Although I donít know if you have to be a potter or just need to have studied pottery. Most anyone could see a pattern between the pieces, though, and might be able to pick out what potter did what piece in a showroom. We were just talking about writerís voice in the discussions thread.

    Since I donít have your side of it, Iím not sure that my view is simplistic and it seems like it could be summed up by discussing authorís/writerís voice and tone, so I need to hear from you. Looking for the presence of the author adds to my experience due to appreciation and maybe familiarity, although there can be appreciation for a magician whose methods are unknown as well. So not seeing the authorís methods/personality can be an interesting experience.

    I think even with someone like Ezra Pound who doesnít put much of himself into his work, you can still talk about the universality of his worldview and his spare concentrated style and his choices of subject. I canít be too different here, right? I will wait for you to explain what you see. Contrast Maya Angelo who puts a lot of her experience and her own emotions (imo, she jumps out at you and Iím glad to experience her) into her work. I think which personality you are more like might play a part in the degree of how much you feel while reading authorís work. Iím pretty sure that must be somewhat true.

    Iím going to wait until I understand your view/experience more to proceed. Iím starting to feel like I donít know what we are talking about and Iím worried that I am being infuriatingly left-field or something which I wouldnít know right now. I will also go back to the Yeats you posted at the beginning to see if I am missing something. Much respect and Iím excited to hear and discuss moreó hopefully we can fully understand each otherís experience (the spice of life!) óLlyra





    Last edited by Llyralen; February 22nd, 2021 at 07:31 PM.

  7. #27
    Since I donít have your side of it, Iím not sure that my view is simplistic and it seems like it could be summed up by discussing authorís/writerís voice and tone, so I need to hear from you.
    Llyra --I cannot think of what more I could say to express "my side of it"!! I have gone on at great length--even with that big chunk I lost. YOU may not be expressing your meaning with full clarity, that s possible as well. Of curse, when I hear one of Keats's great Odes, I know it's Keats. Even were t a new poem, just discovered yesterday, I'm pretty sure I would know it was Keats. Or other poets as well. But Llyra, this is a false trail! It will lead me into a swamp of smugness: "aren't I smart! I can feel Keats's tone and style in this new poem!" Okay, now what? How does my ability to do this help me experience THE POEM?

    I do admit, m'dear, to a little frustration here. 100% of your current confusion, has been dealt with over and over and over in the last couple of years in various threads either under Discussion or Poetry and Lyrics. As I suggested before, please scroll back over the titles of discussions--you'll find them. Let's continue this enjoyable discussion after you've done that.


    ________________________


    I do not want to sound condescending. I apologize. I think Iím just spouting because I havenít really heard the full counter-argument or counter-experience yet. I think a full description or argument might have been laid out in threads before my time here. I would think there is more same-page to find as I hear more description from others. I was reading just the other day about ďToneĒ and it was talking about the world-view of authors in much the same way that I described, so at this point I just need to hear from you the other side. I donít think my experience can be too different from that of other peopleó so all my descriptions and metaphors were more to say ďIsnít this how it is?Ē But letís hear from you.

    .

    I think there is a presence and hand for sure. I donít think itís a responsibility, although I do think it just happens when you are also a writer... I think? Like if I was a potter looking at pottery then I would see the potterís method and reasoning/vision and if Im not a potter you see something pretty but donít discern as much of the method. Although I donít know if you have to be a potter or just need to have studied pottery. Most anyone could see a pattern between the pieces, though, and might be able to pick out what potter did what piece in a showroom. We were just talking about writerís voice in the discussions thread.

    Since I donít have your side of it, Iím not sure that my view is simplistic and it seems like it could be summed up by discussing authorís/writerís voice and tone, so I need to hear from you. Looking for the presence of the author adds to my experience due to appreciation and maybe familiarity, although there can be appreciation for a magician whose methods are unknown as well. So not seeing the authorís methods/personality can be an interesting experience.

    I think even with someone like Ezra Pound who doesnít put much of himself into his work, you can still talk about the universality of his worldview and his spare concentrated style and his choices of subject. I canít be too different here, right? I will wait for you to explain what you see. Contrast Maya Angelo who puts a lot of her experience and her own emotions (imo, she jumps out at you and Iím glad to experience her) into her work. I think which personality you are more like might play a part in the degree of how much you feel while reading authorís work. Iím pretty sure that must be somewhat true.

    Iím going to wait until I understand your view/experience more to proceed. Iím starting to feel like I donít know what we are talking about and Iím worried that I am being infuriatingly left-field or something which I wouldnít know right now. I will also go back to the Yeats you posted at the beginning to see if I am missing something. Much respect and Iím excited to hear and discuss moreó hopefully we can fully understand each otherís experience (the spice of life!) óLlyra








    ________________________________________________

    "I believe in nothing but the holiness of the heart's affections and the Truth of the imagination". Keats, ​Letters

    "No man is an island entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main . . . any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind. And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls -- it tolls for thee. " John Donne, Meditation XVII

  8. #28
    First, we need to distinguish between an author's style and an author's world view. I can pick out most of my favorite authors by their style without seeing their name attached to the piece. I would know any poem written by a member of Metaphor 3 because I've been reading their work for 6 years. But reading one poem or one novel tells me little about the author’s life or inner feelings. Maya Angelo may be an exception in that she poured a lot of emotion into her poetry but I'm not so sure that every time she uses the word "I" she means herself. I think you have to read an entire body of work by an author before you start to know them.

    Some of the greatest writers of the 20th Century who wrote our highest works in literature were basically assholes. That doesn't come across in their work at all. Hemingway was a misogynist, a homophobe and a compulsive liar. William Falkner who, outside of African American authors, seemed to have one of the deepest understandings of racial inequality in the South, was himself a racist and a drunkard.. Ezra's Pound was a Nazi. T.S Eliot was anti semetic. These are the greatest writers that America produced in the last century but you would not know from reading any of their great works that they had these monsterous shortcomings. In fact, and particularly in Falkner's case, their writing seemed to be a kind of purging of their inner demons or a kind of pure expression they could only achieve by writing about exactly who they were not.

    So I don't think we can judge a writer by the character of their work anymore than we can judge the work by the character of the author. This goes as deep as we can go to acknowledge that the poem is not the poet and the novel is not the novelist. We take the work as it appears on the page. We do not need to know anything about the author to appreciate the work's artistic merit. Nor does the author need to reveal anything about himself to write brilliantly.
    Last edited by TL Murphy; February 23rd, 2021 at 02:12 AM.

  9. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by TL Murphy View Post
    First, we need to distinguish between an author's style and an author's world view. I can pick out most of my favorite authors by their style without seeing their name attached to the piece. I would know any poem written by a member of Metaphor 3 because I've been reading their work for 6 years. But reading one poem or one novel tells me little about the author’s life or inner feelings. Maya Angelo may be an exception in that she poured a lot of emotion into her poetry but I'm not so sure that every time she uses the word "I" she means herself. I think you have to read an entire body of work by an author before you start to know them.

    Some of the greatest writers of the 20th Century who wrote our highest works in literature were basically assholes. That doesn't come across in their work at all. Hemingway was a misogynist, a homophobe and a compulsive liar. William Falkner who, outside of African American authors, seemed to have one of the deepest understandings of racial inequality in the South, was himself a racist and a drunkard.. Ezra's Pound was a Nazi. T.S Eliot was anti semetic. These are the greatest writers that America produced in the last century but you would not know from reading any of their great works that they had these monsterous shortcomings. In fact, and particularly in Falkner's case, their writing seemed to be a kind of purging of their inner demons or a kind of pure expression they could only achieve by writing about exactly who they were not.

    So I don't think we can judge a writer by the character of their work anymore than we can judge the work by the character of the author. This goes as deep as we can go to acknowledge that the poem is not the poet and the novel is not the novelist. We take the work as it appears on the page. We do not need to know anything about the author to appreciate the work's artistic merit. Nor does the author need to reveal anything about himself to write brilliantly.

    I really am looking forward to more discussion! I’m not quite ready. I’ve been reading up on different people’s view points here. We will need to get in-depth into a few poems, I think— but my solution to all of this is for there not to be one answer but to allow for different personalities to first write differently (and recognize it) end then second different personalities to experience reading differently (and recognize it). The main difficulty for you and I to bridge would likely come from acknowledging different ways of experiencing universality as I will argue that one person’s very unique experience can stand in for the universal by way of that each person is capable of unique shades of emotion. Anyway, I don’t really know if my “solution” will or can be accepted as the solution. I hope it will be looked at as A solution, though. We will see.

  10. #30
    Llyra -- ​Your last para above is confused. First--what is this "universal?" You write well--but the sentence beginning "The main difficulty . . ." simply does not make sense. Is something missing?



    ________________________________________________

    "I believe in nothing but the holiness of the heart's affections and the Truth of the imagination". Keats, ​Letters

    "No man is an island entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main . . . any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind. And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls -- it tolls for thee. " John Donne, Meditation XVII

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