Writing Forums

Writing Forums is a privately-owned, community managed writing environment. We provide an unlimited opportunity for writers and poets of all abilities, to share their work and communicate with other writers and creative artists. We offer an experience that is safe, welcoming and friendly, regardless of your level of participation, knowledge or skill. There are several opportunities for writers to exchange tips, engage in discussions about techniques, and grow in your craft. You can also participate in forum competitions that are exciting and helpful in building your skill level. There's so much more for you to explore!

Poetry and the Literary genre linked? (1 Viewer)

Status
Not open for further replies.

Theglasshouse

WF Veterans
Writing poetry can help you imagine the persona or personality you have. Then you can use that character in a story. Bradbury encouraged writing poetry or reading it in his book called zen. IMO the literary is highly linked to poetic techniques because of what he said. If you know how to write poetry you can make a good try at a literary short story. Reading it can also inspire. However, that is my opinion. What is your opinion concerning your knowledge about the topic? From symbolism, theme, alone I know it can make a difference.
 

Pamelyn Casto

WF Veterans
I think you're right, Theglasshouse. I think the more you learn about any type of writing, the better writer you can be in general. One of the things I am is a mostly failed haiku writer. I've written and published just a few because writing haiku is difficult for me. But I won't give it up because it keeps me writing, keeps me thinking, keeps me comparing and collecting images. So I store my failed haiku and take images from my collection for use in my other work (longer poetry, short stories, essays). When I don't feel like tackling a big project I just start writing some new haiku.

It seems that the writers I most enjoy can write in several forms, can write novels, short stories, essays, and poems. As the old joke goes, How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice, practice, practice. I think every little bit we learn can help us become more effective writers.
 

Tettsuo

WF Veterans
This reminds me of boxers learning to dance to improve footwork.

The more you expand your range, the better you'll be. So, I agree. Understanding how to write poetry, writing it and even performing it can be helpful in all your writings across the board.

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Dylan Thomas​
 

TheManx

Senior Member
I write a lot of poetry. (And read a fair amount too.) I have used the imagery in my prose and vice versa. I write and record music too -- sometimes the poetry makes its way into my lyrics and again, vice versa. Mostly, it's something I enjoy, and it keeps the mind lubricated between stories... :)
 

Theglasshouse

WF Veterans
I did get some ideas after writing a poem. Likewise, after reading a poem concerning the same theme I got a small idea for a plot. For the plot is the character's action and decision after something happens. I read that in movies which are all about action, a character reacts to another character by taking another action. Symbolism can be compelling on a subliminal level. I remember reading a story which had a transsexual character (I hope this isn't used wrongly), and I mean this with respect regarding me wriitng about this. Anyways the story was by Tanith Lee. I liked the story so much I still remember it. It had as if the title of a poem: Beauty must Die. The world was filled with traps for paintings.
IMO this is a sign of symbolism. We know she fictionalized the transexual person for her purposes. Which was a contradictory character because of appearance I would say. Not wishing to offend this is how I portray it as this story was published in asimov using her words.
2. Read Both Trash and Treasure
Reading is another source of inspiration. But don’t feel like you should read only the classics. Read it all. Poetry, essays, novels, magazines, trade journals, short stories, comics, newspapers, blogs… the more variety, the better. Read those with whom you disagree. Mix it up.
Bradbury offers examples of poems that fed the Muse for some of his work:
“My story, ‘There Will Come Soft Rains,’ is based on the poem of that title by Sara Teasdale, and the body of the story encompasses the theme of her poem. From Byron’s, ‘And the Moon Be Still as Bright,’ came a chapter for my novel The Martian Chronicles. In these cases, and dozens of others, I have had a metaphor jump at me, give me a spin, and run me off to do a story.”
When’s the last time you read a poem? Does anyone read poetry any more? No. That’s a good enough reason to start. Bradbury, who says he was “raised by libraries” and bookstores, absorbed everything he could find.
Ray Bradbury's "Zen in the Art of Writing"
Read the best sellers, too, like Harry Potter or the more recent Twilightseries, so you’ll at least know what all the fuss is about.
3. Make Lists
After collecting experiences and soaking up influences, you need to find your own voice. Inspiration from other writers can lead to imitation until you find the courage to blaze your own trail.
Bradbury’s secret? Keeping lists of random memory fragments.
“It was only when I began to discover the tricks and treats that came with word association that I began to find some true way through the minefields of imitation.
“I began to make lists of titles, to put down long lines of nouns. These lists were the provocations, finally, that caused my better stuff to surface.
“Well, if you are a writer, or would hope to be one, similar lists, dredged out of the lopside of your brain, might well help you discover you, even as I flopped around and finally found me.
“I began to run through those lists, pick a noun, and then sit down to write a long prose-poem-essay on it. Somewhere along about the middle of the page, or perhaps on the second page, the prose poem would turn into a story. Which is to say that a character suddenly appeared … and the character would finish the tale for me.”

This is from a website and blog from the internet.

"Tubocurarene for Cesarean Section" or "Phenurone in Epilepsy,"
but also utilizing poems by William Carlos Williams,
Archibald Macleish, stories by Clifton Fadiman and Leo Rosten;
covers and interior illustrations by John Groth, Aaron Bohrod,
William Sharp, Russell Cowles? Absurd? Perhaps. But ideas lie
everywhere, like apples fallen and melting in the grass for lack of
wayfaring strangers with an eye and a tongue for beauty,
This is taken from Zen in the Art of writing.
He includes a poem in the book praising the beauty of people who have freckles and other feautures. Therefore we can learn from a great past writer. I think like TheManx said which actually happened to me that I was able to open one note and add something I admired from a poem and something from one I created. I noted the symbol. I had in mind to rewrite it. It shared the same theme here of a story I wrote in the past.
 

Theglasshouse

WF Veterans
I think you're right, Theglasshouse. I think the more you learn about any type of writing, the better writer you can be in general. One of the things I am is a mostly failed haiku writer. I've written and published just a few because writing haiku is difficult for me. But I won't give it up because it keeps me writing, keeps me thinking, keeps me comparing and collecting images. So I store my failed haiku and take images from my collection for use in my other work (longer poetry, short stories, essays). When I don't feel like tackling a big project I just start writing some new haiku.

It seems that the writers I most enjoy can write in several forms, can write novels, short stories, essays, and poems. As the old joke goes, How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice, practice, practice. I think every little bit we learn can help us become more effective writers.

I was meaning to come back to reply to this post. Would you say essay writing is a challenge for you when you do write it for any purpose? What unique challenges do you have when writing essays? Likewise, what unique challenges do people have when writing poems?
 

Pamelyn Casto

WF Veterans
Theglasshouse wrote: I was meaning to come back to reply to this post. Would you say essay writing is a challenge for you when you do write it for any purpose? What unique challenges do you have when writing essays? Likewise, what unique challenges do people have when writing poems?

*** I think essay writing is also challenging in that we have to get the essay into a shape a reader will respond to (will read). I think it might be a bit easier to get readers for essays because they're nonfiction and people want and seek lots of information. But while someone might read a couple of "how to" essays on how to write an effective sonnet, they might not be as eager to read someone's finished sonnet. There's less of an audience for poetry so we have to craft poems carefully to get people interested in reading them and sharing them. And both skills, writing essays and writing poetry, contribute to improving writing in general. With knowledge of how to write effective essays or poems, we can create better work--more effective novels, for instance. I think it helps to be able to express ourselves in various ways. Many times I've read a short poem, loved it, and sought out the author's longer work. (And vice versa.) All types of writing are huge challenges, no matter what types of writing we're doing.
 

luckyscars

WF Veterans
I think poetry is fine. A lot of writers start out writing poetry before moving onto longer things. Something poetry does offer is the ability to create images and experiment with language outside of a narrative and the pressures that presents.

I think there's limits, though. This seems like comparing skateboarding and windsurfing. There are crossover skills, things like balance, that are mutually beneficial. The problem is that you can be the greatest skateboarder in the world and not be able to windsurf because there are just as many skills that are not comparable.

Ultimately the best way to improve poetry is to write and read more poetry and the same is true for fiction as well. But we do have the human aspect to consider and perhaps novelists don't always want to only write novels. That isn't a bad thing. Do what makes you happy. Any writing is better for you than no writing.
 

Pamelyn Casto

WF Veterans
I don't know, Luckyscars, about comparing skateboarding and windsurfing in what we're talking about. I'm not convinced there are limits other than those we put on ourselves and our imaginations. Some novels are highly poetic-- more poetry, even, than narrative or plot. One of my favorites is Edmond Jabes' The Book of Questions: Yael; Elya; Aely. It's narrative and poetic fragments throughout. It's totally beautiful work and in spite of reading it several times I've not yet managed to exhaust it. I also have it terribly marked up because I want to keep track of so many outstanding passages. Jabes is a highly skilled poet and a highly skilled storyteller. He developed both difficult skills and as a result his work is moving, inspiring, and quite impressive (he has a worldwide readership). I guess some people are best at poetry. Others are best at fiction and/ or novels. And I guess some are best at all the skills required for writing effective and memorable art of whatever length. Yes, it all depends on what the writer wants to do-- focus on one genre or write in various genres. I like mixing it up (sometimes focusing on my essays, sometimes on my poetry, sometimes on my short stories, and sometimes on my novels). It all depends on what the individual writer prefers doing, and as I said earlier I just happen to like those writers who can write in several forms.
 

luckyscars

WF Veterans
I don't know, Luckyscars, about comparing skateboarding and windsurfing in what we're talking about. I'm not convinced there are limits other than those we put on ourselves and our imaginations. Some novels are highly poetic-- more poetry, even, than narrative or plot. One of my favorites is Edmond Jabes' The Book of Questions: Yael; Elya; Aely. It's narrative and poetic fragments throughout. It's totally beautiful work and in spite of reading it several times I've not yet managed to exhaust it. I also have it terribly marked up because I want to keep track of so many outstanding passages. Jabes is a highly skilled poet and a highly skilled storyteller. He developed both difficult skills and as a result his work is moving, inspiring, and quite impressive (he has a worldwide readership). I guess some people are best at poetry. Others are best at fiction and/ or novels. And I guess some are best at all the skills required for writing effective and memorable art of whatever length. Yes, it all depends on what the writer wants to do-- focus on one genre or write in various genres. I like mixing it up (sometimes focusing on my essays, sometimes on my poetry, sometimes on my short stories, and sometimes on my novels). It all depends on what the individual writer prefers doing, and as I said earlier I just happen to like those writers who can write in several forms.

Yeah, I mean, I don't disagree particularly, but it very much depends on what we are talking about.

We all know that novels are not some homogenous entity. Neither, for that matter, is poetry. We know there is such a thing as narrative poetry and there are poetic novels. Somebody who wants to write a poetically-inclined 'language' novel may well find a strong knowledge of poetry helpful, essential maybe. But that's one type of novel...

The OP mentioned 'literary novels', which is still quite an ambiguous label. Still, most literary novels are still based around some sort of narrative, some sort of story. Likewise, most poetry has rather little narrative.

There's also a whole (separate) discussion regarding what readers are prioritizing -- there may be poetic novels, but I'm not sure how popular they are to 'most readers'? 'Literary novels' can be hugely variable. I hear 'literary' and think Jonathan Saffran Foer or Harper Lee or something. That's a totally different sort of book to what others might have in mind. Others may want more poetic forms of 'literary fiction'.

But, speaking generally, I feel it is fair to assume that most forms of poetry won't provide all of the skills needed to write most forms of literary novels. To that extent, I disagree that limitations are arbitrary. For example, it's unlikely most poetry will inform much on dialogue and character development, because most poetry simply doesn't possess it. That is where the wheels of the skateboard meet the road on which in rolls, and matters pertaining to the wind and sea are lost. You have to read fiction to get that.

Poetry can hugely help, on the other hand, with description, emotional expression, wordplay, etc. This is the common thread, the familiarity of 'both require balance and positioning'.

I do think poetry can be fruitful in terms of inspiring thought, essentially 'oiling the imagination', and that's valuable. If a writer is struggling for ideas, simply writing a poem about a butterfly could lead to bigger things. The flipside to that point is that anything that is writing (and even some things that aren't writing) can do that, it's not unique to poetry. One of my books came from an essay I wrote in college.

It's all valid.
 
Last edited:

Theglasshouse

WF Veterans
Writing in general is practice. I fully agree with that. I agree writing poetry will accomplish that.

Some people such as me believe and think poems have a desire expressed by a character depending on what the person likes to write. In a short story a desire denied is to create a want that is tangible for the character. It's an important part of storytelling especially if you have a character with contradictory desires. Poems are a shorter form of expression that has a conflict and a desire. Humans are a bunch of contradictions. I read a poem where such a contradiction came to life. I am sure poems exist on this board that are like paradoxes in what is wanted or desired. The fading of light on the poetry section is one such poem. My comment was I like the paradox of the knight and the fact it is protecting animals in the story. If I played with that image it's rich only in deep subtle touches one can add. What if the knight were menacing in the story? My thoughts were in science fiction one can write this image as a frightening one. One that represents conflict. I won't say how since I am currently working on it.

I am a fan of symbolism when taken from poetry. Metaphors are nice in fantasy and add a more complex nuance to the story that has been written. I gave an example of a character who might be perceived by me the reader in this case having contradictory feelings or desires. They might even have a fear complex. Maybe they are angry and hateful suggested by the setting. Setting is character in this case.

I will continue to write them maybe since they can be cathartic at times. I appreciate your comments. Yes they may be different but you can borrow or be inspired by a muse feed by poetry, essays, newspapers, nonfiction and so forth. Anything can help. What I sense is it borrows an aesthetic of something lying beneath the surface of the story.

So I am aware they have different demands. I am planning on continuing both just to see where the muse can take me. I like figurative language that hints at a deeper tension that is hinted at. Images that are powerful can be inserted into stories. These images which are symbolic. That's what I originally thought of when I wrote this thread.

Writing is practice. I definitely agree with you there and that will be the takeaway if people want to agree what we can learn from poems and don't agree with the rest of the discussion.

Poetry can have multiple interpretations which I want in my fiction. Which is a key part of the enjoyment of a literary short story for me.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top