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dedalus
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I am aware of the need to write more comments ... but I hate the very thought of it. I just don't want to do it. I can tell something good from something bad, but why is it good or why is it bad? Well, the bad is easily discerned but you don't want to be telling people they are writing a load of shite. The good stuff sings, it takes off, it flies. What can you say about that? I liked your clever touch on the left rudder? As I said, I'm hopeless at criticism. I'm not in the least bit interested in the study of literature. I'm interested in stories.

 

 

I swear to God there are times

when I kick and buck at the call for rhymes

that define sweet gentle verse.

 

I own that I often swear and curse

and indulge in language most extreme

that borders on the near obscene.

 

Poetry, damn’d poetry, airy and thin,

has worked its way beneath my skin

but I know the pain is real.

 

So is this what I really feel?

 

No, no, I never said that.

I never said anything, never wrote anything!

Like an angry man

under foreign occupation

I burn my words

before I write them.

 

Paper and pens betray you.

Your mind and memory alone defend,

become the final only friend.

Drown your sorrows in drink, by all means, but the real sorrows can swim

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Well, daedalus, you tell it like it is. There is no satisfactory explanation beyond the fact that as Lawrence Perrine and many others said, "a poem must have sound and sense". I presume that means that a poet, in telling his tale of the moment, must choose words and arrange them into utterances that somehow feel uncontrived, and where all the words are pertinent to the tale, are believable, make common sense, even if the tale itself may not, and are pleasant to listen to to boot.

 

You have just written a poem like that.

 

No single poem makes sense to and pleases everyone, but the better poem is capable of entracing a reasonably wider audience. To learn how one does that may take a lifetime, or not. And, speaking for myself, even knowing all the elements at a writers disposal and having studied them for a lifetime is not a guarantee.

 

That may be because most of the sages, who supposedly know how, say that "a poet is born and not made". I think that should not be taken to mean one cannot learn how to write poems, but for some it takes less effort. Seems we are all born with the wiring that is needed to grasp the essence of what is poetic, but how complete or efficient that wiring is obviously varies.

 

I am a firm believer that one thing that improves the wiring and can be learned and is more important than knowing all those 'poetic' elements is: to study hard how language works. I see many would-be poets who have fantastic 'ideas' but cannot put them to paper in a manner that makes others immediately see what they are trying to tell. And you do not need to study literature. However, reading a lot of the work of acknowledged good writers helps, because it is their use of language that is at the base of their excellence. And I don't necessarily mean the bestseller as we have come to see.

 

I hope this helps you with the uncertainty you seem to depict in your poem.

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I am aware of the need to write more comments ...
but I hate the very thought of it
. I just don't want to do it. I can tell something good from something bad, but why is it good or why is it bad? Well, the bad is easily discerned but you don't want to be telling people they are writing a load of shite. The good stuff sings, it takes off, it flies. What can you say about that? I liked your clever touch on the left rudder? As I said, I'm hopeless at criticism. I'm not in the least bit interested in the study of literature. I'm interested in stories.

 

So you prefer no 'interaction' as regards your own 'stories'?

 

badge

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Hello my Mysterious Friend,

Your work and your comments make me think. I find that most wonderful even though in the end we usually come down on different sides of any given issue. That is okay by me. I do not expect anyone to agree with me. That is not important. As one might expect I do have some questions about some of your statements.

You said: “I can tell something good from something bad” I wonder if this comes from a belief that you are the decider of what is good or bad. I could understand that you would be able to discern between something that worked for you and something that did not. I am not sure that any of us are qualified to determine the absolute between good and bad.

The great glory of places like these is the great differences that abound. Your opinion is of value here. I do not expect great literary commentary, nor do I attempt to give such (I am not qualified). But I do enjoy honest opinion. I must admit I also appreciate those who read my offerings for what they are-mostly rhyming poetry. I know that there are those here who strongly prefer different formats but they have been kind to me ( and honest I hope). Please share your thoughts- they are valuable.

As to verse one- While I am a lover of rhyme and really prefer 4 line verses that rhyme L2 and L4 I do not hear a great call for such work nor do I have knowledge of a huge modern following for sweet gentle verse. I would love to know where this call is coming from as I might enjoy such a place. To the contrary I find that generally such verse is often referred to as having a Hallmark Card quality. While that is meant as a negative remark I like Hallmark cards. (The general public likes them as well if business is a reliable indicator.) I find that most modern poets here and on other sights find rhyme to be a sign of ignorance and lacking sophistication. Perhaps poets write to their audience whether that audience is themselves, other poets or some other demographic. Perhaps the demographic finds them. In any case we live in a world that is most open to variation and diversity. There is a place for all of us.

Your work is often very colorful. I have not seen herein that you have received any negative feedback because of that. Words are words. I am not a believer in the existence of good words and bad words. They are just words. We use them to paint pictures and present ideas. They are tools. Their power comes from thought and arrangement. If I chose to be “airy and thin” and you chose to be profane, so what. Must one be wrong so that the other can be right?

You a right when you say that paper and pen betray you. They lack inflection, tone and facial expression. Perhaps that is why emoticons have become so popular. I would be less than honest if I did not tell you that I have found your words to come across as arrogant and angry from time to time, are you? Does it make you angry that I have said thus herein? It would appear from the last 2 verses of your work here that these are not fair characterizations and completely untrue. My apologies if I have misjudged you.

Well those are some of the thoughts that your work has inspired. Any work that makes me think and see more clearly is good work for me. Thanks,

rg

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The prevalent notion of what differentiates the more significant/better poem from the less significant one has something to do with imaginative consistency. Unless anyone else is interested to discuss what it is I will leave it at that. There are contests for poem and these, esp. the juried ones, would not exist unless some discernment were possible between good and poor poetry.

 

It is discursive language that is judged by standards of truth vs. falsehood. I have already that there is a spectrum of quality for all poems written by now and yet to be written and that too often it is an insufficient command of language that can either elevate or debase a poem that cannot by any standard said to be of no value whatsoever.

 

Those who really care about quality will keep on reading as much poetry and other literary genres as they can find time for and will eventually come to find the discernment between high and low quality poems. Of course, the division is not razor sharp, and the boundary will move depending on personal taste.

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A quick note (which in most cases is all I can do, which is all I ever expect as a critique from most- when fellow poets go the extra mile, I glow, but sometimes a simple acknowledgment that I have been read, keeps me going;-) Loved the self reflective deconstruction of the poet and poetry and the mysterious realm of their meeting- another excellent piece Ded!

 

DC

thegateless.org Come on over and check out my poetry substack y'all;-) Or if your bored, head to the Zazzle store: https://www.zazzle.com/store/gateless. If you buy anything I lose a bet, so consider that before you violate the digital rules.

 

Gate(less.png

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dedalus wrote:

 

Poetry, damn’d poetry, airy and thin,

has worked its way beneath my skin

but I know the pain is real ....

How well expressed! I love this part and the frustration it conveys:

dedalus wrote:

 

Like an angry man

under foreign occupation

I burn my words

before I write them ....

The title catches the attention, and the poem keeps it.

 

Tony

Here is a link to an index of my works on this site: tonyv's Member Archive topic

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