Poetry Thread!

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Ormurinn
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Poetry Thread!

Postby Ormurinn » Wed May 30, 2012 7:29 pm UTC

Ok, so got to discussing poetry in the "What topics should be included in education" and it gave me the idea for this thread. All in the title really - a thread for sharing, discussing and talking about poetry.

I'll just leave this here : http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=pl ... 3ZvjTHpb1A

Deor (Englisc)
Spoiler:
DEOR
WÉland him be wurman, wræces cunnade
anhydig eorl erfoþa dreag.
hæfde him to gesiþþe sorge ond longaþ
wintercealde wræce; wean oft onfond,
siþþan hine Niðhad on nede legde,
swoncre seonobende on syllan monn.
þæs ofereode, þisses swa mæg!

Beadohilde ne wæs hyre broþra deaþ
on sefan swa sar swa hyre sylfre þing.
þæt heo gearolice ongietan hæfde
þæt heo eacen wæs, æfre ne meahte
þriste geþencan
hu ymb þæt sceolde.
þæs ofereode, þisses swa mæg!

We þæt Mæðhilde mone gefrugnon
wurdon grundlease Geates frige,
þæthi seo sorglufu slæp ealle binom
þæs ofereode, þisses swa mæg!

ðeodric ahte þritig wintra
Mæringa burg; þæt wæs monegum cuþ
þæs ofereode, þisses swa mæg!

We geascodan Eormanrices
wylfenne geþoht, ahte wide folc
Gotena rices, þæt wæs grim cyning
Sæt secg monig sorgum gebunden.
wean on wenan wyscte geneahhe
þæt þæs cynerices ofercumen wære.
þæs ofereode, þisses swa mæg!

Siteð sogcearig, sælum bidæled,
on sefan sweorceð sylfum þinceð
þæt sy endeleas carfoða dæl.
Mæg þonne geþencan, þæt geond þæs woruld
witig Dryhten wendeþ geneahhe
eorle monnegum are gesceawað,
wis licne blæd, sumum wena dæl.

þæt ic bi me sylfum seagan wille
þæt ic hwile wæs
Heodeninga scop dryhtne dyre.
Me wæs Deor noma
Ahte ic fela wintra folgað tilne
holdne hlaford oþ þæt Heorrenda nu
leoðcræftig monn,
londryht geþah þæt me eorla hleo ær gesealde.
þæt ofereode, þisses swa mæg!


Modern English Version:
Spoiler:
Welund tasted misery among snakes.
The stout-hearted hero endured troubles
had sorrow and longing as his companions
cruelty cold as winter - he often found woe
Once Nithad laid restraints on him,
supple sinew-bonds on the better man.
That went by; so can this.

To Beadohilde, her brothers' death was not
so painful to her heart as her own problem
which she had readily perceived
that she was pregnant; nor could she ever
foresee without fear how things would turn out.
That went by, so can this.

We have learnt of the laments of Mathild,
of Geat's lady, that they became countless
so that the painful passion took away all sleep.
That went by, so can this.

For thirty years Theodric possessed
the Maring's stronghold; that was known to many.
That went by, so can this.

We have heard of Eormanric's
wolfish mind; he ruled men in many places
in the Goths' realm - that was a grim king.
Many a man sat surrounded by sorrows,
misery his expectation, he often wished
that the kingdom would be overcome.
That went by, so may this.

A heavy-hearted man sits deprived of luck.
He grows gloomy in his mind and thinks of himself
that his share of troubles may be endless.
He can then consider that throughout this world
the wise Lord often brings about change
to many a man, he shows him grace
and certain fame; and to some a share of woes.

I wish to say this about myself:
That for a time I was the Heodenings' poet,
dear to my lord - my name was "Deor".
For many years I had a profitable position,
a loyal lord until now that Heorrenda,
the man skilled in song, has received the estate
which the warriors' guardian had given to me.
That went by, so can this.


I really like this poem - I love the sound and writings of Old English, and I believe that there is still a common thread of English culture that links this poem to the modern day. A common heritage stretching back into the past. Its also good satisfying to know I speak a language with such ancient roots - squint at the Englisc version, and some of the sentences almost make sense.

So there you have it. Post your own beloved poems, or comment on others.
"Progress" - Technological advances masking societal decay.

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Re: Poetry Thread!

Postby Lawsome » Wed May 30, 2012 8:42 pm UTC

Spring
Sparrows crochet and minim
the telephone wires
sing volts down the line.

I can't remember who wrote it...
Spoiler:
Image
Quizatzhaderac wrote:
Rosewinsall wrote:DOWN WITH CERTAINTY!

Are you certain of that?

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Re: Poetry Thread!

Postby The Mighty Thesaurus » Thu May 31, 2012 6:43 am UTC

Have you seen Benjamin Bagby's Beowulf?
LE4dGOLEM wrote:your ability to tell things from things remains one of your skills.
Weeks wrote:Not only can you tell things from things, you can recognize when a thing is a thing

Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam

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PAstrychef
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Re: Poetry Thread!

Postby PAstrychef » Sat Jun 02, 2012 1:07 pm UTC

I wish poetry hadn't become crammed into a box of high-falutin' academic incomprehensible crap over the last half-century or so. Nowadays, to admit you know and enjoy(!) poetry is seen as weird and a sign of moral degeneracy. It doesn't help that way too much of modern said poetry actually belongs in that aforementioned box, alas.
Still, it's hard to go wrong with Denise Levertov, Marvin Bell, Wallace Stevens or Shakespeare. There are great poets whom I have read only in translation, so I suspect their greatness is even greater in the original. And here's a poem

Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird

Wallace Stevens

I
Among twenty snowy mountains,
The only moving thing
Was the eye of the blackbird.

II
I was of three minds,
Like a tree
In which there are three blackbirds.

III
The blackbird whirled in the autumn winds.
It was a small part of the pantomime.

IV
A man and a woman
Are one.
A man and a woman and a blackbird
Are one.

V
I do not know which to prefer,
The beauty of inflections
Or the beauty of innuendoes,
The blackbird whistling
Or just after.


VI
Icicles filled the long window
With barbaric glass.
The shadow of the blackbird
Crossed it, to and fro.
The mood
Traced in the shadow
An indecipherable cause.

VII
O thin men of Haddam,
Why do you imagine golden birds?
Do you not see how the blackbird
Walks around the feet
Of the women about you?

VIII
I know noble accents
And lucid, inescapable rhythms;
But I know, too,
That the blackbird is involved
In what I know.

IX
When the blackbird flew out of sight,
It marked the edge
Of one of many circles.

X
At the sight of blackbirds
Flying in a green light,
Even the bawds of euphony
Would cry out sharply.


XI
He rode over Connecticut
In a glass coach.
Once, a fear pierced him,
In that he mistook
The shadow of his equipage
For blackbirds.

XII
The river is moving.
The blackbird must be flying.

XIII
It was evening all afternoon.
It was snowing
And it was going to snow.
The blackbird sat
In the cedar-limbs.

And another-

The Writer  
by Richard Wilbur


In her room at the prow of the house
Where light breaks, and the windows are tossed with linden,
My daughter is writing a story.

I pause in the stairwell, hearing
From her shut door a commotion of typewriter-keys
Like a chain hauled over a gunwale.

Young as she is, the stuff
Of her life is a great cargo, and some of it heavy:
I wish her a lucky passage.

But now it is she who pauses,
As if to reject my thought and its easy figure.
A stillness greatens, in which

The whole house seems to be thinking,
And then she is at it again with a bunched clamor
Of strokes, and again is silent.

I remember the dazed starling
Which was trapped in that very room, two years ago;
How we stole in, lifted a sash

And retreated, not to affright it;
And how for a helpless hour, through the crack of the door,
We watched the sleek, wild, dark

And iridescent creature
Batter against the brilliance, drop like a glove
To the hard floor, or the desk-top,

And wait then, humped and bloody,
For the wits to try it again; and how our spirits
Rose when, suddenly sure,

It lifted off from a chair-back,
Beating a smooth course for the right window
And clearing the sill of the world.

It is always a matter, my darling,
Of life or death, as I had forgotten. I wish
What I wished you before, but harder.
Don’t become a well-rounded person. Well rounded people are smooth and dull. Become a thoroughly spiky person. Grow spikes from every angle. Stick in their throats like a puffer fish.

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Re: Poetry Thread!

Postby ArchaicHipster » Sat Jun 02, 2012 2:48 pm UTC

Those are both excellent, pastrychef. I'd never heard of either of those poets - I'll have to check them out. I especially like
I was of three minds,
Like a tree
In which there are three blackbirds.


I think that whilst most people are, indeed, of the opinion that liking poetry makes you depressive/nerdy/other, a lot of people don't realise their capacity to be moved by poetry until they hear it read. It's an art form that almost suffers from its medium - reading poetry in your own head often doesn't do it justice. It's as much about the sounds of the words as it is about the meanings of them, sometimes more so.

And finally, here's a poem that I love.

The Trees by Philip Larkin
The trees are coming into leaf
Like something almost being said;
The recent buds relax and spread,
Their greenness is a kind of grief.

Is it that they are born again
And we grow old? No, they die too,
Their yearly trick of looking new
Is written down in rings of grain.

Yet still the unresting castles thresh
In fullgrown thickness every May.
Last year is dead, they seem to say,
Begin afresh, afresh, afresh.
“It is in the deserts and high places that religions are generated. When men see nothing but bottomless infinity over their heads they have always had a driving and desperate urge to find someone to put in the way.”
-Terry Pratchett

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PAstrychef
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Re: Poetry Thread!

Postby PAstrychef » Sat Jun 02, 2012 4:05 pm UTC

The oral part of written language is hugely ignored these days. I love being read to-audiobooks are grand-and reading aloud is just as much fun. Having spent my youth in the theatre, dahling, I got loads of practice remembering spoken poetry, and just never outgrew it.
Listening to good readers read good poetry is a joy.
Last edited by PAstrychef on Sat Jun 02, 2012 10:53 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Poetry Thread!

Postby poxic » Sat Jun 02, 2012 7:20 pm UTC

I was having trouble getting into Poe's poetry some years back, until I imagined Patrick Stewart reading it to me. For whatever reason, suddenly I could hear emphasis and inflection that I'd missed when buzzing through it in my own head-voice.

One that stuck with me:

Edgar Allan Poe wrote:To Helen

Helen, thy beauty is to me
Like those Nicéan barks of yore,
That gently, o'er a perfumed sea,
The weary, way-worn wanderer bore
To his own native shore.

On desperate seas long wont to roam,
Thy hyacinth hair, thy classic face,
Thy Naiad airs have brought me home
To the glory that was Greece,
And the grandeur that was Rome.

Lo! In yon brilliant window-niche
How statue-like I see thee stand,
The agate lamp within thy hand!
Ah, Psyche, from the regions which
Are Holy-Land!

Also, spoilered for length, one that works best read at a reading-aloud pace. After I was done doing this, I realised that I'd been hearing bells in my head for most of the poem.

Spoiler:
He also wrote:The Bells

I
Hear the sledges with the bells-
Silver bells!
What a world of merriment their melody foretells!
How they tinkle, tinkle, tinkle,
In the icy air of night!
While the stars that oversprinkle
All the heavens, seem to twinkle
With a crystalline delight;
Keeping time, time, time,
In a sort of Runic rhyme,
To the tintinnabulation that so musically wells
From the bells, bells, bells, bells,
Bells, bells, bells-
From the jingling and the tinkling of the bells.

II

Hear the mellow wedding bells,
Golden bells!
What a world of happiness their harmony foretells!
Through the balmy air of night
How they ring out their delight!
From the molten-golden notes,
And an in tune,
What a liquid ditty floats
To the turtle-dove that listens, while she gloats
On the moon!
Oh, from out the sounding cells,
What a gush of euphony voluminously wells!
How it swells!
How it dwells
On the Future! how it tells
Of the rapture that impels
To the swinging and the ringing
Of the bells, bells, bells,
Of the bells, bells, bells,bells,
Bells, bells, bells-
To the rhyming and the chiming of the bells!

III

Hear the loud alarum bells-
Brazen bells!
What a tale of terror, now, their turbulency tells!
In the startled ear of night
How they scream out their affright!
Too much horrified to speak,
They can only shriek, shriek,
Out of tune,
In a clamorous appealing to the mercy of the fire,
In a mad expostulation with the deaf and frantic fire,
Leaping higher, higher, higher,
With a desperate desire,
And a resolute endeavor,
Now- now to sit or never,
By the side of the pale-faced moon.
Oh, the bells, bells, bells!
What a tale their terror tells
Of Despair!
How they clang, and clash, and roar!
What a horror they outpour
On the bosom of the palpitating air!
Yet the ear it fully knows,
By the twanging,
And the clanging,
How the danger ebbs and flows:
Yet the ear distinctly tells,
In the jangling,
And the wrangling,
How the danger sinks and swells,
By the sinking or the swelling in the anger of the bells-
Of the bells-
Of the bells, bells, bells,bells,
Bells, bells, bells-
In the clamor and the clangor of the bells!

IV

Hear the tolling of the bells-
Iron Bells!
What a world of solemn thought their monody compels!
In the silence of the night,
How we shiver with affright
At the melancholy menace of their tone!
For every sound that floats
From the rust within their throats
Is a groan.
And the people- ah, the people-
They that dwell up in the steeple,
All Alone
And who, tolling, tolling, tolling,
In that muffled monotone,
Feel a glory in so rolling
On the human heart a stone-
They are neither man nor woman-
They are neither brute nor human-
They are Ghouls:
And their king it is who tolls;
And he rolls, rolls, rolls,
Rolls
A paean from the bells!
And his merry bosom swells
With the paean of the bells!
And he dances, and he yells;
Keeping time, time, time,
In a sort of Runic rhyme,
To the paean of the bells-
Of the bells:
Keeping time, time, time,
In a sort of Runic rhyme,
To the throbbing of the bells-
Of the bells, bells, bells-
To the sobbing of the bells;
Keeping time, time, time,
As he knells, knells, knells,
In a happy Runic rhyme,
To the rolling of the bells-
Of the bells, bells, bells:
To the tolling of the bells,
Of the bells, bells, bells, bells-
Bells, bells, bells-
To the moaning and the groaning of the bells.
A man who is 'ill-adjusted' to the world is always on the verge of finding himself. One who is adjusted to the world never finds himself, but gets to be a cabinet minister.
- Hermann Hesse, novelist, poet, Nobel laureate (2 Jul 1877-1962)

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Dream
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Re: Poetry Thread!

Postby Dream » Sat Jun 02, 2012 8:36 pm UTC

Got to get us some TS Eliot in here. The Hippopotamus, for everyone who worries that they areinferior to the great institutions of mankind that direct their lives:

Spoiler:
THE BROAD-BACKED hippopotamus
Rests on his belly in the mud;
Although he seems so firm to us
He is merely flesh and blood.

Flesh and blood is weak and frail, 5
Susceptible to nervous shock;
While the True Church can never fail
For it is based upon a rock.

The hippo’s feeble steps may err
In compassing material ends, 10
While the True Church need never stir
To gather in its dividends.

The ’potamus can never reach
The mango on the mango-tree;
But fruits of pomegranate and peach 15
Refresh the Church from over sea.

At mating time the hippo’s voice
Betrays inflexions hoarse and odd,
But every week we hear rejoice
The Church, at being one with God. 20

The hippopotamus’s day
Is passed in sleep; at night he hunts;
God works in a mysterious way—
The Church can sleep and feed at once.

I saw the ’potamus take wing 25
Ascending from the damp savannas,
And quiring angels round him sing
The praise of God, in loud hosannas.

Blood of the Lamb shall wash him clean
And him shall heavenly arms enfold, 30
Among the saints he shall be seen
Performing on a harp of gold.

He shall be washed as white as snow,
By all the martyr’d virgins kist,
While the True Church remains below 35
Wrapt in the old miasmal mist.
I knew a woman once, but she died soon after.

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Re: Poetry Thread!

Postby omgryebread » Sat Jun 02, 2012 11:44 pm UTC

Perhaps my favorite poem is "Soliloquy of the Solipsist" by my favorite poet, Sylvia Plath.


Spoiler:
I?
I walk alone;
The midnight street
Spins itself from under my feet;
When my eyes shut
These dreaming houses all snuff out;
Through a whim of mine
Over gables the moon's celestial onion
Hangs high.

I
Make house shrink
And trees diminish
By going far; my look's leash
Dangles the puppet-people
Who, unaware how they dwindle,
Laugh, kiss, get drunk,
Nor guess that if I choose to blink
They die.

I
When in good humor,
Give grass its green
Blazon sky blue, and endow the sun
With gold;
Yet, in my wintriest moods, I hold
Absolute power
To boycott and forbid and flower
To be.

I
Know you appear
Vivid at my side,
Denying you sprang out of my head,
Claiming you feel
Love fiery enough to prove flesh real,
Though it's quite clear
All your beauty, all your wit, is a gift, my dear,
From me.


A beautiful poem in it's language, but certainly not in subject matter. To me, Plath's poetry is still more cutting and emotional than anything else.


William Carlos William's The Red Wheelbarrow

Spoiler:
so much depends
upon

a red wheel
barrow

glazed with rain
water

beside the white
chickens.
avatar from Nononono by Lynn Okamoto.

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Re: Poetry Thread!

Postby SurgicalSteel » Sun Jun 03, 2012 3:00 am UTC

PAstrychef wrote:Listening to good readers read good poetry is a joy.
Completely agree. I also like watching people perform poetry, because then you not only get the oral performance part of the poetry, you also get the kinetic performance in the gestures and expressions the performer makes.

Some favorite performances (all artists performing their own work):
Kate Tempest - Best Intentions
Saul Williams - Coded Language (I love the forcefulness of his delivery on this one)
Saul Williams - 1987
B. Dolan - Still Electric (Awesome how the metaphor of a computer failing and trying to change itself is bolstered by the "glitches" in his delivery)
Scroobius Pip - Magicians Assistant (trigger warning: self-harm and suicide)
Leonard Cohen - Democracy
"There's spray paint on the teleprompter
Anchorman screams that he's seen a monster (mayday)
There's blood stains on his shirt (mayday)
They say that he's gone berserk."
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Re: Poetry Thread!

Postby lutzj » Sun Jun 03, 2012 3:17 pm UTC

PAstrychef wrote:Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird


One of my favorites. I think this is what finally got me to like Wallace Stevens.


edit: I thought of something seasonal to contribute, but had a hard time finding it through Google. Only found it in what seems to be an online archiving of the tattered book I found in the local library years ago. It's scary to think such great stuff gets printed once or twice and then languishes in massive text files.

Spoiler:
FLOWERS OF DARKNESS
by Frank Marshall Davis


Slowly the night blooms, unfurling
Flowers of darkness, covering
The trellised sky, becoming
A bouquet of blackness
Unending
Touched with sprigs
Of pale and budding stars

Soft the night smell
Among April trees
Soft and richly rare
Yet commonplace
Perfume on a cosmic scale

I turn to you Mandy Lou
I see the flowering night
Cameo condensed
Into the lone black rose
Of your face

The young woman-smell
Of your poppy body
Rises to my brain as opium
Yet silently motionless
I sit with twitching fingers
Yea, even reverently
Sit I
With you and the blossoming night
For what flower, plucked,
Lingers long?
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raike
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Re: Poetry Thread!

Postby raike » Sun Jun 03, 2012 10:56 pm UTC

'Ozymandias' by Percy Brysshe Shelly always sticks in my mind--I'm not really sure why, but I feel as if there's something rather striking about it, like I do when I read Kafka.

I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: "Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown
And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed.
And on the pedestal these words appear:
`My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings:
Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!'
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away".
"When your work speaks for itself, don't interrupt." - H.J. Kaiser
رات دن گردش میں ہیں سات آسماں
ہو رہیگا کچھ نہ کچھ گھبرائیں کیا
(غالب)

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Re: Poetry Thread!

Postby pyronius » Mon Jun 04, 2012 1:45 am UTC

My blood bleeds bloodily

it bloodies my shirt

a stain the color of blood

essence

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Re: Poetry Thread!

Postby yurell » Mon Jun 04, 2012 2:04 am UTC

Since this is for talking about poetry, what is poetry? It doesn't seem to need to rhyme or have a constant meter (since I've seen things called poems that don't have one or the other), so what separates poetry from something like a story?
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Pronouns: Feminine pronouns please!

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PAstrychef
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Re: Poetry Thread!

Postby PAstrychef » Tue Jun 05, 2012 11:32 am UTC

What makes it a poem:
The use of line breaks as punctuation
The attention to the rythm of the language
Poetry says things sideways. It slides around direct description, so that extra layers of meaning can creep in.
Poetry condenses, where prose tends to expand.
While stories have been and can be told in a poetic form, poems usually don't have a plot. At least modern poems don't.
These days the act of naming a piece of writing a poem is often all it takes. And if you read some poems that don't look like poems aloud, you will find their poetic qualities more apparent. Sometimes you read a poem aloud and discover it is a piece of prose strangely laid out on the page (like a patient etherized upon a table).
Don’t become a well-rounded person. Well rounded people are smooth and dull. Become a thoroughly spiky person. Grow spikes from every angle. Stick in their throats like a puffer fish.

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Re: Poetry Thread!

Postby Adam H » Tue Jun 05, 2012 9:13 pm UTC

Anything
Can be a poem
If
you hit enter
randomly.
-Adam

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poxic
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Re: Poetry Thread!

Postby poxic » Tue Jun 05, 2012 9:20 pm UTC

Anything can look like a poem if you hit Enter randomly, as you demonstrated. Reading your post out loud indicates that it is, indeed prose.


"This is a demonstration"
said the Occupy participant
to the arresting officer
A man who is 'ill-adjusted' to the world is always on the verge of finding himself. One who is adjusted to the world never finds himself, but gets to be a cabinet minister.
- Hermann Hesse, novelist, poet, Nobel laureate (2 Jul 1877-1962)

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Re: Poetry Thread!

Postby Bassoon » Tue Jun 05, 2012 10:10 pm UTC

PAstrychef wrote:What makes it a poem:
The use of line breaks as punctuation
The attention to the rythm of the language
Poetry says things sideways. It slides around direct description, so that extra layers of meaning can creep in.
Poetry condenses, where prose tends to expand.
While stories have been and can be told in a poetic form, poems usually don't have a plot. At least modern poems don't.
These days the act of naming a piece of writing a poem is often all it takes. And if you read some poems that don't look like poems aloud, you will find their poetic qualities more apparent. Sometimes you read a poem aloud and discover it is a piece of prose strangely laid out on the page (like a patient etherized upon a table).


In the same sense that poetry condenses the number of words used, it also expands the meaning and the scale of the meaning of the words. But yeah, all of that is valid.

I really like Denise Levertov's "Witness":

Spoiler:
Sometimes the mountain
is hidden from me in veils
of cloud, sometimes
I am hidden from the mountain
in veils of inattention, apathy, fatigue,
when I forget or refuse to go
down to the shore or a few yards
up the road, on a clear day,
to reconfirm
that witnessing presence.


Also, Naomi Lazard's "Ordinance on Arrival":

Spoiler:
Welcome to you
who have managed to get here.
It's been a terrible trip;
you should be happy you have survived it.
Statistics prove that not many do.
You would like a bath, a hot meal,
a good night's sleep. Some of you
need medical attention.
None of this is available.
These things have always been
in short supply; now
they are impossible to obtain.

ddddddddddddd
This is not
a temporary situation;
it is permanent.
Our condolences on your disappointment.
It is not our responsibility
everything you have heard about this place
is false. It is not our fault
you have been deceived,
ruined your health getting here.
For reasons beyond our control
there is no vehicle out.
Last edited by Bassoon on Wed Jun 06, 2012 8:37 pm UTC, edited 2 times in total.

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rat4000
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Re: Poetry Thread!

Postby rat4000 » Wed Jun 06, 2012 8:22 pm UTC

poxic wrote:Anything can look like a poem if you hit Enter randomly, as you demonstrated. Reading your post out loud indicates that it is, indeed prose.


"This is a demonstration"
said the Occupy participant
to the arresting officer
A text by William Carlos Williams, posted in this very thread, reads exactly like prose, too. Is it not a poem?

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Re: Poetry Thread!

Postby poxic » Wed Jun 06, 2012 8:27 pm UTC

It reads like absurd prose. If it's read as poetry, the images become more potent. Poetry reads slower than prose.
A man who is 'ill-adjusted' to the world is always on the verge of finding himself. One who is adjusted to the world never finds himself, but gets to be a cabinet minister.
- Hermann Hesse, novelist, poet, Nobel laureate (2 Jul 1877-1962)

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Re: Poetry Thread!

Postby modularblues » Thu Jun 07, 2012 9:06 am UTC

Words that evoke imagery and conjure metaphors are poetry.

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Re: Poetry Thread!

Postby Ormurinn » Thu Jun 07, 2012 12:02 pm UTC

raike wrote:'Ozymandias' by Percy Brysshe Shelly always sticks in my mind--I'm not really sure why, but I feel as if there's something rather striking about it, like I do when I read Kafka.

I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: "Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown
And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed.
And on the pedestal these words appear:
`My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings:
Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!'
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away".


This is one of my favourite pieces, I was going to post it myself at some point. The relelntless march of time is one of my favourite themes, and one I see as well served by the medium of poetry. Poetry that teaches life lessons is important too - and seems to be rarer nowadays.
"Progress" - Technological advances masking societal decay.

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Re: Poetry Thread!

Postby rat4000 » Thu Jun 07, 2012 3:59 pm UTC

poxic wrote:Poetry reads slower than prose.
That's very reader-dependent, though. Williams' piece, when I read it aloud, really sounds exactly like prose. Levertov's, ditto. modularblues' "evoke imagery" is the most sensible definition I've heard.

Incidentally, that Poe bell poem you posted was better than anything of his I've read (ie his most popular things - Raven, Conqueror Worm, Annabel Lee, etc.), maybe because of the lack of angst. Also it's amazing to see him do free-form; it makes his rigid stuff seem like a waste of talent.

Also also, here's a thing by Countee Cullen
Spoiler:
Simon the Cyrenian Speaks


He never spoke a word to me,
And yet He called my name;
He never gave a sign to me,
And yet I knew and came.
At first I said, "I will not bear
His cross upon my back;
He only seeks to place it there
Because my skin is black."

But He was dying for a dream,
And He was very meek,
And in His eyes there shone a gleam
Men journey far to seek.

It was Himself my pity bought;
I did for Christ alone
What all of Rome could not have wrought
With bruise of lash or stone.
and one by Wendell Berry
Spoiler:
Horses


When I was a boy here,
traveling the fields for pleasure,
the farms were worked with teams.
As late as then a teamster
was thought an accomplished man,
his art an essential discipline.
A boy learned it by delight
as he learned to use
his body, following the example
of men. The reins of a team
were put into my hands
when I thought the work was play.
And in the corrective gaze
of men now dead I learned
to flesh my will in power
great enough to kill me
should I let it turn.
I learned the other tongue
by which men spoke to beasts
—all its terms and tones.
And by the time I learned,
new ways had changed the time.
The tractors came. The horses
stood in the fields, keepsakes,
grew old, and died. Or were sold
as dogmeat. Our minds received
the revolution of engines, our will
stretched toward the numb endurance
of metal. And that old speech
by which we magnified
our flesh in other flesh
fell dead in our mouths.
The songs of the world died
in our ears as we went within
the uproar of the long syllable
of the motors. Our intent entered
the world as combustion.
Like our travels, our workdays
burned upon the world,
lifting its inwards up
in fire. Veiled in that power
our minds gave up the endless
cycle of growth and decay
and took the unreturning way,
the breathless distance of iron.


But that work, empowered by burning
the world’s body, showed us
finally the world’s limits
and our own. We had then
the life of a candle, no longer
the ever-returning song
among the grassblades and the leaves.


Did I never forget?
Or did I, after years,
remember? To hear that song
again, though brokenly
in the distances of memory,
is coming home. I came to
a farm, some of it unreachable
by machines, as some of the world
will always be. And so
I came to a team, a pair
of mares—sorrels, with white
tails and manes, beautiful!—
to keep my sloping fields.
Going behind them, the reins
I fight over their backs as they stepped
their long strides, revived
again on my tongue the cries
of dead men in the living
fields. Now every move
answers what is still.
This work of love rhymes
living and dead. A dance
is what this plodding is.
A song, whatever is said.

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Re: Poetry Thread!

Postby pyronius » Thu Jun 07, 2012 6:08 pm UTC

I suppose I'll add a serious reply.

I don't necessarily believe there's any sort of cutoff point where prose becomes poetry but on the whole I've always thought of poetry as (if well done) taking more time and effort in order to pick the exact right word to both evoke the intended emotions and fit what rhythm there may or may not be. Even if no rhythm exists a line might simply fit best with a particular number of syllables and the word which perfectly captures your meaning won't necessarily have the right sound. In any prose I've ever written beyond forum posts I've always found myself writing and rewriting even short sentenced for the sake of clarity and aesthetics. Were I writing poetry I would no doubt spend ten times as long because as beautiful and perfect as the first twelve words of the line may be, if the last word sounds even slightly out of place then it can be done better and may need to be scrapped. No one factor dictates whether a word or a line works or belongs, rather it's about the aesthetics as a whole which are entirely subjective. Prose tends to be more about providing information and the author must limit their stylistic choices if they aren't conveying the message properly. If I had to draw a line between them it would be that poetry is less concerned with whether it requires intense interpretation and more concerned with the overall feeling. Prose on the other hand works in the opposite direction placing a certain level of information as key and the aesthetics second so that they won't be terribly misunderstood. This is why not poets these days don't write epics and why large novels are written in prose. A (good/diligent) poet creates an exacting piece that may takes months per line and which conveys little information but provides a perfect emotion. An author of prose will often write more in order to tell a full story and create an equally rich emotional setting without losing the meaning of their piece and making it unintelligible.

Just my thoughts.

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Re: Poetry Thread!

Postby Felstaff » Mon Sep 09, 2013 9:51 am UTC

I've been enjoying the toing-and-froing of various journalists since the death of Seamus Heaney. Personally, I find his poetry fascinating even if he shoehorned in quite a bit of nationalism and violence, but it was his translation of Beowulf, which I find to be superior and more poetic than Tolkien's, that I enjoyed most.

Anyway, here's a little sparring match between a cynical Telegraph blog and The Quietus' indignant reaction. I was rapt by the comments, and furthers my opinion that 100% of internet arguments make people look like asses.

Aside from literary chest-pounding, I thought this was a rather agreeable article on the relevance of poetry.
Away, you scullion! you rampallion! You fustilarian! I'll tickle your catastrophe.

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Re: Poetry Thread!

Postby Tomlidich the second » Tue Sep 10, 2013 8:58 pm UTC

i have normally been something of a horrible poet in the past, though i may be able to come up with something if i applied myself these days.

i do have something of a love for it however, the way it can express emotions i cannot sometimes.
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Re: Poetry Thread!

Postby Quercus » Sat Jul 19, 2014 11:40 pm UTC

I've long loved the Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Coleridge. It's a little long to post here but here's a link, though really it's best alongside Gustave Doré's wonderful illustrations to the 1876 edition.

Here's one of my favourite poems currently, by Jane Hirshfield:
Spoiler:
The Supple Deer

The quiet opening
between fence strands
perhaps eighteen inches.

Antlers to hind hooves,
four feet off the ground,
the deer poured through it.

No tuft of the coarse white belly hair left behind.

I don’t know how a stag turns
into a stream, an arc of water.
I have never felt such accurate envy.

Not of the deer—

To be that porous, to have such largeness pass through me.


Finally, if I end up getting married, Little Cosmic Dust Poem by John Haines is definitely going to be among the readings. If it's possible to get engraving that small I want the last two verses on the ring too (maybe with laser etching it would be possible).

Spoiler:
Out of the debris of dying stars,
this rain of particles
that waters the waste with brightness...

The sea-wave of atoms hurrying home,
collapse of the giant,
unstable guest who cannot stay...

The sun's heart reddens and expands,
his mighty aspiration is lasting,
as the shell of his substanace
one day will be white with frost.

In the radiant field of Orion
great hordes of stars are forming,
just as we see every night,
fiery and faithful to the end.

Out of the cold and fleeing dust
that is never and always,
the silence and waste to come...

This arm, this hand,
my voice, your face, this love.


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