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#8034 - 11/29/00 12:44 AM poetry
xara Offline
member

Registered: 10/09/00
Posts: 197
Loc: cary, nc, usa
This is probably going to sound stupid, but I never did understand how someone can write words that sound pretty just based on rhyme and rhythm. The only stabs I have ever made at poetry were completely devoid of rhyme and had no meter (am I remembering the poetry words correctly?) at all.

When I read something that just sings, regardless of the meanings of the words, it amazes me. I read a Lewis Carroll poem the other day that just sang straight to my heart. I had to read it a couple of times before I could understand the words because the sound of them was so beautiful that the meaning didn't even matter.

I can recognize beauty and understand that it is great, but I couldn't even begin to put together a little stanza that rhymed and sounded rhythmic, as Jackie and the good Father have done.

i wonder if this is at all related to the fact that I can look at a well dressed person or a well decorated room and appreciate it, but I couldn't begin to put together a fashionable wardrobe or living room without advice.

One also wonders why I am up at nearly 2am and have absoloutely no desire to go to bed, so I keep thinking of things to post. Sigh.


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#8035 - 11/29/00 03:21 AM Wintersol for Dollabella
shanks Offline
old hand

Registered: 03/16/00
Posts: 1004
Loc: London, UK
For Jackie, Father Steve and others here,
My ego isn't such a fragile thing:
A robust apostate I am, my dear,
Not failing under every rowdy sling
Or arrow flung by one-track-minded folk
Who, though they have invoked almighty God,
Most surely I suspect intend a joke;
For crossing threads is rife in our AWAD.
And who should claim this method plays us false?
It has stood us in good stead in the past
From Shona with velocipedal waltz
To anarchy in threads that diverge fast.
We come here stout of heart and good of will
Of language, not of rage, to have our fill.




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#8036 - 11/29/00 06:56 AM Re: Wintersol for Dollabella
Jackie Offline

Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 11609
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky
(Sigh--so much for my resolve not to post...)

xara, I believe you can't develop poems or fashion because that's just the way your mind works. Last year I attended a training session on the seven learning styles. If you get the opportunity, I suggest you do the same--it was fascinating. We took a test, then divided into groups with people who had answered the same way. My group kept going,
"Yes! That's exactly the way I do things--why can't other
people understand that?" I almost didn't go into that group--I had FOUR categories score in the top three points,
but only one with full points (reading), so I went with that one. You might be a kinesthetic learner--I believe that's the rarest.

shanks--what can I say, but that you're wonderful and
I love you?
Oh--who's Dollabella?

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#8037 - 11/29/00 07:45 AM Re: Wintersol for Dollabella
shanks Offline
old hand

Registered: 03/16/00
Posts: 1004
Loc: London, UK
Seven learning styles. Bother - and I had been told there were four. Ah well - depends upon the management consultant in charge, I suppose. But yes - I agree that people have different learning styles and xara may well find one that works for her. After all (apart from the masterpieces Steve and you produced) we aren't claiming to write poetry here - just jingly-jangly verse.

And I love you too - just don't tell your husband.

xara - rhyme and rhythm, particularly when regulated in acknowledged verse forms - sonnets (my poor example above), limericks, terza rima, villanelles and the like - are very difficult to handle 'poetically'. Only the very best poets these days can do it. For most of us, doggerel is the best we can do. I suspect that this is the reason why so much poetry these days is written in 'free verse'.

It might be worth remembering that poets like Keats, Shelley and Byron (to take Romantic poets who also seem romantic to us) were actually punctilious craftsmen. They had been brought up on great poetry, had practised rhyming, alliterative verse, metrical experiments and the like in their youth, so that by the time they were in their late teens and had something special to say, poetry was natural for them. Even so they made innumerable drafts of their poems - and what sounds so spontaneous to us today was not just "profuse strains of unpremeditated art", but amazing craftsmanship as well.

If you want to achieve that craftsmanship, unfortunately, practice is the only way. It doesn't matter what you wish to write about - practice rhyme and rhythm. Restrict yourself to the tough forms - the villanelles, the ottavia rima and so on - and keep the words coming. Try it with diffcult rhymes. Try to use long words and still keep your rhythm. Then, some day, when you find yourself overflowing with emotion, and want to let it out somehow, see if formal verse will do.

Remember that almost any great artist was first a great craftsman.

cheer

the sunshine warrior

ps. for Jackie: Dollabella was the principal female character in Wintersol. (How's that for an uninformative answer?)


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#8038 - 11/29/00 05:44 PM Re: Wintersol for Dollabella
Marty Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 09/20/00
Posts: 347
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
>Try it with difficult rhymes.

...but whatever you do, keep away from purple, silver and orange!


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#8039 - 11/29/00 08:54 PM Re: Wintersol for Dollabella
belMarduk Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/28/00
Posts: 2891
>rhyme and rhythm, particularly when regulated in acknowledged verse forms - sonnets (my poor example above), limericks, terza rima, villanelles and the like - are very difficult to handle 'poetically'...I suspect that this is the reason why so much poetry these days is written in 'free verse'

Ah ha. That explains that. [rant] soooo sorry if I insult anybody here but I really hate poetry that isn't. If you look in upscale magazines, like the New Yorker, those inane ramblings are being passed off as poetry. Most times, they don't even make sense, for heaven's sake. Maybe I'm just dense and the deep inner meaning of the words are over my head, but, dag nabbit, it seems like a bunch of drivel to me.[end rant]


Phew, had to get that off my chest. Back to my happy, cheerful self.



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#8040 - 11/29/00 09:57 PM Don't knock free verse!
Marty Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 09/20/00
Posts: 347
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
>soooo sorry if I insult anybody here but I really hate poetry that isn't.

The oesophagi are marching, marching,
Always marching,
And a shrill blue fills the nether.

I cry out to the spiteful Sunday,
But he's gone.
Wombat wandering over my mind.

Belle bel has spoken,
Softly,
Firmly.
And now we know, bien sūr, we KNOW,
What she thinks of
Poetry like this
Isn't.


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#8041 - 11/29/00 11:21 PM Re: Don't knock free verse!
tsuwm Online   confused
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/03/00
Posts: 10513
Loc: this too shall pass
>The oesophagi are marching, marching

voilą tout! word[s] from medicine!!


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#8042 - 11/30/00 12:11 AM Medical definition of ballroom
Marty Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 09/20/00
Posts: 347
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
>voilą tout! word[s] from medicine!!

If it's relevance to the thread title and forum name you're looking for, tsuwm, you've got the right man. I also found the connection between "ballroom" and medicine. It's to do with the - ah - delicate subject of tight jeans (insufficient ballroom) and male sterility...
http://thriveonline.oxygen.com/sex/experts/delilah/delilah.07-31-97.html

And I hasten to add I found it today in a Web search just for the purpose - I'd never been to Delilah's site before. Honest! This site was just more succinct on the subject than the straight-laced medical ones with similar information.


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#8043 - 11/30/00 03:07 AM I blame Whitman
shanks Offline
old hand

Registered: 03/16/00
Posts: 1004
Loc: London, UK
Bel

Walt Whitman's "Leaves of Grass" first popularised 'free verse' in the 19th century. While I don't like his poem much (I have animadverted about it on a different thread somewhere - oh yes - the book lists one), I have to admit that parts of it are quite rhythmically splendid. He deliberately avoids conventional metrical styles to achieve a spontaneity of effect.

Coming along with Eliot's subtle innovations in the early 20th century, it spelled the virtual death of verse in poetry. Few less gifted poets appreciated the genius of the rhyme and rhythm in Eliot, and saw it instead as a carte blanche for them to produce mystical musings with no structure at all. As you can see, the result (apart from Marty's mighty effort above) is often drivel. The problem, of course, is that any poet who writes in verse is likely to be dismissed these days as a mere versifier.

Even the more highly regarded ones (the late Ted Hughes in the UK, for instance) often need to establish their reputations before they can get away with good verse (sonnets in Hughes' case).

But there is no need to despair - I have read (or merely perused?) many books of contemporary verse that show there is, perhaps, a resurgence in the appreciation of the traditional values. See if you can track down the "Poems on the Underground" anthologies, or the (admittedly rather British) "The Nations Favourite Poems". Ted Hughes, before he died, also edited a delightful anthology called "By Heart", in which he makes the case for 'knowing' the poems by heart without trying to learn them by rote. One hundred gems - many old and well known, many startligly good new/fresh stuff.

Ah enough with the poetry, how about some medical words? Can anyone explain to me what dolichocephalic is supposed to mean?

cheer

the sunshine warrior

ps. Bel - some free verse is very, very good - and not all poetry should be rejected on the grounds that it doesn't follow the traditional structures...


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