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#27564 - 04/27/01 05:17 PM Altar Poems  

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Has anyone ever seen an example of an Altar Poem, or have a link where i might find one?

My source (http://jdc-concrete.com/TERMS.HTM#inflexiv) defines an Altar Poem as follows:

"in English poetry from the Renaissance a poem where the verses or stanzas take the form of the subject of the poem (Wither, Quarles, Benlowes, Herrick and Herbert)"

these sound interesting, if i'm understanding the concept correctly (and am i wrong in assuming that the original altar poem, from which the name was derived, was about/in the form of an altar? anyone have access to the poem itself?)

TIA
b


#27565 - 04/27/01 06:18 PM Re: Altar Poems  
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Found this via "Altar Poem" in Google :

"Concrete poetry is the modern development of an old poetic device, in which the poem is printed in a particular design. "The Altar," an altar-shaped poem by the 17th-century English poet George HERBERT, is a famous example. In more recent times Guillaume APOLLINAIRE and E. E. CUMMINGS made typographical design an integral element of some of their poems, and such later poets as Ian Hamilton Finlay and Richard Kostelanetz experimented with the style."
Any help?
wow


#27566 - 04/27/01 06:47 PM Re: Altar Poems  

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cool, thanks wow. i'd actually read that same excerpt, and was disappointed that it (1) didn't specify whether Herbert's "The Altar" was written as a literal interpretation of the Altar Poem style (okay, granted, it's unlikely) or if the Altar Poem indeed took its name from Herbert's offering (that's a pun, sadly) and (2) the site didn't provide the poem itself.

it hadn't occured to me to simply google "George Herbert The Altar" until i read your post; and voila:


1 A broken ALTAR, Lord, thy servant rears,
2 Made of a heart and cemented with tears;
3 Whose parts are as thy hand did frame;
4 No workman's tool hath touch'd the same.
5 A HEART alone
6 Is such a stone,
7 As nothing but
8 Thy pow'r doth cut.
9 Wherefore each part
10 Of my hard heart
11 Meets in this frame
12 To praise thy name.
13 That if I chance to hold my peace,
14 These stones to praise thee may not cease.
15 Oh, let thy blessed SACRIFICE be mine,
16 And sanctify this ALTAR to be thine.


(darnit, i can't figure out how to switch to plain text so that the format won't be lost... HEEELLLLLP, tsuwm!)


#27567 - 04/27/01 07:05 PM Re: Altar Poems  
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this too shall pass
1     A broken ALTAR, Lord, thy servant rears,
2 Made of a heart and cemented with tears;
3 Whose parts are as thy hand did frame;
4 No workman's tool hath touch'd the same.
5 A HEART alone
6 Is such a stone,
7 As nothing but
8 Thy pow'r doth cut.
9 Wherefore each part
10 Of my hard heart
11 Meets in this frame
12 To praise thy name.
13 That if I chance to hold my peace,
14 These stones to praise thee may not cease.
15 Oh, let thy blessed SACRIFICE be mine,
16 And sanctify this ALTAR to be thine.


ya mean like that??


#27568 - 04/27/01 07:34 PM Re: Altar Poems  

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thanks darlin =)

now, please tell your secret.

i tried [format][plaintext][format=0][text][quote]etc , to no avail.


#27569 - 04/27/01 09:09 PM Re: Altar Poems  
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this too shall pass
[ pre ]


[ /pre ]


#27570 - 04/30/01 09:01 AM Re: Altar Poems  
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blue]Has anyone ever seen an example of an Altar Poem, or have a link where i might find one?

The mouses tale in Alice (can't remember which one offhand - apologies] is a good example.
Rod



#27571 - 04/30/01 11:56 AM Re: Altar Poems  
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Years ago I used to routinely writes these. Many 4th grade teachers create these with their class, and therefore they've got a bad rap. I think they're lots of fun, sometimes haunting. All the good examples I know are in German. Here is an English one I found, albeit a 4th grade type one in English:
http://teenwriting.about.com/teens/teenwriting/library/blank/okstory1250.htm



#27572 - 04/30/01 01:07 PM Re: Altar Poems  
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Do they all HAVE to be "altar poems"? I got a lovely one in the shape of a tree, and I'd rather call it a tree poem.


#27573 - 04/30/01 03:49 PM Re: Altar Poems  
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Do they all HAVE to be "altar poems"? I got a lovely one in the shape of a tree, and I'd rather call it a tree poem.

I think it is useful to have a single word (or word phrase) to describe a poem which is typographically shaped to represent its subject. It just so happens that Altar has been chosen as that word. Which I agree seems rather strange. If enough people agree we could start a movement to popularise (pople for Brits) a new word. Suggestions?

Rod




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