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 Poetry - A World of Its Own

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Sue
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Sue

Number of posts : 1216
Registration date : 2008-01-15

Poetry - A World of Its Own Empty
PostSubject: Poetry - A World of Its Own   Poetry - A World of Its Own EmptySun Jun 14, 2009 9:38 am

I have been getting an education on poetry and prose lately. I started
a critique group in our area. Since it is such a small community we
have mixed genres, including poetry. I was warned against this. Now I
see why!

I always thought that poetry was putting down words that came to you even if they didn't rhyme. Mine usually do. I thought it was what you felt; not what you could make fit. I didn't realize that writing poetry was indeed work by making a certain rhythm, finding the right word, and just making it fit a certain mold or form.

The nicest people become downright mean when you mess with their poetry! They will smile at you and then put in the knife if you even mention another word might work better. If it one stanza doesn't fit the 'meter' the critiquer comes unglued! And, talk about defensive! Should I mention that?! One word of critique and poets become like mamma bears protecting their young! They are not happy!

Case in point.

I have a friend whose poem I shared with the group, with permission of course. The group only had a few minutes before the close of the meeting and was suppose to take it home to critique it. Immediately one of the members, who has written poetry for hundreds of years and won lots of awards, made a comment. I didn't understand it, but I passed it on to my friend. I believe that may have been a mistake.

As a poet this friend came unglued and very, very defensive. I had never heard her that way before. Even her manuscripts didn't bring that much emotion from her. What I noticed though, was she was reacting exactly as the poets in the critigue group. I have never experienced writers of books to have such severe reactions to critiquing!

Why aren't book writers/authors so passionate? I believe they are passonionate, but they don't come anywhere near poets. Even a book writer who is a poet doesn't react to their manuscript the way they do to their poem.

I submitted a poem I wrote years ago. Now I am sorry I did. I wait at the guillotine until the 23rd of this month to see what they have to say about it. Any poetry critiquers here? I may post the poem here. Anyway,....

My friend apologized because she realized how defensive she had become. Until her reaction, I just thought those in the group were being picky. I don't feel this way anymore. I feel there is more to it than that. I just can't put my finger on what it is.

What is it about poets that exact such extreme emotions from them, and make them react as though you have torn out their heart?
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alj
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alj

Number of posts : 9633
Registration date : 2008-12-05
Age : 76
Location : San Antonio

Poetry - A World of Its Own Empty
PostSubject: Re: Poetry - A World of Its Own   Poetry - A World of Its Own EmptySun Jun 14, 2009 9:58 am

Perhaps it is because writing poetry involves more of our emotions than prose, Sue. And when writing poetry, the poem takes over, and we write what we really feel more than we normally would. Matthew Arnold had some very particular ideas about what poetry ought to be saying. The problem was, his poems didn't behave themselves, and he found them saying what he really thought and felt, rather than what his objective mind thought he ought to feel and think. His response was to stop writing poetry and stick to being a critic of it.

Poetry is one of the oldest forms of writing. It was the form used by Homer, Ovid, and some of our earliest known storytellers. It is writing from our souls, so when our work is criticized, we take it very personally.

My take, anyway.

Ann
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Shelagh
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Shelagh

Number of posts : 12609
Registration date : 2008-01-11
Location : UK

Poetry - A World of Its Own Empty
PostSubject: Re: Poetry - A World of Its Own   Poetry - A World of Its Own EmptySun Jun 14, 2009 1:55 pm

Hi Sue,

I have encountered the same reaction. Poetry writers do not have the same desire to improve their work that fiction writers do. There is a great deal of objectivity about how well written a fictional piece of work is: grammar, style, story, plot, characterisation etc. Not so with poetry; it is purely subjective. So, you can say you like it, like parts of it, really love it or even hate it, but don't MESS with it!

_________________
Poetry - A World of Its Own 41ZdcL0lV7L._SL125_ Poetry - A World of Its Own 41C9GeFDNWL._SL125_ Poetry - A World of Its Own 41%2BmGkZJdOL._SL125_ Poetry - A World of Its Own 51eDGllZXhL._SL125_ Poetry - A World of Its Own 41y7VHKoszL._SL125_ Poetry - A World of Its Own 51Zs4N4T4eL._SL125_
Amazon Author Central: Shelagh Watkins
I shall never be old. It doesn't suit me -- ©️Shelagh Watkins 2017
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RunsWithScissors
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Number of posts : 823
Registration date : 2008-12-31

Poetry - A World of Its Own Empty
PostSubject: Re: Poetry - A World of Its Own   Poetry - A World of Its Own EmptySun Jun 14, 2009 10:03 pm

For me it's because I am sharing a part of who I am at the core of my soul. I'm laying it out there and becoming incredibly vulnerable when sharing so deeply. It isn't fiction, it's real emotion that I have personally experienced. For someone to say that it's not "right" or needs to be reworded is similar to saying that my feelings aren't valued or valid. That my experience is somehow "less than" what the person reading believes it should be.
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Sue
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Sue

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Poetry - A World of Its Own Empty
PostSubject: Re: Poetry - A World of Its Own   Poetry - A World of Its Own EmptyMon Jun 15, 2009 11:20 am

I agree with you, Merri. So why would someone join a critique group if they had no intention of changing anything? I guess that is what my question was all about.

To me it is not about the meter or the rhyming, but what the content offers. Just because a stanza ends in a multiple syllable word rather than a single syllable word, why should it be changed? If one sets out to write a poem in a particular format, then I can say it should be critiqued. However, not all poets write that way.

Just confusing to me.
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Carol Troestler
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Carol Troestler

Number of posts : 3827
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Age : 81
Location : Wisconsin

Poetry - A World of Its Own Empty
PostSubject: Re: Poetry - A World of Its Own   Poetry - A World of Its Own EmptyMon Jun 15, 2009 11:46 am

I don't write poetry, but I did write one poem I considered sending out to friends at Christmas and never did, but dug it out of my computer and put it in the section of my authorsden website that was titled, "Poetry."

I laugh every time I read the "ctitiques." I expected negative ones because I am definitely not a poet. But I must have done something right.

This is one of the reasons I like authorsden and have learned a lot from it. I put up stories and essays and see what people like or don't like. It has been very revealing to me. It has been quite surprising.

http://www.authorsden.com/visit/viewpoetry.asp?id=141727

I guess I'm still trying to find that voice!

Love, Carol
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alj
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alj

Number of posts : 9633
Registration date : 2008-12-05
Age : 76
Location : San Antonio

Poetry - A World of Its Own Empty
PostSubject: Re: Poetry - A World of Its Own   Poetry - A World of Its Own EmptyMon Jun 15, 2009 12:14 pm

I took a creative writing course in college. The professor was a poet - that may have helped. We critiqued each other's work every day. Our professor saw to it that any criticism was handled in a positive, relevant way. I never had a problem with any critiques of my work in that class.

I don't know if this is relevant to other poets' work. I learned, during that course, that for me, rhyming was not necessarily important, but rhythm was. During the first part of the course, that nearly always meant iambic tetrameter (see me in another poetry discussion as to why tetrameter is better for modern American English than traditional English pentameter). My colleagues in that class helped me to see that I could obtain a natural rhythm without necessarily holding to a line-by-line rhythm pattern. They taught me a lot.

I don't write poetry as often as I probably ought. I know it will be harder to sell than prose. Another thing that I learned from that class was that the lines between poetry and prose are not that finely drawn. There is such a thing as poetic prose. Sometimes I think that is where my particular talent lies. it is hard to speak for someone else. There are some great poets and lyricists who contribute their work to this forum. They do not write like me, but that is a good thing. There are no hard lines about poetry. It is what it is, and you cannot apply rules in the same way as you can to fictional prose.

Just me.

Ann
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alj
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alj

Number of posts : 9633
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Age : 76
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Poetry - A World of Its Own Empty
PostSubject: Re: Poetry - A World of Its Own   Poetry - A World of Its Own EmptyMon Jun 15, 2009 12:26 pm

Marie wrote:

Quote :
But so is getting poetry published. It seems
strange to me, because larger publishing houses won't take much
traditional (rhyming) poetry, but in my experience that's what readers
like. Most readers I've talked to also don't want to have to search too
hard for the meaning in a poem, they just want to enjoy it.

I think that my Audie Murphy fans have had more to say about that than any other group. Some of them don't like my Murphy poem because it doesn't rhyme. Those who do like it say they like it because it is easy to understand. Since I included it in my book, and since it is rather long, I won't post the whole thing here, just enough to give readers an idea.
Quote :
The house stood dark with shadows and the
smell
of death and he knew the enemy
still
lurked in darkened places. When
the evil creature with
his father's face and glaring
blood-shot
eyes appeared, he fired at once.
In the shattering slivered glass he saw
the
disintegration of
his
own reflection.
(His buddies joked about a Texan
beating
himself to the draw.)


***************************************


Back in the glaring Texas sun
the plane lands. Beneath him
are
crowds cheering and he
flinches at artillery salutes
and
cringes
at endless speeches. The medals
on his chest already an albatross - he
endured the shame
of
being sent home a living trophy to the
blood
and death of too many friends.

Ann
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RunsWithScissors
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Number of posts : 823
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Poetry - A World of Its Own Empty
PostSubject: Re: Poetry - A World of Its Own   Poetry - A World of Its Own EmptyMon Jun 15, 2009 2:31 pm

Sue Sunshine wrote:
I agree with you, Merri. So why would someone join a critique group if they had no intention of changing anything? I guess that is what my question was all about.

To me it is not about the meter or the rhyming, but what the content offers. Just because a stanza ends in a multiple syllable word rather than a single syllable word, why should it be changed? If one sets out to write a poem in a particular format, then I can say it should be critiqued. However, not all poets write that way.

Just confusing to me.

I understand what you are saying, Sue. If I wrote according to a format (Haiku or a rhyming poem with a particular meter), there would be a definite reason for critique. I write mainly prose, which is pretty much a free-for-all!!! That's why I love it! Very Happy

I wouldn't join a critique group unless I was actually open to receiving critiques. Maybe the poet simply wanted everyone to love their words and thought they were so talented that they would only receive accolades. Eeep! That could have been quite a shock to the person if they hadn't thought it all the way through and realized that everyone can learn and be better than they are today.
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RunsWithScissors
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Poetry - A World of Its Own Empty
PostSubject: Re: Poetry - A World of Its Own   Poetry - A World of Its Own EmptyMon Jun 15, 2009 2:37 pm

Carol, Ann and Marie, thank you for sharing your poetry with us!! I enjoyed all of them and found such a depth of meaning and imagery. Poetry can touch us so deeply with few words. It is an amazing thing, akin to music for me.
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