Femme Fatal mistake

This is for your own works!!!
Moonlight
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Post by Moonlight » Thu Jan 22, 2004 5:22 pm

Dear Heatherly,
What poem do you think to be good? or great? and what draws you to a particular poem or author?
I am drawn to authors who can express an idea or thought within an emotional context that doesn't degenerate into sentimentality. Stirring feelings is not enough. Most of the poems on this forum are just that ---feelings. Feelings about love...feelings about death....feelings about life. When they should be about love, death, life...etc.

I will give you a few examples of what I mean. I'm sure every one here has read these poems at one time or another...so I know it's nothing new. But it's the only way I can demonstrate what I mean.


The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner

From my mother's sleep I fell into the State,
And I hunched in its belly till my wet fur froze.
Six miles from earth, loosed from its dream of life,
I woke to black flak and the nightmare fighters.
When I died they washed me out of the turret with a hose.

Randall Jarrell (1914-1965)


Love Poem

My clumsiest dear, whose hands shipwreck vases,
At whose quick touch all glasses chip and ring,
Whose palms are bulls in china, burs in linen,
And have no cunning with any soft thing

Except all ill-at-ease fidgeting people:
The refugee uncertain at the door
You make at home; deftly you steady
The drunk clambering on his undulant floor.

Unpredictable dear, the taxi drivers' terror,
Shrinking from far headlights pale as a dime
Yet leaping before red apoplectic streetcars--
Misfit in any space. And never on time.

A wrench in clocks and the solar system. Only
With words and people and love you move at ease.
In traffic of wit expertly manoeuvre
And keep us, all devotion, at your knees.

Forgetting your coffee spreading on our flannel,
Your lipstick grinning on our coat,
So gayly in love's unbreakable heaven
Our souls on glory of spilt bourbon float.

Be with me, darling, early and late. Smash glasses--
I will study wry music for your sake.
For should your hands drop white and empty
All the toys of the world would break.


John Frederick Nims (b. 1914)


These two poems have totally different subject matter. Neither is sentimental. The Ball Turret Gunner's death is emotionally powerful because we aren't being manipulated by mere sentiment or "cheap" feelings. It's more than just a "description". There's an idea behind it.

Nims' "Love Poem" isn't just a catalogue of cliches about the way he feels. When you read this poem...you get the distinct idea that he's talking about a real woman and that he is really in love with her.

Now, I don't expect anyone here to rise to the level of these "minor" poets. But poetry shouldn't be therapy. Or at least it shouldn't be therapy all the time. There is nothing wrong with introspection...but if you are not careful (or talented enough) when you attempt to write poetry it will come out as just an emotional spasm. And the fact that people will respond to an emotional spasm with sympathetic clucking is nice... but it doesn't mean its poetry.


M


Lizzytysh,

Fire when ready, Gridley!
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lizzytysh
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Post by lizzytysh » Thu Jan 22, 2004 6:38 pm

Hi Moonlight ~

Well, you're the one who professes to "love a good fight" ~ I've never made that claim, nor do I align with it. It did, however, give me some insight regarding your complaints on my and Makera's 'finding our way with each other' [see Tom's most recent use of this phrase on his comments on Tom Waits]. I can see that, perhaps, your underlying desire was to have someone's sights and crosshairs focused on you, instead.

As to the poetry you've listed, I have no complaints. I like them both very much! However, you've also carte-blanched all the contributors' poetry offerings into one glommed-up and inaccurate ball of wax. Your idea of what poetry 'should' be, and why it should be written, does not a universality make. When people marry for a variety of reasons; when people have their own definitions of 'love;' when people read , anything, for a multitude of different reasons; it's not too great a conceptual leap to project differences, even major differences, in why people write, read, and enjoy poetry ~ these differences do not invalidate the medium ~ or you have set yourself up to call one linking a marriage, and another not; or to say that this one is reading, and that one is not. On NPR this morning, I was hearing about a particular area of Afghanistan, where the people are known for their unique ability and inclination to speak in verse. Are you to say that they are not being conversational, as 'conversation' has to meet particular criteria; or that their verse is really not verse, as it was used for conversational purposes?

The parental 'should's are what work so well to create barriers between us, as they de facto require a hierarchy of thought, with the speaker in the dominant position. Preferences are a whole different matter.

~ Lizzytysh
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greta
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Post by greta » Thu Jan 22, 2004 6:42 pm

I've heard of a (i think it was English) proverb:
those who can do, those who cannot, teach.
Moonlight
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Post by Moonlight » Thu Jan 22, 2004 8:38 pm

Dear Greta,


You left out the last line.

"Those who can't teach, teach gym."
Moonlight
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Post by Moonlight » Thu Jan 22, 2004 9:10 pm

Dear Lizzytysh,

I had a hard time following your tortured analogies about marriage and versifying Afghans but the reasons why people write, read and enjoy poetry have nothing whatsoever to do with whether a particular poem is good or bad in and of itself.

People are free to post their "inner thoughts" here if they want to and if it gives them a sense of validation...fine. If you and the poster have a better understanding of one another as a result...great. But a "hierarchy of thought" is a darn good idea. It's just too bad we'll never see it here.
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lizzytysh
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Post by lizzytysh » Thu Jan 22, 2004 9:10 pm

Hi Moonlight ~

I understand the distinctions you're making, by the way [not being oblivious :lol: :wink: ]. With only one dictionary at hand, I can give you Random House Webster's College Dictionary definitions:
Of poetry:
1. literary work in metrical form; poetic works; poems; verse. 2. the art of writing poems. 3. prose with poetic qualities. [Hmmmm ~ 'prose' ~ 'poetic qualities'] 4. poetic qualities however manifested. 5. poetic spirit or feeling [Hmmmm ~ what's that word doing here!?!] 6. something suggestive [Hmmmm ~ seem to be a few variables here] of poetry

Of poem:
1. a composition in verse, esp [Hmmmm ~ not exclusively!?!]: one characterized by a highly developed form and the use of heightened language and rhythm to express and imaginative interpretation of the subject [Hmmmm ~ not "devoid of feelings regarding the subject!?!"]. 2. something having qualities [Hmmmm ~ "having qualities" ~ that's pretty broad] that are suggestive of [Hmmmm ~ only "suggestive" of???] or likened to [Hmmmm ~ now they've really gone mad!] those of poetry.


Clearly, someone has got to corral these dictionary people, and get them thinking the way they should about this whole poetry business! Waaay too many variables, waaay too much room for individuality.

This being my only dictionary at hand, at the moment, I can't give you an exhaustive list of publishers to track down, Moonlight, but I can at least get you started. Their contact information is:

Random House Reference & Information Publishing
Random House, Inc.
201 East 50th Street
New York NY 10022

There is no contact name available, of course, as they tend to change through the years. However, you could probably obtain the proper name [I know you can only settle for doing things properly, so you will want a name, to whose attention your letter should be directed] by calling the Random House Special Sales Department, toll-free 888-591-1200, or by faxing your request to 212-572-4961. They'll probably have a company directory for reference to assist you. Now, this particular edition appears to have been published in 1997; however, the larger companies in long-standing, stable areas tend not to change this basic information. IF you should come to a [highly unlikely] dead-end in your efforts to reach them, you can still easily find their most recent, contact information, via http://www.yellowpages.com.

Good luck with your endeavours, and please keep us posted on your progress.

~ Lizzytysh
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lizzytysh
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Post by lizzytysh » Thu Jan 22, 2004 9:15 pm

Hi Moonlight ~

Perhaps it's that "imaginative" [see definition of "poem" above] issue that's creating a stumbling block for you, in following my previous explication, as well as in writing your own poetry [or semblance, thereof :wink: ].

By the way, diversion won't help. You were talking about whether something is poetry, not the quality-label assigned to it, i.e. good/bad/emotional/unemotional/etc. ad infinitum.

~ Lizzytysh
Last edited by lizzytysh on Thu Jan 22, 2004 9:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Moonlight
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Post by Moonlight » Thu Jan 22, 2004 9:17 pm

I am beginning to suspect that I have been corresponding with an insane person.
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lizzytysh
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Post by lizzytysh » Thu Jan 22, 2004 9:21 pm

Tee-hee :D ~ that's always the final, last resort tactic for one who cannot or will not meet the issues head-on. I must [again, now] refer you to the last paragraph in my previous posting, which was added before I read yours, and which resulted in an Edited notation.
Moonlight
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Post by Moonlight » Thu Jan 22, 2004 9:41 pm

Dear Lizzytysh,


It wasn't a diversion. It was politeness. However, I will revert to the more astringent position. There is no poetry on this forum. There is verse, there is doggeral, there is nonsense, there are lines that rhyme, there are lines that don't rhyme. There are attempts at poetry. But no poetry. I know this will upset you. But I really cannot help that. I don't know how to make it any clearer for you. You really are going to have to do some of the heavy lifting yourself.


M

Surely I am not the only one who has not bowed the knee to Baal?
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Post by George.Wright » Thu Jan 22, 2004 10:20 pm

Why don't you chill out Moonlight and enjoy the show. You have forced your opinion on poetry on quite a few on this forum. It's your opinion and you are entitled to it but don't ram it down people's throats. It is becomming an obsession with you, don't click on the poetry page if it upsets you too much.
Best regards.........Georges
I am a right bad ass, dankish prince and I love my Violet to bits.
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lizzytysh
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Post by lizzytysh » Thu Jan 22, 2004 10:28 pm

Aha! Now, a resort to defensiveness and aggression.....and here, in response to what should have been, a much-Moonlight-approved posting :shock: .......addressing the issues directly, and not a single, rapturous :cry: tear on the page, in the post :lol: ! How's to please you, oh fair heart :wink: .

In the midst of your other denials, of course it was diversion m'man.....and even had it not been, beyond 'insane,' what would be the impolite form? As you switch tracks so quickly, and what-might-appear-to-be seamlessly, perhaps a career in the latest, high-speed trains might be in order.

And you make highly-regular forays into this section...why[?]

Just an aside, but having listened to some educational, radio programs on "eccentricity," and having read and saved an article given to me by my dear friend, Ron, entitled "Embrace Your Eccentricity" ~ well, I always have, but it seemed even more important to keep doing so. There's much to be said for it :D ~ including others', occasional tendency to mis-label it "insane" :D :) :D :) :D :) :D :) :D :) :D

Oh, by the way, what you appear to think you know, you don't........your proclamations, that no poetry doth go here, are considered in their proper context :wink: . No heavy lifting required :D . Quite lightweight, in fact :wink: .

~ Lizzytysh

Edited to make "light weight" be "lightweight" ~ I think it's one-word form with the way I'm using it.
Last edited by lizzytysh on Fri Jan 23, 2004 12:31 am, edited 1 time in total.
Arno
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Post by Arno » Thu Jan 22, 2004 10:35 pm

wow, reading this I realize how little I understand english... :lol:


cheers arno
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Byron
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Post by Byron » Thu Jan 22, 2004 11:59 pm

In school playgrounds there are bullies. In school cloakrooms there are bullies. All through our lives we meet bullies. Bullies are the essence of force. Bullies rely on power and a sense of menace. In the literary world and the conversational world, there is a bully. On a purely personal and individual level, and without reference to any particular posting, I abhor the use of the word 'should.'
YOU 'SHOULD.'
HE 'SHOULD.'
YOU 'SHOULD NOT' etc.
Whenever you hear or see this word again, step back and put it into the context of its environment. You will see that someone is metaphorically wagging a small/large/massive fist or finger at a target. Is that target you? Or is that target your writing?
I stand for the 'Stop Using 'Should' Party, Ever, Never, Deleted, Eradicated, Removal.'
Well it's a quiet night here in Pratts Bottom, where the little bunny rabbits are playing chase across the main road, and I'm waiting for some road kill for my supper. Matron thinks I'm taking my tablets but the rabbits seem to like them. In fact I may join the rabbits in their game of dodge the cars. Who said life is boring? Just get out a bit more and face the inevitable grinding down of civilization by multinational conglomerates as they rape the Earth of all that is good. I saw a cartoon in Saga Magazine today. Man in gown carrying a billboard in front of an industrial skyline. Billboard says, "The Meek don't want the Earth."
"Bipolar is a roller-coaster ride without a seat belt. One day you're flying with the fireworks; for the next month you're being scraped off the trolley" I said that.
Arno
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Post by Arno » Fri Jan 23, 2004 12:06 am

Hey Byron I love your ramblings (no offence)!!!

I myself filled notebooks with my own personal brand of ramblings and enjoy meeting soulmates. I keep mine locked up, though, in order not to be seen as the total maniac I am.

Keep it coming... Arno
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