Friday, 23 April 2010

Poetry.

Thank you for the comments on poetry. The trouble is that the more comments I get, the more confused I become! It seems that the word means different things to different people. I am reminded of John Cage the composer commenting (I think) on his composition 4'22" (if I am wrong about this I am sure Dominic will put me right) and saying - "I have nothing to say and I am saying it - and that's poetry."
Some people seem to think that form, rhythm and rhyme are all important, others that starting in one style and sticking to it, others that anything goes if they wish to call it poetry.
If you haven't commented yet and can think of anything you wish to add, I would love to hear from you today. When tomorrow comes I shall make a list of all your comments and give to Victoria, the lady concerned.
In the widest possible sense there is poetry afoot in the garden today - it is full of daffodils, all turned in the same direction to greet the morning sun. Forget-me-nots have self-seeded and are making patches of hazy blue here and there - often in the most odd places. Muscari (grape hyacinths) are crowding the sides of the path and shouting loudly that their blue is much more dense and vivid than that of the more subtle forget-me-nots and the tulips are saying nothing - their bright scarlet cups are open to the sun - and that's poetry!

13 comments:

jinksy said...

Your flower poetry is the greatest, no contest!

The Solitary Walker said...

Dylan Thomas said that poetry is what made his toenails twinkle - which, I think, is as good a definition as any!

Dave King said...

Agreed. Can't beat the Thomas quote, but compression and the whole being more than the sum of the parts has to come in it somewhere. Too much "poetry" is chopped-up prose - but then that wouldn't make the toe nails twinkle!

Derrick said...

Hello Weaver,

I had missed your poetry question (sorry - the flowers were lovely). All I know is, it is difficult! I have been discovering just how many poetry forms there are. Writing in a particular form may make one's work more readily identifiable as poetry but could easily hinder the flow of thought in a novice (of which I am one). I also love rhyme but realise that, although it takes more than cat, sat, mat to make a poem, we shouldn't take ourselves too seriously.

Eryl Shields said...

In a letter to J.B. Sutton (July 10 1951) Philip Larkin says: "For me, a poem is the crossroads of my thoughts, my feelings, my imaginings, my wishes, and my verbal sense: normally these run parallel... but only when all cross at once do you get a poem."

I guess the trick is to know when this crossing has taken place! I feel for Victoria, and feel the best course of action for her is to read as much poetry as she can. Elizabeth Bishop advises that one begin by reading poems from each stage of history and then find a modern poet one favours and 'read all of him/her!" I'm now working my way through T.S. Eliot's Collected, now there's a man who invented his own form(s).

Heather said...

Like many other things, poetry and peoples' attitude toward it have changed over the years. Freedom has crept in and broken many if not all the rules. I can only liken it to embroidery which once meant beautifully controlled stitches worked by hand, and now almost anything goes. I did enjoy your 'flower' poetry.

Coastcard said...

It's 23.40, so just a quick reply, Weaver... you might enjoy this piece here on the subject of poetry (though I doubt any one piece will answer the question once and for all!).

Cloudia said...

A cloud of golden daf-o-dills!!!






Aloha from Waikiki


Comfort Spiral

Delaine said...

AWAKENING
WRITING HAS BECOME MY AWAKENING
A NEW DOOR HAS OPENED
NOW AS A BUDDING POET I ENTER PEN IN HAND
I SEE MY THOUGHTS AS SOMETHING WORTH TELLING
THEY SEEM SO NOVEL I’M COMPELLED TO WRITE A STORY
AS I READ OR SEE SOMETHING IT INSPIRES THOUGHT
I BEGIN TO WRITE AND THE POET JUMPS OUT
THIS POETS LIFE IS A SURPRISE EACH DAY IS NEW
THE FEELINGS I WRITE DOWN SEEM TO ME SO ORIGINAL AND TRUE
FOR YEARS I DID NOT APPRECIATE THE POET
POETRY WAS ALWAYS A LANGUAGE SO FOREIGN
TODAY I AM BILINGUAL I HAVE JOINED THE POETS FOLD
UNTRAINED AND NAKED
I AM FINDING POETRY IN EVERYTHING I DO
----------------------------------- I do not know the correct meaning of poetry but I have found peace through writing sometimes it looks like poetry and other times not I just know it frees my soul and I continue for me writing is a healing process

Dominic Rivron said...

It's 4:33 and the quote comes from a lecture about his whole way of doing things: I don't think he was talking about that piece particularly.

As for what poetry is, I suppose it's creative writing which exploits the musical properties of words in some way. If one takes to narrow a definition one risks getting too partisan in one's ideas about what is good poetry and what isn't. (That's not to say that there isn't good and bad poetry, only that holding up a definition of poetry as a yardstick is not a good way of forming judgements).

The Weaver of Grass said...

Thanks to everyone who took the trouble to think about this. Not that it is any clearer now that i have read them! But they are all valid points and it seems the subject has been discussed for generations with no clear answer - still I shall pass your comments on - so thanks again.

Loren said...

Perhaps that's why I've let my camera express my inner poet lately.

Welcome To Wilmoth Farms said...

I think poetry is so many definitions....its what your senses tell you in your mind when you read what the author has written, and where it takes you. I dont believe it has to rhyme myself, just take me some place. I also believe that the reader doesnt get the same thing out of it as another reader will sometimes, possibly where you are in your own life, or emotions at that moment dictate that. I think if the writer is able to convey their thoughts in whatever form they desire in an articulate way (something I cant do) and take the reader there then you accomplished what you set out to do and you created a beautiful tapestry. I'm not a poet, or in the literary world, I just know I love to read poetry and I love where it takes me and the doors it opens...and every attempt thats made at it, light, dark, love, - every emotion and style moves me....so in a nut shell poetry to me is what you make it...okay so now everyone who knows all about poetry can tear me apart - but like I said I'm not a scholar - just a reader! And maybe thats not even the kind of answer you were looking for?