Old 05-23-2013, 03:00 PM   #276
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*Harry ticks off points with his fingers...good, bad, good... bad, good, bad..bad, bad, good... shakes head wanders away*
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Old 05-23-2013, 10:02 PM   #277
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Originally Posted by HarryHill View Post
*Harry ticks off points with his fingers...good, bad, good... bad, good, bad..bad, bad, good... shakes head wanders away*
Hmmmmn. Witty with a soupcon of profundity but your readers deserve ... well something ...

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Old 05-27-2013, 02:35 AM   #278
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JAMESBJOHNSON View Post
Nonsense.

Good poems satisfy two conditions: The good poem complies with its intended form, and it expresses its intended idea or sentiment or thought better than any other combination of words can.
Really?

I'll use your word for that, mate: nonsense.

Your lines are far too close together. A poem is not defined by the parameters that YOU happen to prefer.

Roll again...
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Old 05-27-2013, 02:40 AM   #279
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Originally Posted by butters View Post
so . . . bearing in mind my opening post which asks this:

how are you able to make decisions about anything in your life? are you unable to determine anything as being 'good', to you? do you not taste and feel and experience and find pleasure or pain or excitement or grief? sure you do, and you come to decide what makes something 'good' for yourself by your own reactions to it.
Trust me, I'm aware of who I am and why. (Not to mention what I think of most anything else currently visible on the planet.)

But that was NOT your question. You asked what makes a POEM good.


If you wanna jerk my answer into a statement as broad as my inability to determine anything?

Then you're simply fishing ; P
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Old 05-27-2013, 10:44 AM   #280
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I am surprised I didn't say something more obnoxious when this thread came out. Maybe I did and forgot about it. "Good" and "Bad" are meaningless as descriptors.
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Old 05-27-2013, 12:57 PM   #281
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I am surprised I didn't say something more obnoxious when this thread came out. Maybe I did and forgot about it. "Good" and "Bad" are meaningless as descriptors.
i used 'good' deliberately. such things can get a thread off to a flying start or, at the very least, bring on debate.
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Old 05-27-2013, 01:02 PM   #282
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Quote:
Originally Posted by butters
how are you able to make decisions about anything in your life? are you unable to determine anything as being 'good', to you? do you not taste and feel and experience and find pleasure or pain or excitement or grief? sure you do, and you come to decide what makes something 'good' for yourself by your own reactions to it.

apply this to poetry,
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Originally Posted by XXplorher View Post
Trust me, I'm aware of who I am and why. (Not to mention what I think of most anything else currently visible on the planet.)

But that was NOT your question. You asked what makes a POEM good.


If you wanna jerk my answer into a statement as broad as my inability to determine anything?

Then you're simply fishing ; P
i emboldened the relevant text

i was stating that you clearly HAVE the ability to determine things, not questioning that ability.
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Old 07-04-2013, 04:20 PM   #283
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Originally Posted by butters View Post

for you, as an individual, how do you KNOW if a poem is good or not?
A good poem is one that holds my attention. It might tickle my intellect. It might tickle me emotionally. It might tickle me spiritually. It might tickle me existentially. I might recognize myself in it. I might feel as if the poet wrote it just for me. A good poem might send me into the depths of myself in a unique and most pleasing way.

And now I would like to commence beating the dead horse.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bflagsst View Post
But the point of my writing is to draw out similar emotions/thoughts in the reader that I experienced when writing.
Quote:
Originally Posted by lorencino View Post
Then I can't wait to see if I can trigger an emotional response in someone else with my poem. It is a form of communication about something passionate inside me that I long to use as an instrument to attempt connection with that same emotion in others through the channels provided by their mind. Ultimately each poem creates a community of those who respond to the poem's message and thus it is a tool of communication intended to create the communities that give meaning to my life.
similar emotions/thoughts
connection with the same emotion in others


Back in 2009 I reacted strongly to these sentiments. Looking back, I see more clearly now that there is much to agree with in bflag's and lorencino's thinking. I believe good poetry can help us connect by way of same or similar thoughts or emotions. I linked to Owen's Pro Patria Mori and Whitman's When I Heard the Learn'd Astronomer in another thread (Angeline's Ask a Poet); both of these poems I believe work in the way bflag and lorencino are describing here.

That being said, I would like to quote bogusagain from the Ask a Poet thread:

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Originally Posted by bogusagain View Post

All art forms change over time and to try and cover it in aspic will kill it. And for me, many publishers and academics have done their best to kill poetry by having a strict view of what poetry is.
This quote and the following largely explain why I have problems with bflag and lorencino's position.


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Originally Posted by bogusagain View Post

Not all poems have a meaning in the sense I think you mean or they are not always fully comprehensive to the reader. You need to view poetry more as a sculpture or painting or music, you have to absorb it and interpret it yourself. A poem is (mostly) not instructive but one side of a dialog, the reader being to other halve. If readers don't want to engage in the dialog, the poem has failed.
This sentiment from bogusagain I believe represents a perspective in some ways quite different than the sentiments of bflag and lorencino. I believe bogusagain is suggesting at least a partial shift in meaning making from the poet to the reader. From this perspective, the poems of Whitman and Owens above, and the poetic technique described by bflag and lorencino, come across as heavy handed, dictatorial, tyrannical.

bogusagain's idea of poetry feels more like a conversation among equals. While the style suggested by blag, lorencino, etc can become, in certain hands, a conversation with my overbearing mother who insists she knows better than I how I should feel about things. Or at the very least, the style CAN -- certainly not ALWAYS -- stifle the creativity of the reader.

So certainly there are many wonderful poems written in the style suggested by bflag, lorencino, etc. But I believe in 2009 I became very upset at the idea that this is the only or the best approach to poetry. I think it is a wonderful approach. But there are many other approaches to explore.

Quote:
Originally Posted by greenmountaineer View Post
Poetic technique, like any skill, will come eventually to those who persist and enjoy the artful way language can be expressed. (One might say the same for stand up comedy which I sometimes think is the closest popular expression we have of modern poetry.)
I would add:

Stand-up comedy
Greeting cards
Television/Web video
Rap
The descriptions of art on the walls of museums
Song lyrics
Film scripts
Novels
Advertising
Theater
Memos
Emails
Forum posts
Conversations
Delusional rantings
Visual art
Fashion
Modern design
Cooking
Technology

Quote:
Originally Posted by butters View Post

for you, as an individual, how do you KNOW if a poem is good or not?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Palba_Noruda View Post
if everybody else liked it I might like it too
Let's say I'm friends with a poet. Her poems don't do much for me personally, but many people love them. She's prolific. She won an award. People respond to her well at readings. Her writing has given her a unique perspective on the world that I love.

Even though I don't like her poems, I still consider them good.

Quote:
Originally Posted by butters View Post

for you, as an individual, how do you KNOW if a poem is good or not?
I think butters' question suggests answers from at least two perspectives:
1. From the perspective of the reader
2. From the perspective of the writer

Writing changes how I am in the world. Conventional wisdom suggests this change is generally good. Does that mean I can consider all of my writing good (even if everybody else in the world finds it odious and completely unreadable)?

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Originally Posted by bflagsst View Post

The heart of wanting to express yourself, express something mysterious that you feel, is communication with other human beings--at-one-ment with being human.
bflag, I want to apologize again for my ridiculous comments to you several years ago. I was the one who was wrong (x7).

I agree with in several respects, and I especially agree with you about the something mysterious.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Debbie View Post
...most of all I like to feel the poet has given something personal of themself to bring the words alive and into my self.

A good poem is like a good story. It draws me in and I read it again and again to enjoy it all the more.
I like to feel the poet has given something personal of themself to bring the words alive and into my self.


I love that, Debbie. And for me it begs the questions of WHAT a poet gives to bring the words alive, and WHAT it means to bring them into the self. How does it work?

One final thought. In commercial writing, the writer often intentionally masks the self and/or withholds as much of the self as possible in service to the task at hand. Does anybody do that with their writing here? Does that change the answer to buddy's original question of how one knows if a poem is good?
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Old 12-28-2013, 08:38 PM   #284
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Because sometimes...

bump, bump, bumpta, bump
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Old 12-28-2013, 10:32 PM   #285
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Originally Posted by Palba_Noruda View Post
I would add:

Stand-up comedy
Greeting cards
Television/Web video
Rap
The descriptions of art on the walls of museums
Song lyrics
Film scripts
Novels
Advertising
Theater
Memos
Emails
Forum posts
Conversations
Delusional rantings
Visual art
Fashion
Modern design
Cooking
Technology




mimes
you forgot mimes
it's a mime field out there
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Old 12-29-2013, 08:33 AM   #286
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryHill View Post
bump, bump, bumpta, bump
context is everything, right?
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Old 12-29-2013, 08:35 AM   #287
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Originally Posted by twelveoone View Post
mimes
you forgot mimes
it's a mime field out there
heh...
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Old 12-29-2013, 10:50 AM   #288
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Quote:
Originally Posted by butters View Post
context is everything, right?
context is an idiot left to their own devices and in reading my words know that there is a lot of pro and con text left by an idiot.
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Old 12-29-2013, 01:57 PM   #289
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context is an idiot left to their own devices and in reading my words know that there is a lot of pro and con text left by an idiot.
you forgot co-text
for real depth
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Old 12-29-2013, 02:56 PM   #290
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This thread is a very good read. So many interesting ideas.

Quote:
Originally Posted by butters View Post
tell me.

for you, as an individual, how do you KNOW if a poem is good or not?
I don't even really know what a poem is. I'm sure there must be a very technical definition out there, but my own non-technical, free form view is that writing poetry is like creating a painting, except with words, not paint. The purpose is the same, to convey images and feelings, and the tools available are not only the meaning of what is written, but also the aesthetics of language itself (rhythm, consonance, assonance, alliteration...). If a poet has good grasp and control over the aesthetic tools available, he can do a better job of conveying images and feelings to the reader. Good aesthetics create a resonance that strengthens what is actually written (the meaning).

Simply using the "perfect" technique does not necessarily result in a "good" poem, much like the best visual portrayal of a basket of fruits isn't necessarily a "good" painting, just a skillful one. So when I see a really uptight poem, I feel awe at the technique, but I ask myself: why is it written this way? What words is it trying to rhyme? Why? Is the rhythm actually helping what is written?

So I guess a "good" poem is one in which meaning and aesthetics work together to deliver images and feelings into another person, or at the very least engage on an intellectual level. When I read something that serves as a small window to another reality, making me feel what the writer intended for me to feel, if only for a moment, I believe I'm reading a "good poem".

All the above is "in my humble opinion". I studied metres and such back at school, years ago, but I'm too lazy to actually apply it to what I'm doing. Still, I appreciate when others do it, if only because I cannot.
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Old 12-29-2013, 03:03 PM   #291
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tsotha View Post
This thread is a very good read. So many interesting ideas.



I don't even really know what a poem is. I'm sure there must be a very technical definition out there, but my own non-technical, free form view is that writing poetry is like creating a painting, except with words, not paint. The purpose is the same, to convey images and feelings, and the tools available are not only the meaning of what is written, but also the aesthetics of language itself (rhythm, consonance, assonance, alliteration...). If a poet has good grasp and control over the aesthetic tools available, he can do a better job of conveying images and feelings to the reader. Good aesthetics create a resonance that strengthens what is actually written (the meaning).

Simply using the "perfect" technique does not necessarily result in a "good" poem, much like the best visual portrayal of a basket of fruits isn't necessarily a "good" painting, just a skillful one. So when I see a really uptight poem, I feel awe at the technique, but I ask myself: why is it written this way? What words is it trying to rhyme? Why? Is the rhythm actually helping what is written?

So I guess a "good" poem is one in which meaning and aesthetics work together to deliver images and feelings into another person, or at the very least engage on an intellectual level. When I read something that serves as a small window to another reality, making me feel what the writer intended for me to feel, if only for a moment, I believe I'm reading a "good poem".

All the above is "in my humble opinion". I studied metres and such back at school, years ago, but I'm too lazy to actually apply it to what I'm doing. Still, I appreciate when others do it, if only because I cannot.
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Old 12-29-2013, 03:08 PM   #292
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tsotha View Post
This thread is a very good read. So many interesting ideas.



I don't even really know what a poem is. I'm sure there must be a very technical definition out there, but my own non-technical, free form view is that writing poetry is like creating a painting, except with words, not paint. The purpose is the same, to convey images and feelings, and the tools available are not only the meaning of what is written, but also the aesthetics of language itself (rhythm, consonance, assonance, alliteration...). If a poet has good grasp and control over the aesthetic tools available, he can do a better job of conveying images and feelings to the reader. Good aesthetics create a resonance that strengthens what is actually written (the meaning).

Simply using the "perfect" technique does not necessarily result in a "good" poem, much like the best visual portrayal of a basket of fruits isn't necessarily a "good" painting, just a skillful one. So when I see a really uptight poem, I feel awe at the technique, but I ask myself: why is it written this way? What words is it trying to rhyme? Why? Is the rhythm actually helping what is written?

So I guess a "good" poem is one in which meaning and aesthetics work together to deliver images and feelings into another person, or at the very least engage on an intellectual level. When I read something that serves as a small window to another reality, making me feel what the writer intended for me to feel, if only for a moment, I believe I'm reading a "good poem".

All the above is "in my humble opinion". I studied metres and such back at school, years ago, but I'm too lazy to actually apply it to what I'm doing. Still, I appreciate when others do it, if only because I cannot.
Glad you wandered in here, Tsotha.. t sot ha .. the forum and not particularly this thread
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Old 12-29-2013, 03:30 PM   #293
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Glad you wandered in here, Tsotha.. t sot ha .. the forum and not particularly this thread
Thank you, Harry. I'm glad to be here; there is much to learn from all of you, if I keep my eyes open long enough (I need to work on my "understanding poetry" skill).
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Old 12-29-2013, 04:45 PM   #294
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Thank you, Harry. I'm glad to be here; there is much to learn from all of you, if I keep my eyes open long enough (I need to work on my "understanding poetry" skill).
do you know what a doppelganger is?
because I swear what I read from these posts of yours...
I don't even really know what a poem is...
Fact is nobody does. They work toward it. As you said.
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Old 12-29-2013, 04:50 PM   #295
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this thread's over four years old. made for some interesting reading going back over it. been a while, perhaps it's time to start a new one about something or other. communities who pray together, stay together, and words are our system of belief.
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Old 12-29-2013, 07:39 PM   #296
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this thread's over four years old. made for some interesting reading going back over it. been a while, perhaps it's time to start a new one about something or other. communities who pray together, stay together, and words are our system of belief.
so are most of us (over four) unless you measure time by the star of the dog
and as far as communities that pray together, often slay together, so, so much for my belief, but seriously
this thread
is the funniest by far,
for it is said,
if you can't parse it
well
maybe it isn't thar
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Old 12-29-2013, 11:23 PM   #297
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Originally Posted by twelveoone View Post
do you know what a doppelganger is?
because I swear what I read from these posts of yours...
I don't even really know what a poem is...
Fact is nobody does. They work toward it. As you said.
As I remember, a doppelganger is a creature of myth that replaces a person, and there is usually foul-play involved. I assure you that I am mostly harmless, except for the damage my writing may cause.
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Old 12-29-2013, 11:52 PM   #298
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As I remember, a doppelganger is a creature of myth that replaces a person, and there is usually foul-play involved. I assure you that I am mostly harmless, except for the damage my writing may cause.
maybe I'm yours
now go leave a comment or two on some of the dingleberries in new poems, it's good practice.
Senna has one about the loss of a calender or something.
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Old 12-30-2013, 12:01 PM   #299
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I have a question to all and on searching around as to where I might ask it, I settled on here.
I have read poems and thought to myself I am sure that is a very good poem but it would help if I understood it more! So would you as a poet be pleased to be asked to explain or peeved that I have my thick head on and need to ask?!!
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Old 12-30-2013, 12:47 PM   #300
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Originally Posted by UnderYourSpell View Post
I have a question to all and on searching around as to where I might ask it, I settled on here.
I have read poems and thought to myself I am sure that is a very good poem but it would help if I understood it more! So would you as a poet be pleased to be asked to explain or peeved that I have my thick head on and need to ask?!!
I feel the same most of the time reading New Poems and I'm sure I write some poems like that too. Several people could look at poem at once, but not see the same thing then all of them could be way off from what the poet intended. I don't have a problem if someone asks questions as long as they're not belittling about the asking.

ETA: for example, the poem I posted from years ago and reposted last year, Clever Like A Crow, there is only one person who saw the eroticism in it. It is an erotic poem that I disguised as non erotic to see if anyone would notice.
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