Old 07-27-2013, 08:36 PM   #1
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partially in repose to an email and also because I can't find the another thread, that isn't compromised

Why you should leave them:
You learn from thinking, every poem has a problem area, if you see it chances are you will avoid it in your writing. Some poems are just problems, avoid those.
In a lot of cases, someone is doing something that you can use, tell them you saw it, you're putting into words helps clarify it in your mind.
Suppose you are unsure of what or how to say it, usually the better poems will have comments with specifics on them, this gives you something to work with, do you agree with it? Again you are thinking.
What does that do for the writer?
It either validates what they wrote or it will illustrate a possible problem area.
What is a good comment?
Anything that makes the writer better, anything that makes them think.
Do I have to leave a comment with specifics?
Nope, but it is good practice to leave some.

The ulterior and perhaps utopian logic here, is a better product from the writer and you the reader grows also.

Remember there is no right or wrong way to either write or read poetry. There is poem of mine I lost control of, I remember every comment pointed that out, I'm not sure any two of them agreed as to where. Often I see good comments that disagree.

Now this can be a better place, some people are doing their damnedest. Ange and Des are two.

So, if anyone wants to step up with a specific example here with any examples feel free, or tell us what you are looking for in a comment, feel free.
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Old 07-27-2013, 08:58 PM   #2
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I don't mind if someone just says they do or don't like my poem, but I am grateful if they say why. Specificity is good and whether I agree or not I will go back and see if I need to rethink and edit. I have gotten valuable advice that way that has helped me improve.

12, I'm very interested to hear what process people go through when they read and comment, like how many times will they read and are they thinking about specific things in the poem or getting an overall impression? I do both: I try to get the meaning overall first and then go back and look at specifics to help me determine how well I think a poem is achieving what it appears to be trying to say. Maybe I'm right in my interpretation, maybe not, but I am trying to understand as much for me as to give them feedback.
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Old 07-27-2013, 09:45 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by twelveoone View Post
What is a good comment?
Anything that makes the writer better, anything that makes them think.
I know I'm bad (well, erratic) about commenting on poems. I will point out, however, that many of those posting to New Poems aren't interested in criticism, or "anything that makes them think." They simply want people to tell them they're good, that they liked the poem, that they (the reader) were awed by the emotion of the poem.

In other words, most of the "poets" here are not poets--they are not interested in improving their writing. They simply want approval for their lives.

Which is an OK thing, just very different from seriously, or even semi-seriously, writing poetry.
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Old 07-28-2013, 10:53 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by twelveoone View Post
partially in repose to an email and also because I can't find the another thread, that isn't compromised

Why you should leave them:
You learn from thinking, every poem has a problem area, if you see it chances are you will avoid it in your writing. Some poems are just problems, avoid those.
In a lot of cases, someone is doing something that you can use, tell them you saw it, you're putting into words helps clarify it in your mind.
Suppose you are unsure of what or how to say it, usually the better poems will have comments with specifics on them, this gives you something to work with, do you agree with it? Again you are thinking.
What does that do for the writer?
It either validates what they wrote or it will illustrate a possible problem area.
What is a good comment?
Anything that makes the writer better, anything that makes them think.
Do I have to leave a comment with specifics?
Nope, but it is good practice to leave some.

The ulterior and perhaps utopian logic here, is a better product from the writer and you the reader grows also.

Remember there is no right or wrong way to either write or read poetry. There is poem of mine I lost control of, I remember every comment pointed that out, I'm not sure any two of them agreed as to where. Often I see good comments that disagree.

Now this can be a better place, some people are doing their damnedest. Ange and Des are two.

So, if anyone wants to step up with a specific example here with any examples feel free, or tell us what you are looking for in a comment, feel free.
::


I take a different view on commentary. When you make a comment, you in effect engage the poet in a conversation about their work. Nothing wrong with that and, in fact, it can be very useful for both sides of the conversation. But it is a conversation even if its only 145 characters long.

Here are a few things to avoid imho:

Don't converse with people who don't want to talk.
Tzara has already dealt with this so I won't belabour the points he's made. There is however one refrain that I hear repeatedly, "Well if they don't want comments, they should turn off the comment function." That statement is wrong. Maybe they want comments but not critique. Maybe (quelle horreur) they don't want yours or my comment. Just because they are standing in a cute black dress holding a drink at a cocktail party doesn't mean they want to talk to us let alone have sex.

Don't comment from a pulpit. If you read what you've written above, it's all about the commenter teaching the poet to be a better poet. The implication is that the commenter is the superior poet. I realize it's an implication and you tempered it with "utopian logic here, is a better product from the writer and you the reader grows also" but the overall thrust of your argument is "we will teach you".

This is fine if you (or I) are the best poets in this little backwater of literature, but we aren't. And even if we were, the poet has almost certainly spent more time considering a point we might make than we have. We should respect that.

Don't give false praise. This is the best reason for not commenting. If one feels driven to teach, do it on a thread, but to encourage a poor poet by telling them they are the second coming of the Bard is bad pedagogy and lowers the value of commentary to better wordsmiths.


::
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Old 07-28-2013, 10:57 AM   #5
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A lot of the commentators (is that the right word?) see the poem in an entirely different way that completely passed me by, so of course then I have to go back and reread to see exactly what they are getting from it that I didn't
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Old 07-28-2013, 12:26 PM   #6
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::





Don't comment from a pulpit. If you read what you've written above, it's all about the commenter teaching the poet to be a better poet. The implication is that the commenter is the superior poet. I realize it's an implication and you tempered it with "utopian logic here, is a better product from the writer and you the reader grows also" but the overall thrust of your argument is "we will teach you".

This is fine if you (or I) are the best poets in this little backwater of literature, but we aren't. And even if we were, the poet has almost certainly spent more time considering a point we might make than we have. We should respect that.

Don't give false praise. This is the best reason for not commenting. If one feels driven to teach, do it on a thread, but to encourage a poor poet by telling them they are the second coming of the Bard is bad pedagogy and lowers the value of commentary to better wordsmiths.


::
Since you accused me of all these sins in the past, I will respond, comments are a perspective, a perspective from betterpoets can enable a person to see from a different, er, perspective. Use of the word better is also qualified by my assumption that someone may know something I don't or forgot. I also operate under the assumption that I may know something they don't or may have forgot. It is an assumption of equality. There is no "teaching", you learn if you want.

Best poets? Best at what? What hierarchy? Your determinants are based on a subjective set of evaluations. That is a valued perspective, nothing more.

Now, that I've successfully evaded inclusion in any club, I'll take my own advise, and get the fuck out.
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Old 07-28-2013, 12:31 PM   #7
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Don't comment from a pulpit. If you read what you've written above, it's all about the commenter teaching the poet to be a better poet.
Surely, this is not necessarily the case. My art lecturer at college said his aim was to make his students better and more successsful as artists than himsef.
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Old 07-28-2013, 03:35 PM   #8
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Marking this thread with no comment, at least not yet. reading your comments, carry on.
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Old 07-28-2013, 03:52 PM   #9
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Surely, this is not necessarily the case. My art lecturer at college said his aim was to make his students better and more successsful as artists than himsef.
Not to speak for Mr. d, but I took his polite point to be that we are not all art lecturers, though we may have flights of fancy at times that we are. That's why I consider it better to keep the tone of my comments in the context of "this is what I see in your poem" and not "this is what you need to know." It's also why I always say it's "just my opinion" to a writer I don't know when making a comment about a problem I think I see.
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Old 07-28-2013, 05:24 PM   #10
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Surely, this is not necessarily the case. My art lecturer at college said his aim was to make his students better and more successsful as artists than himsef.
::

It's a good point. We can learn from bad poetry. However, what I was trying to highlight was that a statement beginning, "This will make your poem better ..." is usually misguided. It seems self evident to me but maybe I'm naive. I could dig up a recent example if that helps but it should be clear without.


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Old 07-28-2013, 07:40 PM   #11
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Not to speak for Mr. d, but I took his polite point to be that we are not all art lecturers, though we may have flights of fancy at times that we are. That's why I consider it better to keep the tone of my comments in the context of "this is what I see in your poem" and not "this is what you need to know." It's also why I always say it's "just my opinion" to a writer I don't know when making a comment about a problem I think I see.
I agree with this completely. Tone is everything. No matter where we think we are in terms of writing, we are all just writers. Peers. And a peer needs to be very careful how they word 'advice' or give direction.

While everyone's reactions or interpretations of poems have value, giving someone the sense that you think you know more than they do about their writing or anyone else's writing is a sure fired way to get yourself ignored. If someone is condescending in the tone of their comments that makes me doubt the value of their advice.

A talented, intelligent and insightful person would have enough confidence to not assume their view was the only view nor would they waste time defining simple words for people who've studied the language and its literature, formally and informally, for years. A smart person would realize no matter what they have read or written that they are not here to teach and lecture but to share, discuss and learn.
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Old 07-28-2013, 07:50 PM   #12
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I agree with this completely. Tone is everything. No matter where we think we are in terms of writing, we are all just writers. Peers. And a peer needs to be very careful how they word 'advice' or give direction.

While everyone's reactions or interpretations of poems have value, giving someone the sense that you think you know more than they do about their writing or anyone else's writing is a sure fired way to get yourself ignored. If someone is condescending in the tone of their comments that makes me doubt the value of their advice.

A talented, intelligent and insightful person would have enough confidence to not assume their view was the only view nor would they waste time defining simple words for people who've studied the language and its literature, formally and informally, for years. A smart person would realize no matter what they have read or written that they are not here to teach and lecture but to share, discuss and learn.
But haven't you yourself said you have no time for form poetry?
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Old 07-28-2013, 08:07 PM   #13
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But haven't you yourself said you have no time for form poetry?
I said I was not a fan overall of rhyme. That means that if you give me a free verse poem and one that contains rhyme than I will definitely gravitate toward the free verse poem. It does not mean that I don't have 'time for it' nor does it mean that I see it as having less value in any way. The preference comes from the fact that rhyming poetry is extremely difficult to do well. I think I actually was one of the few who actually enjoyed and found meaning in the rhyming poem 1201 posted on the thread you are referencing.

And more importantly, if someone posted a poem that rhymed I would never dream of criticizing their poem based on its structure because clearly that was something of great value to them and a deliberate choice.

All I can do as a reader is let a poet know if it works for me and why, knowing that my response to their poem may have value to the poet but it also may not. I respect the freedom of every writer to 'go their own way' because it's usually when writers go their own way and do things they enjoy and love that greatness emerges.

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Old 07-28-2013, 08:35 PM   #14
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I said I was not a fan overall of rhyme. That means that if you give me a free verse poem and one that contains rhyme than I will definitely gravitate toward the free verse poem. It does not mean that I don't have 'time for it' nor does it mean that I see it as having less value in any way. The preference comes from the fact that rhyming poetry is extremely difficult to do well. I think I actually was one of the few who actually enjoyed and found meaning in the rhyming poem 1201 posted on the thread you are referencing.

And more importantly, if someone posted a poem that rhymed I would never dream of criticizing their poem based on its structure because clearly that was something of great value to them and a deliberate choice.

All I can do as a reader is let a poet know if it works for me and why, knowing that my response to their poem may have value to the poet but it also may not. I respect the freedom of every writer to 'go their own way' because it's usually when writers go their own way and do things the enjoy and love that greatness emerges.
There's no like button so I had to go with bold.
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Old 07-28-2013, 09:40 PM   #15
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Surely, this is not necessarily the case. My art lecturer at college said his aim was to make his students better and more successful as artists than himself.
I found this comment interesting, bogus. Like, why would you pay attention to an artist who doesn't think he's better than you?

I can empathize with his idea, but don't we all want to kick ass and take names re art? Or science? Or engineering? Or whatever?

Did he strike you as someone who had given up?

I don't have the context, of course, but that statement seemed to be about defeatism. I'm not successful, but maybe you will be.

I understand the motivation--you want your children, your students, to do well. To do better than you have done, even if you've won the Nobel Prize. That's what all teachers want.

But they also want to be recognized as being good themselves, I would think.

Sorry, ranting.
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Old 07-29-2013, 02:46 AM   #16
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my 2cents which rounded down = 0

As someone that has benefitted by comments it is still at the disgression of the viewer. No point trying to harangue people into commenting if they don't want to. I think Angeline's way has been seen by myself as the most diplomatic way to go about it. It is phrased in such a way that she is pointing out her interpretation of the writing and allows rebuttal or clarification, it doesnt feel like a personal attack. I find 1201's comments humorous, helpful or both in their own way. Thick skinned has been beaten into me.

There may be mutual benefit, but some people don't like the all out attack that has been directed at them by some person that wakes up every morning thinking they are amazing, everything they do is amazing and everyone else better think the same of them over a comment on a poem. They need to realize it's a poem not a dick and try not to take it so hard when someone doesn't agree.

If a comment doesn't gel with what I am trying to do in my writing I will thank the person for their comments and continue on my way. Obviously they took the time to give me feedback, although it may not be what I am after at the moment who is to say they wont drop a revelation later on down the track, that I may miss because I was a dick towards them.

Look at the penchant for hating rhyming couplets. I have still continued to use them in a certain series I am trying to write, however I have been told between the dislike, that editing is essential. I have found that has helped to write those better. So although the dislike of rhyming couplets is generally a given, if I can stregthen the story to the point it is almost overlooked then I have succeded.

I think we all like a certain style of poetry so your comments may be at a direct conflict with the new poets own "poetic voice" do we really want carbon copies of the same writing? the same form? Diversity is the spice of life and the interesting part is the discovery of what moves you personally, as isn't most of this all subjective anyway?

the comments may make a poet better or it may accomplish stuff all, but all those that try to improve the writing in general have my thanks and respect.
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Old 07-29-2013, 03:25 AM   #17
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I found this comment interesting, bogus. Like, why would you pay attention to an artist who doesn't think he's better than you?

I can empathize with his idea, but don't we all want to kick ass and take names re art? Or science? Or engineering? Or whatever?

Sorry, ranting.
No apologies necessary and I didn't take your post as a rant, you make a good point. There is that saying 'Those who can, do, those who can't, teach.'

In the art world, probably the thing more important than anything else, even talent, are influential contacts. Leo Castelli was not a successful art dealer because he had successful artists such as , Frank Stella, Larry Poons, Lee Bontecou, James Rosenquist, Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol, Robert Morris, Donald Judd, Dan Flavin, Cy Twombly, Ronald Davis, Ed Ruscha, Salvatore Scarpitta, Richard Serra, Bruce Nauman, Lawrence Weiner. Those artists were successful because Leo Castelli was their dealer. That's because there is nothing democratic or meritocratic about the art world, it is still all based on patronage. Most of his artists ended up with names big enough to be able to survive on their own but they would never have got there without Leo Castelli.

Despite scratching a living at art, I am very very cynical of the art world and as far as I can see (who I consider) the most interesting artists are often not the most successful ones, often because without the art world movers and shakers on your side, you don't stand a chance. Dieter Roth, is probably an exception in getting internationally known (in th art world) while distrusting art dealers and keeping clear of commercial galleries. Warhol was right when he said Being good in business is the most fascinating kind of art. Making money is art and working is art and good business is the best art. That's what art is. It is also very incestuous and the big commercial galleries have more power over public galleries than people think and which is healthy. That is why the same art is seen in public galleries that is successful in the big influential commercial galleries. I have a friend who is a retired curator who had been a director of large public galleries in Holland and Germany and he said during his career the power went from curators in public galleries to the top dealers so much so, the public galleries might as well be privatised and handed over to the top dealers. Well, there was a scandal about The Tate in London when Saatchi was a trustee and the Tate exhibited artists in his fold which gave them credibility and highered prices.

Now for my art lecturer. He was a really good sculptor when it came to carving and modelling, certainly better in that sphere, I suspect, than 99% of successful sculptors. He realised carving and clay modelling were out of fashion in the fine art world but told to us, he didn't want to waste his god given talent on contructing and casting ready mades just to be successful, that was for others. Basically, he was one of those artists successful artists would employ to do their work if high skill was necessary. Maybe he just didn't have it in him to be successful. It is not in everyone to go round exhibition opens and make the right contacts. Though the best way to make contacts is to go to the right art colleges. No one told me that when I started out or I suspect any other student. If you don't go to the right art college, you start out with a major handicap. If I knew that at the beginning, I would have given art college a miss and just made my own way, like i did but I would have had several years start on myself.

Wow! I never meant to write that much nor did I mean it to turn into a rant but I suspect that betrays my true feelings about the art world. I am a total cynic.

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Old 07-29-2013, 04:06 AM   #18
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BTW Tzara. Do you think the best poets always get published and are always the most successful poets? If you do, do you see the drastic fall in people buying poetry books down to a public losing interest in poetry, through not being educated in poetry or there being so many other outlets for people's interests?

I suspect, one of the reasons for the drastic fall in sales of poetry books over the last 100 years is down to the gatekeepers, the publishers who try to be the arbiters of taste and of course, to academics, who often work hand in hand with poetry publishers. In Britain poetry publishing is dominated by Faber & Faber and you more or less know exactly what you'll get from their books, which is why I rarely buy any.

In the art world, there is no real measure of public approval of the gatekeepers choice of art because it all comes down to a few rich collectors and influential dealers but I suspect the gatekeepers are equally out of touch with the public as poetry getekeepers are.
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Old 07-30-2013, 12:22 AM   #19
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No apologies necessary and I didn't take your post as a rant, you make a good point. There is that saying 'Those who can, do, those who can't, teach.'

In the art world, probably the thing more important than anything else, even talent, are influential contacts. Leo Castelli was not a successful art dealer because he had successful artists such as , Frank Stella, Larry Poons, Lee Bontecou, James Rosenquist, Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol, Robert Morris, Donald Judd, Dan Flavin, Cy Twombly, Ronald Davis, Ed Ruscha, Salvatore Scarpitta, Richard Serra, Bruce Nauman, Lawrence Weiner. Those artists were successful because Leo Castelli was their dealer. That's because there is nothing democratic or meritocratic about the art world, it is still all based on patronage. Most of his artists ended up with names big enough to be able to survive on their own but they would never have got there without Leo Castelli.

Despite scratching a living at art, I am very very cynical of the art world and as far as I can see (who I consider) the most interesting artists are often not the most successful ones, often because without the art world movers and shakers on your side, you don't stand a chance. Dieter Roth, is probably an exception in getting internationally known (in th art world) while distrusting art dealers and keeping clear of commercial galleries. Warhol was right when he said Being good in business is the most fascinating kind of art. Making money is art and working is art and good business is the best art. That's what art is. It is also very incestuous and the big commercial galleries have more power over public galleries than people think and which is healthy. That is why the same art is seen in public galleries that is successful in the big influential commercial galleries. I have a friend who is a retired curator who had been a director of large public galleries in Holland and Germany and he said during his career the power went from curators in public galleries to the top dealers so much so, the public galleries might as well be privatised and handed over to the top dealers. Well, there was a scandal about The Tate in London when Saatchi was a trustee and the Tate exhibited artists in his fold which gave them credibility and highered prices.

Now for my art lecturer. He was a really good sculptor when it came to carving and modelling, certainly better in that sphere, I suspect, than 99% of successful sculptors. He realised carving and clay modelling were out of fashion in the fine art world but told to us, he didn't want to waste his god given talent on contructing and casting ready mades just to be successful, that was for others. Basically, he was one of those artists successful artists would employ to do their work if high skill was necessary. Maybe he just didn't have it in him to be successful. It is not in everyone to go round exhibition opens and make the right contacts. Though the best way to make contacts is to go to the right art colleges. No one told me that when I started out or I suspect any other student. If you don't go to the right art college, you start out with a major handicap. If I knew that at the beginning, I would have given art college a miss and just made my own way, like i did but I would have had several years start on myself.

Wow! I never meant to write that much nor did I mean it to turn into a rant but I suspect that betrays my true feelings about the art world. I am a total cynic.
The dealer is way important, I would agree. Larry Gagosian is the current Leo Castelli. Anyone who can make Jeff Koons an "important artist" is a really great salesperson.

I think what you're saying about your teacher is that he was an artist for the right reasons--he wanted (or had to) make art, found personal satisfaction in making art, and that worked for him whether or not he made a lot of money at it.

Poetry is much the same way (though there's no money in poetry, only reputation, and that only a temporary reputation--fifty, one hundred years down the road things will settle quite differently). And your comments about "the right college" are especially true about poetry or, actually, almost any academic pursuit. One of the reasons I dropped out of my PhD program was that I wasn't at Harvard or Yale, so wouldn't be likely to get a job at one of the better universities.

Now, I would not have liked Harvard or Yale, and I wasn't well suited to be a college professor anyway, but still, I was not in the right place to really succeed.

So I guess we do this (make art, write poems) for the best of reasons--because we want to. Because we enjoy it. Because we find it, in some way, fulfilling.

There is no better reason for doing anything.
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Old 07-30-2013, 12:34 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by bogusagain View Post
BTW Tzara. Do you think the best poets always get published and are always the most successful poets? If you do, do you see the drastic fall in people buying poetry books down to a public losing interest in poetry, through not being educated in poetry or there being so many other outlets for people's interests?

I suspect, one of the reasons for the drastic fall in sales of poetry books over the last 100 years is down to the gatekeepers, the publishers who try to be the arbiters of taste and of course, to academics, who often work hand in hand with poetry publishers. In Britain poetry publishing is dominated by Faber & Faber and you more or less know exactly what you'll get from their books, which is why I rarely buy any.

In the art world, there is no real measure of public approval of the gatekeepers choice of art because it all comes down to a few rich collectors and influential dealers but I suspect the gatekeepers are equally out of touch with the public as poetry getekeepers are.
Poetry in the USA is, I think, largely "controlled" (theoretically open to all but not really) by academia. Many of the presses (though by no means all) printing poetry are academic presses. A very high percentage of poets with books published by "major" presses hold teaching positions at universities and colleges (just look through the biographies in a Best American Poetry of 20xx anthology, for example).

It's very similar to the state of "classical" music composition. Virtually all composers of contemporary symphonic music are faculty members at various universities and conservatories around the country. Music, like poetry, has become a rather esoteric art, which by definition makes it/them not popular.

Now, however bad an academic I would have made, I am an academic at heart, so this does not necessarily discourage me. I am a bit dismayed by it, though.
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Old 07-30-2013, 01:46 AM   #21
bogusagain
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Originally Posted by Tzara View Post
So I guess we do this (make art, write poems) for the best of reasons--because we want to. Because we enjoy it. Because we find it, in some way, fulfilling.

There is no better reason for doing anything.
I (genuinely) admire your philosophical take on it and I think it is the right attitude to have and I try to take the same attitude as you but now and again my petulence lets me down. I see an exhibition by someone who has a particular style because it avoids or masks their lack of technical ability or willingness to learn or come across a poetry book which fits the straitjacket norm it lacks even a modicum of creativity and daring and I want to kick the cat. I know its stupid, I know democracy doesn't exist in the greater scheme of things, never mind in these micro-worlds, everything is a shamocracy but I need my righteous indignation now and again.

I have to say, I never had you down as an academic but on refelction I suspect you would have made a very good one. That is certainly the impression I get from what comes across in your prose and the intelligence of your poety but I suspect you are too self deprecating to agree.
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Old 07-30-2013, 12:17 PM   #22
UnderYourSpell
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I said I was not a fan overall of rhyme. That means that if you give me a free verse poem and one that contains rhyme than I will definitely gravitate toward the free verse poem. It does not mean that I don't have 'time for it' nor does it mean that I see it as having less value in any way. The preference comes from the fact that rhyming poetry is extremely difficult to do well. I think I actually was one of the few who actually enjoyed and found meaning in the rhyming poem 1201 posted on the thread you are referencing.

And more importantly, if someone posted a poem that rhymed I would never dream of criticizing their poem based on its structure because clearly that was something of great value to them and a deliberate choice.

All I can do as a reader is let a poet know if it works for me and why, knowing that my response to their poem may have value to the poet but it also may not. I respect the freedom of every writer to 'go their own way' because it's usually when writers go their own way and do things they enjoy and love that greatness emerges.
Not all form rhymes though so do those work for you? Sorry not trying to be argumentative but I am interested. Sorry also if this is high jacking the original thread but where else do I ask?
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Old 07-30-2013, 12:52 PM   #23
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Not all form rhymes though so do those work for you? Sorry not trying to be argumentative but I am interested. Sorry also if this is high jacking the original thread but where else do I ask?
I don't have any issue with form. Great poems will always work for me whether they are free verse, form or a form that rhymes.
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Old 07-31-2013, 09:04 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by bogusagain View Post
I (genuinely) admire your philosophical take on it and I think it is the right attitude to have and I try to take the same attitude as you but now and again my petulence lets me down. I see an exhibition by someone who has a particular style because it avoids or masks their lack of technical ability or willingness to learn or come across a poetry book which fits the straitjacket norm it lacks even a modicum of creativity and daring and I want to kick the cat. I know its stupid, I know democracy doesn't exist in the greater scheme of things, never mind in these micro-worlds, everything is a shamocracy but I need my righteous indignation now and again.
I'm not all happy-face with art (visual art, poetry, whatever) either, bogus. As I think I implied earlier, I think Jeff Koons is a fraud, for example.

There is visual or, even more often, conceptual art that I think is banal or, worse, cynical garbage. There are poets (more than a few) whom I think write purposefully obscure drivel with the intent of passing it off as "art."

Upsetting, yes. But Time sweeps all of this kind of thing off the table. It might take a lot of Time, but eventually the crap ends up in the dustbin. With visual artists, I kind of have to admire a Jeff Koons for making a lot of money (and making himself, at least for a limited period of time famous). His life is certainly more high profile than mine, and probably more luxurious.

I'd guess I'm happier, though that's merely a guess.

Poets who deliberately are making obtuse art? I find that kind of pitiable. There is no money on poetry.

On the other hand, it's their life. They get published, win prizes (some of them).

Maybe their work is better than I think.
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Originally Posted by bogusagain View Post
I have to say, I never had you down as an academic but on reflection I suspect you would have made a very good one. That is certainly the impression I get from what comes across in your prose and the intelligence of your poetry but I suspect you are too self deprecating to agree.
No, I would have been a poor academic, and that is not self-deprecation. Two reasons (at least):
  1. When I was younger, I was almost pathologically shy. Grad students need to talk to their mentors (the faculty at the institution they are enrolled at), their colleagues, present papers in colloquia and at conferences, defend said papers, etc. I was completely incompetent at all of that. So eventually, despite my grades (which were good), I would have flunked out of the PhD program for lack of interaction.
  2. I can't hold focus. I'm interested in a lot of things and rather uninterested in learning too much about anything. For much of my career, I've effectively served as a software architect. This position was described to me by a former manager as someone who "has product knowledge wide as the Mississippi, but only millimeters deep." I've always liked being in a position to tell people how to design something without burdening myself with actually implementing that design.
I notice that we have drifted far afield of 1201's thread intent. Perhaps we should return to that subject.
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Old 08-01-2013, 12:18 PM   #25
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::

It's a good point. We can learn from bad poetry. However, what I was trying to highlight was that a statement beginning, "This will make your poem better ..." is usually misguided. It seems self evident to me but maybe I'm naive. I could dig up a recent example if that helps but it should be clear without.


::
"bad" is a subjective evaluation on an undefinable term, "bad" is the opposite of "good" I presume? A value. Predicated on what you know, what you assume, what your fucking mood is, and your prejudice as to subject matter. It can be plotted on a Cartesian grid. This is a perspective. None of these points are fixed. I know this. Mostly I react to the text, so if you take the word "Edit" and it usually with the statement that you are burying some good stuff as being on a pulpit so be it.
This is the valued perspective. Leaving comments sometimes changes that perspective, sometimes adds value to both the commentor and commentee. Mostly it is "a waste of electrons"
I left at least three on yours, with specifics
You can react to it a variety of ways:
Validation - fine, we both agree
I don't understand what he is talking about - me bad, we just move on, you got your five.
This may be a problem area - whatever you do after that, we all benefit.
Or it can be that you assign no value to my perception, possible mistake on your part, and "a waste of electrons" on my part.

It would be interesting to have your reactions to those comments.

I take issue (umbrage?) with the presumption of someone who is not making comments telling us how."a waste of electrons"

I see three here, that are busting their asses, Angeline, Desijo and UYS, I see some real heavyweights that do take some time, butters and Mountaineer. Others pretty much in what they get out. I see some relative newcomers making an effort. But mostly I see either laziness, cowardice or game playing. And that list of names is rather extensive and some are rather persistent. Free riders.

Two persistent assholes in the past annoyed me so much, one i would take the text of his poem and past in the comments, the other i would take the baiting emails he would send and paste that in the comments, with the comment that It looked like somebody is using your name, this isn't yours is it? Yeh, it can be a real fun place, I get that same feeling as to why you seem to be tailing my ass.

But thank you, you have illustrated very well what my relationship to this place is
"a waste of electrons". You and the incorrigible over in new poems.
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