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Author Topic: Poets' Corner  (Read 11608 times)
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Aseia
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« Reply #15 on: April 16, 2012, 08:16:30 PM »

Thank you Leif  :) Just to quickly answer your question, I have never decapitalised lines when I write poetry, but that is just my personal preference and not anything more.

I don't think it's either wright or wrong, some of my favourite poems have decapitalised lines, such as Louis MacNeice's 'Prayer before Birth' :

I am not yet born, console me.
I fear that the human race may with tall walls wall me,
     with strong drugs dope me, with wise lies lure me,
        on black racks rack me, in blood-baths roll me.

I don't think the decapitalising on this particular poem takes any of the feeling away from it, and though Alýr pointed out that lower case letters can give the feeling of passivity and quietness, the words alone here without the use of capital letters are strong enough to take effect, poetry is after all essentially to read.

But why do I capitalize every line? To me it suggests that, although I may be telling a story, it is not a regular story, and certainly not prose. To give each line (however subtle) its own authority and to underscore to myself the integrity of the line, which is after all what distinguishes poetry from all other literary genres.
 Capitalizing the first letter of each beginning word in a line of poetry is traditional and historically, this was how poetry had been distinguished from other art forms when rendered on the page.


Again though, I do it for myself and think it all comes down to the esthetic value of each individual, and can not two people look at the exact same thing and see it differently?
« Last Edit: April 16, 2012, 08:18:44 PM by Aseia » Logged

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« Reply #16 on: April 16, 2012, 10:40:50 PM »

Everyone is editing my poems!   Ahhhh! grin

I did a whole series of poems on chaos and madness (oddly enough that one wasn't one of them). I'll try to root them up and post some of the better ones.

Lovely posts everyone, who thought we had so many poets!
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Ryvic Darkveil
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« Reply #17 on: April 17, 2012, 12:25:40 AM »

Why do I not capitalize every line? because I didn't know better. I capitalize the beginning of sentences, and I never thought very deeply about it when I carried it over to poems.

I'm running out of poems (yes, you counted correctly, this is my second one), but here's another one:

When memories are as faint as flickering dreams,
and reminiscences cause only the slightest of gleams,
When thoughts of things past begin to fade,
hearts will often start to jade.

If we forget the past,
we destroy the future.
Remember, record, retain.


Now that I think about it, this is an opposing view of the Tradition poem, seeing the importance of the past. I've never thought this deeply about poetry, and I must say, it's rather interesting.
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« Reply #18 on: April 17, 2012, 01:39:47 AM »

I also am not particularly fond of "left aligned" poetry.  My thoughts are: you have an ENTIRE PAGE to play with, so why stick to the top left corner?

Since people keep taking my poems for examples...LEIF!  YOUR POEM'S EDITED TIME HAS COME!  (Bwahahah)

Quote
The cold
                       Like hands,
                                       like a caress,
         Like a gentle,
                            insistent touch
Reaching through                           jackets
                         Down collars

Through the gaps                      between pockets             
                         and sleeves
Creeping under
                                          hats
And through the weave               of gloves

For a paralysing hug
                 Shaken off each time



More weakly than before.

When you break up the lines like this you create a natural pause where there are spaces.  You also play with how we read the poem.  For instance, at the "Reaching through jackets/down collars" part it can be read as, "Reaching through/down collars/jackets" which I think adds an air of fluidity and change to a poem.  Not all poems can succeed like this, and not all poems NEED this treatment, but personally, I like it.  It's just another element that you can control to get which ever effect you desire.

Now, for one of my more chaotic poems.  This poem was originally a Sestina.  It's one of my favorite poetic styles, though I usually write them and then tear them apart to create quaint little chaotic poems like this one (note, the formatting WILL get screwed up, but I'll try to get it as close to how it should be).



Nahosdzáán 
Words paint a picture in your mind

go away, rain, rain
 no one likes being soaked
 that is why we live in the desert
 where everything is rough
 like copper
 or a beam of light

it is my favorite       to be soaked
           no     rough
               feeling        like when it is light
                                          and your skin like copper
                                                 and you are in       desert
                                                        and there is no sign for rain

remember                   when    young                watching       light
 after                               afternoon   sun              transform       rain
 into                                dancing beauty               all              copper
 ballerina                  hopping         
                                             fro    too
                                                     and
                                                                                             soaked
 with       water smooth     out    all     rough
 edges in         sandy     clutches                desert
 
                      for        desert 
 flowers                               life tough
 it is said     withering    in        light
 of       sun   roots trying   
                                  breaking   
                                                    through       rough
 hard
 stone 
 never getting        water from        rain
 just when       top dirt is soaked
 all      bloom    in       sky copper
                                  fading sun       
 
there are                         things     
                      in this world that are rough
                      one               is coarse              like copper
 but             things                 polish                    like rain
 there are places     with       little rain                         like desert
 in these places        things get              hot             from light
                                                                                   from sun   
 when they touch       
                                       water
                                                       they break before
                                                                                          they soaked
 

watching        edges
                    rain                   rough
 
       sand         dissolving       
                   soaked                copper
 
                        no                                   in       
                                             light                               desert
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Leif Terskun
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« Reply #19 on: April 17, 2012, 08:07:12 AM »

Just to clarify, I don't think that decapitalising lines is wrong per se. I just don't do it because I've never felt the need. I do agree with Aseia that the capitalisation is, as I said, a way to give each line its full weight. I agree also with the idea that poetry is not prose and for me there is a presumption of capitalisation.

Ryvic, I don't think it's a matter of knowing better; I hope I haven't given the impression that I see uncapitalised lines as illegitimate. I do like your latest poem; perhaps that one should be next to the earlier one? They have on one level opposite messages, but there is a subtle difference that unifies their philosophy into something of a "remember the past but do not be bound by it" worldview.

Tak, I don't really feel that the unaligned nature of that poem adds to what I was trying to convey. It wasn't meant to be a chaotic piece; if anything, I think the return to the same place better meshes with the idea of the returning cold.  I also disagree with putting too much emphasis on the page - poetry is an aural medium, and if you write in English you start at the top left and move right and down. Why change it? Your poem there, though, really is chaotic, and I agree with the way you've done that. I think that your predilection for uncapitalised lines and moving about the page works very well with the themes and the feel of your poetry; again, the disjointed visual mirrors the disjointed syntax.

To post a little something:

I saw you for a year
Knew you for a month
Was on speaking terms with you for a week
And alone with you for a single day.

For an hour I was close to you;
For a minute to your mind -
Of all the things I searched it for
Love was what I didn't find.


I seem to have written two consecutive lost-love poems. How depressing. I'll be more cheerful next time, I promise.
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Aseia
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« Reply #20 on: April 17, 2012, 09:31:25 AM »

Gosh, everyone has done such lovely poems!  :)

Just to keep things going, here's a little something else of mine, a piece from my old schooling years ( cry they seem an age gone now,  LOL ) where we were given the title of Ocean. Did anyone else get that same sort of project, given one word that you had to turn into a piece of literature? This is what I came up with anyway.

Crushing waves of water
Ready for the slaughter
Receive me I am your daughter.

Breathe out your salty air
Reveal your blue black flair
Your moonlight silver glair.

Your creatures shadow creep
Your darkness swelling deep
Your golden grains of bottom sleep.

Slap into the rocks you fight
Send shimmering drops of silver light
Show your beauty true midnight.

Your silent shores fair
Watching forever you stare
The brave hearts coming you dare.


Why not ask seeing as we are all discussing poetry, does everyone have a favourite poem or poet? I don't know if I could pick a poet, there are so many brilliantly distinguished ones but for a poem I would have to say Edgar Allan Poe's 'A Dream Within A Dream'. What I wouldn't do to be able to write like that!
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Deklitch Hardin
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« Reply #21 on: April 17, 2012, 09:33:47 AM »

Oh sorry ... I was meaning more from my last post in this thread that I capitalise every line in my poems because that's what I was taught to do at Primary School all those many many many years ago. I wasn't meaning to suggest that I thought it was right or wrong to capitalise or not to capitalise ... it was just a habbit I got into from then ... and as Sam and Frodo found when they attempted to hit hobbits that were picking on them with bricks, but failed ... bad hobbits are hard to brick.

I think that sort of stuff is up to the poet in question. :)

This isn't one of my own ... but rather one from the Warhammer Quest Game released by Games Workshop. It is actually sung by an Ogre ... It is called "It is Dark"

It is dark when its dark in the dark
And I haven't eaten for hours
Bring me orcs, bring me gobbos bring me trolls
They will do as a snack for starters
Yuse can keep da jewels
What I want instead
Is to find a smelly orc
And kick 'im in da head
It is dark when its dark in the dark
And I haven't eaten for hours
(Continued ad nauseum)

And another one that isn't my own ... but was in some ways inspiration for Sordoc the Great and his 'poetry' ... The Poetic Fiend from the Grailquest series (similar to Choose Your Own Adventure, but set in the time of Camelot ... full of puns, and one lines, designed to entertain and amuse adolescent males)

Is it a ghoul, the creature says
Laid out to rest for the end of its days?
Is it a vampire, thirsty and paler,
A cousin of Dracula or Vlad the Impaler?
Is it a ghost,
I don't mean to boast.
But it looks dramatic,
Like a gral in the attic,
In fact this slim creature is not what it seemed,
It's the handsome and witty, renowned, Poetic Fiend.

Like Sordoc the Great, the Poetic Fiend did the most atrocious poetry, but thought it was great ... the greatest and he was a poetic Par Excellence. The Poetic Fiend would kill the character (you'd go to the dreaded page 13 - its page of death) if your response was that it was bad. :)

Sometime when I return, I'll post another one of my own poem ... it is to do with a project I thought of a long time ago, and now have the enthusiasm to get it going again.
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« Reply #22 on: April 17, 2012, 09:35:07 AM »

I love so many of the Australian Bush Poets. Both old school and new school. 'A Bush Christening' by A B Banjo Paterson is a favourite.
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Aseia
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« Reply #23 on: April 17, 2012, 09:41:36 AM »

 :D Yes!
A.B. "Banjo" Paterson's 'The Man From Snowy River' is one of my all time favourites and so many of Henry Lawson's, especially 'In The Day's When We Are Dead'. I could rattle on for hours.
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Alýr (Rayne)
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« Reply #24 on: April 17, 2012, 11:26:53 AM »

"A Dream Within a Dream" is one of my go-to poems. I (unfortunately) have the entirely of the poem quite memorized, and break it out upon leaving someone in poetical fashion... and then it gets awkward, because I intend to conclude at "my days have been a dream" and never do. And he or she with whom I'm parting looks at me quizzically as I flutter through to the second verse: "Is all that we see or seem," I ask earnestly, "but a dream within a dream?"

(The end of Keat's Ode to a Nightingale ends up being somewhat the same, where I never stop at "the fancy cannot cheat so well.")

Alas, to choose just one is so difficult, like choosing the favorite of my many mentors. I like many for many different reasons: "Dover Beach" by Matthew Arnold for its philosophy, "Deersong" by Leslie Marmon Silko for its images and perspective, "Dwelling' by Li-Young Lee for its beautiful and heartbreaking use of grammar, T.S. Elliot's "Preludes" and "Wasteland" because I have lived that type of life in that type of city, William Carlos William's "This Is Just To Say" for its subtle statement about societal norms, "Sea Fever" by John Masefield because it reminds me of my father (and is also his favorite poem), "Ode to a Nightingale" by John Keats because of the musicality and (for me) the nostalgia (I memorized it in full in middle school because I loved it so much), "The Blessing" by James Wright for its subtle sadness and hopefulness, "Break, Break, Break" by Alfred Lord Tennyson for the comfort it gave me when Luci died, "One Art" by Elizabeth Bishop for its tragic irony, "The Second Coming" by W.B. Yeats for its powerful images and statement, "Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird" by Wallace Stevens for its creativity, ... oh, I could go on...!

If you love Poe, though, I will say that one of my favorite of his poems is Ulalume. It's orgasmically musical (am I allowed to say so?) and beautifully haunting.

Apropos capital letters: it does not matter whether one capitalizes the beginning of his or her lines or not. It doesn't matter whether or not he or she use end-stops or conservative spacing. All that matters is writing thoughtfully, and having a reason for all you do. Can you justify the capital? Do you intend the strength it gives? The tone it lends? The power it introduces? If so, then carry on; if not, then reconsider.

With the memory of so many astounding poets and poems in my head, it makes it hard to post anything! I will say that I don't write poetry with the same gusto as I did before--now-a-days my poems are generally composed for something other than me: as a political statement, as a way of saying 'thank you' (somewhere in my files is a copy of a sonnet I gave to a homeless guy), or some other purpose.

I recently quit my job and created a bricolage poem composed of eight quotes from four famous poets:

I must depart within my style;
Come leave your tears: a brief farewell!
If we meet again...we shall smile
If not... this parting was made well.

I raise a glass to yesterday!
Though waywardness seems be my lot,
Good memories shan't fade away
nor old acquaintance be forgot.

Please know that there is much I'll miss.
Though I will carry on somehow.
Now I will simply blow a kiss
(I always made an awkward bow.)

Adieu, adieu! remember me.
Pray think of me when I am gone.
It were a grief... to part with thee
But roads go ever ever on.

Remember, till the day it comes
When yet again our paths have crossed
Not all riches are bound in sums
Not all those who wander are lost.

That's right: I was the eccentric who said goodbye to a stodgy, conservative company by writing poetry. No 'traditional' boring goodbye email for me; I'm riding out "on the viewless wings of poesy"!
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« Reply #25 on: April 17, 2012, 01:33:46 PM »

Susan Stewart is probably my favorite poet of all time.  It used to be T.S. Elliot, but I think Stewart takes the cake.  Here's a shining example of one of her books, and one of her poems:  Columbarium

The Lost Colony

They never learned to tell
one bird from another, a shrub

from a weedy sapling,
or when the season had

forced a flower's bloom, not
even if a berry

had ripened into poison.
And yet they drew endless

distinctions between
colors and polish and

coarseness of weave,
and would not let

their daughters
marry out.

They didn't keep
their children, though they

gave them tests and fed
them. They were known

for meticulous records, for
their trophies and peeling stars.

They burned things up
or wore them down, had ranks

and staff and lecterns,
machines that moved them

from place to place, bright
jewels and playing cards.

They were old when they could
have been young, and young

when they could have been old.
They left a strange word

in a tree: croatoan,
and a track in the dust of Mars.
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Deklitch Hardin
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« Reply #26 on: April 18, 2012, 07:40:03 AM »

The poem I promised earlier ... I had typed it in and everything ... but then somehow forgot to hit post :(

Verse 1
Deep in the Southlands, of the Kingdom of Chivalry,
Lived a boy and his family, their lives seemed ordinary,
He grew up with older brothers, each one learning a trade,
To be an innkeeper, seemed to be the purpose of his days.
'Til fate disguised as a storm, blew strangers through their door,
And the boy's life changed, and was ordinary no more.

Chorus
And he'd become the mightiest of heroes, in their land had ever been,
And he'd follow the path of wizards, now mostly unseen,
And he'd save them all from the evil power, of a tyranical king,
And to the lands of the oppressed, freedom at last he'd bring.

It goes on ... but the above is all I can recall at this stage. :)

I had begun writing music for this as well ... but realised that was beyond my abilities ... I do have a tune in my head for it ... it is somewhat akin to "I am Australian" by the Seekers and covered by many other singers ... but the Seekers do it best, I believe. :)


And here's a bit of Banjo Patterson's "A Bush Christening" ... I learnt it a few years ago in the event that I was going to have to present it ... but that never happened.

In the outer Barcoo, where churches are few,
and men of religion are scanty,
On a road never crossed, 'cept by folk who are lost,
One Michael McGee had a shanty.

Now Mike was the dad, of a 10 year old lad,
Plump, healthy, and stoutly conditioned,
He was strong as the best, but poor Mike had no rest,
For the youngster had never been christened.

And his mother would cry, "if the darling should die,
St Peter would not recognise him!"
But by luck he survived, till a preacher arrived,
Who agreed straight away to baptise him.

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« Reply #27 on: April 18, 2012, 11:11:34 AM »

This is very creepy but...

Lizzy Bordin took an axe, gave her father fourty whacks.
When she had saw what she had done she gave her mother fourty one.

This is another example of something terrible made into a childrens nursery rime or poem.

Does anyone know how that tradition originated?
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« Reply #28 on: April 18, 2012, 12:59:24 PM »

Some fractured nursery rhymes ... not original ones by me ... but rather ones from various sources.

Mary had a little lamb, some oysters and some prunes,
A piece of pie, some cherry cake, and then some macaroons,
It made the wicked waiters laugh to see her order so,
And when they carried poor Mary out, her face was white as snow.

Jack be nimble, Jack be quick,
Jack meet mugger, Jack give kick,
Jack show quickness, Jack show skill,
Jack learn bullet quicker still.

Hickory Dickory Dock,
Three mice ran up the clock,
The clock struck one,
And the other two got away with minor injuries and promised to sue the manufacturer for an unsafe clock
Hickory dicory dock.

Mary had a little lamb,
The doctors nearly died,
And when little Jack Horner pulled out a plum,
They couldn't believe their eyes.
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« Reply #29 on: April 18, 2012, 09:56:42 PM »

I'm sorry I've not kept up; I've been reading the poems you've put up with relish, and I liked the exchange of poets. If I'm not too late to swing in on the coat-tails of that topic, a poem that is not, perhaps, widely known as a great work of English literature but for me is a lovely example of some truly positive poetry in a time when all too often poetry seems to fall into sombreness or outright depression simply to be seen as real art.

The Orange - by Wendy Cope

At lunchtime I bought a huge orange -
The size of it made us all laugh.
I peeled it and shared it with Robert and Dave -
They got quarters and I had a half.

And that orange, it made me so happy,
As ordinary things often do
Just lately. The shopping. A walk in the park.
This is peace and contentment. It's new.

The rest of my day was quite easy.
I did all the jobs on my list
And enjoyed them and had some time over.
I love you. I'm glad I exist.


Aseia, I really liked your Ocean poem - I though the rhyme was powerful, and the emotive strength something impressive. I couldn't pick a favourite poet, or poem, but as I said I greatly enjoyed that Orange poem I posted, so that will have to do as my entry.

Rayne, I take my hat off to you; I've tried doing poems with quotes before - a few years ago now - and simply couldn't get them to mesh together well enough. Perhaps I'll try again, inspired by seeing it so apparently effortlessly done. As for your list of poems and poets, that and those others you came up with should keep me busy for a week - I do have to go back to school soon, as well.

Tak, as I said, I enjoyed all the poems from other poets submitted so far, but I really loved that Lost Colony - the folly, the regret, the sadness, a beautifully done piece.

Roy, I've no idea why such gruesome things became nursery rhymes - to inure children to the idea of death?

And now in some sort of twisted revenge, a poem I wrote myself.

I Should Be

Standing alone on a high place
- Lone, lonely high place! -
Seeing far from a high place.

On a rock in the ocean breeze
- Windswept, salty rock! -
Tasting the freshness of the waves.

Asleep beneath an apple tree
- Beautiful, bountiful apple tree! -
Floating in limine of thought.

Living in some other time
- Idealised, peaceful youth-time! -
Younger in heart and mind.

On the grass, in the sun
- Green grass, warm sun! -
Heedless of time.

Speaking with some friend of mine
- Fine, faithful friend! -
Just for the company, just talking.

Not worrying, not wandering,
Not pandering, not pondering.
I'll imagine myself elsewhere
And that will be enough.
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