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I am enormously egotistical and arrogant. I am egotistical and arrogant enough to know that no matter what I write, I can always improve it; that there is always a chance (however small) that it could turn out to be the poem that speaks to a generation. I am egotistical and arrogant enough to expect people to be entertained by what I write. I am egotistical and arrogant enough to expect that people will pay attention when I offer my opinion on their own writing.

I am egotistical enough to put a well-turned limerick on the same plinth as a crown of sonnets and consider them equal in the eyes of the poetry gods (the ones that exist to do my bidding). I am arrogant enough to expect others to live up to the same exacting standards for everything they write.

And my ego and arrogance is such that when I die and someone at last decides that I've written some poems worth paying my children for, I want to be sold as a poet (always and forever only a small "p") who weighed every word and extracted every nuance from the language, who drew from the ocean of ten thousand years of poetry... and who gave something back.
There is always confusion when poets speak of abandoning ego. It is in the Freudian sense of ego, an abandonment of "self", you can still think you are the best thing the poetry gods can create and abandon your "ego" or sense of self.
I thought most poets were in it to get laid. What's all this give something back crap?
Once you're no longer a virgin, you'll understand.
(12-03-2013, 04:52 AM)Todd Wrote: [ -> ]I thought most poets were in it to get laid. What's all this give something back crap?

I am the egg man . . .
I'm egotistical enough to admit that I will understand.
(12-03-2013, 04:50 AM)milo Wrote: [ -> ]There is always confusion when poets speak of abandoning ego.

This happened to me at age 35 and it improved my writing by light years. Once you let go you get good. Everything else is ego.

In 1996 I typed a spontaneous poem to an obscure email group having nothing to do with poetry or even writing. Some unknown person copied it to their website and now - 13 years later - it's still out there on 5 separate sites I'm aware of. Many more people have encountered that poem down the years than ever read my published chapbooks.

If I post a poem I'm truly proud of I'll add my real name should this happen again. Otherwise I'm anonymous. Credit is not all it's cracked up to be: the real joy comes from watching your words make some change in the culture.

Lance
ego like many other things comes in different forms. leanne's ego seems to be one that knows a certain truth about her work. most lie to themselves without knowing it. i gave my ego away, but i always have a spare one in reserve. ego is like fear, if you lose them your doomed to crash and burn. one has to hone their ego and know what they're ability truly is. My ego says i'll never be a leanne as far as poetry goes, but i'll be billy. ego only helps if it's not inflated. cut me, do i not bleed? well yes, i suppose i do if it's a real knife, but metaphorically, it doesn't even sting. i'm not really in to poetry for accolades, which is a bonus for me cos i never get them Big Grin. but i do see those deserving of such things. from what i read, leanne believes in herself as a good poet. i'm reminded of a dirty harry quote "a man's gotta know his limitations" and sadly most poets don't. sometimes the way they act or talk makes them come across as buffoons. i agree whole heartedly with AJ's rant and i believe wholeheartedly what Leanne said., i know, i'm a dichotomy really.
nothing kills learning quicker than ego, the bad ego, not helps you learn quicker than ego, the good ego.


[Image: catbutt.jpg]

< my ego wrote everything i have >

when my head writes something
it's disgusted
throws it away
thinks it's
just shit
but when my ego writes
it loves it
and though it won't admit it
it gets a little help
my subconscious
sends it tiny notes
about fathers and mothers
that are really hard to read
my libido
(when i can find it)
provides the juicy details
my tongue
loves the words
my hands dance to them
but my stomach
is not much help
always wants
to be doing something else
and oh
i almost forgot my toes
they wiggle
as my ego writes and loves it
best stuff in years
wonderful
damn you're good
gotta keep that
so it just turns out
my ego
wrote everything i have

- - -

I shrug when people critique my work. Sometimes the insights are flattering, and other times they're scathing. It's sometimes interesting to go from flattered to scathed in a matter of moments. While I admit that sometimes my ego is bruised by the criticism, at the end of the day I just shrug it off. Why? I write the poetry that I feel I should write. I write it the way my heart tells me to. While I would love for my poetry to reach someone's heart, if it doesn't, oh well. Write poetry for any gosh darn reason you see fit. If you want to use cliches, use them. If you want to see poetry as a symbol of life or death or~~heck~~gastrointestinal disease, feel free to do so. It's when the guiding voice within us gets drowned out by all the noise that we become what someone else wants us to be.
(12-06-2013, 06:35 PM)Simatong Wrote: [ -> ]I shrug when people critique my work. Sometimes the insights are flattering, and other times they're scathing. It's sometimes interesting to go from flattered to scathed in a matter of moments. While I admit that sometimes my ego is bruised by the criticism, at the end of the day I just shrug it off. Why? I write the poetry that I feel I should write. I write it the way my heart tells me to. While I would love for my poetry to reach someone's heart, if it doesn't, oh well. Write poetry for any gosh darn reason you see fit. If you want to use cliches, use them. If you want to see poetry as a symbol of life or death or~~heck~~gastrointestinal disease, feel free to do so. It's when the guiding voice within us gets drowned out by all the noise that we become what someone else wants us to be.

I'm curious. If you just shrug off critiques, why would you post on a forum like this which is critique and editing driven?
(12-06-2013, 08:14 PM)ellajam Wrote: [ -> ]
(12-06-2013, 06:35 PM)Simatong Wrote: [ -> ]I shrug when people critique my work. Sometimes the insights are flattering, and other times they're scathing. It's sometimes interesting to go from flattered to scathed in a matter of moments. While I admit that sometimes my ego is bruised by the criticism, at the end of the day I just shrug it off. Why? I write the poetry that I feel I should write. I write it the way my heart tells me to. While I would love for my poetry to reach someone's heart, if it doesn't, oh well. Write poetry for any gosh darn reason you see fit. If you want to use cliches, use them. If you want to see poetry as a symbol of life or death or~~heck~~gastrointestinal disease, feel free to do so. It's when the guiding voice within us gets drowned out by all the noise that we become what someone else wants us to be.

I'm curious. If you just shrug off critiques, why would you post on a forum like this which is critique and editing driven?

I'm curious as to what others may think of my work, but at the end of the day, I just read the criticism and go on with my day. I take both types of criticisms (positive and negative) with a grain of salt, thank those who commented for their time, and move on. What else can I do?
(12-06-2013, 08:24 PM)Simatong Wrote: [ -> ]
(12-06-2013, 08:14 PM)ellajam Wrote: [ -> ]
(12-06-2013, 06:35 PM)Simatong Wrote: [ -> ]I shrug when people critique my work. Sometimes the insights are flattering, and other times they're scathing. It's sometimes interesting to go from flattered to scathed in a matter of moments. While I admit that sometimes my ego is bruised by the criticism, at the end of the day I just shrug it off. Why? I write the poetry that I feel I should write. I write it the way my heart tells me to. While I would love for my poetry to reach someone's heart, if it doesn't, oh well. Write poetry for any gosh darn reason you see fit. If you want to use cliches, use them. If you want to see poetry as a symbol of life or death or~~heck~~gastrointestinal disease, feel free to do so. It's when the guiding voice within us gets drowned out by all the noise that we become what someone else wants us to be.

I'm curious. If you just shrug off critiques, why would you post on a forum like this which is critique and editing driven?

I'm curious as to what others may think of my work, but at the end of the day, I just read the criticism and go on with my day. I take both types of criticisms (positive and negative) with a grain of salt, thank those who commented for their time, and move on. What else can I do?

Thanks for the heads up, no reason to take the time for a line by line if a thumbs up or thumbs down will do.
(12-06-2013, 08:24 PM)Simatong Wrote: [ -> ]
(12-06-2013, 08:14 PM)ellajam Wrote: [ -> ]
(12-06-2013, 06:35 PM)Simatong Wrote: [ -> ]I shrug when people critique my work. Sometimes the insights are flattering, and other times they're scathing. It's sometimes interesting to go from flattered to scathed in a matter of moments. While I admit that sometimes my ego is bruised by the criticism, at the end of the day I just shrug it off. Why? I write the poetry that I feel I should write. I write it the way my heart tells me to. While I would love for my poetry to reach someone's heart, if it doesn't, oh well. Write poetry for any gosh darn reason you see fit. If you want to use cliches, use them. If you want to see poetry as a symbol of life or death or~~heck~~gastrointestinal disease, feel free to do so. It's when the guiding voice within us gets drowned out by all the noise that we become what someone else wants us to be.

I'm curious. If you just shrug off critiques, why would you post on a forum like this which is critique and editing driven?

I'm curious as to what others may think of my work, but at the end of the day, I just read the criticism and go on with my day. I take both types of criticisms (positive and negative) with a grain of salt, thank those who commented for their time, and move on. What else can I do?

Hello Simatong,

I think you miss a great opportunity to learn by just shrugging off critique! It's always valuable to try out ideas by others, even if you don't agree with them at first; you can always reject them afterwards. But by experimenting with ideas by others you usually come up with new ideas of yourself as well.

I don't think a poem is less "from the heart" when we use our brain as well by the way. Smile I feel that our job is to make the reader feel something, not to necessarily revel in our own feelings. And achieving that is in large part also a cerebral craft, honed by reworking and reworking and... Wink
(12-06-2013, 09:23 PM)jdvanwijk Wrote: [ -> ]
(12-06-2013, 08:24 PM)Simatong Wrote: [ -> ]
(12-06-2013, 08:14 PM)ellajam Wrote: [ -> ]I'm curious. If you just shrug off critiques, why would you post on a forum like this which is critique and editing driven?

I'm curious as to what others may think of my work, but at the end of the day, I just read the criticism and go on with my day. I take both types of criticisms (positive and negative) with a grain of salt, thank those who commented for their time, and move on. What else can I do?

Hello Simatong,

I think you miss a great opportunity to learn by just shrugging off critique! It's always valuable to try out ideas by others, you can always reject them afterwards. But by experimenting with ideas by others you usually come up with new ideas of yourself as well.

I don't think a poem is less "from the heart" when we use our brain as well by the way. Smile I feel that our job is to make the reader feel something, not to necessarily revel in our own feelings. And achieving that is in large part also a cerebral craft.
I agree that it can be a cerebral craft, but be it cerebral or emotive, it is still an extremely subjective thing. Already, I have written works that have gotten praise and scathing reviews on this forum. Some say they like the message behind the words, while others call it cliched. Two different people with differing views on one piece. Indeed, what sounds cliche to one might seem beautiful to another. Poetry is such a subjective thing that, even when taking in both positive and negative feedback, I find it best to analyze the analysis I receive, thank the person for their time, and then move on, seeing what else inspires me and what else can be seen in another's artistry. Anything other than that and I feel I would either become lost or turn my poetry in to something that reflects the work of another instead of what lies in my heart, and if a poet loses his own voice to the noise of the crowd, what does that say of his craft other than that it no longer exists as something individual?
You are writing poetry because millions of others before you have written poetry and given you something to work with. If you think that means you're an individual, then you are ignoring the legacy of those forerunners (and peers). Some might view that as intensely disrespectful.
(12-06-2013, 09:33 PM)Simatong Wrote: [ -> ]
(12-06-2013, 09:23 PM)jdvanwijk Wrote: [ -> ]
(12-06-2013, 08:24 PM)Simatong Wrote: [ -> ]I'm curious as to what others may think of my work, but at the end of the day, I just read the criticism and go on with my day. I take both types of criticisms (positive and negative) with a grain of salt, thank those who commented for their time, and move on. What else can I do?

Hello Simatong,

I think you miss a great opportunity to learn by just shrugging off critique! It's always valuable to try out ideas by others, you can always reject them afterwards. But by experimenting with ideas by others you usually come up with new ideas of yourself as well.

I don't think a poem is less "from the heart" when we use our brain as well by the way. Smile I feel that our job is to make the reader feel something, not to necessarily revel in our own feelings. And achieving that is in large part also a cerebral craft.
I agree that it can be a cerebral craft, but be it cerebral or emotive, it is still an extremely subjective thing. Already, I have written works that have gotten praise and scathing reviews on this forum. Some say they like the message behind the words, while others call it cliched. Two different people with differing views on one piece. Indeed, what sounds cliche to one might seem beautiful to another. Poetry is such a subjective thing that, even when taking in both positive and negative feedback, I find it best to analyze the analysis I receive, thank the person for their time, and then move on, seeing what else inspires me and what else can be seen in another's artistry. Anything other than that and I feel I would either become lost or turn my poetry in to something that reflects the work of another instead of what lies in my heart, and if a poet loses his own voice to the noise of the crowd, what does that say of his craft other than that it no longer exists as something individual?

Pardon the length but -

The Rules (by Dennis Hammes)

The Rules.

1. Make certain your readers understand that, with five billion
people on the planet, your feeling is perfectly unique. If your
poem does not say this, your explanatory prelude must.

2. Make certain your readers understand that, while the species
has been making arts for 27,000 years (that we know of), your
feeling has never before been experienced. If your poem does not
say this, your explanatory prelude must.

3. Make certain your readers understand that your feeling is both
too unique and too novel to be couched in the standard language of
any country or people. If your poem does not say this, your
explanatory prelude must.

4. Make certain your readers understand that, while you may
condescend to use their pathetic attempt at a language, you must
alter its spelling and punctuation according to the dictates of your
most-novel and -unique feeling. If your poem does not say this,
your explanatory prelude must.

5. Make certain your readers understand that their pathetic rules
concerning sound and form, and their effect on rhetorical period,
have nothing to do with the expression of your feeling, since your
feeling is so unique and novel as to be utterly unaffected by the
manner of delivery. If your poem does not say this, your
explanatory prelude must.

6. Make certain your readers understand that any who do not
understand the finer points of your feeling, including especially
that it unique and novel, is a troll. If your poem does not say
this, your explanatory prelude must.

7. Make certain your readers understand that your feeling is so
pure that any rules of language or techniques of poetry would only
sully it. If your poem does not say this, your explanatory prelude
must.

8. Make certain your readers understand that you, yourself, are
so unique and novel, but especially so pure, as to have no need of
any technique discovered by lesser masters. If your poem does not
say this, your explanatory prelude must.

9. Make certain your readers understand that nobody can read your
poem, or understand your unique and novel feeling, nor especially
its purity, without your personal intervention and help given in
several sessions to their pathetic inabilities to read their own
language. If your poem does not say this, your explanatory prelude
must.

10. Make certain your readers understand that your pure spirit
will be available eternally to help those pathetic trolls understand
your unique and novel feeling, and personally chastise those who
just don't get it. If your poem does not say this, you have endless
space on the internet to explain this at length, especially if your poem
can't.
Got to love those explanatory preludes (correct punctuation and spelling optional).
(12-07-2013, 06:19 AM)Leanne Wrote: [ -> ]Got to love those explanatory preludes (correct punctuation and spelling optional).

yah, Dennis had a thing for the explanatory preludes but what I like about them is, if you read them and you are not brain dead, you come the the inescapable conclusion that poetry is /not/ about splattering your unique ~feelings~ onto a page but about mastering a craft, one as difficult and worthy as any art, to the point that you can write about the 'commonality' of feelings in a way that reading about it is a rich experience.

Creativity - despite what you may think - is not about "doing what you want"
but about finding forms appropriate to your mode of expression. And -
honestly - there are plenty (and I mean PLENTY) of people writing "poems"
every day. There is no shortage of dabblers and do-nothings and future
Hallmark card writers. So I don't much care if someone is discouraged from
the task at hand, since anyone that easily deterred is not about to make the
lifelong committment poetry demands of its adherents.

dmh
(12-07-2013, 06:58 AM)milo Wrote: [ -> ]... lifelong commitment‎ poetry demands of its adherents.

Pretentious (and silly) statements, such the one above, are
the hallmark of dabblers and do-nothings and future Hallmark
card writers. That said, some of the very best writers around
were/are dabblers and do-nothings; and quite a few of them
weren't above making a few bucks writing text for cards
(e.g. Raymond Carver). Talk about understanding your audience... Smile

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