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i see those new to poetry feel so badly for them. i know poetry is still very hard for me to write. i see the leanne's and the milo's of the world and wonder how much effort they must have put into the learning of the thing.
i never realised how much work i would have to do in order to be one of the mediocre poets. i think my excuse is memory, i just find it impossible to remember all the things about grammar, punctuation and poetic devices. it seems there's so many fuckin' rules that have to be followed.

i understand why they have to be followed i just struggle remember them in the first place, and then meter cropped up and wiped it's ugly face across my arse. since learning a very small amount about meter it seems an iamb is not always the iamb i thought it was, sneaky little bastard can be something else.

i've always said i love seeing newb poets works because in them i see the biggest improvement. many come to the poetryfest at a young age with a good capacity to remember what they learn. the ones that try and learn are the ones who i see the biggest difference in. these are the sort who start churning out original well thought out and edited poetry. i envy and admire them so much.

Keith our mod is one such person who actually grew before my very eyes in poetic stature. not sure if he's old or young but he really did grow. so did some others over time.

many just left, they didn't, it seemed want to learn. i often wonder how they're doing.

not sure why i wrote this post except to say it was after reading lorretta's wolf poem. it reminded me of my own poetry, though i haven't improved in a huge way, i have improved.
do i have a question? i suppose not, i'm just rambling if i had to ask a question it would be;

does learning the craft of poetry calm the inner beast or stir it up.

i think my answer is somewhere above
I don't think there's an answer (and I'm not entirely sure there's a question). For me, there's nothing like new possibilities -- for a few years it seemed like everywhere I looked I'd run across a new form or a fresh philosophy that made me re-evaluate poetry. That freshness is something I miss terribly. Although I will never know all there is to know about poetry, I know enough now that it doesn't take much for me to pick up something new. When I read something that's expressed in a way that I'd never thought of, I'm ridiculously excited -- it just doesn't happen very often anymore.

And nothing compares to the excitement I feel when a new poet accepts criticism and uses it to improve, then takes his/her newfound knowledge and passes it on to someone else. Every time this happens, the entire body of poetry is being renewed and it reminds me why I love this kind of writing above all others.
i wonder what perspective a new poet would have on the subject?
you could have just said "shut up you old bitch and let other people speak", you know... :p
I'm one of those people caught up in the excitement of learning new techniques. Even though I'm old, I have never edited before and have no formal education, so it's all new to me, I've watched endless Shakespeare and never wondered what an iamb was. I'm having a ball.

Sometimes I get frustrated by not being able to channel the poetry I was writing before through the new forms I'm learning, right now my old style which used to come easily is difficult. I'm in that awkward stage. Smile I'm writing a lot of bad poetry but it's fun so I don't care, and I can work on it to at least take it as far as it can go.

The pigpen dilemma: One member who I really respect says "This may be the best piece you've posted," another member who I really respect says "There is so much wrong here it may not even be salvageable." I'm beating my head against one of those at the moment, trying to remember that I can always go back after I wreck it, but it's interesting to look at it from the critic's eye.

It's an odd hobby with very little to show at the end, but it's mine. Big Grin

And yes, Keith posted some amazing pieces in NaPM, consistently interesting, a standout. And billy, I've read some fine pieces you've posted here. I've read a lot of the practice threads where you weren't overly concerned with perfection and you were playing within the forms. You came up with some great stuff. There are posters here with skills you and I will never have the time or brain to develop, that doesn't mean we can't write a load of shit, some of which will somehow be good.Hysterical
(05-19-2014, 12:01 PM)billy Wrote: [ -> ]...
does learning the craft of poetry calm the inner beast or stir it up?
...
oops, posted wrong again. anyway...

good stir, bad stir, good stir, bad stir, etc. (calm may or may not come later).

1 I overhear someone talking on the radio and get this 'great' idea.
2 I try to write to it. It turns to mush. I throw it into my 'bone pile' folder.
3 I am not feeling inspired, but Iwant to write something. I look in the bone pile
    and 2 has somehow transformed itself into 'interesting'. I try to edit it.
4 2's mush turns into 4's morass.
5 Back it goes, into the bone pile.
6 I overhear someone talking at a restaurant and I go through steps 2. through 5. Again.

7 But every once in a while it works and I feel I've made something beautiful
    (even if only to myself) and I am THRILLED.
8 While thrilled I see that 1 through 5 are but parts of a wonderful journey.

9 The thrill subsides and 1 through 5 are back to being tools of the devil.

10. But still... Smile


I'll work on poetry later in life. I need to understand myself better, who I am as a person. Poetry is an exact science like engineerng, and isn't meant for self-insight; it's meant for sharing these personal revelations after you have everything together.
Poetry is extremely difficult and can even be frustrating at times, but I think that's the attraction. We are all too stubborn to give up and we love the challenges. There's always something to learn, to improve on, and to experiment with.
Too stubborn, too stupid, it's a grey area.

But thank heavens for something new; life would be terribly dull without that spark.
we all have our own ideas as to what poetry is but that's an aside really.
ray posted the follow (i amended the first 2 lines to suite me) but he more or less is in my head and i don't like it. i'm not as capable of writing poetry as well crafted as he is but i use the same mechanics. i find poetry extremely easy to write, though good poetry i do find particularly hard to achieve. i haven't written any for a while but there's a change a comin'. like ella i get excited when i think i've done a decent piece or i get a few good bits of feedback. we all like different things in life poetry is no different. what i like someone else will hate. i aim for a majority one way or the other. but the writing part is flippin' hard


(05-21-2014, 10:43 AM)rayheinrich Wrote: [ -> ]oops, posted wrong again. anyway...

good stir, bad stir, good stir, bad stir, etc. (calm may or may not come later).

altered 1 Ii think of something while taking a dump or having a bath (never both at the same time) or falling asleep
altered 2 I try to remember what it was and try to write it. It turns to mush. I throw it into my 'bone pile' folder.
3 I am not feeling inspired, but I want to write something. I look in the bone pile
    and 2 has somehow transformed itself into 'interesting'. I try to edit it.
4 2's mush turns into 4's morass.
5 Back it goes, into the bone pile.
6 I overhear someone talking at a restaurant and I go through steps 2. through 5. Again.

7 But every once in a while it works and I feel I've made something beautiful
    (even if only to myself) and I am THRILLED.
8 While thrilled I see that 1 through 5 are but parts of a wonderful journey.

9 The thrill subsides and 1 through 5 are back to being tools of the devil.

10. But still... Smile


(05-23-2014, 05:07 PM)billy Wrote: [ -> ]...
1 I think of something while taking a dump or having a bath (never both at the same time) or falling asleep
2 I try to remember what it was and try to write it. It turns to mush. ...

Yes, you're righter. Poetry's flower oft has prosaic roots.

(Writing on toilet paper is damn hard, but it must be done.)

my main problem is this, i don't carry a pen or pad with me and i never save stuff via text on a phone.
so i think of a great line and later when i come to use it i can only remember one word of thing i wanted to remember. i'm just not a stuff in pocket person, all i carry is a phone (for making phone calls) a wallet and my keys if i'm driving.
addy on the other hand as the memory of a slinky.
I agree, it is damn difficult. I think Ray's insight is something we all have our own version of, my main problem is the application of the basic techniques I am at best hit and miss, and at worst bumpier than a three wheeler on a farm track. What I am saying and what I believe is that great poetry only appears when the technical meets the spark. And those that can master both become consistently good and sometimes great. Leanne mentions freshness and for me that is what makes it so damn difficult to write poetry.
(05-19-2014, 12:01 PM)billy Wrote: [ -> ]i see those new to poetry feel so badly for them. i know poetry is still very hard for me to write. i see the leanne's and the milo's of the world and wonder how much effort they must have put into the learning of the thing.
i never realised how much work i would have to do in order to be one of the mediocre poets. i think my excuse is memory, i just find it impossible to remember all the things about grammar, punctuation and poetic devices. it seems there's so many fuckin' rules that have to be followed.

i understand why they have to be followed i just struggle remember them in the first place, and then meter cropped up and wiped it's ugly face across my arse. since learning a very small amount about meter it seems an iamb is not always the iamb i thought it was, sneaky little bastard can be something else.

i've always said i love seeing newb poets works because in them i see the biggest improvement. many come to the poetryfest at a young age with a good capacity to remember what they learn. the ones that try and learn are the ones who i see the biggest difference in. these are the sort who start churning out original well thought out and edited poetry. i envy and admire them so much.

Keith our mod is one such person who actually grew before my very eyes in poetic stature. not sure if he's old or young but he really did grow. so did some others over time.

many just left, they didn't, it seemed want to learn. i often wonder how they're doing.

not sure why i wrote this post except to say it was after reading lorretta's wolf poem. it reminded me of my own poetry, though i haven't improved in a huge way, i have improved.
do i have a question? i suppose not, i'm just rambling if i had to ask a question it would be;

does learning the craft of poetry calm the inner beast or stir it up.

i think my answer is somewhere above
[/quote]

Hi Billy: It is much harder than I thought it would be; calm the inner beast; not for me; I can't tell you how many days that wolf was in my head no matter what else I had to do. As ellajam, I am completely uneducated in writing. Yes, Billy, I like to rhyme; I have intense love of music and the rhyme gives me a rhythm, it's like a different language; making words sing. The rules; meter, dactyls, all that stuff confusing for us new ones, and for me, if it doesn't sound right; the rules don't mean much. Talking about the wolf; I tried to make all the changes that would make it a real poem, I thought I made those changes, mostly, but for sound, and reading I like the original better; for sound; even though I understand the criticism; and that is another dilemma; must we be right to be poetic; or do we have some license here. Good question billy. Loretta
(05-25-2014, 12:15 PM)LorettaYoung Wrote: [ -> ]Hi Billy: It is much harder than I thought it would be; calm the inner beast; not for me; I can't tell you how many days that wolf was in my head no matter what else I had to do. As ellajam, I am completely uneducated in writing. Yes, Billy, I like to rhyme; I have intense love of music and the rhyme gives me a rhythm, it's like a different language; making words sing. The rules; meter, dactyls, all that stuff confusing for us new ones, and for me, if it doesn't sound right; the rules don't mean much. Talking about the wolf; I tried to make all the changes that would make it a real poem, I thought I made those changes, mostly, but for sound, and reading I like the original better; for sound; even though I understand the criticism; and that is another dilemma; must we be right to be poetic; or do we have some license here. Good question billy. Loretta

This has happened to me too, editing is a skill I am just learning. Sometimes I need to throw out all the edits and go back to the original and start again, making fewer and more gentle changes. The insight I gained in all those attempts to implement suggestions stays with me; I know my own poem better and can sometimes make better and more subtle choices the second time around.
hi lorretta, many of us have little formal education as afr as poetry is concerned.
we can write how we want to write. we can rhyme or not rhyme. i wouldn't overly worry about the meter, just attend to it as it rears it's ugly beautiful head. same with other things. just try not dismiss feedback out of hand, in time you'll come to see that a lot of sense has been said. don't confuse poetic license with bad writing Big Grin it's an easy thing for those new to poetry to do. (i used to do it a lot) and remember while we can use all the poetic license we wish, the reader is allowed to tell us if they think it works or not, should many of them say it does, or doesn't it worth thinking about
(05-25-2014, 12:15 PM)LorettaYoung Wrote: [ -> ]Hi Billy: It is much harder than I thought it would be; calm the inner beast; not for me; I can't tell you how many days that wolf was in my head no matter what else I had to do. As ellajam, I am completely uneducated in writing. Yes, Billy, I like to rhyme; I have intense love of music and the rhyme gives me a rhythm, it's like a different language; making words sing. The rules; meter, dactyls, all that stuff confusing for us new ones, and for me, if it doesn't sound right; the rules don't mean much. Talking about the wolf; I tried to make all the changes that would make it a real poem, I thought I made those changes, mostly, but for sound, and reading I like the original better; for sound; even though I understand the criticism; and that is another dilemma; must we be right to be poetic; or do we have some license here. Good question billy. Loretta
I think what's helped me the most is to assume almost all poetry that I write is bad. This removes the pressure to write perfectly. I also think reading poems that really move you, and asking yourself critically how the writer did certain things (i.e., why this line break, why this image) really helps. You can then try similar technique in your own work. If you like to write formally read good formal poetry. If you like free verse do the same. Eventually, you'll probably see the value of both. Writing poetry is hard, but its something you do over a lifetime. Make writing better the goal year over year, not publishing or acclaim and you'll probably drive yourself less crazy in the process.
(05-25-2014, 09:13 PM)Todd Wrote: [ -> ]I think what's helped me the most is to assume almost all poetry that I write is bad. This removes the pressure to write perfectly.

Yes. But don't call it bad, call it "first draft". But you're right, removing the pressure,
not getting bogged down in details, is important. The first write should be as voluminous
and carefree as possible. I try not to stop to decide which of two ways sounds best, I just
write them both down. Same with trying to find the right word, rhyme, rhythm, phrasing etc.
I use a * so I won't worry about missing whatever it is and continue following the idea even if
I've forgotten it. The resulting mess needs a lot more editing; but luckily, there's a lot more to edit. Smile

I am very impressed with the comments on this thread. Leanne's first post was especially inspiring. I am so happy to have found this forum even if a little intimidated. I'm almost more nervous to post a poor criticism than a poor poem. Ha ha. But I like the change in paradigm. As a Newbie, it's thrilling to see that more seasoned artists are reading new work, and giving honest criticism. Thank you all in advance for helping me improve.
crits are easier than poems, all you have to do with crit is tell the truth without being hurtful. poetry is seldom that straight forward Big Grin
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