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..wrote Ovid. Was he right?

It comes from the 'Tristia'. It is translated as 'Poetry comes fine-spun from a calm mind'. He goes on to moan about his misfortune, having been exiled to, I think, Trieste, in the Empire, but away from Rome. He more or less grovels to be pardoned in the following verses, but forget that. There seem to be a few tortured souls around, and one does not need to look far in the past for more tortured souls. But do people write their best when they are not going through such a phase?

No need for well-known cutties, like Leanne, to respond: the tired, hackneyed, trite, cliché, passé, rechauffé, vieux jeu comments are already known.

(PS Not bitter at all that she has eschewed the opportunity to meet in favour of Scotland)

Smile
"Poetry is the spontaneous overflowing of
powerful emotions, reflected in tranquillity. And no
one can be said to have had a powerful emotion,
save that he had also thought long and deeply."

-Wordsworth

I believe they are both saying the same thing. Poetry is inspired by the "un-calm", the eventful, the emotionally charged but it is the careful crafting of words produced by a sober mind that channels these into poetry. Hence, poetry is produced (or fine spun, i suppose) from a calm mind.
Well, there are degrees of a calm mind. There have been times in my life when it was enough to see an image, imagine an interpretation of it and I had no need to actually produce anything: Calm mind, no art. There were years when I amused myself making up poems in my head with no desire to write them down, no art. It's the communication that makes it art, without that need to communicate, no art. I still made stuff, I craved crafts more concrete than words and pictures.

During times when my mind was more stressed out, it could go either way, produce or not produce, it varied.

Right now my mind is a strange combo of calm and hypersensitivity. Valuing words over something more utile is a surprise to me. I don't expect a masterpiece, I'm just amusing myself.

So to answer your question, I don't have a clue. Big Grin
I'm sure art comes out of all sorts of things, variable for each person and each state of mind.
(05-29-2014, 06:08 AM)milo Wrote: [ -> ]"Poetry is the spontaneous overflowing of
powerful emotions, reflected in tranquillity. And no
one can be said to have had a powerful emotion,
save that he had also thought long and deeply."

-Wordsworth

I believe they are both saying the same thing. Poetry is inspired by the "un-calm", the eventful, the emotionally charged but it is the careful crafting of words produced by a sober mind that channels these into poetry. Hence, poetry is produced (or fine spun, i suppose) from a calm mind.

I agree, absolutely. V difficult to produce anything requiring skill, in a state of semi-hysteria. V unlikely to produce much of interest if one's life has been like a lump of dough. I wish I could quote stuff like that at the drop of a hat! Wink

(05-29-2014, 06:12 AM)ellajam Wrote: [ -> ]Well, there are degrees of a calm mind. There have been times in my life when it was enough to see an image, imagine an interpretation of it and I had no need to actually produce anything: Calm mind, no art. There were years when I amused myself making up poems in my head with no desire to write them down, no art. It's the communication that makes it art, without that need to communicate, no art. I still made stuff, I craved crafts more concrete than words and pictures.

During times when my mind was more stressed out, it could go either way, produce or not produce, it varied.

Right now my mind is a strange combo of calm and hypersensitivity. Valuing words over something more utile is a surprise to me. I don't expect a masterpiece, I'm just amusing myself.

So to answer your question, I don't have a clue. Big Grin
I'm sure art comes out of all sorts of things, variable for each person and each state of mind.

Good luck with the calm hypersensitivity! Though if you mean in physical terms-- there is no real contradiction, I suppose.

I think Milo's quote rather finishes my topic! I am too ignorant to know who wrote what when, in terms of the ups and downs. The great French poet, crowned 'Prince des Poetes', Paul Verlaine certainly had ups and downs, and in the paper the day after his funeral, someone wrote that without the things he was always repenting (and repeating) he would not have produced the 'slim volume' 'Sagesse'.

That same writer sought to highlight Verlaine's problems with another quote from Ovid: Meliora video proboque; deteriora sequor' (I see and approve the better things, but follow the worse). It was a true bon mot! Smile Now, where's my 'green fairy'?
(05-29-2014, 06:27 AM)abu nuwas Wrote: [ -> ]
(05-29-2014, 06:08 AM)milo Wrote: [ -> ]"Poetry is the spontaneous overflowing of
powerful emotions, reflected in tranquillity. And no
one can be said to have had a powerful emotion,
save that he had also thought long and deeply."

-Wordsworth

I believe they are both saying the same thing. Poetry is inspired by the "un-calm", the eventful, the emotionally charged but it is the careful crafting of words produced by a sober mind that channels these into poetry. Hence, poetry is produced (or fine spun, i suppose) from a calm mind.

I agree, absolutely. V difficult to produce anything requiring skill, in a state of semi-hysteria. V unlikely to produce much of interest if one's life has been like a lump of dough. I wish I could quote stuff like that at the drop of a hat! Wink


I would think the Ovid quote should reasonably impress.
(05-29-2014, 07:08 AM)milo Wrote: [ -> ]
(05-29-2014, 06:27 AM)abu nuwas Wrote: [ -> ]
(05-29-2014, 06:08 AM)milo Wrote: [ -> ]"Poetry is the spontaneous overflowing of
powerful emotions, reflected in tranquillity. And no
one can be said to have had a powerful emotion,
save that he had also thought long and deeply."

-Wordsworth

I believe they are both saying the same thing. Poetry is inspired by the "un-calm", the eventful, the emotionally charged but it is the careful crafting of words produced by a sober mind that channels these into poetry. Hence, poetry is produced (or fine spun, i suppose) from a calm mind.

I agree, absolutely. V difficult to produce anything requiring skill, in a state of semi-hysteria. V unlikely to produce much of interest if one's life has been like a lump of dough. I wish I could quote stuff like that at the drop of a hat! Wink


I would think the Ovid quote should reasonably impress.

Though not entirely antipasto I believe that we all make our own contributions to the maximum of of our ability whether we realise this or not. I am always charmed and encouraged by the maxim (anon) that states:
"If a man has been a herder of goats all his life and you give him LSD he will hallucinate about goats".
Isn't that just the way of it?
Best,
tectak
(05-29-2014, 07:25 AM)tectak Wrote: [ -> ]
(05-29-2014, 07:08 AM)milo Wrote: [ -> ]
(05-29-2014, 06:27 AM)abu nuwas Wrote: [ -> ]I agree, absolutely. V difficult to produce anything requiring skill, in a state of semi-hysteria. V unlikely to produce much of interest if one's life has been like a lump of dough. I wish I could quote stuff like that at the drop of a hat! Wink


I would think the Ovid quote should reasonably impress.

Though not entirely antipasto I believe that we all make our own contributions to the maximum of of our ability whether we realise this or not. I am always charmed and encouraged by the maxim (anon) that states:
"If a man has been a herder of goats all his life and you give him LSD he will hallucinate about goats".
Isn't that just the way of it?
Best,
tectak

(05-29-2014, 06:12 AM)ellajam Wrote: [ -> ]Well, there are degrees of a calm mind. There have been times in my life when it was enough to see an image, imagine an interpretation of it and I had no need to actually produce anything: Calm mind, no art. There were years when I amused myself making up poems in my head with no desire to write them down, no art. It's the communication that makes it art, without that need to communicate, no art. I still made stuff, I craved crafts more concrete than words and pictures.

During times when my mind was more stressed out, it could go either way, produce or not produce, it varied.

Right now my mind is a strange combo of calm and hypersensitivity. Valuing words over something more utile is a surprise to me. I don't expect a masterpiece, I'm just amusing myself.

So to answer your question, I don't have a clue. Big Grin
I'm sure art comes out of all sorts of things, variable for each person and each state of mind.

I am learning this to be very important; not only do we need this calm to write and think; but to learn technicalities of form; the process of conforming an overly imaginative or emotive mind to concentration would take practice.
I really appreciate and need this message; but I'm sure I would not hallucinate about my job! Thanks, Loretta
(05-29-2014, 07:25 AM)tectak Wrote: [ -> ]
(05-29-2014, 07:08 AM)milo Wrote: [ -> ]
(05-29-2014, 06:27 AM)abu nuwas Wrote: [ -> ]I agree, absolutely. V difficult to produce anything requiring skill, in a state of semi-hysteria. V unlikely to produce much of interest if one's life has been like a lump of dough. I wish I could quote stuff like that at the drop of a hat! Wink


I would think the Ovid quote should reasonably impress.

Though not entirely antipasto I believe that we all make our own contributions to the maximum of of our ability whether we realise this or not. I am always charmed and encouraged by the maxim (anon) that states:
"If a man has been a herder of goats all his life and you give him LSD he will hallucinate about goats".
Isn't that just the way of it?
Best,
tectak

How does every discussion always turn to LSD and goats?
There has to be some control. Really that's all. The mind doesn't have to be calm. There can be emotional things going on in one's life and mind. But the poet must have control, be rational, and be able to view their work through a critical eye. For some people to do this they need to take time and reflect, sometimes a long time. Some people turn to rational thought, system building, and the technical and mundane as a defense mechanism during times of heightened and acute emotional stress. Everybody's the same but different.

As for me, I just write when I can. I can choose to be calm. I can't always write, least of all well, but when I can--especially if I want to, or have an idea for a poem--I write. I edit later if there's anything worth keeping.
Enigma,

Bravo for getting past the goats....I couldn't! And bravo also for the idea that a bit of emotive stuff (I paraphrase) might produce the beginnings, or outline, or rough draft, but a cooler head might knock it into shape....kind of like, well, work-shopping, but being oneself one's own severest critic. The Romans weren't averse to a bit of collaboration, either: Sallust was so enamoured of rare or archaic expressions, that he had a mate running around collecting them. An early me, really....Wink


Loretta,

Lucky you! I often thought my job was driving me nuts...... but then, I spent my days dealing with people who were...er...suffering from mental disorder....... It did not strike me previously, but I suppose the lesson Ovid teaches, is that the raw feelings which people often begin by thinking will produce master-pieces, are, in truth, only brought out, through the Narrow Way of the technicalities etc you mention. Raw feeling is not lessened, but heightened, by being expressed well, in other words. Cripes, I learn with every response! Maybe I'll have a go myself one day.....Wink

(05-29-2014, 10:45 AM)milo Wrote: [ -> ]
(05-29-2014, 07:25 AM)tectak Wrote: [ -> ][quote='milo' pid='165918' dateline='1401314907']

I would think the Ovid quote should reasonably impress.

Though not entirely antipasto I believe that we all make our own contributions to the maximum of of our ability whether we realise this or not. I am always charmed and encouraged by the maxim (anon) that states:
"If a man has been a herder of goats all his life and you give him LSD he will hallucinate about goats".
Isn't that just the way of it?
Best,
tectak
[/quo

How does every discussion always turn to LSD and goats?

Better than guns and God....Wink
[Image: calmmind.jpg]
Oh no! What have I done!

just mercedes

(06-02-2014, 12:30 AM)abu nuwas Wrote: [ -> ]Oh no! What have I done!


It's the God-win theory! Hysterical
If it's true that a calm mind is needed to write poetry, then that may explain the difficulties of writing in this fast paced world in which we live in.
i agree, it would be hard to write about white water rafting while doing the deed. or lovemaking while on the job, unless it was about a particular boring act of sex

(05-29-2014, 06:08 AM)milo Wrote: [ -> ]"Poetry is the spontaneous overflowing of
powerful emotions, reflected in tranquillity. And no
one can be said to have had a powerful emotion,
save that he had also thought long and deeply."

-Wordsworth

I believe they are both saying the same thing. Poetry is inspired by the "un-calm", the eventful, the emotionally charged but it is the careful crafting of words produced by a sober mind that channels these into poetry. Hence, poetry is produced (or fine spun, i suppose) from a calm mind.

though it would be best to write it soon afterwards when the heart is beating that bit faster. edits are something most poets do, that's when the real calm should take over


The House Was Quiet and the World Was Calm
- Wallace Stevens

The house was quiet and the world was calm.
The reader became the book; and summer night

Was like the conscious being of the book.
The house was quiet and the world was calm.

The words were spoken as if there was no book,
Except that the reader leaned above the page,

Wanted to lean, wanted much most to be
The scholar to whom his book is true, to whom

The summer night is like a perfection of thought.
The house was quiet because it had to be.

The quiet was part of the meaning, part of the mind:
The access of perfection to the page.

The world was calm. The truth in a calm world,
In which there is no other meaning, itself

Is calm, itself is summer and night, itself
Is the reader leaning late and reading there.



I write my best poetry when I'm in a near-psychotic state of panic or pain. Then I must go back over them and attempt to remove the obscure with a calm eye later. It doesn't always happen as I plan it.

I'm pretty sure if I had LSD I wouldn't hallucinate about nursing. Years ago in the music years I took LSD once and all I did was watch a fly flying around above my head. After about 10 hours I killed it...then cried when it died.

There is probably a poem in that somewhere.

bena/mayor of benaville/pop. 1
I know the worst time to write love poetry is when you are in love, that the worst religious poetry is written by fanatics. I'm sure Ovid had run across these types. Poetry does not spring from emotion, but inspiration.

dale the perspired