Pound vs. Eliot
#1
If we're going to speak in praise of modernist anti-semite poets - something as shameful to mention as it is to leave unmentioned, perhaps - I much prefer Pound to Eliot. Though I can't get all that much from the Cantos past the first one, Eliot's modernism was later and, if I can brave the notion, more post-modern than Ezra's. Pound's was a properly classical sensibility, one that, to my mind, rightly despaired of the forgetfulness of the classics. Per his own rhetoric, though, he might have done himself some good to study the same a little closer.

While this may be somewhat of a caricature, I think of Eliot as a poet who often thematized his own despair over this fact: that the Old Guard of a mythically pure ethnic, national and cultural identity had to be ultimately discarded. Calling himself a "metic", he frequently complained of his fragmented sense of identity as an immigrant to England. Pound, however, was a twisted genius for his naivete. He really and truly believed in the intellect's power to offer solutions to intractable human problems, on a grand, political scale, and refused to accede to any sort of pragmatic, mercantile cosmopolitanism.

It is easy to see this, in that he expatriated himself from his homeland with manic exuberance, all in the name of his own rigid, loopy, uncompromising ideals. Of course, he imagined these to be in accord with Antiquity, and some of them in fact were. This explains to me, at least in part, why he was such a daffy character -- and also, strangely, why some of his writing expresses the most sublime truths, surpassing even his own despairing moral corruption and corruptibility.

Incidentally, Pound related how suburban, pedestrian and stupid his own anti-semitism was towards the end of his life. The insight finally came to him, at some point, even though he was nearing death by then. Though he never took on the explicit role of a fascist radio propagandist, to my knowledge, Eliot never gave such a transparent confession.

Here's a favorite by Pound, Histrion:

No man hath dared to write this thing as yet,
And yet I know, how that the souls of all men great
At times pass athrough us,
And we are melted into them, and are not
Save reflexions of their souls.
Thus am I Dante for a space and am
One Francois Villon, ballad-lord and thief,
Or am such holy ones I may not write
Lest blasphemy be writ against my name;
This for an instant and the flame is gone.

'Tis as in midmost us there glows a sphere
Translucent, molten gold, that is the "I"
And into this some form projects itself:
Christus, or John, or eke the Florentine;
And as the clear space is not if a form's
Imposed thereon,
So cease we from all being for the time,
And these, the Masters of the Soul, live on.

If anyone finds my biographical gloss contentious, by all means, chime in.
#2
I can't argue because I agree. Eliot was a strong writer, but Pound is my favorite of the two.
#3

Hmm, let's see, the choice is between a fascist anti-semite and a plain
old anti-semite... Of course, that's a judgement of the person. If you
really meant 'the person Pound' vs 'the person Eliot' then I'd chose Eliot.

If you meant 'the poetry of Pound' vs 'the poetry of Eliot' then I'd judge
the individual work and not the politics/prejudice of the person. I'd only
include the politics/prejudice if they were indicated in the context of the
poem. And on the second question, I guess I'd choose Eliot; but only
because of his masterful book on practical cats. Anyone who writes
poetry about cats is clearly superior even if he isn't part of a master
race.

P.S. How much the poetry relates to the person is a great topic for
another thread. My own personal opinion is that a poem stands
separate from the writer. If anything, it is more a creature of the
reader.
almost terse
#4
Ray, good points all around. Smile However, with any kind of literature, barring things like surrealist automatic writing, the dichotomy between reader and writer is tenuous at best. I know Barthes' did a lot to argue that the reader is the one who really constitutes the meaning of a text, and had some compelling things to say. Even so, there evidently is such a thing as writerly mastery. The mere fact of revision demands that we see as much.

Maybe I'll have to give Eliot a more earnest and in depth go.
#5
'd read the poetry of Genghis if he wrote it and it was good shit, i'm not bothered what a poets leanings/callings are.
do we think any less or more if the Islamic or Christian etc.
you say;

If we're going to speak in praise of modernist anti-semite poets
i had no intention of doing such a thing :HUH:

but for discussion sake. i'd much prefer

If we're going to speak in praise of modernist poets

a poet is a poet is a poet, and while his experience may taint his poetry i'm fine with it. i can look at a poem and say "no, this poem disgusts me" and stop reading it. i'm not bothered about the soul or anything else of the poet, if i were i'd only read poetry from women with big tits and lots of money.
i take each poem at a time. i'm not really bother about the name of the poet who wrote it.

lets say hitler wrote a poem a really good poem but never signed it, could you stop loving the poem if you found out who the author was.

i don't listen to micheal jackson any more out of choice, but i won't deny he was a brilliant artist.
#6
(10-24-2013, 09:01 AM)jdeirmend Wrote:  Ray, good points all around. Smile However, with any kind of literature, barring things like surrealist automatic writing, the dichotomy between reader and writer is tenuous at best. I know Barthes' did a lot to argue that the reader is the one who really constitutes the meaning of a text, and had some compelling things to say. Even so, there evidently is such a thing as writerly mastery. The mere fact of revision demands that we see as much.

Maybe I'll have to give Eliot a more earnest and in depth go.

OMG, not as far as Barth. Smile
Remember that writers are readers of their own work, especially when revising.
More like:

"A poem is written first in its writer's language.
When you read it, you are translating it into your own language.
Which act requires more skill and creativity,
depends on the individual writer or reader."
- George Steiner (? not sure)



(10-24-2013, 09:14 AM)billy Wrote:  'd read the poetry of Genghis if he wrote it and it was good shit, i'm not bothered what a poets leanings/callings are.
...
a poet is a poet is a poet, and while his experience may taint his poetry i'm fine with it. i can look at a poem and say "no, this poem disgusts me" and stop reading it. i'm not bothered about the soul or anything else of the poet, if i were i'd only read poetry from women with big tits and lots of money.
...
lets say hitler wrote a poem a really good poem but never signed it, could you stop loving the poem if you found out who the author was.
...

Well said.
And that you said it using Genghis and tits and Hitler
is both poetically ironic and ironically poetic.

almost terse
#7
Pound did not think much of what he had written, nor need we. He was a self-publicist, like Tracey Emin, and is therefore famous. He thought that poetry could be divided up into sections, one of which, was that which cannot be lost in translation. The business of translation drives a coach and horses through M Barthes, and his ideas about the reader.

He was America's Lord Haw-Haw: that is all.
#8
Ray,

That was what I was trying to say to you, viz. writers being readers of their own work. But it clashes with the idea you previously presented, viz. the reader has more say as to what a given piece of writing means.

Abu,

Yeah, this thread is kind of stupid. Ray and Billy have already convinced me as much.

I only mentioned Barthes, though, to relate to Ray, ultimately, that "readerly authority" can be a bunch of hogwash.

And yet, I still maintain that there were some powerful glimmers of the good stuff that ran through some of Pound's work. Call me crazy, unrefined, or whatever you may.

Best,
James
#9
(10-25-2013, 12:04 AM)jdeirmend Wrote:  Ray,

That was what I was trying to say to you, viz. writers being readers of their own work. But it clashes with the idea you previously presented, viz. the reader has more say as to what a given piece of writing means.

Abu,

Yeah, this thread is kind of stupid. Ray and Billy have already convinced me as much.

I only mentioned Barthes, though, to relate to Ray, ultimately, that "readerly authority" can be a bunch of hogwash.

And yet, I still maintain that there were some powerful glimmers of the good stuff that ran through some of Pound's work. Call me crazy, unrefined, or whatever you may.

Best,
James

James,

Over the reader business, it would be plain silly to contradict the idea that when different people read the same thing, they may come away with different understandings. Let us take a bus time-table. We may miss an important asterisk, indicating the service we spend hours waiting for, runs only on Sundays. Or culture may do its worst. A younger generation of English people might imagine that ''9/11'' refers to the Ninth of November, because that I how we do dates. So, if over such brief things we may diverge, misconstrue, or what have you, it is only rational to suppose, that in any more lengthy text, even designed for clarity, 'misunderstandings' will rapidly grow exponentially, as the original reading will itself produce more and more divergences, even without taking into account the further 'misunderstandings' one would expect.

And yet. Although Pound is the worst example, as he was such a fraud, people do translate poems, and novels etc and these then become understood and loved in the new country. It always amazes me how many people rank Neruda as No1, so, however deficient, his translations must have got most of his meaning and essence across, or maybe added a little. This points more to poems having the ability to be sufficiently resilient, in the hands of a competent translator, to communicate a fixed meaning -- although of course the Barthes enthusiasts can say that the translator is just doing his best with what he understands, and then his readers begin all over. In other words, I think it is self-evident that no-one knows what anyone gets from anything, but it is likely to differ. That is no big deal. But the folly is to leave it at that, and pretend that clear communicate does not happen and is not possible. Your lap-top is made following instructions. You use instructions to operate it. de da de da . Smile

I am no expert on Pound, or Eliot either. I wonder how many poets really live, on more than a fistful of memorable lines?
#10
Abu, yes, I'm pretty familiar with the line of thought you present. The meaning of any text, after all, must be thought of as a tension between what the writer brings to it, as much as the reader. To try and collapse this tension in one direction or another destroys even the possibility of miscommunication or misunderstanding. The popular postmodern dictum, "all reading is misreading," is a patent self-contradiction.

With your closing remark, the process of influence is a strange beast. Why does one poet become more widely read than another? The processes that all dump into poetic influence, in both the occult and the practical sense of this idea, are so manifold as to be nearly incomprehensible, even for the most widely read of us.

Finally, it is easy to write any poet off as a fraud. Poetry is, in some profound sense, a hokey kind of business, literally playing around with words. Harder still to to see that every game has something in it worth giving loving and careful attention too.
“Poetry is mother-tongue of the human race; as gardening is older than agriculture; painting than writing; song than declamation; parables,—than deductions; barter,—than trade”

― Johann Hamann
#11
if i could follow what was being said i'd disagree with it on principle :J: and what about those of us not widely read?

i see pound and eliot being spoke of as though they are actually known. they're not known, while we may know a little about them; even a book or two even we don't them. to compare them as to the way they lived their lives or on the ideologies they carried is as futile as comparing an apple to a strawberry. wasn't george eliot a woman :HUH: (just pissing about wit that one) though some say she did like pussy as much as T.S. did. do either of them get praised as being post modern or as being poets? i really am floundering here,
#12
Billy,

Since we have here and there established that poetry can be anything, I can say that Pounds sucking up to Mussolini, praise of Hitler, and broadcasts against the Allies and for the Axis, to me, constitute rubbish poetry.


As to pretended knowledge of languages, feeding through to his ''poetry'', no, I don't care for that either, as of now. But who knows? I may come to love him and Lord Haw-Haw -- as poets, of course.

There were a great many people who decided -for personal reasons, of course --to fuck off to America in 1939, including Auden. In those cases, I may like their poetry despite their character; likewise with PG Wodehouse.
#13
Billy, like I said, this thread was kind of stupid. Kind of like Pound himself, by his own admission. It was really just an excuse to sing his praises on my part.

Even so, there is so much you can learn about a poet, I think, from simply reading one poem. When I first read Sestina: Altaforte, I knew I'd come across an author with whom I had some deep sympathy. Tell me you don't know something about Pound from reading this thing. If all you can glean is that he was a character, that is still quite a bit!

LOQUITUR: En Bertrans de Born.
Dante Alighieri put this man in hell for that he was a stirrer up of strife.
Eccovi!
Judge ye!
Have I dug him up again?
The scene is at his castle, Altaforte. "Papiols" is his jongleur. "The Leopard," the device of Richard Coeur de Lion.

I

Damn it all! all this our South stinks peace.
You whoreson dog, Papiols, come! Let's to music!
I have no life save when the swords clash.
But ah! when I see the standards gold, vair, purple, opposing
And the broad fields beneath them turn crimson,
Then howls my heart nigh mad with rejoicing.

II

In hot summer have I great rejoicing
When the tempests kill the earth's foul peace,
And the lightnings from black heav'n flash crimson,
And the fierce thunders roar me their music
And the winds shriek through the clouds mad, opposing,
And through all the riven skies God's swords clash.

III

Hell grant soon we hear again the swords clash!
And the shrill neighs of destriers in battle rejoicing,
Spiked breast to spiked breast opposing!
Better one hour's stour than a year's peace
With fat boards, bawds, wine and frail music!
Bah! there's no wine like the blood's crimson!

IV

And I love to see the sun rise blood-crimson.
And I watch his spears through the dark clash
And it fills all my heart with rejoicing
And pries wide my mouth with fast music
When I see him so scorn and defy peace,
His lone might 'gainst all darkness opposing.

V

The man who fears war and squats opposing
My words for stour, hath no blood of crimson
But is fit only to rot in womanish peace
Far from where worth's won and the swords clash
For the death of such sluts I go rejoicing;
Yea, I fill all the air with my music.

VI

Papiols, Papiols, to the music!
There's no sound like to swords swords opposing,
No cry like the battle's rejoicing
When our elbows and swords drip the crimson
And our charges 'gainst "The Leopard's" rush clash.
May God damn for ever all who cry "Peace!"

VII

And let the music of the swords make them crimson!
Hell grant soon we hear again the swords clash!
Hell blot black for always the thought "Peace!"
“Poetry is mother-tongue of the human race; as gardening is older than agriculture; painting than writing; song than declamation; parables,—than deductions; barter,—than trade”

― Johann Hamann
#14
Hmm... A little too rich for me, and with no obvious change of pace. Wiki has this, which I think contains much truth, especially on his provincial and ebullient nature.

''Beyond this, Pound's legacy is mixed. In 1922, the literary critic Edmund Wilson reviewed Pound's latest published volume of poetry, Poems 1918–21, and took the opportunity to provide an overview of his estimation of Pound as poet. In his essay on Pound, titled "Ezra Pound’s Patchwork", Wilson wrote:

Ezra Pound is really at heart a very boyish fellow and an incurable provincial. It is true that he was driven to Europe by a thirst for romance and color that he could scarcely have satisfied in America, but he took to Europe the simple faith and pure enthusiasm of his native Idaho. ... His sophistication is still juvenile, his ironies are still clumsy and obvious, he ridicules Americans in Europe not very much simpler than himself ...[109]

According to Wilson, the lines in Pound's poems stood isolated, with fragmentary wording contributing to poems that "do not hang together". Specifically citing Pound's first seven cantos, Wilson dubbed his writing "unsatisfactory". Wilson found the Cantos to be a disjointed compilation, its contents reflecting a too obvious reliance on the literary works of other authors whom Pound had read and an awkward use of Latin and Chinese translations as a device inserted among reminiscences of Pound's own life.[110]

Hugh Kenner wrote in 1951 that there was no great contemporary writer less read than Pound, though he added that there was also no one who could appeal more through "sheer beauty of language" to people who would rather talk about poets than read them.[111] ''

To give some balance, this appeared in the first issue of the Poetry Review,1912:

Poetry Review

Vol 1 No 1

January 1912



''CANZONI. By Ezra Pound. (Elkin Mathews. 3S. 6d.)

LET it be conceded at once, without cavil, that the authentic note of poetry sounds throughout this last book of Mr Ezra Pound’s. But is he the instrument, or is he the wind in the instrument? So much of his inspiration seems bookish, so much of his attraction lies in the vivid picturesqueness of his romance-besprinkled page. Look at his variegated record: In 1908 he published A Lume Spento, in the same year A Quinzaine for this Yule, then followed his Personae, his Exultations, largely reprints of the two preceding books, and now come his Canzoni. Then, if you run your eye over the pages of his books, you meet Latin and Mediaeval Latin, the “langue d’oc” and the “langue d’oil,” Dante’s Italian and modern Italian, Spanish, French, German, quaint (or queynt!) forgotten English; and, lastly, English. Yes, lastly English. So it is in this volume of Canzoni. If Mr Pound can find a foreign title to a poem, he will do so. Queer exotic hybridity! It would almost be true to say, also, that if Mr Pound can translate a poem, he will do so, rather than make one. He translates from Heine, Propertius, Dante, Pico della Mirandola, Joachim du Bellay, Leopardi; the bulk of the work in this book is not ostensibly translated, but it reads as though it were. Therefore, again, is Mr Pound the instrument, trumpeting the authentic note, or is he the wind in the instrument? You can state it both ways: either Mr Pound is the instrument, accredited with the keys, and attuned for the wind of the old songs and the old dreams, or his is the breath that, once more, gives to songs and dreams their ancient fullness. Whichever way you look at it, the note is the same, the true note of poetry, not as it is understood by the sixpenny dullness of weekly journalism, or in the literary dysentery of halfpenny newspapers - in neither can there be understanding, but as it is heard by the poet who takes the stars for his guide and the fairness of the earth to wife. The point to settle - though not here - is, has the singer of the Canzoni married . . . by proxy? Of course, criticism could not answer, crudely, yes or no. The question is much more complex than that.

Mr Pound will not have added much to his reputation with these Canzoni; but he will have strengthened it a great deal. Incidentally, he will have shown carpers at his form and rhythmical experiments that he, too, can, if he choose, write prettily in the regular metres. The important thing to say now, in this short review, is, that those who have the grace to and can spend money on modern poetry should buy this book. A wide experience of modern verse is behind that advice. '' Smile
#15
Abu,

Yes, he was quite a narrow-minded turd, wasn't he? Wink Though I'm not sure that ebullience needs to entail anything intrinsically undesirable about a person. Anyhow, I enjoyed the review you provided at the end. Altaforte, BTW, is to my mind poetic play and performance at its finest. Here is Pound attempting to imaginatively assume the perspective of a warlord, and it all comes out as this antiquarian, farcical, hysterical act.


(10-26-2013, 03:44 AM)abu nuwas Wrote:  Hmm... A little too rich for me, and with no obvious change of pace. Wiki has this, which I think contains much truth, especially on his provincial and ebullient nature.

''Beyond this, Pound's legacy is mixed. In 1922, the literary critic Edmund Wilson reviewed Pound's latest published volume of poetry, Poems 1918–21, and took the opportunity to provide an overview of his estimation of Pound as poet. In his essay on Pound, titled "Ezra Pound’s Patchwork", Wilson wrote:

Ezra Pound is really at heart a very boyish fellow and an incurable provincial. It is true that he was driven to Europe by a thirst for romance and color that he could scarcely have satisfied in America, but he took to Europe the simple faith and pure enthusiasm of his native Idaho. ... His sophistication is still juvenile, his ironies are still clumsy and obvious, he ridicules Americans in Europe not very much simpler than himself ...[109]

According to Wilson, the lines in Pound's poems stood isolated, with fragmentary wording contributing to poems that "do not hang together". Specifically citing Pound's first seven cantos, Wilson dubbed his writing "unsatisfactory". Wilson found the Cantos to be a disjointed compilation, its contents reflecting a too obvious reliance on the literary works of other authors whom Pound had read and an awkward use of Latin and Chinese translations as a device inserted among reminiscences of Pound's own life.[110]

Hugh Kenner wrote in 1951 that there was no great contemporary writer less read than Pound, though he added that there was also no one who could appeal more through "sheer beauty of language" to people who would rather talk about poets than read them.[111] ''

To give some balance, this appeared in the first issue of the Poetry Review,1912:

Poetry Review

Vol 1 No 1

January 1912



''CANZONI. By Ezra Pound. (Elkin Mathews. 3S. 6d.)

LET it be conceded at once, without cavil, that the authentic note of poetry sounds throughout this last book of Mr Ezra Pound’s. But is he the instrument, or is he the wind in the instrument? So much of his inspiration seems bookish, so much of his attraction lies in the vivid picturesqueness of his romance-besprinkled page. Look at his variegated record: In 1908 he published A Lume Spento, in the same year A Quinzaine for this Yule, then followed his Personae, his Exultations, largely reprints of the two preceding books, and now come his Canzoni. Then, if you run your eye over the pages of his books, you meet Latin and Mediaeval Latin, the “langue d’oc” and the “langue d’oil,” Dante’s Italian and modern Italian, Spanish, French, German, quaint (or queynt!) forgotten English; and, lastly, English. Yes, lastly English. So it is in this volume of Canzoni. If Mr Pound can find a foreign title to a poem, he will do so. Queer exotic hybridity! It would almost be true to say, also, that if Mr Pound can translate a poem, he will do so, rather than make one. He translates from Heine, Propertius, Dante, Pico della Mirandola, Joachim du Bellay, Leopardi; the bulk of the work in this book is not ostensibly translated, but it reads as though it were. Therefore, again, is Mr Pound the instrument, trumpeting the authentic note, or is he the wind in the instrument? You can state it both ways: either Mr Pound is the instrument, accredited with the keys, and attuned for the wind of the old songs and the old dreams, or his is the breath that, once more, gives to songs and dreams their ancient fullness. Whichever way you look at it, the note is the same, the true note of poetry, not as it is understood by the sixpenny dullness of weekly journalism, or in the literary dysentery of halfpenny newspapers - in neither can there be understanding, but as it is heard by the poet who takes the stars for his guide and the fairness of the earth to wife. The point to settle - though not here - is, has the singer of the Canzoni married . . . by proxy? Of course, criticism could not answer, crudely, yes or no. The question is much more complex than that.

Mr Pound will not have added much to his reputation with these Canzoni; but he will have strengthened it a great deal. Incidentally, he will have shown carpers at his form and rhythmical experiments that he, too, can, if he choose, write prettily in the regular metres. The important thing to say now, in this short review, is, that those who have the grace to and can spend money on modern poetry should buy this book. A wide experience of modern verse is behind that advice. '' Smile
“Poetry is mother-tongue of the human race; as gardening is older than agriculture; painting than writing; song than declamation; parables,—than deductions; barter,—than trade”

― Johann Hamann
#16
sorry but i never try and see the person behind the poem, and no, i never recognised pund through the poem you showed jdeirmend. theres three poets i could possibly recognise for an unknown poem of theirs (on my part) poe, kipling and shakespeare, after that i wouldn't have a clue. the sestina wasn't that impressive
#17
(10-26-2013, 09:59 AM)billy Wrote:  sorry but i never try and see the person behind the poem, and no, i never recognised pund through the poem you showed jdeirmend. theres three poets i could possibly recognise for an unknown poem of theirs (on my part) poe, kipling and shakespeare, after that i wouldn't have a clue. the sestina wasn't that impressive

Billy,

That is a perfectly respectable stance, and I am sure it is shared by Matron. But it no longer seems to me to be adequate. One may know nothing; it may be anonymous --that's the end of it. But otherwise -- poets, and all sorts of writers and artists, are inclined to refer to other works, or events that they know of, and such --and what or whom more, than themselves? Consciously or not, that is what they do. Were I to write a poem with 'I' as narrator, about a fictional crash at the Malaysian Grand Prix, something of me would squeeze out. More often than not, it is more direct, and you may as well know something of the guy's life, rather than get some sort of concordance. We speak about ourselves, because we are human, and poet and poems are inextricably entangled. Tomorrow, of course, I may have done a complete volte-face....Smile (all down my trousers)
#18
[quote='billy' pid='145211' dateline='1382749152']
sorry but i never try and see the person behind the poem, and no, i never recognised pund through the poem you showed jdeirmend.

Ok. Let's think through this. You claim to not recognize Pound through the poem I showed, and that is fine. In this sort of instance, there is some sense, after all, in which you have to know who you're looking for to find him. But to say that you can't recognize a certain sort of artistic disposition at work, on the other hand, would be absurd. Whatever you don't know about Pound, after reading Altaforte, it shouldn't take much to recognize at least a couple of things about him. If anything else, that he was either at least mildly crazy, had a very poignant sense of humor, or (most likely) perhaps a little bit of both.

Having read more than a couple of Pound's poems, however, Altaforte becomes, for me, that much more meaningful. Even more so after understanding some of the biographical details of Pond's life. There is of course a chance I am in error in the interpretive nuances that my hermeneutic, which can only be put together piecemeal, tend me towards. But there is also the chance in which the meaning I'm intuiting/imputing, along with its causes/sources, is sensible and well-founded.


theres three poets i could possibly recognise for an unknown poem of theirs (on my part) poe, kipling and shakespeare, after that i wouldn't have a clue. the sestina wasn't that impressive


That's also fine, but consider that this has as much to do with how much you've read any of those poets, as well as how much poetry and literature you've read in general. Certain meanings will always be unavailable to the uninitiated, and likewise, certain and questionable meanings will be unavailable to the initiated. Also note the logic of what you're saying. Just because you reckon its only possible for you to recognize an unknown poem from three poets you do know, does not at all entail that you cannot recognize something, however fleeting, tentative and incomplete, about any poet from reading a single poem he or she wrote - if only that the poet in question wrote the poem in question. Still, to come back to that first poem, after reading the poet in question's corpus, can either corroborate, dismantle, or augment one's initial impressions.

Further, I would invite you to consider that none of us on this message board are that good of readers, after all, relatively speaking. It takes a master like Bloom, for instance, to detect the contours of a reaction against predecessor poets, for instance, within the work of a given poet.

Whether or not the poem is impressive to you has as much to do, perhaps, with your general impression of me as anything. Even so, I can't help but remember a a wild night I've had, wherein I recited it in a half-drunken stupor, full of self-conscious and manly posturing to my friends. That one of them was full of himself and his own macho-ness to take it seriously and compliment me for the "new leaf I was turning" was enough to fill me with all kinds of joyous laughter, as much as I enjoyed acting the part of Bertrans. Anyone who takes this poem seriously would probably have to be psychotic, but when taken lightly and ironically, it exudes a comedy, for me, that is as beautiful as it is redemptive. [/b]
“Poetry is mother-tongue of the human race; as gardening is older than agriculture; painting than writing; song than declamation; parables,—than deductions; barter,—than trade”

― Johann Hamann
#19

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of shoes, I will
fear no bedevilment: for thou, supreme paw, art with me; thy claw
and thy pad, they comfort me in the presence of mine own socks,
as well as the socks of others, for YOU give unto me the power
to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the powers of falsifiers
and fabulists and nothing shall, by any means, aggrieve my humble
sentience for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever
and ever or at least to the extent that you correlate with shoe size.



And yes, Billy: I too, reserve the right to disagree with anything
on principle, especially the stuff that is utter rubbish because
the idiot writing it ignored my ignorance to the extent that I
couldn't make shoes or paws out of it though maybe there's
an exception when it comes to porker's ears.

almost terse
#20
(10-26-2013, 11:00 AM)abu nuwas Wrote:  
(10-26-2013, 09:59 AM)billy Wrote:  sorry but i never try and see the person behind the poem, and no, i never recognised pund through the poem you showed jdeirmend. theres three poets i could possibly recognise for an unknown poem of theirs (on my part) poe, kipling and shakespeare, after that i wouldn't have a clue. the sestina wasn't that impressive
Billy,

That is a perfectly respectable stance, and I am sure it is shared by Matron. But it no longer seems to me to be adequate. One may know nothing; it may be anonymous --that's the end of it. But otherwise -- poets, and all sorts of writers and artists, are inclined to refer to other works, or events that they know of, and such --and what or whom more, than themselves? Consciously or not, that is what they do. Were I to write a poem with 'I' as narrator, about a fictional crash at the Malaysian Grand Prix, something of me would squeeze out. More often than not, it is more direct, and you may as well know something of the guy's life, rather than get some sort of concordance. We speak about ourselves, because we are human, and poet and poems are inextricably entangled. Tomorrow, of course, I may have done a complete volte-face....Smile (all down my trousers)
i'm not saying i don't want to see or know what the poet knows, i just have no need top know plath or sexton topped themselves in order to see pain in their works, while i know what poets what poems wrote ( though not many) and i can sometimes reference a poem as being like one of poe's the raven or emily's (poem of choice here) i have no need of knowing if oscar was gay or imprisoned etc, it doesn't make reading goal any better the reading of. that the poet puts something of themselves is an expected isn't it, just as long it's not his name address and telephone number :J:

(10-26-2013, 12:11 PM)jdeirmend Wrote:  Ok. Let's think through this. You claim to not recognize Pound through the poem I showed, and that is fine. In this sort of instance, there is some sense, after all, in which you have to know who you're looking for to find him. But to say that you can't recognize a certain sort of artistic disposition at work, on the other hand, would be absurd. Whatever you don't know about Pound, after reading Altaforte, it shouldn't take much to recognize at least a couple of things about him. If anything else, that he was either at least mildly crazy, had a very poignant sense of humor, or (most likely) perhaps a little bit of both.
sorry but no i don't need to know a poet to recognise their style. despite what you or anyone else think you/they don't know pound. you see a style of writing, you read a review of what the work means or comes from but you don't know them. the same as i don't know you, no matter how many poems you write.

Quote:Having read more than a couple of Pound's poems, however, Altaforte becomes, for me, that much more meaningful. Even more so after understanding some of the biographical details of Pond's life. There is of course a chance I am in error in the interpretive nuances that my hermeneutic, which can only be put together piecemeal, tend me towards. But there is also the chance in which the meaning I'm intuiting/imputing, along with its causes/sources, is sensible and well-founded.
it may become meaningful to you. that does not mean you know pound. and again we don't understand any poets life apart from generalisations which cover most people and most profession.
here's a list of suicide numbers. (i'm guessing they went some kind of mental upheaval)
Food batchmakers (241)

Physicians (222) and health aides (excluding nursing) (221)

Lathe and turning machine operators (199)

Biological, life and medical scientists (188)

Social scientists and urban planners (171)

Dentists (165)

Lawyers and Judges (140)

Guards/sales occupations were tied at 139

Tool and die makers (126)

Police, public servants (118)

note that there are no professional poets HystericalHysterical

Quote:That's also fine, but consider that this has as much to do with how much you've read any of those poets, as well as how much poetry and literature you've read in general. Certain meanings will always be unavailable to the uninitiated, and likewise, certain and questionable meanings will be unavailable to the initiated. Also note the logic of what you're saying. Just because you reckon its only possible for you to recognize an unknown poem from three poets you do know, does not at all entail that you cannot recognize something, however fleeting, tentative and incomplete, about any poet from reading a single poem he or she wrote - if only that the poet in question wrote the poem in question. Still, to come back to that first poem, after reading the poet in question's corpus, can either corroborate, dismantle, or augment one's initial impressions.
first off, you have no idea what a person on here has or hasn't read, at one stage in my life i was reading up to 4 books a day. when i say the poets i'm not on about the poet but their style of writing. i take the poem as the poem, i don't after reading sit back and think...that guy was molested as a child, or that guy's a drunk. why sould I?

Quote:Further, I would invite you to consider that none of us on this message board are that good of readers, after all, relatively speaking. It takes a master like Bloom, for instance, to detect the contours of a reaction against predecessor poets, for instance, within the work of a given poet
another misconception, how can you say such a thing without knowing everyone here? I know of more than a couple who i would deem "good readers"

Quote:Whether or not the poem is impressive to you has as much to do, perhaps, with your general impression of me as anything. Even so, I can't help but remember a a wild night I've had, wherein I recited it in a half-drunken stupor, full of self-conscious and manly posturing to my friends. That one of them was full of himself and his own macho-ness to take it seriously and compliment me for the "new leaf I was turning" was enough to fill me with all kinds of joyous laughter, as much as I enjoyed acting the part of Bertrans. Anyone who takes this poem seriously would probably have to be psychotic, but when taken lightly and ironically, it exudes a comedy, for me, that is as beautiful as it is redemptive. [/b]
yes, i'm sure it it, but alas i'm not you. and i'm not him, i'm me and it's not that good a poem as far as i see it. you can't quantify feeling or what it is a reader sees. a good poem is a good poem irrespective of the poets sufferings or lack thereof. are we saying poems mean nothing if we don't see the poet in them. what about the lying poets i know i lie with my poetry. isn't the best poem the poem that everyone has an affinity with. ?




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