Knowledgeable
#1
is it something we have to be when writing about a specific subject. i bring this topic up because of a few posts in one of the poetry forums. can we skirt issues and happenstance, if we do, does it weaken a poem. i'm sure this topic has been done to a tee before but it must have been a fair while ago. i believe we can use our vivid imagination and should do so when writing poetry. but certain style i think requires that piece of information that stamps out "this poem is about something i have knowledge of".

so thought s and dismemberments please.
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#2
Billy, there are so many potential topics I think just having an interest would be important. Style also plays a part, and so does intent. For example, if I wanted to write an authoritative prose piece about baking a cake from scratch, then I better know what I'm talking about. However, if I'm fascinated by Calder mobiles I could probably form a decently appreciative piece without knowing anything about the inherent physics involved or who Alexander Calder was.

I think sometimes it might be more difficult for readers to appreciate a topic they don't recognize or connect with. We should all try to keep in mind that just because we don't
immediately recognize something does not automatically mean the piece has no merit.

Personally, I like to learn about things I didn't know existed Smile

Please don't dismember me, I'm rather fond of my appendages :p
PS. If you can, try your hand at giving some of the others a bit of feedback. If you already have, thanks, can you do some more?
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#3
i agree with all you say. i just feel that if i write about Charlemagne, i should at least know something about him. if i write about a person place or topic such as child birth, drugs and losing my virginity i need to know something about it, depending on the POV. i could write about losing my virginity from the POV of being a virgin in which case i surmise what i'd feel (i feel all nostalgic) my point is, if i write as though it's being done by an aficionado shouldn't it at least bear some kind knowledgeable input?
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#4
Yes. Absolutely.

What threads should I be looking at?
PS. If you can, try your hand at giving some of the others a bit of feedback. If you already have, thanks, can you do some more?
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#5
a quick two cents:

poetry usually takes me on a bit of research when I'm writing. a lot of times, I wikipedia and google/ ask other people about my topic to learn a bit more and add depth to what i'm working with. even if not everything can be used, I usually am able to at least get one word from the outside work.

I remember listening to an author speak about a book she had written about firefighters. She knew little about them in actuality, so she decided to spend some time with fireman, talk to them, read some things, etc. to help create a vivid experience.

It seems like the question is more along the lines of whether or not a person is willing to bridge any gaps they may have while writing, not of they have the answers from the onset. In fact, knowing all of the details at the beginning may hurt creativity (you already know how the story ends in a way. it's hard to break from fact/ what you do know).
Written only for you to consider.
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#6
(06-19-2012, 12:51 PM)Aish Wrote:  Yes. Absolutely.

What threads should I be looking at?
that would be telling Big Grin

(06-19-2012, 01:50 PM)Philatone Wrote:  a quick two cents:

poetry usually takes me on a bit of research when I'm writing. a lot of times, I wikipedia and google/ ask other people about my topic to learn a bit more and add depth to what i'm working with. even if not everything can be used, I usually am able to at least get one word from the outside work.

I remember listening to an author speak about a book she had written about firefighters. She knew little about them in actuality, so she decided to spend some time with fireman, talk to them, read some things, etc. to help create a vivid experience.

It seems like the question is more along the lines of whether or not a person is willing to bridge any gaps they may have while writing, not of they have the answers from the onset. In fact, knowing all of the details at the beginning may hurt creativity (you already know how the story ends in a way. it's hard to break from fact/ what you do know).
i can accept bridging the gaps, even people with experiences do that. i'm more on about stating falsities as fact by omission, by leaving out the most relevant of things and simply writing about the subject because you think you know of it. an analogy;

you see someone jacking junk (injecting heroin) and you write a poem about heroin from a user's POV you see a plane and write a poem from the pilots POV. for me these types of poem need at least some knowledge. what a hit feels like etc.
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#7
so, what you're saying is
the only way to accurately capture some things is through direct experience?

or at least requires "knowledgeable input?"
I think defining just what that means is key; does it have to be firsthand?
Written only for you to consider.
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#8
As a slight aside, whenever these things come up I feel like a total hack.

Philatone conducts research when he writes. Other members plan pieces. There are a good number of offerings on the site that follow a set meter.

I don't plan anything, and yes I know this "explains a lot" ! I do desire to change my style and clean up my act, but whenever I try to force a piece the result is, a forced piece! I truly don't know how you do it and have a beautiful, polished piece of poetry or prose in the end. Intellectually I grasp the concept. Good poetry is a discipline. Maybe even a sacred art.
The best I can hope for are semi-consistent profane accidents!

(No animals were harmed during this public service announcement.)
PS. If you can, try your hand at giving some of the others a bit of feedback. If you already have, thanks, can you do some more?
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#9
oh look, a fellow hack. Smile

phil;
no i'm saying write from a point of view you're best writing from. if you've never taken junk, write as an observer. if you'vce only observed it in the street then that would be an obvious choice of POV but imagination can always play it's part and we could imaging how someone else using in our family would affect us. there are lots and lots of shit were we can use imagination instead of experience. i'm on about specific incidents. losing my virginity, getting drunk, being chased, (not the virgin kind of chaste Big Grin) falling in love, out of love, most of these thing are what we bring to a poem. and that can suffice, but for a specific write on a tangible subject like flying an actual plane watching a game of football etc we have to have been there to know who cantana was and how he spoke of throwing fishes to the seagulls that follow the boat. (he was a french footballer who played for man utd) you poem of ants and the yellowjacket, you had to know at least a little bit, maybe you read about them or saw something on nat geo. when i say we have to have been there i mean we have to have witnessed it. we could do that through print or tv or real life but something we have to know in order to write some poems that are based on specific realities.
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#10
I think it depends on the writer's method, I research like crazy. I read a few 500 page Howard Hughes biographes and took about 15 pages of notes for one poem. Same with coroner reports for another, heroin addict interviews for another, and I have revisions I don't want to attempt before doing more research. That's my method though, I know people that are more confessional who wouldn't even think of doing this. They tend to just move from instinct--nothing wrong with it.
The secret of poetry is cruelty.--Jon Anderson
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#11
the most research i did was for an anne sexton look-alike poem. normally it's imagination and experience.
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#12
(06-21-2012, 10:33 AM)Todd Wrote:  I think it depends on the writer's method, I research like crazy. I read a few 500 page Howard Hughes biographes and took about 15 pages of notes for one poem. Same with coroner reports for another, heroin addict interviews for another, and I have revisions I don't want to attempt before doing more research. That's my method though, I know people that are more confessional who wouldn't even think of doing this. They tend to just move from instinct--nothing wrong with it.

See what I mean?
Todd, you're mad poet sexy.

(OK, I know he's married, not intended to be inflammatory)
PS. If you can, try your hand at giving some of the others a bit of feedback. If you already have, thanks, can you do some more?
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#13
(not inflammatory Aish, you made me laugh)...mad poet sexy who could hate that? Smile
The secret of poetry is cruelty.--Jon Anderson
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#14
Big Grin
PS. If you can, try your hand at giving some of the others a bit of feedback. If you already have, thanks, can you do some more?
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#15
(a) Todd is mad poet sexy for sure -- I love minds beyond all measure, this place is like a brothel for the intellect Big Grin

(b) Direct experience is not necessary. What IS necessary is empathy and a willingness to accept that you might be wrong, then the flexibility to change when you are. I haven't done a whole lot in my life but that doesn't stop me from wanting to write about it -- I just never assume that I've got it right, and pay attention when it's not.
It could be worse
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#16
(06-23-2012, 04:14 PM)Leanne Wrote:  (a) Todd is mad poet sexy for sure -- I love minds beyond all measure, this place is like a brothel for the intellect Big Grin

(b) Direct experience is not necessary. What IS necessary is empathy and a willingness to accept that you might be wrong, then the flexibility to change when you are. I haven't done a whole lot in my life but that doesn't stop me from wanting to write about it -- I just never assume that I've got it right, and pay attention when it's not.
same here. though i wouldn't write about doing open heart surgery from a surgeons POV. if i tried i'd fail. same as i wouldn't write about playing the guitar, all i know about that is the fact you twang steel or nylon strings Big Grin
now jose feliciano could write about playing the guitar...if he knew how to write of course.
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#17
(06-24-2012, 08:55 AM)billy Wrote:  though i wouldn't write about doing open heart surgery from a surgeons POV.
I would write a poem from that POV, but not an instruction manual Big Grin
It could be worse
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#18
pass the epinephrine nurse.
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#19
Research is also good in that often the more you know about the subject, the more you can take inspiration from it. It shows you angles to approach a subject from that wouldn't have occurred to you if you relied purely on layman's knowledge.
PS. If you can, try your hand at giving some of the others a bit of feedback. If you already have, thanks, can you do some more?
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#20
i agree, i've read many a layman's poem on a topic and it were clear they knew nothing about the subject they wrote about. then again i have read poetry where you'd swear the writer had first hand knowledge (and they didn't)
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