"literal" clarity vs. symbolic clarity
#1
Art in general I think of as meant for the interpretation of the person observing the art. If you are making a point with art, then it's probably better to leave art out of it and just make the point. There are exceptions, of course.

Even if I am expressing something singular that I have in mind, when it has emotional weight, I often have not gotten far in articulating what it is that I am expressing, to myself. I think that this is good, or not bad.

The other way around, often if something clearly articulated is expressed, the expression lacks emotional weight.

Strictly speaking, there is no such thing as "literal meaning". Words only have meaning within a context and an era. They are like trends that say something to people in the know.

I am very new to paying anything but casual attention to poetry, and have a lot to read in this forum. Is a difference made here, often, about how literal the words of a poem are and how well formed, not necessarily clear, the symbolism is perceived to be, by the critic?
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#2


        [Image: goya-020110f.jpg]

almost terse
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#3
Big Grin ^^^ Well done.


(01-09-2014, 04:01 PM)cheyrn Wrote:  Art in general I think of as meant for the interpretation of the person observing the art. If you are making a point with art, then it's probably better to leave art out of it and just make the point. There are exceptions, of course.

Even if I am expressing something singular that I have in mind, when it has emotional weight, I often have not gotten far in articulating what it is that I am expressing, to myself. I think that this is good, or not bad.

The other way around, often if something clearly articulated is expressed, the expression lacks emotional weight.

Strictly speaking, there is no such thing as "literal meaning". Words only have meaning within a context and an era. They are like trends that say something to people in the know.

I am very new to paying anything but casual attention to poetry, and have a lot to read in this forum. Is a difference made here, often, about how literal the words of a poem are and how well formed, not necessarily clear, the symbolism is perceived to be, by the critic?

I haven't been here too long, but I've found this site to be pretty much open season.

Members are sensitive to various aspects of a poem. For some, an absent comma stands out like a sore thumb, some spot a beat of meter off, for some it's the turn of a word or rhyme, some feel it must have emotional content, some are rarely touched in that way.

What I love about this site is that the poet gets the benefit of all these different sensitivities in the various critiques. Sometimes they are at odds with each other, and even when they agree, it is up to the poet to consider them all and use or discard what suits their poem: an interesting challenge. Smile
billy wrote:welcome to the site. make it your own, wear it like a well loved slipper and wear it out. ella pleads:please click forum titles for posting guidelines, important threads. New poet? Try Poetic DevicesandWard's Tips

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#4
people give what they're able to give as far as critique/feedback goes. in general good poetry is good poetry and bad poetry needs a lot of work. we can spot an odd metaphor or an odd bit of symbolism and then again we can't, just take feedback persona by persona. :J: Smile

(01-09-2014, 04:01 PM)cheyrn Wrote:  Art in general I think of as meant for the interpretation of the person observing the art. If you are making a point with art, then it's probably better to leave art out of it and just make the point. There are exceptions, of course.

Even if I am expressing something singular that I have in mind, when it has emotional weight, I often have not gotten far in articulating what it is that I am expressing, to myself. I think that this is good, or not bad.

The other way around, often if something clearly articulated is expressed, the expression lacks emotional weight.

Strictly speaking, there is no such thing as "literal meaning". Words only have meaning within a context and an era. They are like trends that say something to people in the know.

I am very new to paying anything but casual attention to poetry, and have a lot to read in this forum. Is a difference made here, often, about how literal the words of a poem are and how well formed, not necessarily clear, the symbolism is perceived to be, by the critic?
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#5
(01-09-2014, 09:21 PM)billy Wrote:  people give what they're able to give as far as critique/feedback goes. in general good poetry is good poetry and bad poetry needs a lot of work. we can spot an odd metaphor or an odd bit of symbolism and then again we can't, just take feedback persona by persona. :J: Smile

Heeeey, just because my poetry needs a lot of work that doesn't mean it's bad, just a little wayward. Wink
billy wrote:welcome to the site. make it your own, wear it like a well loved slipper and wear it out. ella pleads:please click forum titles for posting guidelines, important threads. New poet? Try Poetic DevicesandWard's Tips

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#6
very true, let me rephrase that part

people give what they're able to give as far as critique/feedback goes. in general good poetry is good poetry and bad poetry is not so good poetry. mostly, poetry is of the not so good sort Big Grin. (at least mine is) Both can be given the same amount of feedback though the feedback will be different.we can spot an odd metaphor or an odd bit of symbolism and then again we can't, just take feedback persona by persona.
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#7
(01-09-2014, 05:52 PM)rayheinrich Wrote:  

        [Image: goya-020110f.jpg]



Ray --- My thoughts went straight to Goya, the Caprichos. I spent hours going around the Prado looking at these - they have power to-day, because human nature has not much changed. I have spent more hours in the same place looking at what the call 'El Bosco' --Hieronymus Bosch, and his triptych, the 'Garden of Earthly Delights'. Absolutely nutty, and I still have a faded and poor reproduction above my bed.

Sam Goldwyn used to tell script-writers, that if they had a message, they should take it to Western Union...but what a Philistine he was! I personally can stand poetry which is sheer craft, which is mysterious, which has a message wrapped in elegance or force, or most things, if it is good. But I can see that Tennyson was on the wrong track when he banged on about the Light Brigade, likewise those heart-on-sleeve war poets, Auden and his illy clocks...Pah! I spit on them all! Wink
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#8
I thought of some examples:

"Tyger tyger, burning bright"

A literal critique could be: You have already said Tyger once, so it looks like you are just saying it again to fit a rhythm. And why is the tiger burning? Is it burning from a rash, did someone cook it for too long? I get the sense that there is a story here but you are not telling me enough.

One difference in approaches to writing or speaking is that If words come from one's chattering internal dialog they will usually have a different quality than if the words come from the part of you that dreams. I'm not saying that that is a rule.

I brought up art that makes a point as the type of art that would invite a literal critique.

It would probably be different if you started with a point to make and then built some art around it, then if you had an image that moved you that was about a specific thing like a massacre that you then expressed in art. That is not a rule either.
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#9
(01-11-2014, 09:37 AM)abu nuwas Wrote:  
(01-09-2014, 05:52 PM)rayheinrich Wrote:  

        [Image: goya-020110f.jpg]



Ray --- My thoughts went straight to Goya, the Caprichos. I spent hours going around the Prado looking at these - they have power to-day, because human nature has not much changed. I have spent more hours in the same place looking at what the call 'El Bosco' --Hieronymus Bosch, and his triptych, the 'Garden of Earthly Delights'. Absolutely nutty, and I still have a faded and poor reproduction above my bed.

Sam Goldwyn used to tell script-writers, that if they had a message, they should take it to Western Union...but what a Philistine he was! I personally can stand poetry which is sheer craft, which is mysterious, which has a message wrapped in elegance or force, or most things, if it is good. But I can see that Tennyson was on the wrong track when he banged on about the Light Brigade, likewise those heart-on-sleeve war poets, Auden and his illy clocks...Pah! I spit on them all! Wink

My thoughts went straight Picasso and his Massacre in Korea:

[Image: tumblr_lwpfj6909S1r466uso1_500.jpg]


And when you mentioned Auden and his clocks, my thoughts went straight to Salvador Dali and his The Persistence of Memory:

[Image: the-persistence-of-memory-1931.jpg]
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#10
How interesting! I had thought of the Caprichos before I had seen Ray's pic. It seems Spanish culture has a more powerful continuing influence than I should have thought -- Goya, Goya, Picasso and Dali!

I wonder which non-English-speaking culture, or country, people feel most affected by, or in tune with? At one time, it was quite common for people to be acquainted with the chief writers of Europe --Heinrich Heine, Schiller, Goethe, through to Gunther Grass in Germany; and a zillion philosophers, at least in some scanty form. France, altogether too numerous -from the Pléiade, Racine Moliere and Corneille, the great novelists and poets of the 19th century, and the early 20th. Likewise, Italy had its (mad Fascist) Gabriele D'Annunzio, Alberto Moravia, the Holocaust survivor, Primo Levi, as well as ..hmmm..Petrarch, Dante, Ariosto. And the Name of the Rose bloke, Umberto Eco. I am struck by French bookshops which display translations of all sorts of people like this, foreigners, and rather rue the fact that even our nice ones do not. But this should really be on another thread -apologies! Smile
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#11
(01-12-2014, 04:16 AM)cheyrn Wrote:  I thought of some examples:

"Tyger tyger, burning bright"

A literal critique could be: You have already said Tyger once, so it looks like you are just saying it again to fit a rhythm. And why is the tiger burning? Is it burning from a rash, did someone cook it for too long? I get the sense that there is a story here but you are not telling me enough.

One difference in approaches to writing or speaking is that If words come from one's chattering internal dialog they will usually have a different quality than if the words come from the part of you that dreams. I'm not saying that that is a rule.

I brought up art that makes a point as the type of art that would invite a literal critique.

It would probably be different if you started with a point to make and then built some art around it, then if you had an image that moved you that was about a specific thing like a massacre that you then expressed in art. That is not a rule either.

Do you have a point to make? If you do, you've answered your questions and all you have to do is work.
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#12
There was only one question, in the original post.
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#13
You seem to have more questions.
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#14
Ok. What I should have said earlier was:

Good point reinheinrich.

With that, I think I can refine "there are exceptions" to include these examples where there is a difference in how someone is making a point, where one is still just pasting on art to a statement, and the other is not.
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#15
Sorry for replying to myself, but I thought of an analogy. I never think about sex, but it occured to me that if I ever read pornographic writing, I imagine that I might distinguish between it and erotic writing by how literal it is. Overly literal writing about sex could be crude, I have heard.

Also, if you have to conjure up a meaning, it involves your eroticism in inventing an image and a meaning.

I have similar taste in visual art, music and writing. In my past I encountered a lot of people who liked abstract art but would say "it's not music" if it didn't meet a set of predefined notions of what music is.

There is a place between free association and sub-literal writing, where the first is naive or bad and the second isn't, in my opinion.
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#16
(01-19-2014, 02:43 AM)cheyrn Wrote:  Sorry for replying to myself, but I thought of an analogy. I never think about sex, but it occured to me that if I ever read pornographic writing, I imagine that I might distinguish between it and erotic writing by how literal it is. Overly literal writing about sex could be crude, I have heard.

Also, if you have to conjure up a meaning, it involves your eroticism in inventing an image and a meaning.

I have similar taste in visual art, music and writing. In my past I encountered a lot of people who liked abstract art but would say "it's not music" if it didn't meet a set of predefined notions of what music is.

There is a place between free association and sub-literal writing, where the first is naive or bad and the second isn't, in my opinion.

Ok, I'm done with this discussion. I can't talk to someone who never thinks about sex!
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#17


        [Image: resized_xyvtd.jpg%3Fw%3D620]

almost terse
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#18
Art, like God is undefinable, although we may choose to go to war over the definition of both. The style that is used can be debated as best for the piece, the clarity can also be dissected in terms of grammatical, spelling, figures of speech, needless or unintentioned ambiguity best word choice, and so on. The kill of the artist/writer determines how clearly that which is attempting to be made manifest succeeds in making it's way through to be apprehended by others. The artist transmits the art, he does not create it, anyone who believes they are is either very young or a fool. I have returned to pieces of mine from 20+ years ago, and see things in it that not only was I not aware of at the time, but due to my stage of development could not have comprehended. Obviously it was not "I" that inserted that awareness into the writing/art, as I was both unaware of the concept, and basically lacked the skill to manifest it upon the page, and yet there it was, and is today. As this is not a poem review, I will insert this here as evidence, or at least a compelling argument.

Midwife

Asleep, deep in the twilight part of night, sometimes,
I’ll be awakened by a sleepless poem pacing in my mind.
Knowing that fighting is pointless, I'll eventually concede,
give in, get up and write it down, vowing, "Just this one last time!"
Only to find the lines already formed, cadence set, as well as rhyme.
Though late and despite me, this nascent being never hesitates
in fear: for like a babe full formed does this poem appear.
No part had I in its gestation, nor did it need me to create;
it need only barrow of me that small a priori part of mind.
Thus relegated, I play my role as midwife and womb surrogate,
though an easy labor for this birth had been pre-defined.
Birthed from this mental wasteland, a newly emanate light,
to confound the drowsy darkness and conquer the sleeping night.


©2008 ~Erthona
How long after picking up the brush, the first masterpiece?

The goal is not to obfuscate that which is clear, but make clear that which isn't.
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#19
(01-20-2014, 08:58 PM)Erthona Wrote:  ... The artist transmits the art, he does not create it...

Yes, we're getting rolled by the great
(though most times not-so-great) spirit.

From Wordsworth's "Composed Above Tintern Abbey... "

Line 88 ... For I have learned
To look on nature, not as in the hour
Of thoughtless youth; but hearing oftentimes
The still, sad music of humanity,
Nor harsh nor grating, though of ample power
To chasten and subdue. And I have felt
A presence that disturbs me with the joy
Of elevated thoughts; a sense sublime
Of something far more deeply interfused,
Whose dwelling is the light of setting suns,
And the round ocean and the living air,
And the blue sky, and in the mind of man;
A motion and a spirit, that impels
All thinking things, all objects of all thought,
And rolls through all things. ... Line 102

almost terse
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#20
Quote:If you are making a point with art, then it's probably better to leave art out of it and just make the point
i am not sure i understand what you mean.
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