I Have Always Wondered...
#1
...about what drives people to write poetry.  I've been around for awhile (not too much longer), and I thought I had distilled the essences of life down to five:

1) Truth
2) Wisdom
3) Love
4) Justice
5) Beauty

I thought to myself that those who would endeavor in poetry must have a bias towards beauty of these five.  

What is the BEAUTIFUL?  

I just started this thread as...what...a personal reflection for all upon the "beautiful".
You can't hate me more than I hate myself.  I win.

"When the spirit of justice eloped on the wings
Of a quivering vibrato's bittersweet sting."

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#2
To create things that make me feel (or, less often, think) something I like.

I like revolting things as often as beautiful ones, if they're expressed in a beautifully revolting way.

I don't care about truth or justice really either. A good poem can revel in injustice if told from the correct point of view. A convincing, interesting lie is also better than a weak, insubstantial truth.

Of course, truth and justice can also be effective if used properly.

Wisdom I think is always subjective (but then again, so is beauty). I might think it's wise to spend my weekends in orgiastic drug/sex binges while someone else would think it wise to piously follow the rules of some book written thousands of years ago. It's impossible to say which point of view is really wise I think.


I think it all boils down to making something you like (for any reason).
"A hippopotamus is just a really cool opatamus."
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#3
^^^Thanks for that.  I enjoyed it.  Replenished me.  

Peace to you.

“Beauty is a form of Genius--is higher, indeed, than Genius, as it needs no explanation. It is one of the great facts of the world, like sunlight, or springtime, or the reflection in the dark waters of that silver shell we call the moon. It cannot be questioned. It has divine right of sovereignty. It makes princes of those who have it.”

(Oscar Wilde)
You can't hate me more than I hate myself.  I win.

"When the spirit of justice eloped on the wings
Of a quivering vibrato's bittersweet sting."

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#4
As Pilate asked, 'What is truth?' I think your distillations are philosophical questions as there are no real absolutes - perhaps not for the man on the Clapham omnibus who may never have thought deeply about any of it.

So much is subjective, in the eye of the beholder (cliché,) culturally dominated et. al. Although I do appreciate the difference between knowledge and wisdom.

I suspect poets have similar motivations to other writers, artists, musicians, designers, or indeed any field of creative endeavour. A desire to create and (perhaps) publicly express themselves. There's seems to be something in all of us - call it a talent if you want - which, once recognised internally - wants to get out. It may well be an evolutionary trait to display prowess to attract a mate (even if not many recite a poem on a first date any more.)

I wonder if a detailed multi-choice poll here might give some answers.

Cheers
feedback award A poet who can't make the language sing doesn't start. Hence the shortage of real poems amongst the global planktonic field of duds. - Clive James.
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#5
Why do we write poetry? Here's what I think:

Of the five things you mentioned, justice and beauty hold different meanings for each individual. But we all cannot deny truth, wisdom, and love, things which although we may conceive differently, all have in common. Everyone must voice how they see things, and poetry is a means of doing so. There's more I want to say, just can't find words at the moment, but you get what I mean.
Free verse poetry and jazz are like brother and sister.
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#6
All of those ideals are important and no doubt plenty of poets will say that one or more of them are why they pour so much energy into this game -- but at the end of the day, it's really nothing more exotic than mental masturbation. Poets are wankers, and if it feels good, that's the only reason you need to do it.

Unfortunately, like most masturbation, you feel good for a bit but eventually you realise how unfulfilled you really are. You keep doing it because it gives you short-term release, but if someone came along tomorrow and offered you millions of dollars (actually, thousands would do) to stop, you'd realise how unsatisfying poetry actually is.

And then you'd keep doing it anyway, because you're a masochist.
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#7
(07-30-2015, 04:22 PM)Leanne Wrote:  And then you'd keep doing it anyway, because you're a masochist.

That's some punchline. Coffee all over the keyboard.  Hysterical
feedback award A poet who can't make the language sing doesn't start. Hence the shortage of real poems amongst the global planktonic field of duds. - Clive James.
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#8
leann took a good guess with a wank; beautiful is anything and everything you want or see beautiful as being, even the bad shit can be such.

i write for the sake of doing something, i love... i loved reading books, now i enjoy reading poetry though i'm not so good at it. most if not all of what you mention are beyond me, i'm incapable of all but love; for me the beatle's had it spot on with [love is all you need]

as an endeavour, beauty is probably the last thing i'm biased to. unless a fart, shit, or fuck carries within them an inherent beauty, come to think of it, i guess for me they do.

(07-30-2015, 12:24 PM)NobodyNothing Wrote:  ...about what drives people to write poetry.  I've been around for awhile (not too much longer), and I thought I had distilled the essences of life down to five:

1) Truth
2) Wisdom
3) Love
4) Justice
5) Beauty

I thought to myself that those who would endeavor in poetry must have a bias towards beauty of these five.  

What is the BEAUTIFUL?  

I just started this thread as...what...a personal reflection for all upon the "beautiful".
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#9
(07-30-2015, 12:24 PM)NobodyNothing Wrote:  ...about what drives people to write poetry.  I've been around for awhile (not too much longer), and I thought I had distilled the essences of life down to five:

1) Truth
2) Wisdom
3) Love
4) Justice
5) Beauty

I thought to myself that those who would endeavor in poetry must have a bias towards beauty of these five.  

What is the BEAUTIFUL?  

I just started this thread as...what...a personal reflection for all upon the "beautiful".

I'm not sure I'd put wisdom on the list, I think it might be just enjoying the other four, but anyway

They all have something in common, that shiny kernel that glows in wonky perfection, what any change would lessen.

I think we mopey, pondering humans are so lucky to be living on this constantly changing globe of variety whose beauty can soothe us if we stop long enough to perceive it. I think any art, whether the artist (human) chooses to record it or not, isolates a bit of that beauty so it can be admired, examined, experienced, shared.

I think it is the soothing of pain rather than the causing of it that is beautiful. That's doesn't mean that beauty can't remind you of the pain, just that it relieves it in some way for a moment.

I may be full of shit, coffee's ready. Hi, Nobody, Smile
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#10

"What drives people to write poetry?"

I've been reading "Between Friends: The Correspondence of Hannah Arendt
and Mary McCarthy"
for pretty much the same reason. My wife had left it
on a table and the cats knocked it off onto the floor. I picked it up to put it back...
but I opened it and started reading it because I needed to change the car's oil
and I don't like changing the car's oil. Hannah Arendt had a standard reply
(which she thought was artless and dismissive and quite appropriate) for
questions like this: "Life."
almost terse
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#11
Life... and apparently a good dose of procrastination.

(At first I thought you'd written "change the cat's oil", and I thought: there's a man who really cares about his pets)
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#12
I think what I meant buy "beauty"...well...when I was growing up, long before I discovered poetry, I kind of lived pursuing the "beautiful".  I can't quite put my finger on it now, what I mean by that, but it had something to do with something being revealed to me through the course of the decisions of my life, and those decisions were considered odd or off-kilter by those who comprised the regularities of my life.  There was some experiential insight I was after, and I would do almost anything my heart told me to do to find it.

It was just how I lived growing up.  Accumulating these experiential insights, experiences.  And sometimes they happened.  I was waiting and ready for them.

I don't know.  But I do know that's about all that interests me concerning poetry.  The re-creation of those moments, the beauty inherent in those moments.

Best I can do.   Smile
You can't hate me more than I hate myself.  I win.

"When the spirit of justice eloped on the wings
Of a quivering vibrato's bittersweet sting."

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#13
(08-01-2015, 06:09 AM)Leanne Wrote:  Life... and apparently a good dose of procrastination.

Avoidance of unpleasant activity is the root driver of artistic
creation of any sort. All other explanations are attempts to
disguise this. Artists, politicians, fake cat-oil* hucksters, and
others of that ilk use words like "truth", "wisdom", "love",
"justice", "beauty", etc. to disguise their hypocrisy.



* Cat oil is majorly responsible for cats' phenomenal acrobatic abilities.
It's quite valuable as there's a teaming black market in it for use as a
doping agent for gymnasts, divers, acrobats, and professional tumblers.
(Harvesting said oil, by the way, is not an activity for the faint of heart.)
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#14
my mum said "a woman will never trust a man who can't quite put their finger on it son"  Hysterical

we all...well i do i think. store experiences and find beauty in the least noteworthy of places. not being equipped to put such stuff down on paper i temper it with imagination. i think "of course we write about life" it's all we know and all we have to measure else-where's beauty by. whether we want to or not. we gain from every second we live. good bad or ugly, we grow. the problem arises when your beauty is my horror or your love my hate. [not you personally of course] often a poet gives away beauty he doesn't posses. that's the real beauty in poetry. the ability to show someone else the beauty of themselves. ....it's what i think anyway.

(08-01-2015, 12:53 PM)NobodyNothing Wrote:  I think what I meant buy "beauty"...well...when I was growing up, long before I discovered poetry, I kind of lived pursuing the "beautiful".  I can't quite put my finger on it now, what I mean by that, but it had something to do with something being revealed to me through the course of the decisions of my life, and those decisions were considered odd or off-kilter by those who comprised the regularities of my life.  There was some experiential insight I was after, and I would do almost anything my heart told me to do to find it.

It was just how I lived growing up.  Accumulating these experiential insights, experiences.  And sometimes they happened.  I was waiting and ready for them.

I don't know.  But I do know that's about all that interests me concerning poetry.  The re-creation of those moments, the beauty inherent in those moments.

Best I can do.   Smile
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