losing poetry
#1
are we in the throes of losing the greatness of poetry.

all those classics we've read and know. (well the ones that you know Big Grin)
is that it, or will there be more form this era to take their place. maybe it's because i'm not well read like some, that i see a diminishing return of good poets over the last 50 or so years. i was wondering if it was simply because there's so much shite about that the good poets are buried beneath the dross, or is it the truth that quality poetry isn't there any more?
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#2
One could say that it is purely perception, and as in the past there are fruitful period and unfruitful ones. However, humanity has never had access to mass media as it does today, nor such a dependance on faddishness, rather than the development of a style over a long time period. Of course this assumes that such access will continue to exist. What is probably less debatable is that art will be made in some form or other to help guide humankind, or humankind will cease to exist. That we have such a rich cultural history in poetry would speak well for it's survival in some form, as people will probably continue to read it, and thus seek to imitate it. However, because of the lack of real knowledge as regards poetry, it is difficult to say what will be held up as good poetry, and whether as in the past - time (along with a certain amount of universality) will be the ultimate arbitrator between the good and the trivial. Although Van Gogh only sold one painting, and that to his brother, he has become one of the greatest artist ever. Genuine originality coupled with artistic genius and skill, does seem to eventually rise to the top, and our culture, no matter how transitory and fleeting, is still informed by the artistic foundation it so wobbly stands upon. So there is hope.

Dale
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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#3
Ah, the age old argument, and one that is always thrown up by poets who despair at the dross... however, as with anything worthwhile, true genius will stand the test of time. Sadly that means that great poets are destined to die poor and unappreciated Smile

It's not just poetry. The corporatis(z)ation, or McDonaldization of the world is a great threat to anyone's right to express an individual opinion. Like good ole Joe Stalin said:

"Ideas are more powerful than guns. We would not let our enemies have guns, why should we let them have ideas."

It's not in the interest of the Powers That Be to allow the public to be freely creative. Censorship and nannying of audiences has led to... Billy Collins and reality TV Big Grin
It could be worse
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#4
The opium of the massless! Or so I heard a priest say.

BTW Who is Billy Collins?

"Sadly that means that great poets are destined to die poor and unappreciated"

Well I have the poor and unappreciated part down!
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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#5
(07-01-2012, 07:40 PM)Erthona Wrote:  BTW Who is Billy Collins?

"Sadly that means that great poets are destined to die poor and unappreciated"

Well I have the poor and unappreciated part down!
not sure.
i also have the last two portions of greatness.

(07-01-2012, 07:17 PM)Leanne Wrote:  Ah, the age old argument, and one that is always thrown up by poets who despair at the dross... however, as with anything worthwhile, true genius will stand the test of time. Sadly that means that great poets are destined to die poor and unappreciated Smile

It's not just poetry. The corporatis(z)ation, or McDonaldization of the world is a great threat to anyone's right to express an individual opinion. Like good ole Joe Stalin said:

"Ideas are more powerful than guns. We would not let our enemies have guns, why should we let them have ideas."

It's not in the interest of the Powers That Be to allow the public to be freely creative. Censorship and nannying of audiences has led to... Billy Collins and reality TV Big Grin
but isn't it the reverse as afar as poetry is concerned? back in the day only wealthy or literary genus were able to write. the latter often through sponsorship of someone wealthy. back then the masses couldn't afford pen paper or ink. they lived much shorter lives and had little of no education. today we have the net where every prat and their siblings write so called poetry. we doodle it in journals and send it in letter via a multitude of ways. i think we have many many more poets, it's just that they seem in the main, to be very bad poets Hysterical lets just say the percentage of population who write poetry has stayed the same...which it hasn't; but let's just say it's so nonetheless. how much has the population grown in the last 200 years or so? no days, people can get their works out there for the public to be seen. back then most people couldn't spell their own name unless it was with a mark.
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#6
I don't think there's a lack of good poetry (still many amazing writers out there), but its possible that the society we have now doesn't see or use it or appreciate it in the same way. With the kind of media we have now, we turn to Justin bieber songs to express our feelings (well, some of us do). We chat with friends in short bursts of conversation via text or twitter or whatever. Back then, it was more common for people to write long, thoughtful, touching letters to one another, something that bridges nicely to poetry, I think .... I sometimes wonder if its the loss of that intensive writing as a common form of expression that's making poetry seem esoteric to a lot of people.
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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#7
I've heard tell that poetry is making a comeback, but I don't know if it is true.

I must admit... I find the majority of poetry books I have picked up to be very droll. Not that there aren't plenty of fantastic poets out there, I just think it isn't advertised well enough. Or maybe my taste is a bit tight, that could be true.

And I live in a big city, yet we have no open mic night for amateur poets! The nearest I can find is in Bristol! I still plan on attending one at some point.

Although, I think a lot of rapping is poetry, so it does have a modern reflection. Some people are exceptionally good and I would call them poets, even if it would embarrass them. At Sunrise two guys (on seperate occassions) came up and started rapping out of the blue saying some really wonderful stuff.
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#8
I don't know that no open mic night = no poetry. Is there a local writers' association? Are there fairs, festivals or other events with poetry competitions? And in almost every city in the world there are groups of poets who get together in cafes, sometimes doing readings, sometimes just workshopping or having a bit of a chat about their writing (some of these people are deathly dull, beware!). Performing poetry is an art in itself -- I believe penguin is a performance poet, I'm sure he has some tips to share. (With the number of artists of all kinds to come out of the West Country, I can't believe there aren't plenty of opportunities for a poet -- and if there aren't, I'll bet there are plenty of people willing to take an opportunity if it's created for them.)
It could be worse
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#9
There's plenty of good modern poets, I think, but I'd find it difficult to name any great ones. Same would apply to novelists and with bells on. But, you know, if I were young and a gifted wordsmith like, let us say, Alex Turner would I wanna be a promising poet or lead singer of the Arctic Monkeys and shagging Alexa Chung? I rest my case.
Where do you live, Universal Child? And do you have a proper name? Must be Bath or Cheltenham by the sound of things. I know there's places in Cheltenham.
Before criticising a person, try walking a mile in their shoes. Then when you do criticise them, you're a mile away.....and you have their shoes.
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#10
(07-07-2012, 04:43 AM)Leanne Wrote:  I don't know that no open mic night = no poetry. Is there a local writers' association? Are there fairs, festivals or other events with poetry competitions? And in almost every city in the world there are groups of poets who get together in cafes, sometimes doing readings, sometimes just workshopping or having a bit of a chat about their writing (some of these people are deathly dull, beware!). Performing poetry is an art in itself -- I believe penguin is a performance poet, I'm sure he has some tips to share. (With the number of artists of all kinds to come out of the West Country, I can't believe there aren't plenty of opportunities for a poet -- and if there aren't, I'll bet there are plenty of people willing to take an opportunity if it's created for them.)

There are three writers groups, but one is stories only, and the other two charge and I don't want to pay just to discuss writing. Or more, I can't afford to pay just to discuss writing! There is one event every three months held at the local theatre, I plan on going this august.

Performing poetry is what I want to get into.

And trust me, I make an effort. I even made a new contact the other day, she said she is trying to start her own group. I think I live in the wrong city for poetry : P Buuut Bristol is nearby and they have a really good poetry scene.

(07-07-2012, 06:14 AM)penguin Wrote:  There's plenty of good modern poets, I think, but I'd find it difficult to name any great ones. Same would apply to novelists and with bells on. But, you know, if I were young and a gifted wordsmith like, let us say, Alex Turner would I wanna be a promising poet or lead singer of the Arctic Monkeys and shagging Alexa Chung? I rest my case.
Where do you live, Universal Child? And do you have a proper name? Must be Bath or Cheltenham by the sound of things. I know there's places in Cheltenham.

I would really like to find some good modern poets. If you have any suggestions I'd love to hear them. And any tips on performance poetry, haha.

No, I live in Plymouth. My name is Phaedra : )
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#11
Good modern poets - depends what you mean by modern but here goes
Derek Mahon - A Disused Shed In Co. Wexford is one of the great poems of all time in my opinion - Fleur Adcock, Simon Armitage, Paul Farley,Micheal Longley,Roddy Lumsden, Daljit Nagra,Jo Shapcott, Benjamin Zephaniah - there's many more, Larkin, Auden, Macniece and of course, John Cooper Clarke. He did a gig at our town last year and I was one of the support acts. My performance poetry tip - Stay off the drugs, you never know when you might need to run very fast.
Before criticising a person, try walking a mile in their shoes. Then when you do criticise them, you're a mile away.....and you have their shoes.
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#12
Thanks for the list! I'm a fan of Simon Armitage and John Cooper Clarke (much love to him) so I'm looking forward to researching the others already. And haha run?
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#13
Ginsberg was probably the last consensus (within reason) "great" poet.

I try to avoid public performances of any kind these days, but I have found a tape recorder invaluable. I also have found that taping other people reading a piece will give one insight into a better reading vocally. Basically, as far as I am concerned it is no different than preparation for song interpretation, phrasing and where to breath being a major part of it.


dale
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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#14
Phaedra. Plymouth to Bristol is a hell of a long way for a poetry gig! There must be stuff in Cornwall and Devon. I do actually know someone who started up a poetry night in Cornwall last year but I guess it depends what kind of poetry night you're into.
Serious poetry performance tip - record yourself. You might find it excruciating - I did - but you ought to know what you're inflicting on others.
Before criticising a person, try walking a mile in their shoes. Then when you do criticise them, you're a mile away.....and you have their shoes.
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#15
You can also try making podcasts or using a site like Soundcloud to share spoken word with others if there are limited performance opportunities -- and look up other people's recorded poetry on those sites as well, some of it is very painful (just like the written stuff!) but there's a lot worth listening to. You're really very lucky, the UK is absolutely the place to be for quality poetry these days (probably always has been actually).

My favourite contemporary poet is Matthew Caley, I'd definitely recommend looking him up.
It could be worse
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#16
Lots of poets rehash the same old, same old very lovely. And some try to please and follow rules and are boring. And some try to break all rules, and lose themselves. I think it's important to experiment, to do naughty things, stupid things, and cruel things. All for the love of poetry, which is spiritual existence. The tension, and real energy, comes through in that all the while we reach for our souls.
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#17
I've noticed that a lot of the people on this site are from the UK, and I've gathered that at least one person is from Australia. Nobody reads my poetry, where I'm currently living. And there are no bookstores, other than what's donated to the Goodwill store. I haven't made many poems lately, I've been making stories. But I've been told that my poems are symptoms of delusions (which is kind of strange since nobody will look at them), whatever that's supposed to mean. I've been stuck alone for months now in a place where the only poetry reading place threw me out because I put out a candle; and since me putting out the candle was caught on video, I was banned from the place.
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#18
where from all over the place.
i suppose there are a lot more places than we care two think
where there are no book stores Sad
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#19
(08-30-2012, 04:32 AM)rowens Wrote:  I've noticed that a lot of the people on this site are from the UK, and I've gathered that at least one person is from Australia. Nobody reads my poetry, where I'm currently living. And there are no bookstores, other than what's donated to the Goodwill store. I haven't made many poems lately, I've been making stories. But I've been told that my poems are symptoms of delusions (which is kind of strange since nobody will look at them), whatever that's supposed to mean. I've been stuck alone for months now in a place where the only poetry reading place threw me out because I put out a candle; and since me putting out the candle was caught on video, I was banned from the place.


well they missed the bus on that one. maybe if everyone wrote a poem about candle blowing things might have been better. stinky candles and smoke.. yuk
I'd a blew the lot of them

poets can be so bitchy! mostly the men who like to dress for the part too!
Perfection changes with the light and light goes on for infinity ~~~Bronte

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#20
These were neohippies. Though reading poems about throwing pipe bombs into the White House, and so on. There were candles everywhere, and there was a small sandbox next to me that had candles in it, and I sprinkled some sand over one of the candles. Then one of the hippies came and asked me to come with them to a room where they had monitors showing the different sections of the place, and told me they saw what I did and I was no longer welcomed. That place went out of business, anyway. There was actually one other place, but nobody went, so the owner stopped opening.
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