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What The Hell Is Poetry?:
Remarkably Unremarkable15 internets if you got the "What The Hell Is Kwanza?" reference. Anyways, yeah, so, like, poetry. The fuck is it? I read poetry and I think "Oh, they're getting across a point but instead of writing it in a prose, they're stressing emotions." So I think, "That's easy, I can do that." And then I write a poem. This is when I realize that, a) my poetry seems extremely mediocre from my choice of words, and b) I have no idea if I am doing it right. Poetry is all about freedom of expression, right? Well I can't do that. I have to have rules to follow. It's the same reason I never finish sandbox games. Poetry doesn't have to rhyme. I get that. But sometimes I'll see poems that are indented to the left, then center, then the left, then the right. What. The. Fuck. What purpose is that? How does that help get your point across? Why do people prefer poems that rhyme anyways? Am I stupid for not understanding poems that seem to make no sense to me at all, using stream of consciousness to create the equivalent to literary abstract art? Please, poets, explain poetry to me. I have poetic inspiration. I know I have a poet's vein and I can write wonderful poetry. Hell, I don't even care if it's wonderful or not. I just want to write. But I feel like a complete idiot because I'm a fucking published writer who can't understand something as simple as poetry.
edited 24th Sep '11 7:08:46 AM by tendollarlameo
All I can say is that poetry may not be as "simple" as you think, published author or no. However, if you know poetry is one of your creative expressions of choice, but aren't sure of how to approach it, start fresh. Read collections from the greats. In my experience, poetry is not really defined by rules, per se, but by eras. Find what you like (Romantic style, Postmodern?), try to understand what they did, channel your voice, and start from there.
watching down on usI have a rather old fashioned view on poetry, and it is my belief that indenting sentences this way and that isn't really poetry. Others may argue otherwise and that's fine as I don't really care. The idea behind poetry is its sound—how words are put together in such a way that it is rhythmic and aesthetic to the ear. Poetry is meant to be spoken aloud and heard. If it doesn't sound like poetry, to me it is not poetry.
edited 24th Sep '11 1:19:13 PM by annebeeche
Banned entirely for telling FE that he was being rude and not contributing to the discussion. I shall watch down from the goon heavens.
Shadowed PhilosopherI'm not sure how you define it, or where precisely the dividing line is between poetry and word art. I just enjoy writing sonnets, because it's a real challenge getting it to 1. fit the meter, 2. rhyme and 3. not sound stupid.
Shinigan (Naruto fanfic)
using stream of consciousness to create the equivalent to literary abstract artOf course, people use stream of consciousness in prose. Ulysses, As I Lay Dying, etc
Stayin' AliveI'm not much of a poet — the only poems I've made that where worth reading had no structure whatsoever — but I think I know enough to understand why I don't get it. So:
Poetry is all about freedom of expression, right?Ahahaha — no. You're thinking Freeverse, maybe even the ethos behind a lot of modern stuff, but that's hardly all there is to poetry. Look up sonnets, or limericks, or even haikus. If you need more rules, look for the forms that have them.
Poetry doesn't have to rhyme. I get that. But sometimes I'll see poems that are indented to the left, then center, then the left, then the right. What. The. Fuck. What purpose is that? How does that help get your point across? Why do people prefer poems that rhyme anyways? Am I stupid for not understanding poems that seem to make no sense to me at all, using stream of consciousness to create the equivalent to literary abstract art?I always understood poetry as having historically came out of music. It has patterns, repeating sounds (such as rhyming) and rhythms, which gives it a lyrical quality without anyone actually having to sing. It's weird, but when done right it can give a nice underpinning to the words. Then, some time in the last century, it started getting all weird and, well, "abstract". Like in literature and art, they sort of had a forceful movement focused on dissolution of the rules, and started experimenting with things like how the poem looked on paper, or breaking meter, or not even using words at all. Sometimes the rule breaking was done for a reason, sometimes rules where broken just because they could be. Hell, sometimes no one knew there was rules. If you're not in the know, it's hard to tell the difference. I think the most important thing for you to do is start simple and learn all the jargon. They're playing speed chess, you're trying to figure out what the hell a rook is — referencing them while you're learning is only going to confuse the hell out of you, especially if they aren't even playing with rooks. Settle for trying to figure out what the basic structures behind poetry are, like meter. Go on the Other Wiki and Wiki Walk your way around from there. Also, try to find poems and poets you actually like, so you can slowly start to figure out what you want out of your own stuff. At the very least, learning will be a bit more inspiring that way.
slice of liceAgreeing with this, you might as well be asking "What is art?" The best answer is probably something like "I know it when I see it" and therefore the definition differs for everyone.
Forget the tropes until after you're done.
Poetry and prose are rather different methods of writing, so just because you're good at prose doesn't mean you'll be good at poetry. It's the opposite for me, really. Also, poetry isn't really simple at all. With the more complex, structured types, I love the challenge of keeping to the restrictions while still making it flow naturally. Poetry tends to rely on figurative language more then prose, and some forms of poetry also rely on the visual appeal of seeing it written out. Shifting the alignment of lines in poetry isn't normally arbitrary, it's used to force the reader's brain to put a small pause there while realigning itself, altering the tempo and feel of the poem. Here's an excellent example of spoken poetry. In prose, it'd still be said with emotion, but the inflection would be different, altering the overall feel. And...that's all I can say off the top of my head, sorry.
edited 30th Sep '11 9:18:54 PM by Katrika
"You fail to grasp the basic principles of mad science. Common sense would be cheating." - Narbonic
Poetry is literature with a more defined structure than prose literature.
Start from the structured end, if you're having trouble. Find out what a sonnet is, and the difference between a Shakespearean one and a Petrarchan one. Find out why you can sing nearly all of Emily Dickinson's poetry to the tune of "The Yellow Rose of Texas" (it's because she writes almost exclusively in ballad stanzas). Read up on traditional rhyme schemes and whatnot, and just go from there. For you, it may be a case of having to know the rules before you can break them.
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