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Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by Bubbler, Apr 14, 2008.

  1. Bubbler

    Bubbler Well-Known Member

    Are there forms of art you appreciate, but can't get into? Mine is poetry.

    I was watching the American Experience on Walt Whitman tonight. I have an appreciation for what Whitman means to our culture, I understand how historically relevant he is, and God knows I could never write like him.

    But that's just it ... I don't want to ever write like him. He might not have seemed purple prose-ish in his time, but by God does he ever now. All poetry, no matter what form, no matter whether it's traditional poetry form or stream of consciousness, just doesn't interest me at all. In fact, it bores me to tears. Yet, I appreciate it for the talent it takes to do it.

    It's kind of like golf, I appreciate the hell out of the sport and those who play it, but I rarely watch it.

    It's weird because I'm as pretentious as it gets with other art forms. I love film, art and music that challenges you intellectually in the same way good poetry does. I love great songwriters, playwrights and screenwriters to death, but poetry remains inpenetrable to me. Or I to it. I can't decide.

    Can you get into poetry?
  2. Rumpleforeskin

    Rumpleforeskin Active Member

    I can and I love to read it. I have four spiral-bound notebooks of poetry I wrote. I enjoy to read other poet's work and enjoy the beauty in the prose.
  3. beardpuller

    beardpuller Active Member

    Many, many years ago, I was in college and the girl I thought was the most interesting person in the world asked me if I was going to a poetry reading that night by W.S. Merwin. I said I certainly was, that we should go together.
    Then I sprinted down to the library to figure out who the fuck W.S. Merwin was.
    Turned out he was a pretty cool guy. He was late for the reading that night, but he had an explanation -- he'd stopped to help a dog who'd been hit by a car, which I figured was the sort of thing poets were supposed to do. His poetry was OK, too.
    This was not the beginning of a lifelong love of verse or anything, but even today, 30 years later, I'll see one of his poems in The New Yorker or somewhere, and think, "Hey, I went to see that guy. He stopped to help a dog that was hit by a car. And his poetry was OK, too."
  4. pallister

    pallister Guest

    Bubs, you separated poetry and songwriting. I think the best songwriting is poetry. That I like. However, when it comes to reading people who are actual "poets," I'm not interested.
  5. joe

    joe Active Member

    I like a look of agony
    Because I know it's true.
    Men do not sham convultions
    Nor simulate a throe.

    The eyes glaze once, and that is death
    Impossible to feign
    The beads upon the forehead
    By homely anguish strung.

    -- Dickinson
  6. zeke12

    zeke12 Guest

    I always liked Auden's definition of poetry as "memorable speech".

    I don't read a lot of poetry for pleasure, but I have my favorites that I'll reread from time to time. And I love a lot of it.
  7. jgmacg

    jgmacg Guest

    I'm not sure how you can distinguish modern songwriting from poetry. Read Dylan's lyrics. He's as much a poet as a lyricist.

    In fact, modern music has largely replaced poetry in popular culture.

    And Whitman isn't purple in the great scheme of things. His work remains supple and pretty muscular, especially relative to the Romantics and the Neo-classicists. If you want eggplant purple, give Wordsworth or Shelley or Byron a ride.
  8. pallister

    pallister Guest

    Hey, I said that first, jg!
  9. zeke12

    zeke12 Guest

    I agree with jg -- and I dig Whitman.

    And I once had a knock-down, drag out with a lit. professor (and nun, it bears saying) who swore up and down that uncle Walt was straight as a Kansas highway.
  10. joe

    joe Active Member

    Tonight I can write the saddest lines.

    Write, for example, 'The night is starry
    and the stars are blue and shiver in the distance.'

    The night wind revolves in the sky and sings.

    Tonight I can write the saddest lines.
    I loved her, and sometimes she loved me too.

    Through nights like this one I held her in my arms.
    I kissed her again and again under the endless sky.

    She loved me, sometimes I loved her too.
    How could one not have loved her great still eyes.

    Tonight I can write the saddest lines.
    To think that I do not have her. To feel that I have lost her.

    To hear the immense night, still more immense without her.
    And the verse falls to the soul like dew to the pasture.

    What does it matter that my love could not keep her.
    The night is starry and she is not with me.

    This is all. In the distance someone is singing. In the distance.
    My soul is not satisfied that it has lost her.

    My sight tries to find her as though to bring her closer.
    My heart looks for her, and she is not with me.

    The same night whitening the same trees.
    We, of that time, are no longer the same.

    I no longer love her, that's certain, but how I loved her.
    My voice tried to find the wind to touch her hearing.

    Another's. She will be another's. As she was before my kisses.
    Her voice, her bright body. Her infinite eyes.

    I no longer love her, that's certain, but maybe I love her.
    Love is so short, forgetting is so long.

    Because through nights like this one I held her in my arms
    my soul is not satisfied that it has lost her.

    Though this be the last pain that she makes me suffer
    and these the last verses that I write for her.

    And this one as well:

    I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz,
    or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.
    I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
    in secret, between the shadow and the soul.

    I love you as the plant that never blooms
    but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers;
    thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance,
    risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.

    I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
    I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;
    so I love you because I know no other way

    than this: where I does not exist, nor you,
    so close that your hand on my chest is my hand,
    so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.

    -- Pablo Neruda, perfect heartbreak in verse.
  11. jgmacg

    jgmacg Guest

    You did, indeed, Palli. I apologize. I went a little windy on the Romantics, and got beat to the poetry punch.
  12. pallister

    pallister Guest

    No problem at all. I'm glad someone with sreet cred backed up my post.
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