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Poetry

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  • #76
    Originally posted by Mikey_C
    Superb 2nd effort from the Mouser; Hawklord's too was most enjoyable. I don't really have any crushing deadlines at present - more a generalised and guilty sense of slacking off from what I should really be doing. Don't mind me, I'm just neurotic! If I retain self-discipline and restrict this activity to times when I can't possibly be doing anything more constructive, eg. sitting on the toilet, getting stuck in traffic jams, etc. I might just about be able to do some more... You guys can do two each and I'll stick to the one, maybe?
    Okay. Let's start a new one, then. I'd like to get buy-in from HawkLord, too, but
    we'll see. Perhaps we can get some more contributers. My suspicion is that people
    are willing to do this sort of thing, but they're often too bashful about showing
    their efforts. I figured if *I* am not embarrassed by my stuff, just about anyone
    would be willing to join in. It's all a matter of how seriously one takes the activity.
    Time will tell.

    Originally posted by Mikey_C
    So what are we going for? It's an interesting way to learn about poetic forms.
    I'd like to throw it open to a vote. I'm not the thread's arbiter elegantiarum, by
    any means, so we might as well be democratic about it. I am, however, willing to make
    some suggestions, and if it's helpful, I can provide a mini-essay on the mechanics
    of the form selected. All of you gentlemen seemed to handle the form without
    difficulty, so perhaps my earlier explanation was redundant. Don't want to bore
    people more than necessary.

    I'll initiate things by suggesting the following forms: Elizabethan sonnet, ballade,
    villanelle, pantoum, or another Petrarchan sonnet.

    Of these forms, the villanelle is probably the most difficult to squeeze meaning into.
    The Elizabethan sonnet is probably the tightest "fit" because of its 3 quatrain +
    couplet structure. I like the ballade, but I don't want to force it on anyone.

    If all of you're feeling ambitious, there's chant royale.

    Mouser? HawkLord? Mikey_C? Anyone? Opinions or reactions?

    LSN

    Comment


    • #77
      Sonnet Summary

      Here's the final summary of our efforts. The next ones will
      be part of a different verse sequence.

      LSN

      -------
      <text deleted and moved to new thread>

      The summaries now have their own thread. I plan to post
      out subsequent collections of verse there.

      The thread may be found here:

      [broken link]
      Last edited by Rothgo; 04-09-2010, 03:43 AM.

      Comment


      • #78
        I found it useful to have an example of the form in question - I found an effort by Milton for the sonnet. Does anyone know any good websites for this sort of thing?
        \"...an ape reft of his tail, and grown rusty at climbing, who yet feels himself to be a symbol and the frail representative of Omnipotence in a place that is not home.\" James Branch Cabell

        Comment


        • #79
          Thanks for the kind words everyone. I like the idea of experimenting with a different form each time. Perhaps the Elizabethan next? Here's an example from the Bard himself:

          Let me not to the marriage of true minds
          Admit impediments. Love is not love
          Which alters when it alteration finds
          Or bends with the remover to remove.
          Oh no, it is an ever fixed mark
          Which looks on tempests and is never shaken
          It is the star to every wandering bark
          Whose worth's unknown although his height be taken.
          Love's not time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
          Within his bending cycle's compass come;
          Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks
          But bears it out e'en to the ending doom.
          If this be error and upon me proved
          I never writ nor no man ever loved.

          NB In the old days love was pronounced loove and come was pronounced coome, so it does rhyme :lol:

          Rhyming scheme is: a b a b, c d c d, e f e f, g g.

          Hope that Hawklord gets time to check in soon. What do you think? Mikey_C I'll see if I can dig up a website on poetry and verse forms.

          Comment


          • #80
            The wikipedia article on poetry seems to have a good overview of the various forms and metres:

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poetry

            Comment


            • #81
              Since you guys don't seem to need further explanation, I won't trouble
              you with anything as involved as last time. There's a standard pattern to
              the argument of an Elizabethan sonnet (it's a syllogism) as well as a well-
              defined rhyme scheme: abab cdcd efef gg. That's really all there is to it, so
              I won't belabor the issue.

              As for poetic forms and meters, I don't need any references myself unless
              we try some exotic form. If any of you are interested, I'd recommend
              Lewis Turco's The New Book of Forms and John Hollander's
              Rhyme's Reason. Fortunately, I've an extensive library.

              If for whatever reason any of you want me to hold forth on this subject,
              let me know. Otherwise, I'll pass.

              LSN

              Comment


              • #82
                Originally posted by L_Stearns_Newburg
                I was actually a trifle surprised that you bothered to read us.
                We have informants everywhere. See that guy on the corner pretending to read the newspaper? Well, he tipped me off that you were talking about me.

                Originally posted by L_Stearns_Newburg
                Are you insinuating, sir, that I'm given to using language that's less than pellucid, or that aspires to be pointlessly (and falsely) recondite?
                Oooh, both of those scary words were in my dictionary! I'm very happy. I was about to return it as "faulty".

                Originally posted by L_Stearns_Newburg
                Originally posted by DeeCrowSeer
                and you have to tell all of your friends that you love watching Married With Children reruns. So mote it be.
                :? Is that some sort of stupid television show? Is it in the U.K., or is it a piece of American crap? Honestly, I'm not sure what you're talking about here, so the reference is lost on me.
                Yes, it was a stupid American television show. You'd better look it up, because you have to pretend to like it from this point forward. It's the law.

                Originally posted by L_Stearns_Newburg
                Are we in future to refer to you as "the jack-booted Mr. Crosier"? :lol:
                I don't wear the boots, I just kiss them... and taste the heel as it slams down into my face for all eternity... Ooops! Now I'm off-topic. Bad Dee, bad... :(
                "That which does not kill us, makes us stranger." - Trevor Goodchild

                Comment


                • #83
                  Originally posted by DeeCrowSeer
                  Originally posted by L_Stearns_Newburg
                  I was actually a trifle surprised that you bothered to read us.
                  We have informants everywhere. See that guy on the corner pretending to read the newspaper? Well, he tipped me off that you were talking about me.
                  Careful, D. Your paranoia is showing.

                  Originally posted by DeeCrowSeer

                  Originally posted by L_Stearns_Newburg
                  Are you insinuating, sir, that I'm given to using language that's less than pellucid, or that aspires to be pointlessly (and falsely) recondite?
                  Oooh, both of those scary words were in my dictionary! I'm very happy. I was about to return it as "faulty".
                  "Scary" words? :? Do you start at polysyllabic utterance? :lol:

                  I gather you think my diction is peculiar. Tant pis.

                  Originally posted by DeeCrowSeer
                  Originally posted by L_Stearns_Newburg
                  Originally posted by DeeCrowSeer
                  and you have to tell all of your friends that you love watching Married With Children reruns. So mote it be.
                  :? Is that some sort of stupid television show? Is it in the U.K., or is it a piece of American crap? Honestly, I'm not sure what you're talking about here, so the reference is lost on me.
                  Yes, it was a stupid American television show. You'd better look it up, because you have to pretend to like it from this point forward. It's the law.
                  This looks like a good time for civil disobedience.

                  Anyone who tries to force me to watch TV will receive an impromptu
                  Hapkido lesson. Bring on your enforcers, Mr. Crosier!

                  Originally posted by DeeCrowSeer

                  Originally posted by L_Stearns_Newburg
                  Are we in future to refer to you as "the jack-booted Mr. Crosier"? :lol:
                  I don't wear the boots, I just kiss them... and taste the heel as it slams down into my face for all eternity... Ooops! Now I'm off-topic. Bad Dee, bad... :(
                  I'll never slam anyone for being off topic. It makes for amusing side-banter.
                  If we need to return to topic, we simply make a left turn -- tell us, Dee, what
                  do you think of Hopkins' experiments in "sprung rhythm"? Do you believe this
                  is a fruitful direction to pursue for all these would-be versifiers?

                  Vote Duncan Crosier for poetic arbiter elegantiarum!

                  LSN

                  Comment


                  • #84
                    Originally posted by L_Stearns_Newburg
                    Careful, D. Your paranoia is showing.
                    :D

                    Originally posted by L_Stearns_Newburg
                    Originally posted by DeeCrowSeer
                    Oooh, both of those scary words were in my dictionary! I'm very happy. I was about to return it as "faulty".
                    "Scary" words? :? Do you start at polysyllabic utterance? :lol:

                    I gather you think my diction is peculiar. Tant pis.
                    Not at all. It just reminds me that looming beyond the horizon of everything I know, there is a vast eternity of things I will never know. I seem to vaguely recall an analogy about a single human's knowledge being nothing more than a pin prick of light in the vast night of the unknown. Well, that's how I feel somedays, anyway.

                    Totally off-topic, but I once went to the Oxford Students' Union for a lecture, and I have never felt so at home and yet totally inadequate in my entire life. By my home town's standards I'm an "intellectual", but by Oxford's standards? Not even close.

                    (Note: Anyone who can read without moving their lips is an "intellectual" by my home town's standards)

                    Originally posted by L_Stearns_Newburg
                    This looks like a good time for civil disobedience. Anyone who tries to force me to watch TV will receive an impromptu Hapkido lesson. Bring on your enforcers, Mr. Crosier!
                    Um... I probably won't be enforcing that particular rule then! 8O I don't want my enforcers getting their uniforms all messed up with blood and grass stains.

                    Originally posted by L_Stearns_Newburg
                    Tell us, Dee, what do you think of Hopkins' experiments in "sprung rhythm"? Do you believe this is a fruitful direction to pursue for all these would-be versifiers?
                    I'll be honest... I had to go off and run a quick web search to find out exactly what you were talking about. From what I can gather, it sounds quite an interesting approach, but I would probably need to see an example by someone who understood what they were doing before I fully grasped it. For anyone else who's curious about such things, an intresting page can be found at:

                    http://theliterarylink.com/versification.html
                    "That which does not kill us, makes us stranger." - Trevor Goodchild

                    Comment


                    • #85
                      Dee, excuse me when I laugh a little about your remarks on the limits of human knowledge
                      and attendant feelings of inadequacy. Everyone here knows you're a smart guy. However,
                      I'd speculate without knowing you that you're under 30. Around 22 - 26 I'd guess.
                      You haven't been alive long enough to have a substantial baseline of experience
                      that'll buttress your feelings of self-worth. No one knows everything, of course,
                      and most of us, if we've worked at something and thought about it long and hard
                      become "expert" in a narrow area of human knowledge. Outside our areas of expertise,
                      we may possess a nodding acquaintance with a subject, but we're rank amateurs. That's
                      why I try to defer to people more expert than me in subjects other than mathematics
                      and the physical sciences where I've been educated. In things like literature, art,
                      philosophy, psychology, et caetera, I'm a hopeless amateur. My wife is an artist
                      and an art historian. Being good at mathematics doesn't grant me any expertise in
                      that area, no matter how much time I've spent in galleries or looked at "art books."
                      I'd never dream of upstaging her or arguing against her expertise -- at most, I ask
                      for clarification or explanation. That doesn't make me feel inadequate; that's her
                      area of expertise, not mine.

                      There's a point we all reach with formal education and experience where we start to
                      wonder whether someone holding forth to us really knows what he's talking about.
                      Digging a little may reveal that his so-called knowledge is centimeters deep, at best,
                      or that he's repeating things he learned in school, but never internalized. I've even
                      encountered this in professional people who try to hide the lacunae in their knowledge
                      of their own subject! Don't let people snow you.

                      At the same time, I'd encourage you to frequent places like the Oxford Student Union, even
                      at the cost of some unpleasant feelings. Such evidence as we possess seems to indicate
                      that such places and associations are your natural milieu, rather than Dorset.

                      Ultimately, that's what it comes down to: finding your place in the world -- I hesitate
                      to say "great good place" as Henry James put it, because that's maybe going too far;
                      but you're clearly out of your element in Dorset. It sounds like a classic "big fish in a
                      small pond" scenario. To grow, you've got to find a bigger pond, or an ocean.

                      The Oxford Student Union sounds like your sort of place. Listening to knowledgeable
                      people, and engaging them in discussion is one of the best ways to sharpen our
                      understanding and perception of the world. You don't need to debate these guys,
                      but the intellectual and emotional climate seem more in line with your predilections.

                      Excuse my Polonius-like ramblings. You're one of my favorite posters on MWM, and
                      you seem to be at that age where you're questioning yourself a lot. I remember it
                      well from personal experience. It makes me feel indulgent.

                      ---

                      Concerning "sprung rhythm," I could pull up some Hopkins for us to discuss his
                      procedure. "The Wreck of the Deutschland" is commonly studied, but there are
                      other verses I like better. Hopkins became a Catholic priest, and I'm somewhat
                      unsympathetic to his pious carrying-on at times, but he wrote some good stuff.
                      I can quote something here, if you like, but it's easy enough to look it up. You
                      studied poetry at school -- is Hopkins not much studied these days? In undergraduate
                      school, I had him rammed down my throat, as it were. That was long ago, of course.

                      LSN

                      Comment


                      • #86
                        Elizabethan sonnet examples.

                        Here's some Shakespeare that follows the rules and controls the means throughout. It's always been one of my favorite sonnets, and it strikes me as
                        being more successful than most of his essays in the form.

                        Sonnet XXIX

                        When in disgrace with Fortune and men's eyes
                        I all alone beweep my outcast state,
                        And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries,
                        And look upon myself and curse my fate,

                        Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,
                        Featured like him, like him with friends possessed,
                        Desiring this man's art, and that man's scope,
                        With what I most enjoy contented least,

                        Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising,
                        Haply I think on thee, and then my state
                        (Like to the lark at break of day arising
                        From sullen earth) sings hymns at heaven's gate,

                        For thy sweet love remembered such wealth brings,
                        That then I scorn to change my state with kings.

                        ----

                        And here's a case where Shakespeare couldn't keep control throughout. I think it has good lines, but it's slightly wonky. I like the lines, "Thence comes it that my name receives a brand, / And almost thence my nature is subdued / To what it works in, like the dyer's hand." However, the concluding couplet doesn't work for me -- it seems like a dose of bathos after what came before. This is one of
                        the hazards in this particular form.

                        Sonnet CXI

                        O! for my sake do you with Fortune chide,
                        The guilty goddess of my harmful deeds,
                        That did not better for my life provide
                        Than public means which public manners breeds.

                        Thence comes it that my name receives a brand,
                        And almost thence my nature is subdued
                        To what it works in, like the dyer's hand:
                        Pity me, then, and wish I were renewed;

                        Whilst, like a willing patient, I will drink
                        Potions of eisell 'gainst my strong infection;
                        No bitterness that I will bitter think,
                        Nor double penance, to correct correction.

                        Pity me then, dear friend, and I assure ye,
                        Even that your pity is enough to cure me.

                        ----

                        I hope this helps a little.

                        LSN

                        Comment


                        • #87
                          Haha, LSN.
                          Today is the first time I looked in this thread.

                          I'll just say that I'm into modern poetry.

                          Ok, back to Political Pressures and Q&A !!

                          :D
                          \"Bush\'s army of barmy bigots is the worst thing that\'s happened to the US in some years...\"
                          Michael Moorcock - 3am Magazine Interview

                          Comment


                          • #88
                            Originally posted by Jerico
                            Haha, LSN.
                            Today is the first time I looked in this thread.

                            I'll just say that I'm into modern poetry.
                            So am I. A lot of modern poets (Yeats and Auden)
                            wrote in traditional forms, and did interesting tricks
                            such as slant-rhymes. We ought to have a sequence
                            that concentrates on just that. If you're interested,
                            we can try it soon.

                            Originally posted by Jerico
                            Ok, back to Political Pressures and Q&A !!

                            :D
                            I know where you're spending most of your time,
                            and it's time well-spent, for the most part. :lol:

                            I get weary of certain types of debating tactics and
                            just ignore the Political Pressures threads for long
                            stretches. Something like this is a nice change of
                            pace.

                            LSN

                            Comment


                            • #89
                              Elizabethan sonnet words

                              Below is the first round. If anyone else joins in, we can give them the first
                              e -, f -, and g-rhymes. Dee, Doc, Jerico, Bob, Etive, Danisty, Adlerian,
                              Carter, Bill... The list of people whom it would be nice to have participate is
                              long. I'm sure I left out someone.

                              If any of the Scandinavians are interested in giving this a try, they'd be more
                              than welcome. (Svenskar, Danskar, och Norskar often know English well
                              enough to handle something like this. It helps that the morphologies of
                              our respective languages are so close.)

                              A suggestion for picking words: let's make some of the rhyme words verbs.
                              Alternating nouns with verbs is an old trick I've seen used in some of these
                              games. A noun or adjective at the end of the line all the time can produce a
                              sense of monotony in the lines.

                              LSN
                              --------------
                              a - tale
                              b - Mikey_C
                              a -
                              b -

                              c - Grey Mouser
                              d - HawkLord (if he's interested)
                              c -
                              d -

                              e -
                              f -
                              e -
                              f -

                              g -
                              g -

                              Comment


                              • #90
                                a - tale
                                b - impose
                                a -
                                b -

                                c - Grey Mouser
                                d - HawkLord (if he's interested)
                                c -
                                d -

                                e -
                                f -
                                e -
                                f -

                                g -
                                g -

                                Funny thought: If I wrote the poems about my study topics, this could be turned into a handy revision exercise. Shakespearian sonnet on "Understanding Company Accounts", anyone? :lol:

                                Re. Hopkins; he was certainly a popular subject for sixth form study when I was doing 'A' Level English literature - over 20 years ago, alas!
                                \"...an ape reft of his tail, and grown rusty at climbing, who yet feels himself to be a symbol and the frail representative of Omnipotence in a place that is not home.\" James Branch Cabell

                                Comment

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