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Trevor
Niggers and beaners and kikes, oh my!

Joined: Mon Sep 13, 2004 5:24 am
Posts: 289
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2008 2:54 pm 
 

imagine that a hot young woman told me that she likes poetry a lot and it sort of felt as if she had kicked me in the balls because I've never been able to 'get' poetry, I mean if the title doesn't shed a good light on what the poem is about (and even then) then after reading it I'm a bit like the deer who stares at the truck lights, I can appreciate it in a certain way, how it sounds and such but it doesn't reach me and I forget about it. Being poetically challenged right now bothers me and I don't think I can fake it, so I need some help.

How do I get into it? Is it something you can learn or is it instinctive? How do you distinguish bad poetry from good poetry?

I'll listen to this course

http://www.teach12.com/ (LONG URL JUST CLICK ON IT)

but if you have some recommendations / exercices / whatever for me, go ahead. French or English only. I know Lovecraft wrote something theoritical about poetry but I don't think I have it at home. Please refrain from posting your poetry or someone else's without some explanation
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Derigin
Anthropophagus

Joined: Sun Jan 01, 2006 6:25 am
Posts: 2714
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2008 4:01 pm 
 

There's quite a lot of people who don't want to, or can't by any means really "get" poetry. I find more and more that it's something where you have to pick and choose and see what works for you.

I'd recommend checking out various styles. Like metal, there are certain styles of poetry that might appeal to you than some of the others. The major styles I can think of off the top of my head are those of the 16th to 18th century poetry, the Romanticism of the early 1800s, early impressionist abstract of the late 1800s, beatnik of the 1960s, and so on. The older it gets, the more (it seems from my perspective) it's more structured and usually based about superficial or ideal romance. The newer you get, the more abstract, more weird and more omniscient poetry generally gets. There's many various strands, and the best advice I can give you is to find a poetry conglomerate database (there's tons on the net, but utilize the academic ones first) and just go through it. There'll be poetry from China dating back to the 400s BC. There'll be poetry from folk artists up to a couple years ago.

The other thing you could do is to go to poetry sessions at local theatres or at poetry festivals. You get an idea of what is bad and good poetry from that. See how people react. If you're really lucky, there'll be someone who will do a presentation piece - a piece that utilizes actors - and it'll give you an idea about how poetry is interpreted by the poet.

The last thing I can think of at the moment would be a poetry class, but all that will inevitably teach you is that poetry is subjective - it's what you take out of it.

Also, I wouldn't rely on the title or necessarily on the sound. Poetry is very fluid, and - as such - titles are secondary. What really matters, especially among free verse and abstract poets, is the words used with the structure. You will notice that
(some) poems
are much like -
this -
or
that other poems become one long sentence that never really ends and just goes on and on and on and may not make any grammatic sense and lacks punctuation of any kind. Format is supposed to manipulate how it's interpreted, what is interpreted, and what there is emphasis on. It's a train of thought, or at least an attempt by the poet to structure how thought is processed in words. It was much more common in the past than now to have people structure works in specific formats... pentameter, a,b,a,b rhymes, and so on. It was also more common for poems to generally focus on the same or similar subject matter (usually a hot virgin red-headed woman, or nature against urbanism, etc). It's just something to keep in mind - if you end up finding poetry which you understand fully and enjoy - in order to perhaps see if it is related to any certain format, style, meaning or similar subject matter.

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Imret
Metal newbie

Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2007 6:41 pm
Posts: 51
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2008 4:55 pm 
 

The above poster has some good advice, but...

If poetry is not your thing, for the sweet love of satan don't try and fake an interest in it just to impress some cute girl.

Specifics of the situation aside, genuine interests impress women, not assumed ones, and you're setting yourself up for a lot of neediness and difficulty with women down the road by taking that approach. If you genuinely want to develop an interest in poetry, do it for yourself. 'Poetry' is about as wide a field as 'music' is; it could be as simple as finding a style, period, author, etc. that moves you. Take a course, or just hit up a used bookstore, find a big anthology of poetry and read through it over time until something hits you, and explore from there. I discovered Baudelaire and Lautreamont in this manner and it completely opened up an interest in French decadent poetry. Ymmv.

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oneyoudontknow
Cum insantientibus furere necesse est.

Joined: Sun May 21, 2006 6:25 pm
Posts: 5347
Location: Germany
PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2008 6:08 am 
 

Imret wrote:
If poetry is not your thing, for the sweet love of satan don't try and fake an interest in it just to impress some cute girl.

For poetry you need rhythm, passion for the styles and much more... if you have some poets in front of you and think... WTF... then this is nothing for you.

But perhaps you can learn this.. try some audiobooks; listen and raed simultaneously and try to get the feeling for it. Do not expect progression in 24h.

and to distinguish what is good and bad in poetry is not easy, as there are a wide range if different approahces to do it. I personally cannot really stand Hiaku's, but they are admired by a lot.
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Lychgate
Metalhead

Joined: Sun Jun 22, 2003 8:20 am
Posts: 450
Location: United Kingdom
PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2008 6:18 am 
 

There isn't really much to "get" with poetry. Older poetry (i.e. pre-Modernist, so poetry from the 1800s and previous) will regularly make use of allusions and references and metaphor and end-line rhyme, but with the advent of Modernism that sort of thing came into a complete fallout. Poetry became more about form and experimentation, and as a result of this and other Modernist / Postmodernist philosophies which came to drive a lot poetry, most poetry from this century and last century works as such that what you get is what is you get. Equally the sorts of poetry you like will depend on the (sub-)cultures in which you grew up / participate, so what is good and what is bad is entirely subjective; don't let anyone dictate what is good and bad to you.

Having said that, I highly recommend just picking up any poetry anthology and simply reading until you discover what you like about poems and what you don't like. At the same time, I recommend trying to understand why you like certain types of poetry and then challenge those preconceptions. Starting with traditional stuff like Romantic and Metaphysical poetry might be a good idea, and then just work your way towards more modern stuff. "The Waste Land" by T S Eliot is one of the most important poems in this regard, I think (but this is only my opinion), because it is the poem which most clearly marks the break between pre-Modernist and Modernist / "Post-"Modernist styles.
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