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Thread: Poetry Hit Rate

  1. #16
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    Poetry by Charles Bukowski

    it
    takes
    a lot of
    desperation
    dissatisfaction
    and
    disillusion
    to
    write
    a
    few
    good
    poems.
    it's not
    for
    everybody
    either to
    write
    it
    or even to
    read
    it.

  2. #17
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    bukowski has a handful of great poems discouraging people from writing poems
    while i agree with him, it hardly seems necessary
    who do you know who even reads? much less write. i mean really?!

  3. #18

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    That Bukowski poem is not actually a poem, which is probably its point. It's a sentence broken up into lots of lines.

  4. #19

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    Or 2 sentences.

  5. #20
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    well that is the bulk of bukowski's oeuvre; rants with scansion
    he is more a personality than a poet
    i arrived at this after devouring a couple dozen of his books of poetry and prose

    :shrug:

    i like my buk encased in mickey rourke

    funny thing was hearing buk read (on tape) for the first time
    i was not prepared for his voice, adenoidal, smarmy, slimy, grimy

    poetry readings are a tightrope walk
    very insidious
    i feel like aristotle here... entertainment value should not be a consideration when experiencing art

  6. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by craner View Post
    That Bukowski poem is not actually a poem, which is probably its point. It's a sentence broken up into lots of lines.
    Begging the question - what is a poem?

  7. #22
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    That Bukowski
    poem
    is not actually
    a poem,

    which
    is probably
    its
    point.

    It's
    a sentence broken
    up into
    lots of lines.

    Or 2 sentences.
    militant dysphoria: cold world
    anguished shrieks: spiral jacobs
    Cheery melodies: Globes of Venus

  8. #23

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    Well, if you're not writing verse in established verse structure, it should at least be something other than broken up prose. (For example, The Wasteland.)

    For example, prose poetry is a description rather than a defintion.

    People who read William Carlos Williams and think that they can do that, generally can't. Even WCW can't a lot of the time.

    Writing poetry is not at all easy. I can't do it, so I don't.

    Or: Joyce wasn't a very good poet, so he wrote Ulysses. Eliot couldn't write prose as naturally and beautifully as Joyce. Even his lit crit essays are constipated.

  9. #24

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    Oh, well said, Poetix! I wish I'd written that!

  10. #25
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    if i didn't do stuff that i couldn't do there'd be no point in getting out of bed.

    poetry is like the subway system but instead of taking you to the station stops it sends you to, say, the interiors of music boxes, the other side of the mirror, and other unexpected places. i read somewhere that poetry makes subterranean connections---that sounds right. maybe it is a space in which meaning can play.

    poets that i know, like professional-type, they live off their poems types, seem to deride fiction. i can understand that because the mission of a fiction writer seems, in a way, antithetical to that of a poet. i have trouble articulating the difference. that would be the job of a poet, maybe?

  11. #26

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    Well, I'm not saying you shouldn't write poetry, and I don't think "professional" poets add up to much anyway (that just means you get published, right?) but to be a good poet, or write a good poem, you have to know what you're doing, surely?

    Why would that
    word
    start a new line,
    for example?

    If you can't technically write poetry, you have to have some other supernatural talent for it to write good poems. Like, say, Luka.

    Luka's great poems are great not just because of the beautiful subject, location, imagery, but because

    1. when he gets going his rhythmic instinct is magic and impeccable, rough and rolling, which I partly put down to imbibing Kool FM in his pre-teen years, and

    2. alternatively, an intense, aryrthmic logophilia which reminds me of no one less than Mina Loy.

    Luke and I have fallen out recently, so I am writing quite dispassionately here.

  12. #27
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    i haven't seen (or read) luka's pomes but i like mina loy
    i suspect it helps not knowing what you are doing when it comes to poetry
    technical proficiency brings to mind formalism
    tumescence at the use of commas isn't an aesthetic experience but something rather more (pause) perverse

  13. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by craner View Post
    Or: Joyce wasn't a very good poet, so he wrote Ulysses. Eliot couldn't write prose as naturally and beautifully as Joyce. Even his lit crit essays are constipated.
    Well, as soon as you get away from actual poetic forms, rhyme, meter, etc., there is no line between prose and poetry. From my way of thinking, many poets are simply lazy prose writers. I can take a page of descriptive prose and break it into lines, as I've done in Exterminator!, and then you've got a poem. Call it a poem.

    - William Burroughs

  14. #29
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    well, and then there are prose poems by the likes of gertrude stein and charles simic----poetry written in the shape of prose

  15. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sick Boy View Post
    Well, as soon as you get away from actual poetic forms, rhyme, meter, etc., there is no line between prose and poetry. From my way of thinking, many poets are simply lazy prose writers. I can take a page of descriptive prose and break it into lines, as I've done in Exterminator!, and then you've got a poem. Call it a poem.

    - William Burroughs
    I'd have to agree, I think people who make too fine a distinction between poetry and prose are just being fussy formalists. Which is fine. It's just bordering on the deathly dull.

    It'd be like taking a Britney song and breaking it down into keys and measures and modulations and harmonics and telling you exactly when she goes off pitch or doesn't quite hit a note. Does anyone really care?

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