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Thread: Is poetry a dead realm?

  1. #31
    Artist and Bibliophile stlukesguild's Avatar
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    Here's an interesting question though: Is the audience proportionally larger to the level of worldwide interconnectivity? I mean, it's one thing to say that contemporary poets are read more and sell more, but surely part of that is due to the global market and interconnectivity that only the 20th Century made possible.

    Of course there are reasons that Anne Carson has more readers than Shakespeare or Dante did during their lifetime. The movable type printing press was invented after Dante's time and modern presses far surpass the capabilities of the press in Shakespeare's time. The population of the world has greatly increased as has the percentage of that population which is literate. We have far fewer distinct languages today than in the past where the shift from one town to the next might involve a shift in dialect and spelling so drastic as to result in a virtual different language. At the same time, we have seen an increasing spread of certain languages which leads to an increasing accessibility to writers in certain languages. International trade, and communications add further to this all.

    Admittedly the audience for poetry... but also serious literature, classical music, jazz, bluegrass, Indian ragas, the films of Bergman, painting, sculpture, opera, and most other art forms is limited... a niche audience if you will. Even the popular arts are largely limited by culture. The best selling novel at any point on the NYT Best Seller's list is unlikely to be a huge hit in Japan or China. Blazeofglory seems to be suggesting that it is a failure on the part of the poet that he or she does not have a larger audience. The notion of a universal audience, however is ridiculous. A book like Harry Potter reached a huge audience. A large part of its success (beyond the vast marketing machines employed by the publishers) was owed to the employment of certain elements... including a relative simplicity. For all its success, a novel like Harry Potter failed to interest other readers who demand something more challenging... who avoid the cliche, etc... The size of the audience is no measure of the merit of the art... for or against. Lady Gaga currently appeals to a larger audience than Mozart but I doubt this says anything about Mozart's artistic failings.

    I will agree (in part) with Mortalterror's assertion that a very small niche audience can be an indicator that there is something wrong with the art. There are those who employ art as a means of asserting social status and there is a certain status in liking... even being aware of the latest art or music or literature... especially that which fails to resonate even with a majority of those who are well-versed in a given art form. One becomes a cognoscenti among cognoscenti. But again... such is no proof for or against a work of art. Most great artistic innovations begin with the support of a very limited audience... whether we are speaking of William Blake or Van Gogh.

    I don't think, however, that you can really compare the "learned vocabulary" of music, painting, and other visual arts to that of literature and poetry. You can't look at text in a language you don't understand and experience that as art, certainly not on any primal level. While even a child can listen or watch and be affected by music and painting and cinema. Of course, we create a vocabulary for music, film, etc. to communicate what we hear, what we like, what we dislike, etc., but this isn't needed to experience and enjoy it.

    What we need to recognize is that our "learned vocabulary" in art, film, music, and literature is being continually developed by what we experience everyday and what we are formally taught. The distortions and abstractions of Cubism and Expressionism left the original audiences baffled... if not outraged. Today children grow up looking at comic books and cartoon figures that employ the same vocabulary to such an extent that they seem "natural". Sergei Eisenstein employed great cuts in time and space in his films that also left initial audiences dazed and confused. We have grown up with these to such an extent that again they seem wholly natural.

    The same might be said of literature. The first novels shocked with their abstractions and their artifice. Most of us have grown up with this notion of fictional prose to such an extent that we no longer recognize the artifice involved. Poetry, drama, and some post-Modern forms strike many contemporary readers as far more "affected"... "mannered"... "artificial"... in spite of the fact that in reality they are often rooted in far older traditions. Poetry is a challenge for many readers for the simple reason that they haven't been exposed to it often... either at home or in their formal education.
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  2. #32
    Artist and Bibliophile stlukesguild's Avatar
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    Problem is that those difficult poets tend to be the ones most frequently labeled as great, and the ones that are (or used to be?) taught in schools.

    This may be due to the fact that it is far easier to "prove" the "genius" of a work which is complex... as opposed to the simple lyric. The same holds true in other art forms as well. Many new-comers to classical music struggle with Mozart... not because his music is so difficult... but rather because it seems so simple in comparison to the obvious complexities of Beethoven, Brahms, and Wagner. The same is true in painting. It is easy to argue for Raphael's genius based upon this painting:



    as opposed to this one:



    The School of Athens is laden with levels of symbolism and iconography of the sort to make the art historian salivate. The Portrait of Baldasar Castiglione, on the other hand, is... well, just a portrait. In spite of being recognized as a supreme masterpiece by artists as different as Rembrandt, Rubens, Cezanne, and Picasso, it is not a work that opens itself readily to an analysis as to why it is so good.

    The same might be true when looking at some examples from Modern art:



    Picasso's iconic Les Demoiselles d'Avignon shattered notions about painting and truly heralded Modernism, Cubism, and even abstraction. The writer can gush about its innovations and its impact and spend entire pages exploring the iconography... the elements drawn from El Greco, from Romanesque Spanish painting, from Cezanne, and from archaic Greek and Etruscan figures, and from African sculpture.

    This painting is far more difficult to analyze:



    In spite of the reference to the sculpted Venus in the mirror and the magical handling of paint and color, the painting largely seems to be a mere representation of everyday reality: a woman bathing in her home/apartment.

    The same obviously is true in poetry. How much more can be spent unveiling the references and "meanings" in T.S. Eliot's Wasteland than in a simple lyric like this:

    Über allen Gipfeln
    Ist Ruh'
    In allen Wipfeln
    Spürest Du
    Kaum einen Hauch;
    Die Vögelein schweigen im Walde
    Warte nur, balde
    Ruhest Du auch.

    or this:

    Quand vous serez bien vieille, au soir, à la chandelle,
    Assise auprès du feu, dévidant et filant,
    Direz, chantant mes vers, en vous émerveillant :
    Ronsard me célébrait du temps que j’étais belle.

    Lors, vous n’aurez servante oyant telle nouvelle,
    Déjà sous le labeur à demi sommeillant,
    Qui au bruit de mon nom ne s’aille réveillant,
    Bénissant votre nom de louange immortelle.

    Je serai sous la terre et fantôme sans os :
    Par les ombres myrteux je prendrai mon repos :
    Vous serez au foyer une vieille accroupie,

    Regrettant mon amour et votre fier dédain.
    Vivez, si m’en croyez, n’attendez à demain :
    Cueillez dès aujourd’hui les roses de la vie.

    or this:

    She walks in Beauty, like the night
    Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
    And all that's best of dark and bright
    Meet in her aspect and her eyes:
    Thus mellowed to that tender light
    Which Heaven to gaudy day denies.

    One shade the more, one ray the less,
    Had half impaired the nameless grace
    Which waves in every raven tress,
    Or softly lightens o'er her face;
    Where thoughts serenely sweet express,
    How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.

    And on that cheek, and o'er that brow,
    So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
    The smiles that win, the tints that glow,
    But tell of days in goodness spent,
    A mind at peace with all below,
    A heart whose love is innocent!

    And yet these seemingly simple lyrics which so resonate may not be any less perfect than the more complex work. They simply evade analysis or dissection.
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  3. #33
    Artist and Bibliophile stlukesguild's Avatar
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    The problem with the poetry that I think blazeofglory refers to is that it fails to move people, few or many, who actually do read it.


    Again, how is that a "problem" of the poet? You are assuming that the goal of the artist is (or should be) to reach the largest audience possible... if not everyone. Chinese music does nothing for me. That is not necessarily a failing on the part of the composers, but rather it is a failing on my part. I have decided that I am not interested in putting forth the time and labor need to understand an appreciate this music. The fact that opera or modern painting or Bergman's films or poetry do not resonate with an audience unwilling to put forth the effort need to meet the artist half-way... to appreciate the work... is not the fault of the artist.
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    As if the artist can or have any control of the process of Art beyond the production of his work. That is like assuming Virgil had planned to be a Chritian honoris causa or Dante to have his named related to the grotesque and not the sublime, Milton to rebels without cause, Shakespeare to freudians, Cervantes to buffons... People try to uncover the mistery of Mona Lisa, which mistery may be none, just like "She walks in beauty", a perfect portrait which story of production have caused probabilities which - for someone as keen to mind games, charades, etc - was not that relevant to da Vinci. Heck, La Fontaine and Perrault didn't wrote for children, the arabians did not understand a 1001 Nights like a metaphor of eternity, Dostoievisky never had the pretession to be a psychologist, Flaubert buffed with people liking Emma Bovary (the character, who he said was a portrait of people he disliked), Goethe would laugh of the idea of nationalism, much more of Germanism...

    In the end, the artists can be even erased (I doubt there will ever a movement which slogan will be "the reader is dead") and the art will be sustained. Nobody knew Red Ridding Hood author, yet, that simple like a kid scratch tale which is obviously just about the relation with wild wolves, is interpreted in hundred different ways. I will blame someone like Basho for writing conteplative poems for the XX century western readers...

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by JBI View Post
    I'll give you another example.
    终南望雨雪
    租咏
    终南阴岭秀,积雪浮云端。 
    林表明霁色,城中增暮寒。

    ...IF that is not playing with images I do not know what it is. I couldn't even get translations into the poem of the more particular bits, since they are so abstract.
    There is also meter in the Tang poem you quote. This is the sonic part that I believe dominates: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Classic...e_poetry_forms

    I suspect they were playing more with sound than images.

  6. #36
    Bibliophile JBI's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by YesNo View Post
    There is also meter in the Tang poem you quote. This is the sonic part that I believe dominates: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Classic...e_poetry_forms

    I suspect they were playing more with sound than images.
    You couldn't be more wrong. Sound is like metre, is Homer playing with sound, or images? That's like you saying an artist is playing with ink.

    Besides, this poem is far less dominated by sound than, lets say, a Du Mu poem. The think doesn't even rhyme, which is quite common in curtailed forms. These short poems in general are dominated by images, as that is all the form allows - there is no room for fancy "sound games" that are better suited for longer poems. That being said, there is metre, but that just effects sound - the way you read is tracing images, and moving with the eye of the poem. I don't need a wikipedia article to tell me that, I have the fancy edition of the book with the two page commentary in front of me if I need someone to tell me how to read.

    I trust you are reading it in Chinese?
    Last edited by JBI; 04-14-2011 at 07:42 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by stlukesguild View Post
    I will agree (in part) with Mortalterror's assertion that a very small niche audience can be an indicator that there is something wrong with the art. There are those who employ art as a means of asserting social status and there is a certain status in liking... even being aware of the latest art or music or literature... especially that which fails to resonate even with a majority of those who are well-versed in a given art form. One becomes a cognoscenti among cognoscenti. But again... such is no proof for or against a work of art. Most great artistic innovations begin with the support of a very limited audience... whether we are speaking of William Blake or Van Gogh.
    There is, more correctly, a problem with how poetry is marketed by the publishing industry. There is a disconnect between literary journal dependence on university/college sponsorship, and traditional commercial marketing, and projects like DoubleTake, which heroically attempted to bridge the gap, still fail. What does Amazon highlight on a random visit? Mystery, thrillers, romance, Christian, YA. More esoteric tastes take some labor.

    Poetry also suffers, like fiction, from ghettoization. Everyone writes it without making an effort to accomplish anything with it as a craft. I started out that way. Write and submit. Now it's write and email, and, as authors get more established, they limit their exposure, which also has reverberations. I wouldn't get caught dead in most online writing forums, though I still post in the LNF when I can stomach it.

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by JBI View Post
    But why then do we say poetry is difficult?
    Maybe it's because I came to poetry through Chaucer, Milton, and Shakespeare, but it definitely required a reorientation of how I approached and mentally processed language. For most people, language is a tool for direct communication. The fewer ambiguities, the better. If my friends are I are hanging out and I say "I'm hungry; you guys want to grab a bite to eat?" there's no ambiguity, no metaphor, no rhetoric, no subtlety, no "between the text meaning". If I instead said, "Like the mouth of the sea that indiscriminately swallows the travelers who dare to tread her wavering face yet are digested in Poseidon's grave, so could I partake in victuals" then they're going to look at me as if I lost my mind. Yeah, that's an extreme example, and it's not even a difficult one to follow for those accustomed to encountering metaphor, but for those NOT accustomed, it just comes across as white noise.

    Most people are all about content. When I first got into cinema, I argued with my parents frequently that were more important things to film than the story. When my mother wanted to convince me a movie was good, she's relate the story, If I told her one was good, she's ask me to relate the story, as if a plot outline ever determined the quality of any work of narrative art. Poetry is almost defined by its insistence on indirect communication and evocation, by its emphasis of form as used to express content (more than the naked content itself). Even if you take your example, which simply works in evocative (if not metaphoric) images, it still becomes clear that the significance lies deeper than the surface content of what the words refer to, and people simply aren't use to processing art on that level. It does, indeed, take a certain amount of effort of looking beyond the surface of things. And poetry, perhaps more than any other art, requires this. Hence, the "difficulty".

    Quote Originally Posted by stlukesguild View Post
    Admittedly the audience for poetry... but also serious literature, classical music, jazz, bluegrass, Indian ragas, the films of Bergman, painting, sculpture, opera, and most other art forms is limited... a niche audience if you will.
    I'd really be interested to read any kind of study on just how "niche" these art-forms and genres are. My hunch is that there's a bigger audience for classical music, jazz, Bergman, and the visual arts than for poetry. Of course, it's just a hunch, and I have no idea how you'd substantiate it.

    Quote Originally Posted by stlukesguild View Post
    The notion of a universal audience, however is ridiculous. A book like Harry Potter reached a huge audience. A large part of its success (beyond the vast marketing machines employed by the publishers) was owed to the employment of certain elements... including a relative simplicity. For all its success, a novel like Harry Potter failed to interest other readers who demand something more challenging... who avoid the cliche, etc... The size of the audience is no measure of the merit of the art... for or against. Lady Gaga currently appeals to a larger audience than Mozart but I doubt this says anything about Mozart's artistic failings.
    But surely it must take some positive quality in art to appeal to so many different people on a basic level? It's easy to sit back and criticize Harry Potter or Dan Brown or Michael Bay or Lady Gaga or any massively popular artist, but I've always felt that it must take some talent, some artistry, some ingenuity, some something to be able to produce works that mean something to so many. I'm not saying all worldwide popular art is automatically great art, but I think it's one indicator of quality. I also think that needs to be combined with something lasting. The Beatles were also just a heart-throb pop band when they started, Hitchcock was just a director of thrillers who stood in the shadow of Ford and Griffith (and it wasn't until the French New Wave that he really stepped out of that shadow). I also don't think it's fair to compare contemporary artists to classic ones, because classic ones have finished their careers and have etched their way into the canon. It's not as if Mozart would've been the same Mozart when he was the age of Lady Gaga.

    Quote Originally Posted by stlukesguild View Post
    What we need to recognize is that our "learned vocabulary" in art, film, music, and literature is being continually developed by what we experience everyday and what we are formally taught.
    I have no doubt that certain vocabulary becomes ingrained and what was once ordinary becomes commonplace, but that isn't quite what I was getting at. No matter one's vocabulary, what I was saying is that music and the visual arts can be appreciated even by those with no vocabulary at all. I knew nothing of film as an art-form when I saw my first films, yet I remember enjoying them as a young child. The same went for music. But I couldn't read until I learned language, and even then the vocabulary of certain literature was far out of my reach. To use a good example, I remember Kubrick once said that children understood 2001: A Space Odyssey better than adults did, because they knew how to connect to it directly on an aesthetic level - the power of images and music and seeing something extraordinary - while adults had been biased by the typical vocabulary of cinematic narrative. Yet 2001 is undeniably one of (if not the most) complex work of cinema in terms of cinematic vocabulary ever made. You can't give the most complex work of literary vocabulary (say something like Finnegans Wake) to a child and expect they'll get anything out of it.

    Quote Originally Posted by stlukesguild View Post
    This may be due to the fact that it is far easier to "prove" the "genius" of a work which is complex... as opposed to the simple lyric. The same holds true in other art forms as well. Many new-comers to classical music struggle with Mozart... not because his music is so difficult... but rather because it seems so simple in comparison to the obvious complexities of Beethoven, Brahms, and Wagner.
    That's a good point. Complexity certainly provides more meat for analysis than simplicity. Although, I might object to the inclusion of Mozart in your examples; there's no loss of complex musical ideas in his late works, especially. His 41st Symphonies is one of the most impressive symphonies from a technical standpoint ever composed, and his late operas contain a wealth of rich ideas about how music and theater should compliment and enlighten the other, rather than being separate constructs stuffed together.
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  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by JBI View Post
    You couldn't be more wrong. Sound is like metre, is Homer playing with sound, or images? That's like you saying an artist is playing with ink.

    Besides, this poem is far less dominated by sound than, lets say, a Du Mu poem. The think doesn't even rhyme, which is quite common in curtailed forms. These short poems in general are dominated by images, as that is all the form allows - there is no room for fancy "sound games" that are better suited for longer poems. That being said, there is metre, but that just effects sound - the way you read is tracing images, and moving with the eye of the poem. I don't need a wikipedia article to tell me that, I have the fancy edition of the book with the two page commentary in front of me if I need someone to tell me how to read.

    I trust you are reading it in Chinese?
    My view is that language does not deal with images at all. It uses ideas. If you want an image, you paint a picture or take a photograph.

    Regardless of what poets think they are doing with "images", what actually happens is that the readers get snippets of abstractions. The readers are then forced to put the snippets together and they often do this sentimentally--or they just put the book of poetry down because they refuse to participate in the game. They realize, correctly, they have better things to do and there is more interesting art to enjoy.

    I don't know enough Chinese to appreciate the sound and meaning of the poetry. I also assume you know Chinese better than I do. However, I have relatives who are Chinese and this keeps the language in front of me on a daily basis.

    Also, I didn't mean to insult your intelligence with the Wikipedia article. I provided it to give you an idea that meter is important in these classical forms. This is a point that is not often understood. One source I have used in studying these poems is James Liu, The Art of Chinese Poetry, (U of Chicago, 1962). Although this is still an elementary text, I have found it interesting.

    Just as a teaser, this is what Liu says in Chapter 3, Auditory Effects of Chinese and the Bases of Versification:

    Just as the visual effects of Chinese characters in poetry have been exaggerated, so have the auditory effects of Chinese poetry been relatively neglected by Western translators and students.
    Since you offered a translation, here is one of mine, done many years ago of a poem by Wang Zhihuan about climbing Stork Tower. My original motivation in writing the poem was to learn the language and I was told that children are taught Chinese by memorizing some of these Tang poems.

    I tried to translate this using as close to as many syllables as the 5-character form uses. I have two more syllables than the original. I understand from Liu that the second and fourth line are required to rhyme in this form and so I placed a rhyme there. For meter I picked an alternating accent-unaccented pattern and added alliteration.

    I'm sure you'll notice the difference in our approaches to translation.

    白日依山盡,
    黃河入海流。
    欲窮千里目,
    更上一層樓。

    Mountains shine in sunlight.
    River runs to sea.
    Climb those stairs, one storey--
    Miles of majesty.

    Just to see if a machine can do it better, Google translate does it like this:

    Sun mountains,
    Yellow River flows into the sea.
    For a grander sight,
    A higher level.

  10. #40
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    I did not read the entire thread, but if the question centers on whether or not poetry is still relevant, it is not the right question. There are hundreds of web zines and magazines that I have published in during my lifetime. They are accessible and available regardless of how trained we are in reading poets.

    The more acute observation, which applies to literary fiction, as well, is that the function of creative writing has changed, and what you are all actually debating is whether this change is good or bad. As one writer on Slate noted, the US is adept at manufacturing athletes, but doesn't care about creating geniuses like Shakespeare, who lived in an era of fulsome European hegemony that actually did value cultured intellect.

    So to that extent, you are all boring me. As a published poet, I will always care about poetry. Whether you do or not depends on what aesthetic you choose to cultivate. There is a diehard, loyal audience to small press culture, just as there are people like luke who are aesthetes toward the rare and obscure.

    Poetry is not competitive with pop culture? Big deal, and not entirely accurate, as the university system has turned writers into a self-perpetuating class that really doesn't care if the average online poster reads them or not. We tend to be appreciated by each other, and that, too, is old news.

  11. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jozanny View Post
    I did not read the entire thread, but if the question centers on whether or not poetry is still relevant, it is not the right question. There are hundreds of web zines and magazines that I have published in during my lifetime. They are accessible and available regardless of how trained we are in reading poets.

    The more acute observation, which applies to literary fiction, as well, is that the function of creative writing has changed, and what you are all actually debating is whether this change is good or bad. As one writer on Slate noted, the US is adept at manufacturing athletes, but doesn't care about creating geniuses like Shakespeare, who lived in an era of fulsome European hegemony that actually did value cultured intellect.

    So to that extent, you are all boring me. As a published poet, I will always care about poetry. Whether you do or not depends on what aesthetic you choose to cultivate. There is a diehard, loyal audience to small press culture, just as there are people like luke who are aesthetes toward the rare and obscure.

    Poetry is not competitive with pop culture? Big deal, and not entirely accurate, as the university system has turned writers into a self-perpetuating class that really doesn't care if the average online poster reads them or not. We tend to be appreciated by each other, and that, too, is old news.
    You are right in some instances and wrong in some others. Poetry cannot be compared with pop culture. I agree hundred percent. But poetry is a dead domain now. The reason is poetry does not sell the way it did a few decades ago only. If you enter a bookshop you can hardly come upon books of poetry on display. Even one percent people going there ask for a book of poems. You cannot find any kids reading poetry. Those who have kin interests in poetry are like you who do not belong to this generation. There are so many choices and why people choose to write poetry. We do not need Shakespeare today and if anybody tries to be a Shakespearean type he does not fit in today's world. Maybe people read poems at times but none red a Shakespearean dramas except for academic persuasion. Then why should any government sponsor and promote this dead culture. It has no implication, nothing for today's generation. You may be an aesthete, someone still hooked to the bygone values and tradition that have died out half a century ago. Today we have so many things as pastimes. In today's world our values have undergone a dramatic turnarounds. There are so many pursuits people are after- college, dating, sex, separation and travel, the Internet, movies, TV, soap operas, clubs, sports, politics, restaurants, drinks the economic meltdown, books of comics, the goings-on around the globe and the like. Of course poetry too with a few ones in their dim candle-lit room secluding oneself from the glamors of the outside world. There is no time for the rest for poetry.

    Poetry is a beautiful persuasion. It makes both the poet and the reader beautiful but beauty itself has been a misfit in today's world. Where is beauty? It is in your poetry and not even in your imagination. We are in a world of materialism and the concrete matters not the abstract.

    You maybe the last poet or the one who is yet to understand the goings-on of the present world. You can write poetry for self gratification. If you have publishers to publish your poetry, you have a special relation with them or else few publishers will publish the artifact that does not sell.

    “Those who seek to satisfy the mind of man by hampering it with ceremonies and music and affecting charity and devotion have lost their original nature””

    “If water derives lucidity from stillness, how much more the faculties of the mind! The mind of the sage, being in repose, becomes the mirror of the universe, the speculum of all creation.

  12. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by blazeofglory View Post
    You are right in some instances and wrong in some others. Poetry cannot be compared with pop culture.
    This because? They should not be compared, only because one is a form to deal with language and the other is a form to relate to culture. Pop culture is far from a form of production that lacks creativity, artistic talent or complexity. Even pop musical idols behaviour are nothing but a pale shadow of Lord Byron. And it should be noted, that pop culture is considerable more complex than just american mainstream. Pop art for example was rather marginal. Pop icons write their poetry books (Tim Burton, Bob Dylan, Chico Buarque de Holanda, etc)...

    I agree hundred percent. But poetry is a dead domain now. The reason is poetry does not sell the way it did a few decades ago only. If you enter a bookshop you can hardly come upon books of poetry on display. Even one percent people going there ask for a book of poems. You cannot find any kids reading poetry. Those who have kin interests in poetry are like you who do not belong to this generation.
    I have twin sisters. They turned 17 now. One is a big fan of Lord Byron. The other of Emily Dickison. They recite brazilian poets from XIX century - obscure poets for the majority - and they get happy when I give them poetry books. This since they are young. They have friends who do the same and online wise, I have meet several teens trying to write poetry, having one or another love for, perhaps bad poets, but few shunned the classical poets when I suggested them. A poem like "The Raven" is present in Simpsons, quoted by all, heavy metal fans have the tendency to know Coleridge just because of Iron Maiden. Even the movie - bad - as Bewoulf popped publishing and distribution the poem. I wonder which numbers give you a basis, that is the past there was many top best sellers poets and now we have none.


    There are so many choices and why people choose to write poetry. We do not need Shakespeare today and if anybody tries to be a Shakespearean type he does not fit in today's world. Maybe people read poems at times but none red a Shakespearean dramas except for academic persuasion.
    Shakespeare keep selling well. Right now, a brazilian soup opera has part of its plot based on him. And not even a top play. The Shakespeare Society is actually buying lands to build a Shakespeare theatre in Brazil and Buenos Aires showed the interest too, because the increasing interest on the guy. I may note, no teacher in university told me to read Shakespeare.

    Then why should any government sponsor and promote this dead culture. It has no implication, nothing for today's generation. You may be an aesthete, someone still hooked to the bygone values and tradition that have died out half a century ago. Today we have so many things as pastimes. In today's world our values have undergone a dramatic turnarounds. There are so many pursuits people are after- college, dating, sex, separation and travel, the Internet, movies, TV, soap operas, clubs, sports, politics, restaurants, drinks the economic meltdown, books of comics, the goings-on around the globe and the like. Of course poetry too with a few ones in their dim candle-lit room secluding oneself from the glamors of the outside world. There is no time for the rest for poetry.
    We have more options? Sure. Poetry has competition (sure, it is from Novels and Romances). Sure. But we do not work 20 hours a day. We get information much faster. There still room for poetry - the academic poetry you talk about was never popular (Shakespeare was a popular playwriter, not poet), as if dominated by masses.

    Poetry is a beautiful persuasion. It makes both the poet and the reader beautiful but beauty itself has been a misfit in today's world. Where is beauty? It is in your poetry and not even in your imagination. We are in a world of materialism and the concrete matters not the abstract.
    I would argue there was a never a world that cared for the abstract. Medieval word had solid castle walls, armies. Romans had taxes. Romantics banks and factories. Some had slaves. In fact, in the past, it was so expensive to learn to read and write, that few poets would go writting.

    You maybe the last poet or the one who is yet to understand the goings-on of the present world. You can write poetry for self gratification. If you have publishers to publish your poetry, you have a special relation with them or else few publishers will publish the artifact that does not sell.
    Jozanny is rambling. Cann't you see? He is telling us to bug off. Not crying a river about one more death of poetry. People complaning about the death of peotry in a website and could not even write poems themselves. Slow death and pain to all who are to dumb to see poets exactly where they want to be.

  13. #43
    Haribol Acharya blazeofglory's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JCamilo View Post
    This because? They should not be compared, only because one is a form to deal with language and the other is a form to relate to culture. Pop culture is far from a form of production that lacks creativity, artistic talent or complexity. Even pop musical idols behaviour are nothing but a pale shadow of Lord Byron. And it should be noted, that pop culture is considerable more complex than just american mainstream. Pop art for example was rather marginal. Pop icons write their poetry books (Tim Burton, Bob Dylan, Chico Buarque de Holanda, etc)...



    I have twin sisters. They turned 17 now. One is a big fan of Lord Byron. The other of Emily Dickison. They recite brazilian poets from XIX century - obscure poets for the majority - and they get happy when I give them poetry books. This since they are young. They have friends who do the same and online wise, I have meet several teens trying to write poetry, having one or another love for, perhaps bad poets, but few shunned the classical poets when I suggested them. A poem like "The Raven" is present in Simpsons, quoted by all, heavy metal fans have the tendency to know Coleridge just because of Iron Maiden. Even the movie - bad - as Bewoulf popped publishing and distribution the poem. I wonder which numbers give you a basis, that is the past there was many top best sellers poets and now we have none.




    Shakespeare keep selling well. Right now, a brazilian soup opera has part of its plot based on him. And not even a top play. The Shakespeare Society is actually buying lands to build a Shakespeare theatre in Brazil and Buenos Aires showed the interest too, because the increasing interest on the guy. I may note, no teacher in university told me to read Shakespeare.



    We have more options? Sure. Poetry has competition (sure, it is from Novels and Romances). Sure. But we do not work 20 hours a day. We get information much faster. There still room for poetry - the academic poetry you talk about was never popular (Shakespeare was a popular playwriter, not poet), as if dominated by masses.



    I would argue there was a never a world that cared for the abstract. Medieval word had solid castle walls, armies. Romans had taxes. Romantics banks and factories. Some had slaves. In fact, in the past, it was so expensive to learn to read and write, that few poets would go writting.



    Jozanny is rambling. Cann't you see? He is telling us to bug off. Not crying a river about one more death of poetry. People complaning about the death of peotry in a website and could not even write poems themselves. Slow death and pain to all who are to dumb to see poets exactly where they want to be.
    I was a poet myself and no more now. I wrote thousands of poems and I cried over many beautifully and poignantly written sad poems. Poetry used to be my cup tea for decades. Suddenly there came a break. Some other persuasions, career, politics, economics took that place. I have a heart for poetry and yet it has been months, if not years since I haven't read a single poem. I often, however read the type that feature both poetry and prose.

    I read Khalil Gibran and Rumi. Gibran is not the poet the poets do write. His is a different style. I am not advocating against the significance of poetry. I will be more than happy if poetry continues to survive. I am only lamenting the death of poetry. If someone campaign for it I will be more than happy.

    “Those who seek to satisfy the mind of man by hampering it with ceremonies and music and affecting charity and devotion have lost their original nature””

    “If water derives lucidity from stillness, how much more the faculties of the mind! The mind of the sage, being in repose, becomes the mirror of the universe, the speculum of all creation.

  14. #44
    Artist and Bibliophile stlukesguild's Avatar
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    But poetry is a dead domain now.

    According to whom?

    The reason is poetry does not sell the way it did a few decades ago only...

    You have made repeated assertions about this golden age of poetry which never existed, and ignored any facts to the contrary. I have seen nothing in the current sales of poetry to suggest that it is worse off or facing an eminent demise.

    If you enter a bookshop you can hardly come upon books of poetry on display.

    If you enter most book stores you will find little outside of what sells well to the mainstream audience on display. That is no different now than it was in the past.

    Even one percent people going there ask for a book of poems. You cannot find any kids reading poetry. Those who have kin interests in poetry are like you who do not belong to this generation.

    Very few "kids" are interested in poetry... or anything outside of popular culture. Big deal. Was it ever different? I'm sorry, but you're sadly deluded if you thing the masses were ever walking around reading Keats, Shelley, or T.S. Eliot. Like many, I didn't really "discover" poetry until later... until I was in college.

    There are so many choices and why people choose to write poetry. We do not need Shakespeare today and if anybody tries to be a Shakespearean type he does not fit in today's world. Maybe people read poems at times but none red a Shakespearean dramas except for academic persuasion.

    I'm sorry, but that's pure nonsense. Shakespeare continues to sell quite well and continues to be regularly performed to audiences well beyond academia.

    Then why should any government sponsor and promote this dead culture.

    Governments continually support the arts for a multitude of reasons. Most of these have little to do with aesthetics and far more to do with promoting their own traditions and values. The arts of the past remain important because they allow the audience to engage in a dialog with those of other times, other places, other beliefs, other values... which may just be of real value in developing empathy as opposed to focusing solely upon the self. The arts of the past are also supported for the simple reason that there is an audience... quite sizable... if not on the same scale as the audience for popular culture... that find pleasure in these.

    It has no implication, nothing for today's generation.

    And this would seem to be a problem in your thinking... the notion that only that which has practical utilitarian value to us here and now is of any merit.

    There are so many pursuits people are after- college, dating, sex, separation and travel, the Internet, movies, TV, soap operas, clubs, sports, politics, restaurants, drinks the economic meltdown, books of comics, the goings-on around the globe and the like. Of course poetry too with a few ones in their dim candle-lit room secluding oneself from the glamors of the outside world. There is no time for the rest for poetry.

    Poetry is a beautiful persuasion. It makes both the poet and the reader beautiful but beauty itself has been a misfit in today's world. Where is beauty? It is in your poetry and not even in your imagination. We are in a world of materialism and the concrete matters not the abstract.

    You maybe the last poet or the one who is yet to understand the goings-on of the present world. You can write poetry for self gratification. If you have publishers to publish your poetry, you have a special relation with them or else few publishers will publish the artifact that does not sell...

    I was a poet myself and no more now. I wrote thousands of poems and I cried over many beautifully and poignantly written sad poems. Poetry used to be my cup tea for decades. Suddenly there came a break. Some other persuasions, career, politics, economics took that place. I have a heart for poetry and yet it has been months, if not years since I haven't read a single poem. I often, however read the type that feature both poetry and prose.


    In all actuality this is less a lament for poetry and more of a sniveling, self-indulgent complaint that poetry isn't what you think it should be, and that your own poetic efforts aren't recognized as they should be.
    Beware of the man with just one book. -Ovid
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  15. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by blazeofglory View Post
    I was a poet myself and no more now. I wrote thousands of poems and I cried over many beautifully and poignantly written sad poems. Poetry used to be my cup tea for decades. Suddenly there came a break. Some other persuasions, career, politics, economics took that place. I have a heart for poetry and yet it has been months, if not years since I haven't read a single poem. I often, however read the type that feature both poetry and prose.

    I read Khalil Gibran and Rumi. Gibran is not the poet the poets do write. His is a different style. I am not advocating against the significance of poetry. I will be more than happy if poetry continues to survive. I am only lamenting the death of poetry. If someone campaign for it I will be more than happy.
    Good for you. People here give too much self importance to their own reactions... If anything, poetry is written more than needed...

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