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Thread: Are Poets Born Not Made?

  1. #211
    Artist and Bibliophile stlukesguild's Avatar
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    First, the notion of a natural artist isn't mine; it's not something I generated for the purposes of this discussion. It's a fairly conventional idea. Practice and discipline, sure. "Study" is trickier. If you mean attention to the medium, then fine. If you mean formal learning, then there's sufficient reason to doubt that.

    OK... study may not be the best word if we take it to mean formal study... but I stated earlier that I am not limiting learning to formal academic study. Obviously Billie Holiday learned by listening to other singers... on recordings and in clubs.

    I AM suggesting that it is possible to be a good artist without any formal training, without any formal education and, in certain cases, with obvious technical deficiencies. I don't see how anyone could argue otherwise, as there are too many examples to support this.

    I don't think anyone here would disagree with this. Early on in this debate others suggested that art was the result of combination of the learned (not to be interpreted as only meaning that learned in a formal, academic setting) and that which the individual is born with. Again, there's no magic formula. If there were, there'd be far more of us recognized as artistic geniuses.
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  2. #212
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    Quote Originally Posted by stlukesguild View Post
    I don't think anyone here would disagree with this. Early on in this debate others suggested that art was the result of combination of the learned (not to be interpreted as only meaning that learned in a formal, academic setting) and that which the individual is born with. Again, there's no magic formula. If there were, there'd be far more of us recognized as artistic geniuses.
    I mostly agree with this. Morpheus will probably think I'm simply beating up on him, but I really think the whole "intellectual" debacle derailed the discussion.

  3. #213
    Artist and Bibliophile stlukesguild's Avatar
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    Having a duende is not being a genius. My god, even a gypsy dancer or a tribal drummer can have a duende today and none tomorrow. It is a spirit that stems from an artist's or a writer's emotion.

    My god... she's been watching TED videos:

    http://www.ted.com/talks/elizabeth_g...on_genius.html
    Beware of the man with just one book. -Ovid
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  4. #214
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    But I hope Miyako foot fetish does not. Specially considering Goethe also had a foot fetish.

  5. #215
    Artist and Bibliophile stlukesguild's Avatar
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    I agree that Lorca was very arrogant

    So were Michelangelo and Beethoven... yet they earned the right to be. Has Miyako?
    Beware of the man with just one book. -Ovid
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  6. #216
    Registered User miyako73's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JCamilo View Post
    But I hope Miyako foot fetish does not. Specially considering Goethe also had a foot fetish.
    did he enjoy it with the rest of the nine?
    "You laugh at me because I'm different, I laugh at you because you're all the same."

    --Jonathan Davis

  7. #217
    Artist and Bibliophile stlukesguild's Avatar
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    Don't forget Pushkin.
    Beware of the man with just one book. -Ovid
    The man who doesn't read good books has no advantage over the man who can't read them.- Mark Twain
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  8. #218
    Registered User miyako73's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stlukesguild View Post
    I agree that Lorca was very arrogant

    So were Michelangelo and Beethoven... yet they earned the right to be. Has Miyako?
    Logic again. Have I said I have a duende or I am a genius? Mmmmm... three fallacies right there.

    My culture, which is semi-Spanish, has a concept of duende, a ruler of emotion; thus, I understand and agree with Lorca.
    "You laugh at me because I'm different, I laugh at you because you're all the same."

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  9. #219
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    Quote Originally Posted by miyako73 View Post
    did he enjoy it with the rest of the nine?
    I cann't tell, neither if Pushkin did. You must tell the other 9

  10. #220
    Registered User miyako73's Avatar
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    What is TED?
    "You laugh at me because I'm different, I laugh at you because you're all the same."

    --Jonathan Davis

  11. #221
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    Quote Originally Posted by stlukesguild View Post
    So were Michelangelo and Beethoven... yet they earned the right to be. Has Miyako?
    Look, I can't claim to know the whole story concerning Miyako, but I have the impression that she has been under siege on these forums. Can you not understand how she might be overly defensive and a tad ridiculous under these circumstances?

  12. #222
    Registered User miyako73's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stuntpickle View Post
    Look, I can't claim to know the whole story concerning Miyako, but I have the impression that she has been under siege on these forums. Can you not understand how she might be overly defensive and a tad ridiculous under these circumstances?
    Don't mind me, Stunt? People are cliquish to feel important and empowered. I'm old enough to understand that. I'm from a family of artists and writers back home. We create; we don't just talk until our mouths bubble. I know what an artist's or a writer's emotion. I also know how it is to be pushed to the margins.

    I think this thread has reached its zenith.

    I started this thread because of my ambivalence to apply for an MFA in Fiction or Poetry. I'm scared that after 100 thousand dollar-student loans, I'll come out of the program writing like the rest of my classmates. I saw how my cousin entered with writing science fiction and culture in mind but ended up writing unreadable postmodern fiction like some of his classmates in the 90's.

    I believe there are two kinds of artists or writers, the ones with talents and the ones with skills. Talent is inborn while skill is acquired. Both talent and skill can improve to near perfection and they can also decline or diminish into oblivion.

    The best analogy I think:

    Born - talent - already a pencil - sharpen
    Made - skill - still a wood and a graphite - made into a pencil - sharpen

    The made writers have to do more effort and learning than the born ones to better their craft. But then again, over-sharpening a pencil make its tip thinner and break. That's the dilemma.
    "You laugh at me because I'm different, I laugh at you because you're all the same."

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  13. #223
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    The zenith still far...



    (Wikipedia can be such useful tool)

  14. #224
    Registered User miyako73's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JCamilo View Post
    The zenith still far...


    Okay, let me use denouement then.
    "You laugh at me because I'm different, I laugh at you because you're all the same."

    --Jonathan Davis

  15. #225
    King of Dreams MorpheusSandman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by miyako73 View Post
    you have the habit of twisting my statement to support your argument. Find my post that said what you wrote:

    Someone like miyako who thinks that all a poet needs is their moods, emotions, and sensibilities.
    Look, you started the thread about "born" VS "made" poets, and you clearly consider yourself to be more in the "born poet" mold, if at all, and the only definition I've gotten out of you about the difference is that "born" poets use their moods, emotions, and sensibilities. Where am I wrong? You've given me nothing else to go on.

    Quote Originally Posted by miyako73 View Post
    Third: also find a post where I expressed my being a fan of Vendler. Right from the start, I've questioned your graphic mangling of the text. You've said again and again that you are the Vendler in this forum and what you've been doing is Vendler's method.
    I think you've completely bungled the order of how this chain of events happened. The very first mention of Vendler between us was in this thread. I mention Vendler is a "formalist," and you respond here. No, you don't come right out and say you're a fan of Vendler, but you certainly seem to be vigorously defending her by claiming she's not a formalist; why put forth the effort if you didn't like her in the first place? What happened after this was in Delta's thread, where you pointed to my anagrammatic criticism (which hardly constituted the whole of what I was writing) and you asked: "I don't know what kind of a literary mind will accept these:" In response I posted three excerpts from Vendler's Shakespeare book, which you seemed to be promoting in that first thread, as well as Christopher Ricks' The Force of Poetry. So, in response to your "what literary minds accept this," I posted examples from the professors of poetry at Harvard and Oxford. It was only AFTER THAT that you posted the Dan Schneider attack in its own separate thread.

    So, again, follow the chain of events:

    1. I mention Vendler's a formalist

    2. You *seem* to be defending Vendler by claiming she's not a formalist, and that I should "read her books," and I would see she isn't one.

    3. You attack my anagrammatic criticism and ask what literary minds would accept them.

    4. I post excerpts from Vendler's book on Shakespeare and Ricks' book of essays.

    5. You post Dan Schneider online attack against Vendler.

    So, following that chain, it hardly *seems* as if you were always against Vendler. What it seems like is that you were for Vendler until you realized she engaged in the same kind of criticism you hated in me. It *seems* like a case of sour grapes, like, initially, you thought Vendler was on YOUR side, she wasn't a formalist, then when you realized she actually did what I did, you had to turn against her, so you found Schneider's terrible article.

    Quote Originally Posted by miyako73 View Post
    Schneider's essay is not the only one that questions Vendler's lucidity. Read Rita Dove's.
    Dove's and Vendler's debate was really just over aesthetic preferences, and I agree with both of them on some points. Simple fact is that Vendler prefers a narrowing of the canon, which inevitably happens anyway, whereas Dove preferred a broader view. In the end, Vendler will be right, because the majority of the poets Dove anthologized will be forgotten, while the few Vendler praises will be remembered and widely read. That's how canons work, rightly or wrongly. Though, fwiw, I do think Vendler's attack on Dove's choices was a bit out-of-bounds.

    Quote Originally Posted by miyako73 View Post
    What gives you the gall to call a known essayist an idiot?
    It's called having eyes and a brain. I don't think anyone would take Schneider seriously after reading his exchange with Patrick on PoemShape. Schneider is actually a competent film critic, but he's woefully outmatched when it comes to poetry.

    Quote Originally Posted by stuntpickle View Post
    I mostly agree with this. Morpheus will probably think I'm simply beating up on him, but I really think the whole "intellectual" debacle derailed the discussion.
    If you agree with that, and I agree with that, is there any reason for me to respond to your last post to me? My usage of the term intellectual, which I still don't think was unfair, nonsensical, or out-of-bounds, was always equating it with those who had learned the craft of poetry, but not necessarily in a scholarly, formal, or academic way (I even stressed this difference a few times). Since most of your last post is nothing but blatant flame-throwing, I'd rather ignore it anyway.

    EDIT: Well, allow me to address this, since it's the only part that doesn't resemble the ravings of a sad and desperate man:

    Quote Originally Posted by stuntpickle View Post
    So if you think someone can become a great poet, quite apart from any academic structure or regimented learning, and do it ALL by himself simply by applying his innate capacities to the medium, then WHAT THE HELL is the argument about? If the only disagreement is about what "intellectual" means, then why are you so desperately trying to demonstrate the impossibility of intuitive talent?
    Let me use two polar examples to try and clarify where I think the debate is at:

    Person A: Has a basic education, leaves school after high-shcool, never formally or informally studies literature or poetry, or even reads them all that much, but likes to write, and takes up writing poetry based on nothing but that basic education and a foggy idea of what poetry is (maybe he came across a few poems in his lifetime as any average person would, or maybe they've read a few poets and have some favorites they like to emulate).

    Person B: Studies poetry and literature formally in collage, graduates eventually with a masters, writes poetry as well, but will not write a single line without having some theoretical understanding of what every word connotes, what every line break signifies, how to use every device imaginable, from rhythm, rhyme, parallelism, imagery, metaphor, etc. and feels s/he can theorize why every choice is optimally suited to the expression, and has read a vast array of poetry from every era.

    I think we can agree that Person A is the archetypal intuitive/born poet and Person B is the archetypal learned/intellectual poet. Where I think the debate is is in the enormous grey area that lies between A and B, really where I think the vast majority of poets lie. Not every poet has a formal education, not every poet theorizes over every (or even any) choices they make, yet there are many, like Keats, that put an inordinate amount of time into thinking on this subject. They have clearly studied, read, and thought more about the art than Person A who's only concern is for self-expression. That Keats read with the intent of learning from from the greats seems very much like an intellectual endeavor to me, the same way that any apprentice studying under any master would be, even if the master never spoke a word and the apprentice merely watched and emulated it. There is the conscious intent to learn to the craft there, and I don't know why "intellectual" has to be pushed to the farthest boundary extreme of Person B to count as being intellectual. If I know of anyone who dedicates a large amount of time to reading, learning, studying literature, even if completely informally, then I'd call them an intellectual. That you don't want to call them that is fine, but they are clearly not "born" with it either, or else they wouldn't be putting so much time and effort into reading and thinking about it to begin with, they'd just be writing all the time and never giving a thought to why they wrote what they wrote. Keats clearly did, and he commented often on his failures and WHY they were failures.
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