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Thread: Favorite Modern/Living/Non-English Poet

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by stuntpickle View Post
    The "last century" was an arbitrary hyperbole you chose to interpret literally, something I find prevalent among the younger generations. I wasn't trying to misrepresent the conversation; you tried to dispute a point I wasn't really making. I mean, surely you understand that sort of idiomatic expression.

    I assure you that had I wanted to shame you, I would have named you. Mentioning Tennyson did sort of prove my point, by the way. Yeats wasn't much better (he's been dead almost eighty years).

    In the same conversation, just before you provided your list, you seemed to purposely misconstrue what I had said by cutting the quote short.

    You quoted me as follows:



    You replied:



    I replied by pointing out that what I was saying was entirely different and that this was clear if one simply kept reading.

    Consider:



    Of course, when I replied I actually said the following:



    You replied to this with your list. Now it seems to me that you never really addressed the disparity I was pointing out. You, yourself, were discussing Nirvana, and yet when you tried to rebut my point, you provided a list with Yeats and Tennyson. It seems as though you're trying to just argue with me without even considering what I'm truly trying to say. I mean, can you really claim that Yeats is your "immediate cultural antecedent," which was my point?

    My guess is that you're doing this because the point is perhaps plain and true, and so perhaps you are pursuing a fairly legalistic defense in order to avoid the truth. I mean, for Chrissake, in this very thread in which people have been tasked with demonstrating their appreciation for modern poetry, we're back to talking about Homer and Virgil! And several persons have confessed to not really being aware of modern poetry, which was precisely my point.

    I suspect that most people only interact with poetry insofar as education requires it. I suspect people with no real interest in poetry are acquainted only with the stuff in the Norton anthologies. Surely, persons who have an extra-academic interest in poetry would discuss, I don't know, the last poem they saw in this or that journal, the last edition of Best American, a reading given by Billy Collins--something that demonstrates a genuine interest, rather than simply hopping on a bandwagon of sophistication.

    Surely, you can understand why someone trying to be a poet TODAY should probably concern himself with poetry being written TODAY (by which I do not literally mean this very day, in case you are preparing another list). And surely, we can agree that the thread in question dealt with how people become poets, right?
    I wasn't trying to rebut your point. I was just pointing out that poets within last century were mentioned (many of which wrote longer than Yeats) . . . I thought maybe you hadn't seen that they were. This is all I said:
    Yeats, Eliot, Neruda, Auden (all of which mentioned by your pal Moprheus, no less), Robert Frost, Wallace Stevens, Bukowski is mentioned who knows how many times, Tennyson, Maya Angelou, Morgenstern, Olson, Vallejo, Carson, and, well, I quit scanning posts after page four. All of those authors have been mentioned, most in the sense that they should be admired, studied, or are part of the canon.
    It seems you can't accept when you're wrong, even if it comes down to a trivial nature. Hell, I wasn't even trying to prove that you're wrong (as I get how someone can make an occasional mistake), I was just giving you info. Sheesh.

    But, yes, I agree with most of what you say there.
    Last edited by Mutatis-Mutandis; 05-26-2012 at 08:10 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mutatis-Mutandis View Post

    It seems you can't accept when you're wrong, even if it comes down to a trivial nature. Hell, I wasn't even trying to prove that you're wrong (as I get how someone can make an occasional mistake), I was just giving you info.
    But, yes, I agree with most of what you say there.
    Oh, puhlease! So if I say I'm so hungry I could eat a horse and it turns out I can't literally eat one, then I'm wrong?

    This is what I find so bizarre about this site: there's a bunch of people pretending to have conversations for the actual purpose of reinforcing their own self-worth, and if ever someone points this out, everything devolves into passive-aggression and semantic wrangling.

    So you had no intention of "proving me wrong," but were simply pointing out where I was wrong?

  3. #33
    Artist and Bibliophile stlukesguild's Avatar
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    I suspect this thread has come about because of my recent comments in another one. If that is not, in fact, the case, then please excuse me for what I'm about to say.

    Sorry stuntpickle... but you're not the center of the universe... not even at LitNet. I started this thread in response to Babyguile's comment (No comtemporary poets, a whole lot of dinosaurs in this thread though.) posted on the thread Who Is Your Favorite Poet and What Is Your Favorite Poem By Them?

    After all, this thread, like the other one, seems mostly a vehicle to "prove them wrong," as you say...

    And I see nothing wrong with that... considering the presumptions made by some as to the ignorance or dislike of contemporary poetry among LitNet members. From my experience there are more than a few here, among those members who read poetry on a regular basis, who read and enjoy any number of contemporary poets as well as non-Anglo poets... in spite of the fact that they might still site Shaekespeare or Dante or Blake as their absolute favorite.

    Today, a love for Shakespeare is seldom automatic, as Shakespeare presents great difficulties of language for any modern reader. This is to say that one must LEARN to love Shakespeare, with concordance and lexicon in hand. Bukowski, on the other hand, is immediately accessible to any modern reader...

    And what does this prove? A great many works of art present serious challenges to the audience. Wagnerian opera, Beckett's plays, the poetry of Geoffrey Hill and John Ashbery, the music of Philip Glass, a great deal of the best art demands an effort on the part of the readers/listeners/viewers. Indeed, one could state the obvious: all art must be learned. When we say something is accessible, we simply mean that it doesn't stray far from that which audience is familiar with. Introduce me to an unfamiliar work of Western classical music, and I will likely find it quite accessible. Introduce me to a work of Chinese classical music and I will likely be completely lost.

    Imagine an interview with Elvis in which all he talked about were Mozart and Bach. Could sense be made of such an interview? If all Elvis had been concerned with were, in fact, Mozart and Bach, I can't imagine we'd even know who he was.

    Of course you are assuming that the bulk of the members here are potential novelists and poets. It is just as likely... if not moreso... that the majority here have no illusions of becoming professional authors. They are but lovers of literature... and as such, they read what they enjoy. Speaking for myself, I have absolutely no thoughts whatsoever of becoming a writer. As such, Charles Bukowski is no more "relevant" to me than Shakespeare... or Homer.
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  4. #34
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    I suspect that most people only interact with poetry insofar as education requires it.

    Unlike yourself, no doubt.

    I suspect people with no real interest in poetry are acquainted only with the stuff in the Norton anthologies. Surely, persons who have an extra-academic interest in poetry would discuss, I don't know, the last poem they saw in this or that journal, the last edition of Best American, a reading given by Billy Collins--something that demonstrates a genuine interest, rather than simply hopping on a bandwagon of sophistication.

    Why? Are you presuming that an individual with a pssion for poetry must have a passion for contemporary poetry? I can't begin to count the number of people I know with a real and abiding love of art or classical music that goes far beyond or has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with what was required of them by their formal education. Many of these persons have absolutely no interest whatsoever in what is happening in contemporary art or contemporary classical music.

    Surely, you can understand why someone trying to be a poet TODAY should probably concern himself with poetry being written TODAY (by which I do not literally mean this very day, in case you are preparing another list). And surely, we can agree that the thread in question dealt with how people become poets, right?

    Again... surely you can understand that the majority of those who love poetry have no illusion of becoming professional poets? At the same time, you are surely cognizant of the fact that more than a few artists in any genre rejected or turned their back upon the work of their immediate predecessors and turned to the examples of older art. I could easily give you dozens of examples with the filed of the visual arts.
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  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by stuntpickle View Post
    Oh, puhlease! So if I say I'm so hungry I could eat a horse and it turns out I can't literally eat one, then I'm wrong?

    This is what I find so bizarre about this site: there's a bunch of people pretending to have conversations for the actual purpose of reinforcing their own self-worth, and if ever someone points this out, everything devolves into passive-aggression and semantic wrangling.

    So you had no intention of "proving me wrong," but were simply pointing out where I was wrong?
    Hey, stuntpickle, I love you, man. I just want you to know that.

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by stuntpickle View Post
    I suppose I am saying that love of Shakespeare results most often from a formal education in Shakespeare or a desire to pretend that one has had such an education.
    You don't need to have taken him in class to like Shakespeare (I know several autodidacts, and I live in a metaphorical small pond) and it's a bit sad that you insist that anyone who hasn't taken Shakespeare in formal education but reads him anyway is just "pretending." You sound bitter, truth be told.

    I like Shakespeare for the challenge. It took me twenty solid minutes of dwelling on it to figure out this one line of Romeo and Juliet. Juliet was praying in her room, waiting for Romeo to come over so that they could consummate their marriage, and Juliet said something along the lines of "teach me how to win at a losing hand." I was confused, how can someone win by losing? I thought and thought, and finally it dawned on me that she wins if she loses her virginity! Unraveling that felt fantastic, figuring things out is one of the best feelings in the world. That feeling is one of the main reasons why I read in the first place, and Shakespeare delivers.
    Last edited by JuniperWoolf; 05-27-2012 at 07:59 AM.
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  7. #37
    Great story, Juniper. That's also a reason why I love Shakespeare too - The challenge! Figuring out the wordplay, puns, allusions, etc. It all adds to the enjoyment of reading.
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  8. #38
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    Let me preface this by saying (1) I'm not big on picking favorites and (2) I'm doing this impulsively, so i might reconsider.


    1. Your favorite 20th century poet

    Probably between Yeats or Wallace Stevens.

    2. Your favorite 20th century poem

    If you consider TS Eliot's The Four Quartets as one poem, that one. Or simpler lyric poem might be Theodore Roethke's "In A Dark Time."

    3. Your favorite living poet
    4. Your favorite poem by a living poet

    My reading of living poets is limited. I don't think I'm knowledgeable enough to answer that. I did read Geoffrey Hill last year and thought him quite good.

    5. Your favorite non-Anglo poet

    Dante. Also consider Horace.

    6. Your favorite non-Anglo poem

    The Divine Comedy. It's the tops.
    LET THERE BE LIGHT

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    Artist and Bibliophile stlukesguild's Avatar
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    Virgil... yes I thought of The Four Quartets as well. Perhaps they make more sense... or rather resonate more as you get older. Nevertheless I went with The Wasteland for the simple reason that it was the Modernist poem that absolutely blind-sided me. When I first read it I was absolutely stupefied... and I read it again and again and again. For a good period of time I nearly always had my dog-eared copy... crammed with endless notes in the margins... on me... along with Richard Howard's translation of Les Fleurs du Mal. Only later did these two give way to volumes of Borges.
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  10. #40
    King of Dreams MorpheusSandman's Avatar
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    1. Your favorite 20th century poet -- If I have to choose just one... WH Auden

    2. Your favorite 20th century poem -- The Changing Light at Sandover by James Merrill

    3. Your favorite living poet -- Geoffrey Hill

    4. Your favorite poem by a living poet -- I won't say favorite, but the last poem I read over and over until I memorized it was Hill's September Song (that last line always gets to me):

    September Song

    born 19.6.32 - deported 24.9.42

    Undesirable you may have been, untouchable
    you were not. Not forgotten
    or passed over at the proper time.

    As estimated, you died. Things marched,
    sufficient, to that end.
    Just so much Zyklon and leather, patented
    terror, so many routine cries.

    (I have made
    an elegy for myself it
    is true)

    September fattens on vines. Roses
    flake from the wall. The smoke
    of harmless fires drifts to my eyes.

    This is plenty. This is more than enough.

    5. Your favorite non-Anglo poet -- Neruda

    6. Your favorite non-Anglo poem -- I don't know about one, but I immensely enjoyed Neruda's Odes in translation. Here's one.
    "As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light of meaning in the darkness of mere being." --Carl Gustav Jung

    "To absent friends, lost loves, old gods, and the season of mists; and may each and every one of us always give the devil his due." --Neil Gaiman; The Sandman Vol. 4: Season of Mists

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  11. #41
    King of Dreams MorpheusSandman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stuntpickle View Post
    It's not that one mentions Shakespeare that I find so telling, but rather that one does not mention someone more modern. I would also point out that this discussion largely concerned modern poetic technique, which would, presumably, entail a discussion of modern poets.
    1. Modern poets were mentioned; you (and perhaps others) just glossed over them.

    2. One reason I mention canonical authors more so than contemporary ones is simply because I'm less likely to be met with blank stares. I'd just as soon talk about Hill and Ashbery, but so few people have read them compared to Shakespeare or Keats or whomever, so my mentioning them is more likely to generate a conversation. It does no good to use analogies if the other side is unaware of the referent.

    3. That other thread wasn't about "modern poetic technique" or poetic technique at all.

    Quote Originally Posted by stuntpickle View Post
    whether the point of devoting oneself to such aged varieties of literature was, much as I see this point of this thread, simply a means of demonstrating publicly one's sophistication.
    This is a literature forum, I don't think one is going to stand-out in sophistication by having read Shakespeare.

    Quote Originally Posted by stuntpickle View Post
    After all, this thread, like the other one, seems mostly a vehicle to "prove them wrong," as you say, while simultaneously excusing everyone from a substantive conversation of the pertinent issues. I can't count the number of threads I've seen on this forum where one is invited to list one's favorite novels, favorite lines or favorite writers, and these sorts of threads constitute a sort of non-conversation in which the responses are mostly uniform and differ only insofar as to how one fills in the blanks.
    Now THIS is something we can agree on. I usually dislike these "list" threads precisely because they are an invitation to "opinion vomit" without ever actually discussing anything, and I'll always take discussion over just random people expressing their opinions. But, hey, these threads CAN turn into discussions themselves.

    Quote Originally Posted by stuntpickle View Post
    This is to say that one must LEARN to love Shakespeare, with concordance and lexicon in hand... I suppose I am saying that love of Shakespeare results most often from a formal education in Shakespeare or a desire to pretend that one has had such an education.
    I have no formal education in Shakespeare and never even encountered him in school. My love for Shakespeare came with my love for literature and language, period. Reading Shakespeare in footnotes is pretty easy and hardly requires learning another language like reading Chaucer in ME does. Either way, I will pretend to no such education except my autodidactic one that was done entirely out of my passion for literature and poetry. I never saw the point of paying people to teach me what I could learn myself.

    Quote Originally Posted by stuntpickle View Post
    I suspect people with no real interest in poetry are acquainted only with the stuff in the Norton anthologies. Surely, persons who have an extra-academic interest in poetry would discuss, I don't know, the last poem they saw in this or that journal, the last edition of Best American, a reading given by Billy Collins--something that demonstrates a genuine interest, rather than simply hopping on a bandwagon of sophistication.
    The people I know with no real interest in poetry have never even read the Norton anthology, and even the few literature students I know that studied poetry in college sold theirs because they were mainly interested in prose writing. Anyway, I'll take you up on your offer: What poem from the last few issues of Poetry Magazine, APR, Ploughshares, Tin House, etc. would you like to discuss? In fact, name any poem from any other magazine and I'll get online and buy the darned thing (I have a subscription to the others).

    Quote Originally Posted by Mutatis-Mutandis View Post
    What, do you take some sort of petty pleasure in pointing out a simple mistake even after their person admitted he was wrong?
    That, and completely misreading people's posts by ignoring context are Stunt's specialties.
    Last edited by MorpheusSandman; 05-28-2012 at 05:52 AM.
    "As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light of meaning in the darkness of mere being." --Carl Gustav Jung

    "To absent friends, lost loves, old gods, and the season of mists; and may each and every one of us always give the devil his due." --Neil Gaiman; The Sandman Vol. 4: Season of Mists

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  12. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by MorpheusSandman View Post
    1. Modern poets were mentioned; you (and perhaps others) just glossed over them.

    2. One reason I mention canonical authors more so than contemporary ones is simply because I'm less likely to be met with blank stares. I'd just as soon talk about Hill and Ashbery, but so few people have read them compared to Shakespeare or Keats or whomever, so my mentioning them is more likely to generate a conversation. It does no good to use analogies if the other side is unaware of the referent.

    3. That other thread wasn't about "modern poetic technique" or poetic technique at all.
    1. The conversation largely concerned dead poets.

    2. This is perhaps one of the first reasonable things I have seen you say.

    3. The other thread concerned whether one was born or became a poet; you quickly made the point that poets required close study of poetry in order to become technically proficient. The conversation then became a sort of semantic investigation of how one might become so.

    Quote Originally Posted by MorpheusSandman View Post
    This is a literature forum, I don't think one is going to stand-out in sophistication by having read Shakespeare.
    It's not that I think persons are trying to "stand-out" as you say, but rather "fit-in." I think persons are trying to adhere to some preconceived notion of a connoisseur and are really just sort of dilettante admirers.

    Quote Originally Posted by MorpheusSandman View Post
    I have no formal education in Shakespeare and never even encountered him in school. My love for Shakespeare came with my love for literature and language, period. Reading Shakespeare in footnotes is pretty easy and hardly requires learning another language like reading Chaucer in ME does. Either way, I will pretend to no such education except my autodidactic one that was done entirely out of my passion for literature and poetry. I never saw the point of paying people to teach me what I could learn myself.
    Although a "formal education" isn't strictly necessary to appreciate Shakespeare, a specialized lexicon generally is--if one is to actually comprehend the text. Often, persons THINK they've understood the text while having actually misunderstood it. For example, readers generally think the line "O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thought Romeo?" means something like "O Romeo, Romeo, where are you Romeo? when it really means something like "O Romeo, Romeo, why did you have to be Romeo?" This is closer to the meaning of other such lines as "Thou art thyself." There's no modern reader that understands what a "fardel", an "eater of broken meats," or a "worsted-stocking knave" is without looking it up. These sorts of complications occur SEVERAL times on every page of every Shakespearean text.

    My point isn't that persons MUST learn Shakespeare in a formal setting, but rather that they often do. Thus Shakespeare isn't something persons examine naturally from encountering it in the culture, such as one might do with some episode of a modern television show or a recent novel. Most persons examine Shakespeare either because they have to for school or because they think that's how one becomes cultured. Thus does one acquire an artificial taste.

    Quote Originally Posted by MorpheusSandman View Post
    That, and completely misreading people's posts by ignoring context are Stunt's specialties.
    If you'd occasionally retract some of your more bizarre statements, then I wouldn't have to harp on your mistakes. I'll let the whole ironic statement about my reading slide for now.

    The above statement is precisely the sort of "sour grapes" attitude that is likely to lead to a conversation of your past mistakes. Can you not see the irony of pretending to ridicule me for harping on the mistakes of others while simultaneously pointing out my supposed mistakes?

    Let me just explain why I have harped on your mistakes. We had a discussion concerning whether a PhD philosopher's argument, which has been the focus of a number of scholarly examinations, had "serious flaws." You issued some insulting rhetorical challenge to me about explaining something to a physicist, and I redirected the rhetorical challenge to you about explaining the "flaws" to a philosopher. Then, strangely, you addressed the challenge as though it had been a literal one.

    I think you misunderstood the nature of our discussion in that you seemed to prosecute it as though I were actually defending the conclusion of the argument rather than the absence of serious flaws in it. It quickly became obvious to me that you lacked the requisite background to assess whether an argument had flaws of any sort and when I tried to point this out to you in what I thought was a relatively polite manner, you began to try and confuse the issue so that you could, presumably, pretend to be right. The only way I could see to impress the point upon you was to repeatedly point out the deficits you had unequivocally demonstrated. Of course, when I did this you became even more combative, even more obfuscatory in your statements, and so I resorted to rudely calling attention to all the mistakes of logic in your posts, simply to try and demonstrate that you were not capable of assessing logical soundness. You seemed rather impervious to this, and so I continued doing it.

    I think any reasonable person would have realized that he had perhaps overstated his case, and that would have been the end of it. But it seems to me that you are more concerned with appearing to be right than actually being so.

    Of course, you might choose to again debate the above issues, and the only thing I could think to do would be to remind you of those deficits in particular, which I have, out of courtesy, thus far mentioned only in the abstract.

    You see, I don't care whether you agree with the Kalam, nor do I care whether you think poets are born or made. What I do, in fact, care about is whether you mischaracterize the debate surrounding the Kalam or whether you misappropriate language to defend your belief that poets are made. I am perfectly willing to let you have your opinion. I am not at all willing to let you bully the terms of the conversation on the basis of a rudimentary misapprehension. If calling attention to all your mistakes is what that requires, then so be it. But such a thing would generally not be necessary, unless you, yourself, required it.

  13. #43
    King of Dreams MorpheusSandman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stuntpickle View Post
    1. The conversation largely concerned dead poets.

    2. The other thread concerned whether one was born or became a poet; you quickly made the point that poets required close study of poetry in order to become technically proficient. The conversation then became a sort of semantic investigation of how one might become so.
    1. Yes, for the exact reason I mentioned in number 2. I merely wanted to point out that contemporary poets were mentioned, and more than once.

    2. Right, so I'm not sure why you said the thread was about "modern poetic technique"...

    Quote Originally Posted by stuntpickle View Post
    It's not that I think persons are trying to "stand-out" as you say, but rather "fit-in." I think persons are trying to adhere to some preconceived notion of a connoisseur and are really just sort of dilettante admirers.
    Well, I would think "fitting in" on a literature forum would require having read some of, if not a lot of, the canon. Anyway, "connoisseur" VS "dilettante admirers" isn't really another distinction I want to get into, but give it a shot if you want.

    Quote Originally Posted by stuntpickle View Post
    Although a "formal education" isn't strictly necessary to appreciate Shakespeare, a specialized lexicon generally is--if one is to actually comprehend the text. Often, persons THINK they've understood the text while having actually misunderstood it. For example, readers generally think the line "O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thought Romeo?" means...
    It's absolutely necessary for modern readers to have a well-glossed, well-footnoted version of Shakespeare, absolutely, but once they have that I'm not sure where the difficulty is. In my Oxford Edition I know it has "wherefore" glossed as "why/for what reason." So, really, the most work it requires is glancing from the texts to the glosses or footnotes and perhaps occasionally at a glossary if a word/passage isn't covered.

    Quote Originally Posted by stuntpickle View Post
    Most persons examine Shakespeare either because they have to for school or because they think that's how one becomes cultured. Thus does one acquire an artificial taste.
    Wait... so these are the only two options? Either one encounters Shakespeare in school or they encounter him because they want to acquire an "artificial taste" by becoming cultured?

    Quote Originally Posted by stuntpickle View Post
    Can you not see the irony of pretending to ridicule me for harping on the mistakes of others while simultaneously pointing out my supposed mistakes?
    I would stop harping on your "supposed mistakes" if you'd quit harping on others even after they admit they were wrong on a certain point. It's like you get stuck on that level and utterly refuse to move forward, even after the point has been clarified.

    Quote Originally Posted by stuntpickle View Post
    you began to try and confuse the issue so that you could, presumably, pretend to be right.
    Did you ever once stop to consider that it was not I that was confusing the issue but rather you who were simply confused? Given your repeated proclivity for ignoring the context around what things are said in, and the numerous mistakes that this has lead you into, it shouldn't be surprising that you'd find yourself confused, and mistake that confusion as being the fault of the other person rather than your own.

    Quote Originally Posted by stuntpickle View Post
    you misappropriate language
    Yes, by using a word in one of the ways by which it is defined in several dictionaries. Oh, misappropriate me.
    "As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light of meaning in the darkness of mere being." --Carl Gustav Jung

    "To absent friends, lost loves, old gods, and the season of mists; and may each and every one of us always give the devil his due." --Neil Gaiman; The Sandman Vol. 4: Season of Mists

    "I'm on my way, from misery to happiness today. Uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh" --The Proclaimers

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    Quote Originally Posted by MorpheusSandman View Post
    2. Right, so I'm not sure why you said the thread was about "modern poetic technique"...
    Surely, you understand that being "technically proficient" involves technique, right? If you are making the point that the discussion wasn't about "modern" poets, then I will concede that was not a necessary component of the discussion, but rather an important one that was put into relief, I thought, by modern persons largely discussing former poets.


    Quote Originally Posted by MorpheusSandman View Post
    It's absolutely necessary for modern readers to have a well-glossed, well-footnoted version of Shakespeare, absolutely, but once they have that I'm not sure where the difficulty is.
    Look, you've missed the point. My point was that great effort must be expended to appreciate Shakespeare, and not so much effort is required with, say, Bukowski. So if we have an instance where persons have approached authors that include cultural impediments to understanding them, yet these same persons do not demonstrate an awareness of more culturally immediate authors, I have difficulty understanding how this could result from something other than education or snobbery. It sort of like someone who claims to be a fan of film but doesn't talk about anything other than Fellini films. Of course, it is not a logically necessary fact that they have never seen modern films, but it is, I think, a sort of conspicuous problem since the real film buffs I have known have wildly varied tastes that stretch from Fellini to Kung Fu movies from the 1970s. It's only the film SNOBS I have known who restrict their viewing to these sorts of art films. Because that has been my experience, I think I am justified in making the inference although I am certainly willing to be persuaded otherwise.


    Quote Originally Posted by MorpheusSandman View Post
    Wait... so these are the only two options?
    No, which is why I used the word "most". I do, in fact, think there are persons with a genuine interest. But I have to wonder why MOST persons are more familiar with, say, Keats who is not at all present in the current culture, as opposed to Billy Collins, who is somewhat present. The only conclusion I can come to is that this results from education or snobbery.

    Quote Originally Posted by MorpheusSandman View Post
    I would stop harping on your "supposed mistakes" if you'd quit harping on others even after they admit they were wrong on a certain point. It's like you get stuck on that level and utterly refuse to move forward, even after the point has been clarified.
    This is a mischaracterization. Did you ever admit you were wrong about the Kalam having serious flaws? I mean, I had to demonstrate your obvious deficits in understanding logic and philosophy and accomplished this absolutely. Yet all you did was move the goalposts and try to change the subject. The conversation would have been over if ever you had said "Okay, perhaps the argument doesn't have flaws, but there are some things I disagree with." If ever you had said, "Okay, perhaps I shouldn't have called people anti-intellectual, but what I meant to say was....."

    Quote Originally Posted by MorpheusSandman View Post
    Did you ever once stop to consider that it was not I that was confusing the issue but rather you who were simply confused?
    It's not about ME confusing the issue when I can demonstrate your errors with certainty. If we can, for instance, show that your objection is a particular type of fallacy, then we can reasonably conclude that I am not confused about it being a fallacy.

    Quote Originally Posted by MorpheusSandman View Post
    Given your repeated proclivity for ignoring the context around what things are said in, and the numerous mistakes that this has lead you into, it shouldn't be surprising that you'd find yourself confused, and mistake that confusion as being the fault of the other person rather than your own.
    Okay, idiot, I'm completely done playing around with you. Here's some things we have established with certainty.

    1. You don't understand what makes an argument valid.
    2. You don't understand that everyone makes metaphysical statements.
    3. Even when specifically trying make a reasonable argument, you fail by using fallacies and invalid logical structures.
    4. You make absurd pronouncements about logic that would require someone fairly familiar with the subject, and considering we have established that you're not at all familiar, then you're statements are generally unimpressive.
    5. You don't understand what most persons mean by "intellectual".

    Quote Originally Posted by MorpheusSandman View Post
    Yes, by using a word in one of the ways by which it is defined in several dictionaries. Oh, misappropriate me.
    No, stupid you, for not even understanding the definitions you, yourself, cited.

    Your narcissistic delusions are tiresome. I guess I'll just go back to pointing out all the errors.

  15. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by stuntpickle View Post
    Surely, you understand that being "technically proficient" involves technique, right? If you are making the point that the discussion wasn't about "modern" poets, then I will concede that was not a necessary component of the discussion
    Fair enough. Honestly, I was a bit disappointed that the discussion never moved more into the direction of discussing how important technique was in terms of separating the "born" from the "made." Technique seemed to get passed over in favor of a more critical/academic approach, which I don't think anyone ever had in mind when discussing "made" poets.

    Quote Originally Posted by stuntpickle View Post
    My point was that great effort must be expended to appreciate Shakespeare, and not so much effort is required with, say, Bukowski. So if we have an instance where persons have approached authors that include cultural impediments to understanding them, yet these same persons do not demonstrate an awareness of more culturally immediate authors, I have difficulty understanding how this could result from something other than education or snobbery.
    A few things here:

    1. I think you oversell how difficult it is to appreciate Shakespeare. For me it took a well-glossed version of his plays, some ear-plugs, a comfy chair, and several hours of quiet reading. I wouldn't call that "great effort."

    2. I think if you really wanted to juxtapose "writers that require great effort" with "writers that require no effort" then it isn't really an issue of old/canonical VS contemporary at all, because a poet like Ashbery is contemporary, but I consider him more difficult than Shakespeare. Likewise, Blake is extremely difficult, moreso than Shakespeare, but not because he's old, rather because he writes in elaborately developed allegories with a lot of complex and obscure allusions that nobody in his own time understood. So, essentially, the issue of "difficult writers VS accessible writers" is different than the issue of "canonical writers VS contemporary writers." Some canonical writers like, say, Edgar Allan Poe, aren't that difficult at all.

    3. Likewise, I'm not sure how mentioning, say, Shakespeare, would make one look more educated or snobbish than mentioning, say, Ashbery, who's more obscure. Wouldn't snobs get their sense of superiority by having read authors most others haven't read as opposed to reading one, like Shakespeare, that most (at least, most on a literary forum) would've read?

    Besides, stlukes answered a lot of these questions. A lot of people who love poetry simply don't like modern poetry, the same way many classical music fans don't like modern classical music, or classic rock fans don't like modern rock. I don't think the reason is one of snobbishness so much as it is familiarity. Most who are introduced to poetry is more likely to read the classics rather than what's contemporary. If from reading those classics they begin to like poetry, then what they like is best represented in those classics, and modern poetry may not represent what made them like poetry to begin with. Much the same with classical. I discovered classical through Mozart, particularly the film Amadeus. Now, I've branched out since then, but most modern classical just turns me off. Not all modern poetry turns me off, but a lot of it does. Even subscribing to several lit magazines there are usually only a handful of poems in each issue that stand out at all and inspire me to reread them.

    Quote Originally Posted by stuntpickle View Post
    It sort of like someone who claims to be a fan of film but doesn't talk about anything other than Fellini films.... It's only the film SNOBS I have known who restrict their viewing to these sorts of art films. Because that has been my experience, I think I am justified in making the inference although I am certainly willing to be persuaded otherwise.
    Well, I'd consider myself a cinephile as well, but most of the film fans I know are of the type you described, those that watch everything from Fellini to kung-fu films (King Hu and Tsui Hark are awesome!)... I don't know of many film snobs personally that only talk about art-house films (though Fellini is as close the mainstream as art-house gets, really). I won't discredit your experience, but I'd merely say I don't think they're the norm.


    Quote Originally Posted by stuntpickle View Post
    But I have to wonder why MOST persons are more familiar with, say, Keats who is not at all present in the current culture, as opposed to Billy Collins, who is somewhat present.
    Think of it as a numbers game. The canon are those artists that multiple generations have deemed worthy of attention and interest. When people are first introduced to serious literature it's usually going to be through that canon simply because more people have experienced it and have passed it on for future generations to discover. There's simply more ways to encounter/read Keats than there is to encounter/read Collins. That may change one day, and maybe Collins (or, at least, some of his poems) will be featured in enough anthologies that just as many will read him as will read Keats.

    Personally, whenever I first started getting into literature (and film, and music) years ago, my method was to seek out decent representations of the canons first and work from there. Like, I would start out watching Hitchcock and then find that Hitch was inspired by the German Expressionists and Soviet Montage, that he inspired The French New Wave and Neo-Noir, and my experience would branch out from there. Likewise, I read Keats, discovered Keats was influenced by Milton, that he influenced Wilfred Owen, and my experience would branch out from there. By doing that, one gets a more complete picture of the network of associations in which poetry is created in, rather than just certain writers in isolation, but everyone has to start somewhere, and starting with the canon isn't the worst idea.

    Quote Originally Posted by stuntpickle View Post
    Did you ever admit you were wrong about the Kalam having serious flaws?
    I admitted several times that it was valid, I merely didn't feel it was reasonable to accept its propositions as true.

    Quote Originally Posted by stuntpickle View Post
    Here's some things I have established with certainty within the confines of my very confused noggin.
    Fixed that for ya.

    Oh, and, by the way, I understood perfectly well what J meant by "intellectual" as he stated it quite clearly the minute the confusion arose, the same way I stated quite clearly that's not what I meant by it. We understand each other. No harm, no foul; unlike you who wants to make a mountain out of a molehill.
    Last edited by MorpheusSandman; 05-28-2012 at 01:07 PM.
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