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Author Topic: I Don't Get Poetry  (Read 1574 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: February 10, 2013, 05:59:56 PM »

What's the purpose of poetry? I honestly just don't get it at all. I've been studying it so much for English right now and it does nothing but put me to sleep and bore me. There are no polemics or deep rationalist elements that I could examine, but it just seems like boring emotionalism and feelings and all that crap. My teacher got me all worked up for nothing, announcing to me that we would soon be studying the Moderns, and I got all excited thinking that maybe there would finally be something intellectual and polemic in the Moderns, opposed to the boring over-religious emotionalism I found in the Puritanical American poetry that came before it. But guess what? I got NONE of that! It was the same boring emotionalism that I found in all poetry, only difference was that this time it was over-educated men complaining about their first-world emotional downs. What gives? Where are the staunch criticisms and polemics that I find in Nietzsche? (my favorite author) It's boring and I hate poetry. I don't get the point of it. I don't even pay attention to my own emotions, why am I going to pay attention to some dead guys' emotions?

/rant
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« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2013, 06:05:36 PM »

A soft whispering voice
echoes in the mind
of James
R.
What then can he say?
Poetry does not touch
his
soul.
Banana.
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« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2013, 06:11:49 PM »

For me, I only ever truly enjoyed things like poetry, plays, art, and literature when I pursued them on my own terms. Of course, I only agreed things were a great artistic piece when I thought so, not because someone insisted it.

Best advice I think it to try and enjoy the exposure to something you would otherwise not pursue. You might find an interest in something you would otherwise not discover.
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« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2013, 06:13:42 PM »

Not all poetry is of the same worth or caliber. And the study of it can be subjective, as with all literature. However, the good stuff is just story in another form. If you have not read a lot of classic literature, it might be worth putting down the Nietzsche (after all, he may be even more dead than the poets) and pick up Dickens, Dostoyevsky, Flannery O'Connor, Steinbeck, Hemingway, Dumas, Hugo, Bradbury, etc.
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« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2013, 06:15:55 PM »

Fwiw I enjoy very few poets. I've tried reading anthologies and collections and such, and I can count on one hand the poets that I've liked some stuff by... John Greenleaf Whittier, Paul Laurence Dunbar, maybe a couple others. It's like with anything having to do with art, you'll probably have to sift through a lot before you find a gem you like. Especially if you're picky. But when you find someone you like, it's like finding that perfect album of music or something, it just feels great--and it feels all the better because it took some effort finding it.
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« Reply #5 on: February 10, 2013, 06:19:24 PM »

Poetry is like reverse meditation to me.  You take all the emotions you have, all the things that interest you, all the things that bother you, all that is going on around you, the mundane and the exciting, and you sum it up into a few words.

Poetry is packing up,
Later it is unraveled.
Every fold,
Every neat nook,
Every compartment,
All for the soul to search,
For the mind to bask.
Sometimes,
Some things
Are hard to find,
And other things
You do find,
Yet hard to grasp.

(I suck at poetry...but I like it)
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« Reply #6 on: February 10, 2013, 06:20:05 PM »

Try finding poetry that speaks to a topic that interests you.

For example, I've found war poetry and stream-of-consciousness poetry the most interesting.

Here is an example:
Quote
Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares(2) we turned our backs
And towards our distant rest(3) began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots(4)  
Of tired, outstripped(5) Five-Nines(6) that dropped behind.
Gas!(7) Gas! Quick, boys! – An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets(Cool just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling,
And flound'ring like a man in fire or lime(9) . . .
Dim, through the misty panes(10) and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.
In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering,(11) choking, drowning.
If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud(12)  
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest(13)  
To children ardent(14) for some desperate glory,
The old Lie; Dulce et Decorum est
Pro patria mori.(15)

Wilfred Owen
8 October 1917 - March, 1918

This is about mustard gas attacks in WWI.
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« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2013, 06:20:23 PM »

A soft whispering voice
echoes in the mind
of James
R.
What then can he say?
Poetry does not touch
his
soul.
Banana.

Genius springs from the
wise mind of Asteriktos.
Who hath ears to hear?

The poet can see
what the philosopher can't--
his page is too small

Emotion, story
the experience of life
fit into few words--

To teach, enlighten,
commiserate, liberate
the poem's reader
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« Reply #8 on: February 10, 2013, 06:21:14 PM »

Poetry doesn't get
you /
either
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« Reply #9 on: February 10, 2013, 06:23:18 PM »

Poetry that aims to be "lofty" is often the kind that isn't very good. Try finding some poetry about the minutiae of life, which is where all of the beauty is anyway.
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« Reply #10 on: February 10, 2013, 06:24:16 PM »

One of my favorite poems is "Hangover," by Billy Collins.

Hangover

If I were crowned emperor this morning,
every child who is playing Marco Polo
in the swimming pool of this motel,
shouting the name Marco Polo back and forth

Marco     Polo     Marco     Polo

would be required to read a biography
of Marco Polo - a long one with fine print-
as well as a history of China and of Venice,
the birthplace of the venerated explorer

Marco     Polo     Marco     Polo

after which each child would be quizzed
by me then executed by drowning
regardless how much they managed
to retain about the glorious life and times of

Marco     Polo     Marco     Polo
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« Reply #11 on: February 10, 2013, 06:24:33 PM »

It's true that much of what has been passed down as ideal poetry is not that great, especially what gets crammed down the throats of high school students. Textbooks tend to select the most banal works of even the good poets students read. I think you might enjoy the postwar (WWI, that is) moderns, though -- they often echo themes that your posts here follow.

If you're looking for rationalism, though, I'm not sure poetry is ever going to be your thing. One need not be emotional (whatever that means) to understand that some concepts can't be expressed rationally.

But Re: the title of this post — as much as you talk about Tupac, of course you don’t get poetry. ;-)
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« Reply #12 on: February 10, 2013, 06:25:40 PM »

andriu that's one of my favorites " Dulce et Decorum est Pro patria mori."
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« Reply #13 on: February 10, 2013, 06:29:50 PM »

Poetry that aims to be "lofty" is often the kind that isn't very good. Try finding some poetry about the minutiae of life, which is where all of the beauty is anyway.

such as this one..

Auguries of Innocence
BY WILLIAM BLAKE

To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour
...

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« Reply #14 on: February 10, 2013, 06:30:26 PM »

Here's an example of a poem I enjoyed (I posted an excerpt elsewhere), fwiw... What the Birds Said
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« Reply #15 on: February 10, 2013, 06:32:39 PM »

Where are the staunch criticisms and polemics that I find in Nietzsche? (my favorite author)

Nietzsche wrote poetry.
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« Reply #16 on: February 10, 2013, 06:33:38 PM »

http://www.poemhunter.com

Great site for the best poetry written
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« Reply #17 on: February 10, 2013, 06:35:24 PM »

I think you might enjoy the postwar (WWI, that is) moderns, though -- they often echo themes that your posts here follow.

Can you recommend me a few?
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« Reply #18 on: February 10, 2013, 06:44:40 PM »

Sometimes poetry tells a story like "The Highwayman" by Noyes.

Or it can describe a complicated situation in images such as "Do not go gentle into that good night" by Dylan Thomas, which has more power than "Don't just give up and die".  

Song lyrics can be poetry or a form of it.  Do you like to listen to songs?

"Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth/ And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings" ("High Flight" by Magee) gives a different idea of flying than, for example, "I took off in a plane and liked flying".

or even just giving an image of a simple situation, with no "emotionalism" such as one of Basho's most famous:

The old pond —
A frog leaps in,
And a splash.  -translated by Makoto Ueda

(There are many different translations of this)

Some like a lot of Ogden Nash's were humourous.
"Celery, raw
Develops the jaw,
But celery, stewed,
Is more quietly chewed."


There are lots of sorts of poetry and probably there's no-one who likes all of it.  That's OK

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« Reply #19 on: February 10, 2013, 06:45:58 PM »

There's always the Norse sagas. Short, punchy phrases, not too flowery. War and old cultures and exciting stuff. I like the Italian and Greek poets, too. The old heroes of legend got into a lot of trouble...

If all else fails, not everybody likes everything. They teach about it because it has been around for a long time and it is a highly specialized way of using language and imagery. Once you're done with school, maybe don't read it anymore.
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« Reply #20 on: February 10, 2013, 06:49:49 PM »

Quote
There are no polemics or deep rationalist elements that I could examine, but it just seems like boring emotionalism and feelings and all that crap.

I think this is your main problem. Try and look at poetry as paintings, just with words. Very often, they are exactly what you say, reflections of peoples thoughts and emotions.
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« Reply #21 on: February 10, 2013, 06:52:10 PM »

There's always the Norse sagas. Short, punchy phrases, not too flowery. War and old cultures and exciting stuff. I like the Italian and Greek poets, too. The old heroes of legend got into a lot of trouble...

If all else fails, not everybody likes everything. They teach about it because it has been around for a long time and it is a highly specialized way of using language and imagery. Once you're done with school, maybe don't read it anymore.

At least you'll know that it exists.  For our children we believe that it's our task to introduce them to as much of the world/universe as possible so that they can find subjects and things that they like/enjoy/are interested it. 

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« Reply #22 on: February 10, 2013, 07:06:00 PM »

I think you might enjoy the postwar (WWI, that is) moderns, though -- they often echo themes that your posts here follow.

Can you recommend me a few?

I used to feel about the same way as you did when I was around your age, but it was really a question of what I was exposed to, and to a great extent, also the context; High school literature classes made everything seem dreadfully boring, even authors whom I have come to cherish subsequently. I'm not sure what they are exposing you to in your high school that is so off-putting, but I would be quite surprised if you didn't get something out of Gerard Manley Hopkins, T.S. Eliot, W.B. Yeats, R.S. Thomas, David Jones, Robinson Jeffers, to mention but a few, and sticking to those who composed in English.

I'm sure there are resources on-line for you to test the waters a bit.
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« Reply #23 on: February 10, 2013, 07:13:54 PM »

I think you might enjoy the postwar (WWI, that is) moderns, though -- they often echo themes that your posts here follow.

Can you recommend me a few?

A sound investment.
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« Reply #24 on: February 11, 2013, 11:40:11 AM »

I have no use for poetry that doesn't rhyme or isn't raunchy.

Catullus = Good
Martial = Gangsta

Chastushki in general = Win

Oh, and if your poetry involves a man from Nantuckett...lulz.

Limericks are awesome.
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« Reply #25 on: February 11, 2013, 12:07:07 PM »

Limericks are awesome.

As are epigrams.

Quote
On my boat on Lake Cayuga
I have a horn that goes "Ay-oogah!"
I'm not the sort of modern creep
Who has a horn that goes "beep-beep."
--William Cole (1912-1992)

 Cheesy
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« Reply #26 on: February 11, 2013, 12:10:06 PM »

Limericks are awesome.

As are epigrams.

Quote
On my boat on Lake Cayuga
I have a horn that goes "Ay-oogah!"
I'm not the sort of modern creep
Who has a horn that goes "beep-beep."
--William Cole (1912-1992)

 Cheesy

That's some true poetic artistry right there!
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« Reply #27 on: February 11, 2013, 12:12:16 PM »

What's the purpose of poetry? I honestly just don't get it at all. I've been studying it so much for English right now and it does nothing but put me to sleep and bore me. There are no polemics or deep rationalist elements that I could examine, but it just seems like boring emotionalism and feelings and all that crap. My teacher got me all worked up for nothing, announcing to me that we would soon be studying the Moderns, and I got all excited thinking that maybe there would finally be something intellectual and polemic in the Moderns, opposed to the boring over-religious emotionalism I found in the Puritanical American poetry that came before it. But guess what? I got NONE of that! It was the same boring emotionalism that I found in all poetry, only difference was that this time it was over-educated men complaining about their first-world emotional downs. What gives? Where are the staunch criticisms and polemics that I find in Nietzsche? (my favorite author) It's boring and I hate poetry. I don't get the point of it. I don't even pay attention to my own emotions, why am I going to pay attention to some dead guys' emotions?

/rant

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« Reply #28 on: February 11, 2013, 12:15:30 PM »

Limericks are awesome.

As are epigrams.

Quote
On my boat on Lake Cayuga
I have a horn that goes "Ay-oogah!"
I'm not the sort of modern creep
Who has a horn that goes "beep-beep."
--William Cole (1912-1992)

 Cheesy

That's some true poetic artistry right there!

My favourite poem of all time, though, remains Dorothy Parker's 'Résumé':

Quote
Razors pain you;
Rivers are damp;
Acids stain you;
And drugs cause cramp.
Guns aren't lawful;
Nooses give;
Gas smells awful;
You might as well live.

 police
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« Reply #29 on: February 11, 2013, 12:16:28 PM »

What's the purpose of poetry? I honestly just don't get it at all. I've been studying it so much for English right now and it does nothing but put me to sleep and bore me. There are no polemics or deep rationalist elements that I could examine, but it just seems like boring emotionalism and feelings and all that crap. My teacher got me all worked up for nothing, announcing to me that we would soon be studying the Moderns, and I got all excited thinking that maybe there would finally be something intellectual and polemic in the Moderns, opposed to the boring over-religious emotionalism I found in the Puritanical American poetry that came before it. But guess what? I got NONE of that! It was the same boring emotionalism that I found in all poetry, only difference was that this time it was over-educated men complaining about their first-world emotional downs. What gives? Where are the staunch criticisms and polemics that I find in Nietzsche? (my favorite author) It's boring and I hate poetry. I don't get the point of it. I don't even pay attention to my own emotions, why am I going to pay attention to some dead guys' emotions?

/rant

You need good poets. Sappho, Anacreon, Homer, Horace, Cavafy etc.
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« Reply #30 on: February 11, 2013, 12:26:11 PM »

What's the purpose of poetry? I honestly just don't get it at all. I've been studying it so much for English right now and it does nothing but put me to sleep and bore me. There are no polemics or deep rationalist elements that I could examine, but it just seems like boring emotionalism and feelings and all that crap. My teacher got me all worked up for nothing, announcing to me that we would soon be studying the Moderns, and I got all excited thinking that maybe there would finally be something intellectual and polemic in the Moderns, opposed to the boring over-religious emotionalism I found in the Puritanical American poetry that came before it. But guess what? I got NONE of that! It was the same boring emotionalism that I found in all poetry, only difference was that this time it was over-educated men complaining about their first-world emotional downs. What gives? Where are the staunch criticisms and polemics that I find in Nietzsche? (my favorite author) It's boring and I hate poetry. I don't get the point of it. I don't even pay attention to my own emotions, why am I going to pay attention to some dead guys' emotions?

/rant

You need good poets. Sappho, Anacreon, Homer, Horace, Cavafy etc.

Cavafy would make him squirm, and no mistake. laugh
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« Reply #31 on: February 11, 2013, 12:45:56 PM »


You need good poets. Sappho, Anacreon, Homer, Horace, Cavafy etc.

Cavafy would make him squirm, and no mistake. laugh

At least he can't complain about puritanism  Wink
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« Reply #32 on: February 11, 2013, 12:49:38 PM »


You need good poets. Sappho, Anacreon, Homer, Horace, Cavafy etc.

Cavafy would make him squirm, and no mistake. laugh

At least he can't complain about puritanism  Wink

Perhaps Catullus would be more to his liking.
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« Reply #33 on: February 11, 2013, 12:52:01 PM »


You need good poets. Sappho, Anacreon, Homer, Horace, Cavafy etc.

Cavafy would make him squirm, and no mistake. laugh

At least he can't complain about puritanism  Wink

Perhaps Catullus would be more to his liking.

Give me a thousand kisses, then a hundred.
Then, another thousand, and a second hundred.
Then, yet another thousand, and a hundred.


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« Reply #34 on: February 11, 2013, 01:05:23 PM »


You need good poets. Sappho, Anacreon, Homer, Horace, Cavafy etc.

Cavafy would make him squirm, and no mistake. laugh

At least he can't complain about puritanism  Wink

Perhaps Catullus would be more to his liking.

Give me a thousand kisses, then a hundred.
Then, another thousand, and a second hundred.
Then, yet another thousand, and a hundred.


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But no Ovid. That poor blow-up doll... Tongue
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« Reply #35 on: February 11, 2013, 01:07:43 PM »

But no Ovid. That poor blow-up doll... Tongue


I suspect James might need some of his Ars Amatoria though  Cheesy
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« Reply #36 on: February 11, 2013, 01:25:45 PM »


Where would Hallmark be.....
              .....without poetry?

Cheesy  I'm a poet!!!!

He searched near an far,
This man named JamesR;
To find a melodic verse,
In which his soul to immerse.

Alas, when nought was found,
His body, did fall to the ground;
And fearing he had lost the fight,
He did close his eyes for the night.

Suddenly he awoke to thunder,
Amazed and filled with wonder;
He blinked and gazed all around,
And spotted a book on the ground.

What he found was like a balm,
Bringing peace to his soul, and calm;
A book layeth in the moonlight
A wondrous answer to his plight.

As he read it under the swaying palm,
He noted it was titled simply Psalm;
The words within trickled like a brook,
And he knew he had found his poetry book.

Psalm 42:  As the hart panteth after the water brooks, So panteth my soul after thee, O God.



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« Reply #37 on: February 11, 2013, 02:26:11 PM »

My favorite, Gunga Din by Kipling.  My favorite course in High School was British Literature.

Title:     Gunga Din
Author: Rudyard Kipling

You may talk o' gin and beer
When you're quartered safe out 'ere,
An' you're sent to penny-fights an' Aldershot it;
But when it comes to slaughter
You will do your work on water,
An' you'll lick the bloomin' boots of 'im that's got it.
Now in Injia's sunny clime,
Where I used to spend my time
A-servin' of 'Er Majesty the Queen,
Of all them blackfaced crew
The finest man I knew
Was our regimental bhisti, Gunga Din.
He was "Din! Din! Din!
You limpin' lump o' brick-dust, Gunga Din!
Hi! slippery hitherao!
Water, get it! Panee lao!
You squidgy-nosed old idol, Gunga Din."

The uniform 'e wore
Was nothin' much before,
An' rather less than 'arf o' that be'ind,
For a piece o' twisty rag
An' a goatskin water-bag
Was all the field-equipment 'e could find.
When the sweatin' troop-train lay
In a sidin' through the day,
Where the 'eat would make your bloomin' eyebrows crawl,
We shouted "Harry By!"
Till our throats were bricky-dry,
Then we wopped 'im 'cause 'e couldn't serve us all.
It was "Din! Din! Din!
You 'eathen, where the mischief 'ave you been?
You put some juldee in it
Or I'll marrow you this minute
If you don't fill up my helmet, Gunga Din!"

'E would dot an' carry one
Till the longest day was done;
An' 'e didn't seem to know the use o' fear.
If we charged or broke or cut,
You could bet your bloomin' nut,
'E'd be waitin' fifty paces right flank rear.
With 'is mussick on 'is back,
'E would skip with our attack,
An' watch us till the bugles made "Retire",
An' for all 'is dirty 'ide
'E was white, clear white, inside
When 'e went to tend the wounded under fire!
It was "Din! Din! Din!"
With the bullets kickin' dust-spots on the green.
When the cartridges ran out,
You could hear the front-files shout,
"Hi! ammunition-mules an' Gunga Din!"

I shan't forgit the night
When I dropped be'ind the fight
With a bullet where my belt-plate should 'a' been.
I was chokin' mad with thirst,
An' the man that spied me first
Was our good old grinnin', gruntin' Gunga Din.
'E lifted up my 'ead,
An' he plugged me where I bled,
An' 'e guv me 'arf-a-pint o' water-green:
It was crawlin' and it stunk,
But of all the drinks I've drunk,
I'm gratefullest to one from Gunga Din.
It was "Din! Din! Din!
'Ere's a beggar with a bullet through 'is spleen;
'E's chawin' up the ground,
An' 'e's kickin' all around:
For Gawd's sake git the water, Gunga Din!"

'E carried me away
To where a dooli lay,
An' a bullet come an' drilled the beggar clean.
'E put me safe inside,
An' just before 'e died,
"I 'ope you liked your drink", sez Gunga Din.
So I'll meet 'im later on
At the place where 'e is gone --
Where it's always double drill and no canteen;
'E'll be squattin' on the coals
Givin' drink to poor damned souls,
An' I'll get a swig in hell from Gunga Din!
Yes, Din! Din! Din!
You Lazarushian-leather Gunga Din!
Though I've belted you and flayed you,
By the livin' Gawd that made you,
You're a better man than I am, Gunga Din!



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« Reply #38 on: February 11, 2013, 02:49:08 PM »

I love Gunga Din, even though the language is a little difficult.
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« Reply #39 on: February 11, 2013, 02:53:32 PM »

Poetry that aims to be "lofty" is often the kind that isn't very good. Try finding some poetry about the minutiae of life, which is where all of the beauty is anyway.

Nonsense. All the lame poetry is about red wheelbarrows and crap.

JamesR, you are looking for the wrong thing in poetry.  You are basically asking poetry to do the same thing as prose. That's not what poetry is for.

Here's one of my favorite poems. If you don't like this, you don't like ice cream.

        THE SONG OF WANDERING AENGUS

        by: W.B. Yeats

        I WENT out to the hazel wood,
        Because a fire was in my head,
        And cut and peeled a hazel wand,
        And hooked a berry to a thread;
         
        And when white moths were on the wing,
        And moth-like stars were flickering out,
        I dropped the berry in a stream
        And caught a little silver trout.
         
        When I had laid it on the floor
        I went to blow the fire a-flame,
        But something rustled on the floor,
        And some one called me by my name:
        It had become a glimmering girl
        With apple blossom in her hair
        Who called me by my name and ran
        And faded through the brightening air.
         
        Though I am old with wandering
        Through hollow lands and hilly lands,
        I will find out where she has gone,
        And kiss her lips and take her hands;
        And walk among long dappled grass,
        And pluck till time and times are done
        The silver apples of the moon,
        The golden apples of the sun.

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« Reply #40 on: February 11, 2013, 02:56:05 PM »

While we're at it, here's my translation of Baudelaire's "Spleen"

I am like a rainy country’s lord
As impotent as rich, and while a boy,
Too old; who scorns his teachers, and is bored
With dogs and every other beast. No joy
He finds in savage hunts, nor falconry,
Nor dying serfs beneath the balcony.
His favorite jester’s most perverted art
No longer stirs his cruel and sickly heart.
His bed with flowers strewn seems more a tomb;
Nor can the ladies in waiting, to whom
Any prince is fair, enough lewdness don
To wrest a smile from this young skeleton.
Philosophers who make him gold, in vain
Attempt to purify his leaden vein,
And baths of blood, of Rome’s antiquity,
In which kings recline in their senility,
Can’t warm the heart of this impassive corpse
Through which not blood but Lethe waters course.
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« Reply #41 on: February 11, 2013, 03:22:18 PM »

Just today I was thinking about opening a poetry thread.
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« Reply #42 on: February 11, 2013, 03:25:34 PM »

What's the purpose of poetry? I honestly just don't get it at all.
Don't worry. In his old age, Darwin didn't get it either.
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« Reply #43 on: February 21, 2013, 12:22:44 PM »

Devastated ... a poem by me


I collapse infront of my doctor,

I wither at the height of Heaven,

I slump when spoken to,

I can no longer cope,

I am defeated.

I need a Light!

A Light so strong it Resurrects the dead!

I seek, I knock, I ask,

The Light is given to me!

Before, I pounded my fists against a wall, I pulled my hair, I ripped my clothes.

After, I gather green plants and flowers, I eat ripe fruit, I listen to the call of birds and I smell the sweet scent of fresh dew.

Before, I was lost,

Now, I am found,

Before, I was dead,

Now, I am alive again.

I cry, but they are tears of prayer,

Whereas once they were tears of despair.

I climb a ladder, a ladder to God,

Others fall at the way side, but I continue, I continue to the top,

The demons still try to drag me down, but I brush them off with delicate ease.

I meet the Light in Person!

Seated at God’s right hand side.

Father and Son!

The Holy Spirit is all around!

He speaks to me!

I am emptied of sin and evil!

My life is His.

…I will never suffer again…

James poetry is great!  It is not just about emotions, but every kind of personal feeling and thought!  It can also be very cathartic and it is enjoyable too to read and write! for me anyway!  Nihilism is dead. God is Alive, has been and always will be!!! Lord Have Mercy...
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« Reply #44 on: February 21, 2013, 02:15:38 PM »

Ἐρέω τε δηὖτε κοὐκ ἐρέω,                     I love and yet I do not love
καὶ μαίνομαι κοὐ μαίνομαι.                    I am insane and I am not insane

-Anacreon, fr. 104



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« Reply #45 on: February 21, 2013, 02:50:13 PM »

Here I sit in noxious vapour,
Someone's used up all the paper.
Late to class, I cannot linger,
Watch out *** here comes my finger.
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« Reply #46 on: February 21, 2013, 03:03:59 PM »

hahaha vamrat, you naughty boy! go sit on the corner!
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« Reply #47 on: February 21, 2013, 03:28:53 PM »

I think you might enjoy the postwar (WWI, that is) moderns, though -- they often echo themes that your posts here follow.

Can you recommend me a few?

There's always Earl Sweatshirt and Eminem, who are quite good with assonance and consonance, creating many an internal rhyme in any of their raps (which is simply another name for spoken poetry). 

And of course, to continue with the idea of the song as poem, there's essentially every song Leonard Cohen has ever written (which makes sense, since Cohen began his career as a poet, and only switched to song-writing when he realized he could make significantly more money). 

An example of a good poem-song by Cohen is Who By Fire:

And who by fire, who by water,
Who in the sunshine, who in the night time,
Who by high ordeal, who by common trial,
Who in your merry merry month of may,
Who by very slow decay,
And who shall I say is calling?

And who in her lonely slip, who by barbiturate,
Who in these realms of love, who by something blunt,
And who by avalanche, who by powder,
Who for his greed, who for his hunger,
And who shall I say is calling?

And who by brave assent, who by accident,
Who in solitude, who in this mirror,
Who by his lady's command, who by his own hand,
Who in mortal chains, who in power,
And who shall I say is calling?

Another is Cohen's Everybody Knows:

Everybody knows that the dice are loaded
Everybody rolls with their fingers crossed
Everybody knows that the war is over
Everybody knows the good guys lost
Everybody knows the fight was fixed
The poor stay poor, the rich get rich
That's how it goes
Everybody knows
Everybody knows that the boat is leaking
Everybody knows that the captain lied
Everybody got this broken feeling
Like their father or their dog just died

Everybody talking to their pockets
Everybody wants a box of chocolates
And a long stem rose
Everybody knows

Everybody knows that you love me baby
Everybody knows that you really do
Everybody knows that you've been faithful
Ah give or take a night or two
Everybody knows you've been discreet
But there were so many people you just had to meet
Without your clothes
And everybody knows

Everybody knows, everybody knows
That's how it goes
Everybody knows

Everybody knows, everybody knows
That's how it goes
Everybody knows

And everybody knows that it's now or never
Everybody knows that it's me or you
And everybody knows that you live forever
Ah when you've done a line or two
Everybody knows the deal is rotten
Old Black Joe's still pickin' cotton
For your ribbons and bows
And everybody knows

And everybody knows that the Plague is coming
Everybody knows that it's moving fast
Everybody knows that the naked man and woman
Are just a shining artifact of the past
Everybody knows the scene is dead
But there's gonna be a meter on your bed
That will disclose
What everybody knows

And everybody knows that you're in trouble
Everybody knows what you've been through
From the bloody cross on top of Calvary
To the beach of Malibu
Everybody knows it's coming apart
Take one last look at this Sacred Heart
Before it blows
And everybody knows

Everybody knows, everybody knows
That's how it goes
Everybody knows

Oh everybody knows, everybody knows
That's how it goes
Everybody knows

Everybody knows
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« Reply #48 on: February 21, 2013, 03:41:49 PM »

I wish I could post my poetry, but it's all in Dutch. But hey, I'll just share one of my poems with a translation. Much is lost in translation though, as with all poetry.

The rhyme scheme is a-a-b-b-c-c; a-a-b-b-c-c; a-a

Artemidorus                                                                     Artemidorus

Als Artemidorus je een brief aanrijkt,                                    If Artemidorus gives you a letter
je diep in de ogen kijkt                                                        looks into your eyes
en zegt: “lees het snel”                                                       and says: "Read this quickly"
doe dat wel.                                                                       do it.
Al wat belangrijk lijkt,                                                         All what seems important
senaatvergadering, theaterspel,                                           Senate meetings, theater plays

beloftes van een kroon,                                                      promises of a crown
een vergulde koningstroon                                                  a gilded, kingly throne
zal wachten moeten.                                                          shall have to wait
En al wie je begroeten,                                                       and all who greet you,
diplomaten of senatoren,                                                    diplomats or senator
ook aan hen moet je je niet storen                                      you shouldn't be bothered by them either.

Lees veel liever gauw,                                                       You should much rather read
wat die Artemidorus je schrijven wou.                                what that Artemidorus wanted to write you.
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« Reply #49 on: February 21, 2013, 03:45:58 PM »

I wish I could post my poetry, but it's all in Dutch. But hey, I'll just share one of my poems with a translation. Much is lost in translation though, as with all poetry.

The rhyme scheme is a-a-b-b-c-c; a-a-b-b-c-c; a-a

Artemidorus                                                                     Artemidorus

Als Artemidorus je een brief aanrijkt,                                    If Artemidorus gives you a letter
je diep in de ogen kijkt                                                        looks into your eyes
en zegt: “lees het snel”                                                       and says: "Read this quickly"
doe dat wel.                                                                       do it.
Al wat belangrijk lijkt,                                                         All what seems important
senaatvergadering, theaterspel,                                           Senate meetings, theater plays

beloftes van een kroon,                                                      promises of a crown
een vergulde koningstroon                                                  a gilded, kingly throne
zal wachten moeten.                                                          shall have to wait
En al wie je begroeten,                                                       and all who greet you,
diplomaten of senatoren,                                                    diplomats or senator
ook aan hen moet je je niet storen                                      you shouldn't be bothered by them either.

Lees veel liever gauw,                                                       You should much rather read
wat die Artemidorus je schrijven wou.                                what that Artemidorus wanted to write you.


Dear God, you composed this?  If much is lost in the translation, the power of the original is frightening to consider.
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« Reply #50 on: February 21, 2013, 03:48:16 PM »


Dear God, you composed this?  If much is lost in the translation, the power of the original is frightening to consider.

Yes. I sometimes write some poetry when I'm bored.
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« Reply #51 on: February 21, 2013, 03:51:29 PM »

Here I sit in noxious vapour,
Someone's used up all the paper.
Late to class, I cannot linger,
Watch out *** here comes my finger.

Ahh...back to fundamentals, I see.

Quote
fundamental (adj.) Look up fundamental at Dictionary.com
    mid-15c., "primary, original, pertaining to a foundation," modeled on Late Latin fundamentalis "of the foundation," from Latin fundamentum "foundation" (see fundament). Fundamentals "primary principles or rules" of anything is from 1630s.

fundament (n.) Look up fundament at Dictionary.com
    late 13c., "buttocks, anus," from Old French fondement "foundation, bottom; anus" (12c.), from Latin fundamentum "a foundation," from fundare "to found" (see bottom). So called because it is where one sits.
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« Reply #52 on: February 21, 2013, 03:53:30 PM »

I'm sort of with you on this James. I make some lame attempts at poetry myself, but usually I try to keep it short and simple. I can relate to your frustration with poetic literature. Why does somebody write an entire novel in poetic verse? Just write the story man! I find a lot of the "classic" poetry tedious to read and hard to understand. And who the heck really knows what good poetry is? It seems quite a subjective taste to me. Personally, I think a lot of the greatest poets are song writers. They are able to convey some profound things in a three minute song. That's a gift right there!

Just my two cents.



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« Reply #53 on: February 21, 2013, 04:09:46 PM »

I'm sort of with you on this James. I make some lame attempts at poetry myself, but usually I try to keep it short and simple. I can relate to your frustration with poetic literature. Why does somebody write an entire novel in poetic verse? Just write the story man! I find a lot of the "classic" poetry tedious to read and hard to understand. And who the heck really knows what good poetry is? It seems quite a subjective taste to me. Personally, I think a lot of the greatest poets are song writers. They are able to convey some profound things in a three minute song. That's a gift right there!

Just my two cents.



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"Good" anything is subjective.
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« Reply #54 on: February 21, 2013, 04:19:38 PM »

I wish I could post my poetry, but it's all in Dutch. But hey, I'll just share one of my poems with a translation. Much is lost in translation though, as with all poetry.

The rhyme scheme is a-a-b-b-c-c; a-a-b-b-c-c; a-a

Artemidorus

Would that be Artemidorus the oneirocritic?

You sound like Cavafy with a Dutch sense of humour. Pretty cool!

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« Reply #55 on: February 21, 2013, 04:32:24 PM »

I think you might enjoy the postwar (WWI, that is) moderns, though -- they often echo themes that your posts here follow.

Can you recommend me a few?

There's always Earl Sweatshirt and Eminem

Seriously? Someone says post-WWI moderns and that first names that pop into your mind are Earl Sweatshirt and Eminem? God help us.

I'm guessing Agabus probably means folks like T.S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, HD, etc. The modern poets I tend to like are usually not really counted as modernists, more like extensions of Romanticism- the surrealists or Dylan Thomas for instance.
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« Reply #56 on: February 21, 2013, 04:35:25 PM »

I like grooks. They are funny and yet thoughtful.

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if we have
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« Reply #57 on: February 21, 2013, 04:35:55 PM »

I'm sort of with you on this James. I make some lame attempts at poetry myself, but usually I try to keep it short and simple. I can relate to your frustration with poetic literature. Why does somebody write an entire novel in poetic verse? Just write the story man! I find a lot of the "classic" poetry tedious to read and hard to understand. And who the heck really knows what good poetry is? It seems quite a subjective taste to me. Personally, I think a lot of the greatest poets are song writers. They are able to convey some profound things in a three minute song. That's a gift right there!

Just my two cents.



Selam

"Good" anything is subjective.


Perhaps. But those that compose the literature books don't seem to understand that.



Selam
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« Reply #58 on: February 21, 2013, 04:36:17 PM »

Why does somebody write an entire novel in poetic verse?

You have it backwards. The question is, "Why does somebody write an entire epic in prose?"

Quote
Just write the story man!

Then we might as well just wait for the movie or read a synopsis on Wikipedia.

Quote
And who the heck really knows what good poetry is? It seems quite a subjective taste to me.

If art is subjective then everything must be.
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« Reply #59 on: February 21, 2013, 04:36:44 PM »

You sound like Cavafy with a Dutch sense of humour. Pretty cool!

That's because it's a plagiarism of Cavafy's Ides of March. Roll Eyes
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« Reply #60 on: February 21, 2013, 04:38:13 PM »

I think you might enjoy the postwar (WWI, that is) moderns, though -- they often echo themes that your posts here follow.

Can you recommend me a few?

There's always Earl Sweatshirt and Eminem

Seriously? Someone says post-WWI moderns and that first names that pop into your mind are Earl Sweatshirt and Eminem? God help us.

I'm guessing Agabus probably means folks like T.S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, HD, etc. The modern poets I tend to like are usually not really counted as modernists, more like extensions of Romanticism- the surrealists or Dylan Thomas for instance.

I actually hadn't been paying close attention, and didn't quite realize that JamesR was asking his question in reply to Agabus (or anyone else).

But anyway, yes, I think Earl Sweatshirt and Eminem are legitimate poets with a good deal of skill.
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« Reply #61 on: February 21, 2013, 04:53:12 PM »

You sound like Cavafy with a Dutch sense of humour. Pretty cool!

That's because it's a plagiarism of Cavafy's Ides of March. Roll Eyes

Oh, but Cavafy doesn't have the "Dutch touch" - he's all gloomy and dark and ominous. Cyrillic lightens it up. 

I wouldn't call it plagiarism. A parody, maybe - it actually sounds funny in Dutch. But I guess that's sort of lost in translation...
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« Reply #62 on: February 21, 2013, 04:53:58 PM »

Why does somebody write an entire novel in poetic verse?

You have it backwards. The question is, "Why does somebody write an entire epic in prose?"

Quote
Just write the story man!

Then we might as well just wait for the movie or read a synopsis on Wikipedia.

Quote
And who the heck really knows what good poetry is? It seems quite a subjective taste to me.

If art is subjective then everything must be.


Just goes to prove the point that poetry is indeed subjective.



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« Reply #63 on: February 21, 2013, 04:58:29 PM »

You sound like Cavafy with a Dutch sense of humour. Pretty cool!

That's because it's a plagiarism of Cavafy's Ides of March. Roll Eyes

Oh, but Cavafy doesn't have the "Dutch touch" - he's all gloomy and dark and ominous. Cyrillic lightens it up. 

I wouldn't call it plagiarism. A parody, maybe - it actually sounds funny in Dutch. But I guess that's sort of lost in translation...

I can't ever call Cavafy gloomy or ominous. Melancholy, yes. Wistful, certainly. If I had to describe his work in a single adjective, that would be elegiac. It's the reason I love it so much.

Kostis Palamas' Twelve Lays of the Gypsy, on the other hand... Let's say the man could have done fire and brimstone better than any preacher. Wink
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« Reply #64 on: February 21, 2013, 05:01:23 PM »

Why does somebody write an entire novel in poetic verse?

You have it backwards. The question is, "Why does somebody write an entire epic in prose?"

Quote
Just write the story man!

Then we might as well just wait for the movie or read a synopsis on Wikipedia.

Quote
And who the heck really knows what good poetry is? It seems quite a subjective taste to me.

If art is subjective then everything must be.


Just goes to prove the point that poetry is indeed subjective.

How's that? I never took you for the "Everything's the same, it's all good" type.
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« Reply #65 on: February 21, 2013, 05:07:16 PM »

I can't ever call Cavafy gloomy or ominous. Melancholy, yes. Wistful, certainly. If I had to describe his work in a single adjective, that would be elegiac. It's the reason I love it so much.

I enjoy Cavafy a lot myself - the subject of his Ides of March stroke me as that.

I haven't read Kostis Palamas so far, but he sounds interesting. I'll look him up and see what's to be found online.

Alas, my Hellenic paideusis is full of gaps, chasms actually.  Sad     

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« Reply #66 on: February 21, 2013, 05:12:57 PM »

one of my personal favourites

Déjeuner du matin (Prévert)
Il a mis le café
Dans la tasse
Il a mis le lait
Dans la tasse de café
Il a mis le sucre
Dans le café au lait
Avec la petite cuiller
Il a tourné
Il a bu le café au lait
Et il a reposé la tasse
Sans me parler

Il a allumé
Une cigarette
Il a fait des ronds
Avec la fumée
Il a mis les cendres
Dans le cendrier
Sans me parler
Sans me regarder

Il s'est levé
Il a mis
Son chapeau sur sa tête
Il a mis son manteau de pluie
Parce qu'il pleuvait
Et il est parti
Sous la pluie
Sans une parole
Sans me regarder

Et moi j'ai pris
Ma tête dans ma main
Et j'ai pleuré.
http://litgloss.buffalo.edu/prevert/text.shtml
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« Reply #67 on: February 21, 2013, 05:24:07 PM »

I can't ever call Cavafy gloomy or ominous. Melancholy, yes. Wistful, certainly. If I had to describe his work in a single adjective, that would be elegiac. It's the reason I love it so much.

I enjoy Cavafy a lot myself - the subject of his Ides of March stroke me as that.

I haven't read Kostis Palamas so far, but he sounds interesting. I'll look him up and see what's to be found online.

Alas, my Hellenic paideusis is full of gaps, chasms actually.  Sad

Not much in English at all, he's never been the fashionable kind. You'll have better luck in Greek, and the language is not particularly challenging.

Complete Satirical Etudes (early works, but the fire and brimstone is already there)
Anthology of representative works spanning his entire career
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« Reply #68 on: February 21, 2013, 05:39:34 PM »

Not much in English at all, he's never been the fashionable kind. You'll have better luck in Greek, and the language is not particularly challenging.

Complete Satirical Etudes (early works, but the fire and brimstone is already there)
Anthology of representative works spanning his entire career

Thank you! I loved this one. He writes beautifully and his language is indeed accessible!

"The Twelve Lays of the Gypsy” is the title of a volume? I couldn't find a single poem with γύφτος in the title , so maybe it's not included in the selection. 
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« Reply #69 on: February 21, 2013, 05:40:29 PM »

Poetry is language overcoming the limitations of language.
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« Reply #70 on: February 21, 2013, 05:45:41 PM »

Not much in English at all, he's never been the fashionable kind. You'll have better luck in Greek, and the language is not particularly challenging.

Complete Satirical Etudes (early works, but the fire and brimstone is already there)
Anthology of representative works spanning his entire career

Thank you! I loved this one. He writes beautifully and his language is indeed accessible!

"The Twelve Lays of the Gypsy” is the title of a volume? I couldn't find a single poem with γύφτος in the title , so maybe it's not included in the selection. 

Ο Δωδεκάλογος του Γύφτου - it's a volume-length epic in 12 cantos. There is a musical setting of it as well. My favourite bit (from Canto 8, if I remember well) is this (you'll have to highlight to read it, because the choice of font colour is nothing short of moronic).
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« Reply #71 on: February 21, 2013, 05:57:52 PM »

You sound like Cavafy with a Dutch sense of humour. Pretty cool!

That's because it's a plagiarism of Cavafy's Ides of March. Roll Eyes

You found out  Wink

Well, not really plagiarism, I was  inspired by Cavafy's Ides of March. He doesn't really own copyright on the subject.
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« Reply #72 on: February 21, 2013, 06:00:18 PM »

You sound like Cavafy with a Dutch sense of humour. Pretty cool!

That's because it's a plagiarism of Cavafy's Ides of March. Roll Eyes

You found out  Wink

I paid attention in class. Wink
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« Reply #73 on: February 21, 2013, 06:13:02 PM »

Arachne, what other recommendations do you have for modern Greek poetry or literature?

I find Kostis Palamas exquisite! I thought that there could not be much to stand besides Cavafy, but it seems I was wrong. What else do you like?

Σ'εὐχαριστῶ πάρα πολύ!
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« Reply #74 on: February 21, 2013, 06:23:24 PM »

Arachne, what other recommendations do you have for modern Greek poetry or literature?

I find Kostis Palamas exquisite! I thought that there could not be much to stand besides Cavafy, but it seems I was wrong. What else do you like?

Σ'εὐχαριστῶ πάρα πολύ!

Palamas came very close to the Nobel Prize, so he was definitely no lightweight. His work is so woven into the history of Greece over the first part of the 20th century that his funeral, in 1943, was practically an anti-occupation rally and the German forces could do nothing about it.

I really like most of the poets of his generation. Angelos Sikelianos is to Palamas what Tennyson is to Browning. Kostas Karyotakis and Maria Polydouri are particularly good at the 'short lyric with bite' style. Lorentzos Mavilis is a master of the sonnet. I'm not particularly fond of the post-WW2 poetic ways, but George Seferis, Odysseas Elytis and the recently deceased Nikos Kavvadias can be rewarding. The first two didn't get their Nobels for nothing. Wink
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« Reply #75 on: February 21, 2013, 06:25:50 PM »

Ο Δωδεκάλογος του Γύφτου - it's a volume-length epic in 12 cantos. There is a musical setting of it as well. My favourite bit (from Canto 8, if I remember well) is this (you'll have to highlight to read it, because the choice of font colour is nothing short of moronic).

Yay - I found the complete ebook! If anyone else is interested, it's here for 14 days.
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« Reply #76 on: February 21, 2013, 06:31:50 PM »

Yay - I found the complete ebook! If anyone else is interested, it's here for 14 days.

Yay indeed! *clickysave* Thanks!
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« Reply #77 on: February 24, 2013, 03:57:19 AM »

What's the purpose of poetry? I honestly just don't get it at all. I've been studying it so much for English right now and it does nothing but put me to sleep and bore me. There are no polemics or deep rationalist elements that I could examine, but it just seems like boring emotionalism and feelings and all that crap. My teacher got me all worked up for nothing, announcing to me that we would soon be studying the Moderns, and I got all excited thinking that maybe there would finally be something intellectual and polemic in the Moderns, opposed to the boring over-religious emotionalism I found in the Puritanical American poetry that came before it. But guess what? I got NONE of that! It was the same boring emotionalism that I found in all poetry, only difference was that this time it was over-educated men complaining about their first-world emotional downs. What gives? Where are the staunch criticisms and polemics that I find in Nietzsche? (my favorite author) It's boring and I hate poetry. I don't get the point of it. I don't even pay attention to my own emotions, why am I going to pay attention to some dead guys' emotions?

/rant

I'm not sure how you can stand to attend Orthodox services when pretty much everything is poetry or poetic and mostly non-polemical?  We are coming up to the Last Judgement service, which can give a person something to think about.

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« Reply #78 on: February 24, 2013, 04:11:16 AM »

Would those familiar with Greek literature mind posting in this thread? I'd love to see it take off...  Cool
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« Reply #79 on: February 27, 2013, 02:11:19 PM »

The shortest poem in the English langauge, from the great poet Muhammad Ali:

Me
Whee!


http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x75uqd_plimpton-on-ali-s-me-whee_sport


Selam
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