A Conversation for Poetry
Cheerful Dragon Started conversation Sep 8, 1999
I used to like poetry when I was a child, but only the rhyming stuff - (kids prefer it that way). The I did poetry as part of my English Literature 'O' level. A lot of this was stuff that didn't rhyme, and all of it seemed to be socially and/or politically aware. English Lit 'O' Level put me off poetry for a long time but, looking back, a lot of it was OK, even the stuff that didn't rhyme.
My problem with modern poetry is that if it doesn't rhyme it seems to be trying to be deep and meaningful. This puts me off for a start. If it does rhyme it can often be twee and sickening, like birthday card rhymes. I'm sticking with the old stuff, thank you.
Anya Posted Dec 14, 1999
I think the problem with modern poetry is that it is corrupted by people trying to imitate - very unsuccessfully, I might add - Sylvia Plath, Anne Sexton, Allen Ginsburg, or any other confessional poets. Time for a return - perhaps not to orthodox forms and styles, but to a simpler, less personal, style.
Ugly Fat Man Posted Jan 2, 2000
Well I think there needs to be an interplay between the personal and the objective in poetry ... but not all modern poetry is confessional ... Carol Ann Duffy (a poet who is a bit too "hurt female" for me) writes some very witty stuff that uses good imagery ... Ken Smith writes in a thoughtful way and there's U. A. Fanthorpe, Simon Armitage, Neil Rollinson ... there are an awful lot of good poets out there. I suppose I feel a little about poetry as I do about classical music or art, it's okay to look and admire the old masters ... but if we don't support those who are alive and kicking as well ... there will be no more grand masters in the future!
Steve K. Posted Feb 16, 2000
I really enjoy poems that tell stories, the classic being "Rime of the Ancient Mariner" by Coleridge. I also enjoy seeing excerpts from these poems used in other contexts, e.g.:
" ... Then on a sudden the music changed, so soft that you scarce could hear;
But you felt that your life had been looted clean of all that it once held dear;
That someone had stolen the woman you loved; that her love was a devil's lie;
That your guts were gone, and the best for you was to crawl away and die."
This was in a sports column by Ed Fowler after the Houston Oilers, leading by about thirty points in the third quarter of an an NFL playoff game, lost the game. I laughed till I cried - and I live in Houston.
Willos Posted Aug 22, 2000
Have you reas the Lady of Shallott? It fascinated me as a kid!!
Willos Posted Aug 24, 2000
There's a woman in a tower who's cursed and isn't allowed to look out the window, only through a mirror. Well she's fine till she sees Camelot ride past. When she looks out the window the curse kicks in and she's put in a boat on her way to Camelot where she freezes. Very sad, there's a painting of it by someone which is really good as well.
Steve K. Posted Aug 25, 2000
I vaguely recall the story, I'm a great fan of the King Arthur legend, which I assume is related. A Web search found 800,000 pages with "Lady of Shallot", one of them sells a poster of the painting by John William Waterhouse, $37 (maybe Australian $?) You can see a pretty nice sized image here:
Researcher 219823 Posted May 6, 2003
Coleridge was OK but he forced that one a bit. When a poem starts to go off the cadence then it is best to allow it to do so. It is extremely difficult to tell a narrative in one style, even if the flow is musical as in Hiawatha.
I've been meaning to have a stab at "The Ancient Mariner" for ages. Maybe next winter.
Cheerful Dragon Posted May 6, 2003
I reckon 'The Lady of Shallott' is an early story of how PMS can drive a woman to suicide. After all, just before she goes off and dies she says 'The curse has come upon me'. When I was a kid 'the curse' was an old euphemism for 'that time of month'.
It's a very open and, in a way, unsatisfying poem. You never find out why she was cursed, and there's no explanation of why she doesn't just leave so that she's never able to look down on Camelot.
Researcher 219823 Posted May 8, 2003
Sometimes you have to wonder why some of thes classics are such. I'm not inspired to go and read that one at all. I suppose it's like modern pop stars. Peter Waterman says they are good so it must be true. The next thing everyone has bought into it.
Nothing changes there then.
Key: Complain about this post
- 1: Cheerful Dragon (Sep 8, 1999)
- 2: Anya (Dec 14, 1999)
- 3: Ugly Fat Man (Jan 2, 2000)
- 4: Anya (Jan 3, 2000)
- 5: Steve K. (Feb 16, 2000)
- 6: Willos (Aug 22, 2000)
- 7: Steve K. (Aug 23, 2000)
- 8: Willos (Aug 24, 2000)
- 9: Steve K. (Aug 25, 2000)
- 10: Researcher 219823 (May 6, 2003)
- 11: Cheerful Dragon (May 6, 2003)
- 12: Researcher 219823 (May 8, 2003)
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