My Opinions on Poetry (A Personal Review of Poetry)


Introduction: What Makes Poetry-Poetry?

Commentary: Perhaps my Style

Free Verse

Definition of Poetry I

Definition of Poetry II (effect)

Substance of a Poem

The World of Art in Words

Separate Excitement

On Poetry’s Form

Figurative Language

What is Confessional Poetry?

Reading Poetry

Understanding the Poets


What Makes Poetry-Poetry?

I find-in my minds-eyes, what can make splendid poetry is: irony, symbolism, resemblance, metaphor, meter-arrangement, expression, confession, spontaneity, but at the end of the poem-like at the end of a day-when the reader looks back and all is said and done, he needs to ask, “Has it affected me?” if not-why? A poem should bring some kind of a chill, if not, some kind of voice to the reader. Again I say, if not, go on to the next poem or page of the book, each poem may not be suitable for you, like every song a singer sings is not necessarily the song that influences you.

Poetry at its most raw and rare form, and wickedest, is from spontaneity.

Perhaps my Style

A Commentary on Poetry

I prefer to join the ranks of the naturalness, spontaneity, free from rhymed couplets, romanticism, and passion, leave the Elizabethans, to them. I prefer to shift a bit to the 11th century, or just before that era, when rhyme was becoming modernized, but not quite in place. Right there, there was a world of nature and mysteries and emotions to be written, told, and stories to be handed down, and memorized: addressing the times, its cultures, and heroes; and so I must take that period, with my era, and mix it with fragments and dreams, and all such things, and let the dead bury the dead. Let the artificial reproduce half the literature (they will anyway) and my kind the other half. It can be hard to live in a world where critics who write mostly criticism, discard themes, dignity, manners, this perhaps is a strong protest against all such things, but poets must reassert their right to represent the world, in a clear and genuine tone, it is our duty. We are only passing through, we leave behind what we write (we infect minds, or produce wholesomeness), the irate citizens will always get their full of whatever, but those who wish not to have their pockets picked, wait on us to circulate literature that is filled with swimming thoughts of such things I’ve already mentioned. And to these readers, and the generations to come, I write.

Free Verse: Today’s poetry, often it has no voice, theme or even recognizable form. We call this free Verse, which is the dominate form of Postmodernism; prior to this, we had of what was called Modernism, where we reexamined what poetry is.

Definition of Poetry I: Each poem is a story, a short story, which involves density of language and intensity of imaging, or imagery (mental images); and descriptiveness, metaphors, similes (comparisons).
Effect (definition of Poetry II) as a poet, you need to ask ‘Did I get the effect I wanted out of my poetry?’ perhaps you did, and if so, you are on the right track. I mean I never ask a person this, I rather listen to see what they say about my poetry, and I then can answer the question myself.

Substance of the Poem

A poem has to have substance to survive…! Some of this substance is in the theme and in the insight of the poem.

-In writing a poem, like anything in life, one must have a plan, destination (where do you want to take your reader?), again, this is part of the substance, that will come out later.

-A poem perhaps is the secret life of the poet; it can be his black twin, his detached self-this is often the case. Thus, the poet and poem become more of a riddle of despair than a work of art.

The World of Art in Words

The world of Art, in words, has a definite meaning for me; it is a romance, produced during its stages of creation. Like a book. As I write it, refine it, proof it, and then finally victory comes-an opening and closing romance has taken place. Idleness is never involved, it is a horrible sin, an enemy of the soul. Man should not be idle, if so, the phantom comes out of him, not art.

The World of Art in Words

The artist appeared upon the land

from behind the sea-

the sun passed over him,

it shinned only for a moment

to clear a path for words.

#1718 3-5-2007

Separate Excitement

If you are looking for the poet inside the poem, look for the undercurrent he has left, the continuous hint of feeling, it should be everywhere, but seldom does anyone look for it, it is called separate excitement; or poetic art. Yeats uses it. If you missed the fountain and the beauty, and the exact riming in the poem, which is sometimes called ‘duty,’ go back and look for it, if you need to. I do not use as often as I used to and for various reasons, I do not take pleasure in the ordinariness.

On Poetry’s Form

People get obsessed with structure, trying to choose the correct form they want to use in poetry (perhaps trying to learn their style, or approach in the process). I prefer to let go and blend one idea or event into the next, lest I lose the soul of it trying to fit it into something that never should have been.

I try to listen to my voice, the one speaking inside of me, if I can find the silence, I will find the voice with no pretense, and inside that voice, are the syllables, letters, words, rhyme, and other elements of poetry you may want to use.

Figurative Language
(An Example): figurative language, meaning words used to refer to something that you don’t really mean, is used here to make noises, as are metaphors sometimes

Derivative Echoes

I would show you love in a handful of clouds-

Could I find the clouds, and find the love

And is it love one is really looking for?

Fallen angels had love from heaven

And chose lust in place, on earth…!

In hell one loves lust and thus, would be

Unhappy in Heaven I imagine…

Ah! Maybe allusions is the strand we’re

Looking for…? We’re living for…

We live in the age of imagined howling

…with aches and pains in the mind

Fear of death-nymphs (well dressed)

Schoolmasters serving children a blotted

Light; perfect pitch, more questions than

Answer; disrupting the harmonic balance!…

(Perhaps under all this is love.)

#728 6/2005

What is Confessional Poetry?

((And why do we write it?)( 3-1-2007))

What is Confessional Poetry? It is when you set yourself up for the big fall, when you get daring enough to tell all. Sylvia Plath, Anne Saxton, the perverted Allen Ginsberg; Robert Lowell, whom I have several books by, was a little calmer in his verse than those poets I just mentioned. Often the “I” is used or “You” in Confessional poetry. I find most of this poetry is unflattering, and that is why I do not do a lot of it; it wasn’t meant to be. It is usually personal and autobiographical. The poet usually is speaking to you directly, the reader.

When I read Plath, her confessional style seems more fantasy than fiction, but be that as it may, it is her soul talking; one must forget the themes and subject matter in confessional poetry, it explores certain details, processes past emotions, events, the author is actually exploring and processing his life in front of you.

The question has arisen, “Why do they write it?” and a fair question that should be answered perhaps more from a psychologist, than a poet, for at times one needs to be brutally honest. To me, it seems it would clear the brain, and make one’s guilt duller. Often times the more you write out something, the less potent it remains. A form of processing your pain.

Reading Poetry

In Reading poetry, first read it slowly, give it your attention, like you do when you eat dinner, then read it slowly again a second time, with an open mind, third, read it again, this time, as you would read prose, it will now jump out at you.

Many poems are complex, and perhaps ambiguous, if they are too much for you, trash them (unless you want to suffer through them, then you are asking for pain, and may receive it).

Know the poet you are reading, his history will help you understand why he is writing as he is, his mind perhaps will come clearer to yours.

Get rid of your preconceptions (bias and so forth) as you read-enjoy the experience. If you like the poetry and not the poet, because of your prejudice, you’ve got an issue.

Understanding the Poets

-To understand some poetry, or poets, one must have experienced what the poet has-identical experiences; or you must be shaped like the poet-, the exceptions are from the old school of poetry-one shoe fits all (thus, understanding the theme, plot and insight of poetry becomes much easier); from the contemporary scene, you must have the same shoe size of the poet to understand where the poet is leading you, and in poetry the poet should have a destination for the reader-lest he doesn’t care (and he should).

-The poet survives perhaps because he or she is oblivious (or not connected so much) to the world, and all its compulsions (suicide is often on the other side of this coin, if not drugs and alcohol).

-Poetry has accomplished something if it causes one to mull over it…; stretching this a little further, there is (it seems) coming a day (not so far off in the future), when poets will not even need to know a thing about literature (most don’t today); yet poetry is (or should be) considered the highest form of literature.

-Most poets write about love and death-which perhaps are the two main ingredients (or themes) to poetry; some write on social issues, which make for bad poetry; but it is “Beauty” that shines above everything, and that is often, too often over looked in place of self-interest, or a combination of negative delirious confusing thoughts put into writing by a poet under the influence of some kind of chemical. One can get a high off the beauty that surrounds them.

Last words: we as poets should not forget, we influence people, young people in particular, and owe an obligation to (if not duty to), set a good example by the way we live and write.

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