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  1. #51
    Senior Member Forever_Jung's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SilkRoad View Post
    Well...I suppose it's extremely obvious that I get pissed when I think people are writing off 95% of poetry just because they don't get it. It's my pet art form. I love many many forms of literature, music and visual art, but poetry is something very special to me.
    I understand! I however am fresh off of a poetry reading where a poet came up to me and said: "Man they loved you! I suppose more people eat McDonald's than caviar." So I am a bit bitter.

  2. #52
    Lay the coin on my tongue SilkRoad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Forever_Jung View Post
    I understand! I however am fresh off of a poetry reading where a poet came up to me and said: "Man they loved you! I suppose more people eat McDonald's than caviar." So I am a bit bitter.
    that was kind of an immature, nasty thing to say. If they didn't care for your poetry, they didn't really need to say so. I do kind of get why people think modern poetry is exclusively for snobs. But if you don't let yourself get totally put off by the attitude, there is much more to it.

    Did you say anything interesting in response?

    I have areas of snobbery and non-snobbery in my interests. I know I'm kind of a literature snob, but on the other hand, I love Def Leppard, Duran Duran and Bryan Adams in a totally un-ironic way, so I don't think I can be accused of artistic snobbery for the sake of looking pretentious.
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  3. #53
    Senior Member Forever_Jung's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SilkRoad View Post
    I do kind of get why people think modern poetry is exclusively for snobs. But if you don't let yourself get totally put off by the attitude, there is much more to it.
    Don't get me wrong. It feels weird to quote myself, but this is an abridged version of what I posted last night:

    Quote Originally Posted by Forever_Jung View Post
    I dislike the way people dismiss poetry offhand, and say: herpa derp, there's no way the author sat down and wrote all that obscure stuff on purpose...

    Of course they didn't sit down and write all that weird stuff on purpose. If the purpose of all poetry was to express yourself as directly as possible, Beckett would have just said: "Damn, I'm lonely. And so is everyone else." Wordsworth would have said: "Trees are pretty. They make me happy." And Joyce would have said: "Look at me! I'm the best author ever! Everyone come read about how great I am!" And so, and so on.

    You're not experiencing the subtlety of each message that a direct explanation could accomplish. You can't replicate some of the most complex feelings and ideas of human experience by just saying your message outright....Do you REALLY think after all these years and after all these poems that everyone is just pretending that poetry matters to them?
    I just tend to play both sides of the fence

    And no I had nothing to say in response to her, I just sort of blushed and wilted. aka: INFP mode, ENGAGE!

    PS I love Duran Duran

  4. #54
    Glowy Goopy Goodness The_Liquid_Laser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Salomé View Post

    Shall I compare thee to a summer's day play?
    ...
    So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,
    So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.
    Exactly! Shakespeare was meant to be seen and not read.

    Quote Originally Posted by Forever_Jung View Post
    I understand! I however am fresh off of a poetry reading where a poet came up to me and said: "Man they loved you! I suppose more people eat McDonald's than caviar." So I am a bit bitter.
    Sorry that happened. My interpretation of that is "I am full of myself but also jealous of you." There are too many people out there that think pretentious = good. I'm glad you are reading poems that people like.

    Quote Originally Posted by SilkRoad View Post
    No, I definitely agree that esoteric doesn't necessarily automatically mean good. Often it doesn't. At the same time, it doesn't automatically mean bad.
    I disagree. Esoteric definitely means bad. There may be a few people who like that, but this method intentionally alienates most people. That is why it is bad. This type of poetry intentionally wants to be stuck in a niche.

    Some art in general, and poetry in particular, you have to sit with a long time and come at it different ways. It can be so worth it.
    That's why it sucks. A good poem is inviting at the very beginning. I dare say all good art is this way. It is accessible to the common person immediately, but it also has more depth on further observation. Too many artists get caught up on the depth. It's good to be deep, but it's also lazy if that is all you are doing. Well crafted art of all kind is both accessible and deep. Hard to do? Yes definitely. Good art is not easy.

    For example look at the Matrix or Star Wars movies. People like to examine and analyze the underlying philosophy and religious ideas in these movies. But what's great about them is that they are enjoyable even without doing this. In fact people are more likely to examine the underlying themes because these movies are enjoyable.

    I read Paul Celan on and off for fifteen years and appreciated him up to a point, but always felt it was largely eluding me - he's considered very difficult. After fifteen years I spent some more serious time for him and eventually it all clicked. It took patience. And his work is life-altering. It was totally worth it. On the other hand, he's at least partly considered a surrealist poet and overall it's not an area I gravitate toward. But he is the best of the best...and there are many people, both scholars and ordinary readers, who agree with me.

    However, I firmly believe that the "a lot of people don't get it, or won't get it without putting in the effort, so that means it's rubbish" argument is...rubbish. By that reasoning, Justin Bieber must have made an enormous, significant contribution to world culture. Because, you know, a lot of people just get him right away, and he obviously speaks to a lot of people, so...
    Accessibility is just one part of what makes something good. Good art is accessible, deep and enduring. For example Led Zeppelin's best selling albulm has sold about as many copies as Hootie and the Blowfish's best selling album (and both albums are among the best selling of all time). However Led Zepplin is worth about 5 times more than Hootie and the Blowfish on the resale market. Led Zepplin is enduring. People still love it decades later. That puts it a cut above Hootie and the Blowfish.

    That is why people actually should study the best classical art and literature. This stuff has endured for centuries. Most of the art made at that time has long been forgotten because it sucked by comparison. But things made by Shakespeare or Michaelangelo have withstood the test of time.
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  5. #55
    Lay the coin on my tongue SilkRoad's Avatar
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    How is "alienating people" automatically bad? You could argue that a lot of people are too stupid to appreciate truly worthwhile art...and frankly I think there's something to it. There are plenty of people out there who don't enjoy SHakespeare and MIchelangelo because they can't be bothered.

    T S Eliot and Paul Celan are both considered difficult. You will have a hard time with The Waste Land unless you read Eliot's own footnotes at the very least, and preferably also look at some background info on the literary works, historical incidents, etc that he references. It is also considered one of the great artistic works of the twentieth century. It's one of my favourite poems and phrases from it dance through my head at the most unusual and appropriate moments. It moves me emotionally and stimulates me intellectually. Paul Celan is considered by many to be the greatest post-WWII European poet. He is also widely described as esoteric, hermetic etc (not really accurate, but that's another story.) His poem Death Fugue is thought by many (including me) to be one of the greatest if not the greatest Holocaust poem. It's not "easy", nor is the rest of his work. It's beautiful and harsh and pushes the limits and pushes the reader to their limits. Celan wrote the poetry that he HAD to, to work out the trauma of his life and to bear witness. He didn't write difficult poetry to be a pretentious ass. Every bit of evidence from those who knew him and those who read him is that he wrote just what he had to, and did it brilliantly and movingly.

    And that poem Salome quoted...it's a poem, not a play.

    I feel sorry for you if you think that the Matrix and Star Wars are greater than the greatest poetry of the last century. I really have to wonder if you're kidding here.

    So, you think nothing is worthwhile if it requires effort? Just because something requires some effort doesn't mean it can't ultimately be "accessible." Besides, who's to dictate that "difficult" poetry sucks and "easy" poetry is the good stuff? Who decides on that definition? Because I enjoy poetry which took me years to fully appreciate (as well as poetry which I've quickly appreciated and grasped), it means I have bad taste? Are you sure this isn't just the disease of modern society that anything requiring effort isn't worthwhile?

    I'm afraid your arguments don't hold up.
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  6. #56
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Smile The Hoi Polloi and the Elite

    Sure, poetry is for the elite.

    In a society that brings everyone down to the lowest common denominator, thank God we have poetry, for poetry is not for the hoi polloi.

    Poetry raises us above the hoi polloi to the ranks of the elite, breathing the cool, clear air of the mountain peaks.

  7. #57
    Lay the coin on my tongue SilkRoad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Victor View Post
    Sure, poetry is for the elite.

    In a society that bring everyone down to the lowest common denominator, thank God we have poetry, for poetry is not for the hoi polloi.

    Poetry raises us above the hoi polloi to the ranks of the elite, breathing the cool, clear air of the mountain peaks.
    Seriously, Victor, your contribution is appreciated a lot less than you think it is.
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  8. #58
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Déclassé

    Quote Originally Posted by SilkRoad View Post
    Seriously, Victor, your contribution is appreciated a lot less than you think it is.
    I blame the hoi polloi.

    No one ever went broke underestimating the taste of the public.

    Not so long ago the working class imitated the middle class, and the middle class imitated the upper class, but now we all imitate the underclass. We have all become déclassé.

    But poetry is our last best defence against the hoi polloi as they don't know what it means.

  9. #59
    Senior Member Forever_Jung's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SilkRoad View Post
    Seriously, Victor, your contribution is appreciated a lot less than you think it is.
    Don't dismiss him just because he's not "accessible"

  10. #60
    Senior Member Munchies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Illmatic View Post
    Well I studied a lot of poetry in high school and the teacher would find all these abstract connections and realize small details about a poem that are so abstract.

    I was wondering when these poets write them do they actually incorporate all these different meanings to it? Or does everyone have a different interpretation to these poems? Like when a teacher goes 'Robert Frost has clever done.....' I think to myself 'did Robert Frost really do that on purpose'?
    Usually it is basic instinct to assume an interpretation relative something in your life if critical thinking is not assesed. So really subjective in that case. Also very some paragrapghs may seem to be about one subject, and another paragragh, seem seperate. But maybe in whole they all represent the same thing. The meaning of meaning has unlimited dimentions and it's how they use the different dimentions of meaning connected from the micro to the macro but have some significant style in the middle. Is my 2d take on poetry
    1+1=3 OMFG

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