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call for poetry and writing and art from youth [24 Sep 2013|10:00pm]

ext_2189409
Youth Encouragement - A call for literary and art submissions.

Would you like to be one of the lucky few that is published to be seen by a global audience as a child or student?

Poets , writers , artists and photographers are all most welcome.

One marvellous thing about the Poetry Space site itself is when you view , you will notice that some of the submissions are from children as young as 5. What a wonderful boost to your young creative mind to have someone judge your work worthy to be seen around the globe. It is a must to give young people encouragement.

We as a website for the Youthspace aren't getting many contributions currently but who knows how this may grow.
We would love to run contests in the future for young minds and give great publishing opportunities.

If you are of any age you are welcome to submit, If you are a parent or guardian you can submit on your child's behalf to: eleanor@poetryspace.co.uk

Photography, writings, poetry, art and anything creative really is welcome.

I have ideas of including a slide show on the page with music/original songwriting/spoken word from young people so I would be thrilled to have it all sent across.

No deadlines, no fees and open to all.
Discuss it

March Poetry Fishbowl is now open! [06 Apr 2010|11:09am]

ysabetwordsmith
[ mood | busy ]

The April Poetry Fishbowl is now open.  Today's theme is "High Fantasy."  Please drop by and give me prompts to write poems.  You're welcome to share this news with anyone who might be interested.

Discuss it

March Poetry Fishbowl is now open! [02 Mar 2010|12:41pm]

ysabetwordsmith
[ mood | busy ]

The March Poetry Fishbowl is now open.  Today's theme is "elements & elemental spirits."  Please drop by and give me prompts to write poems.  You're welcome to share this news with anyone who might be interested.

Discuss it

2009 Poetry recommendations [26 Dec 2009|01:37pm]

shadowprison


Since no one ever posts anything here, I thought I would break the silence.

Plenty of end of year lists will be popping up all over the net, but you don't often see any about poetry.


So this one comes from http://weeklyrader.blogspot.com/

Let us know if any of you have any 2009 collections that you would add to the list--



Best Books of Poetry, 2009

APOLOGIES FOR CRIBBING MY own list from the San Francisco Chronicle, but deadlines and grading take precedent over originality. I'll call special attention to my stocking stuffers--excellent books of poems that may fly under the radar of most lists.

The Selected Poems of Wallace Stevens, edited by John N. Serio, (Knopf; 327 pages; $30). A gorgeous and generous selection from the most important American poet of the previous century. Stand in awe at the bling in Stevens' first book, "Harmonium," but linger longer on his final collection, "The Rock," especially gems like "The World as Meditation," "Final Soliloquy of the Interior Paramour" and "The Planet on the Table." Amazing and enduring work.

Inseminating the Elephant, by Lucia Perillo (Copper Canyon; 93 pages; $22). Perillo's insightful work is less silly and more philosophical than Billy Collins', but just as funny. Imagine William Carlos Williams poems on roller skates, holding Roman candles in each hand, wearing a Viking costume, and racing down an abandoned waterslide, and you'll get an idea of what reading Perillo is like.

Face, by Sherman Alexie (Hanging Loose Press; 159 pages; $18). Alexie's poems are razors. Watch him lather up the faces of pop culture, Indian reservations, basketball and family. Then marvel at how his crazy sharp poems scrape them clean. This collection is Alexie's least angry and his most formal.

Archicembalo, by G.C. Waldrep (Tupelo Press; 64 pages; $16.95). Limning the line between verse and prose, this ingenious book takes the form of a 19th century "gamut," a kind of self-help primer that prefaced early American sheet music. The poems, forged in music's fire, instruct the reader not just about music and language but also about what we might call the internal symphony of the self.

Chronic, by D.A. Powell (Graywolf; 78 pages; $20). San Francisco remains one of the world's great cities for poetry, and Powell is its best poet. Powell's poems map the mysterious spaces where the internal and external world overlap, ultimately calling attention to the chronic afflictions affecting both.


Stocking stuffers:
Slamming Open the Door, by Kathleen Sheeder Bonanno (Alice James Books; 80 pages; $15.95). A harrowing book about the murder of the poet's 18-year old daughter. The poems manage to be affecting and sorrowful without being exploitive, dramatic, or sentimental.

The Looking House by Fred Marchant (Graywolf; 63 pages; $15). An accomplished book about the problems of war and coming home from war. Meditative and introspective, these poems feel particularly relevant as America steps up its involvement in two wars.

The End of the West by Michael Dickman (Copper Canyon; 96 pages; $15). A better and more mature book than his brother's more lauded effort. These poems feel like they are about everything.

And How to End It by Brian Clements (Quayle; 122 pages; $14). See my previous post about Clements two recent books. Great stuff from small but outstanding presses.

Sightmap by Brian Teare (University of California Press; 96 pages; $16.95). The ghost of Robert Duncan lives on in these fragmented poems that catapult across the map of the page. I just love what Teare does with language here.
2 Messages | Discuss it

Controvershul question [09 Nov 2009|12:25am]

ideealisme
Has anyone ever written a decent sestina in the English language? And if the consensus is "No, they have not" is it time for poets to stop trying?

I found this one by Jonah Winter, which made me laugh.

 

Sestina: BobCollapse )

3 Messages | Discuss it

Introductory Questionairre [22 Jan 2009|04:56pm]

tiltedsideways
Hello! Please allow me to introduce myself...

1. Are you a writer of poetry, or principally a reader?

Definitely a reader! I have dabbled with writing, but I am far better at the visual arts.

2. Did you ever take courses specifically in the writing or study of poetry in college or high school (as opposed to general literature surveys)?

I'm working on my Ph.D in English lit with poetry as my main focus, so, yes! I have also taught courses on poetry at my university. I was very fortunate to receive a scholarship to attend the Yeats International Summer School in Sligo, Ireland last summer. However, I have only taken one course on writing poetry, and I discovered that it's not my best skill.

3. Do you buy/read poetry magazines or chapbooks? Anthologies of past great poets?

As I'm sure many people in this community can proclaim, I don't have enough shelves to hold all my books--many, many of them books of poetry. Some I've bought, some I've received from colleagues. However, none of them are of contemporary poets. I won't have the luxury of reading anything written after the 1950s until I graduate!

4. Do you attend poetry readings, either as a reader or audience member?

I have done both, but I much prefer to read a poem as well as listen to it, and most poetry readings aren't organized with that in mind.

5. If a writer of poetry, have you ever published your work in hard-copy, such as a magazine or chapbook? Do you publish or post your work on the web?

Eh. I've posted a few poems in my blog. But they suck, so don't go looking for them!

6. Have you ever written any articles, essays, or analyses of poetry? If so, would you be willing to present them to this community to stimulate discussion?

Yes, I have written about poetry, and at some point (after I'm finished with my comp exams this spring!), I'd be happy to share some of my ideas. I'll be starting my dissertation on Yeats soon, so I will always have plenty to say about him!

7. Why exactly do you like poetry? What does it do to you?

Poetry lends itself to ambiguity, even more so than prose. I love untangling--or getting tangled in--multiple levels of meaning.

8. Who are your favorite poets? If a writer, do these same poets influence your style, or are there others?

Yeats, the Romantics (Blake, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Shelley, Keats, but not so much Byron), Dylan Thomas, Frost (horrible to hear about his house in that earlier post), Graves, Hopkins, did I mention Yeats? Those are just a few of my favorites, I appreciate and enjoy many more.

9. What "schools" or styles of poetry appeal to you most? Why?

As I mentioned, Romanticism. I have long been drawn to Romantic ideals: individual liberty, imagination, rebellion, connection to nature, unconventional spirituality...

10. What distinguishes a good poem? What must be present in a poem to make it "work" or resonate for you?

A good poem conveys its ideas through both its subject matter and form. A good poem can break the conventional rules and expectations of poetry, as long as doing so fulfills the poem's purpose. I don't have to like a poem to consider it good.

11. There are some people who fill up notebooks with hundreds of poems, yet could not properly be called poets, and there are others who, no matter how little they write, very clearly deserve the epithet "poet." What makes a poet?

Honestly, this is not an important issue of concern for me. I might argue whether or not someone is a good poet, but I don't really care to argue if one is a poet.

12. What sort of topics would you like to see discussed in the about_poetry community?

Well, discussions in my primary areas of interest would be wonderful, but I'm happy to follow along wherever we go!
1 Message | Discuss it

Can Poetry Help Reform Criminals? [07 Jun 2008|07:00pm]

shadowprison

From bad to verse: Vandals get classroom penance

By JOHN CURRAN, AP
Photo Gallery by Marty Lederhandler, AP
Posted: 2008-06-03 10:01:35

MIDDLEBURY, Vt. (June 2) - Call it poetic justice: More than two dozen young people who broke into Robert Frost's former home for a beer party and trashed the place are being required to take classes in his poetry as part of their punishment.

Using "The Road Not Taken" and another poem as jumping-off points, Frost biographer Jay Parini hopes to show the vandals the error of their ways - and the redemptive power of poetry.
"I guess I was thinking that if these teens had a better understanding of who Robert Frost was and his contribution to our society, that they would be more respectful of other people's property in the future and would also learn something from the experience," said prosecutor John Quinn.
The vandalism occurred at the Homer Noble Farm in Ripton, where Frost spent more than 20 summers before his death in 1963. Now owned by Middlebury College, the unheated farmhouse on a dead-end road is used occasionally by the college and is open in the warmer months.



On Dec. 28, a 17-year-old former Middlebury College employee decided to hold a party and gave a friend $100 to buy beer. Word spread. Up to 50 people descended on the farm, the revelry turning destructive after a chair broke and someone threw it into the fireplace.

When it was over, windows, antique furniture and china had been broken, fire extinguishers discharged, and carpeting soiled with vomit and urine. Empty beer cans and drug paraphernalia were left behind. The damage was put at $10,600.

Twenty-eight people — all but two of them teenagers — were charged, mostly with trespassing.

About 25 ultimately entered pleas — or were accepted into a program that allows them to wipe their records clean — provided they underwent the Frost instruction. Some will also have to pay for some of the damage, and most were ordered to perform community service in addition to the classroom sessions. The man who bought the beer is the only one who went to jail; he got three days behind bars.

Parini, 60, a Middlebury College professor who has stayed at the house before, was eager to oblige when Quinn asked him to teach the classes. He donated his time for the two sessions.

On Wednesday, 11 turned out for the first, with Parini giving line-by-line interpretations of "The Road Not Taken" and "Out, Out-," seizing on parts with particular relevance to draw parallels to their case.
"Two roads diverged in a yellow wood," he thundered, reciting the opening line of the first poem, which he called symbolic of the need to make choices in life.
"This is where Frost is relevant. This is the irony of this whole thing. You come to a path in the woods where you can say, `Shall I go to this party and get drunk out of my mind?'" he said. "Everything in life is choices."

Even the setting had parallels, he said: "Believe me, if you're a teenager, you're always in the damned woods. Literally, you're in the woods — probably too much you're in the woods. And metaphorically you're in the woods, in your life. Look at you here, in court diversion! If that isn't `in the woods,' what the hell is `in the woods'? You're in the woods!"

Dressed casually, one with his skateboard propped up against his desk, the young people listened to Parini and answered questions when he pressed. Then a court official asked them to describe how their arrests and the publicity affected them.

Taken from:
http://abcnews.go.com/US/WireStory?id=4980999&page=1
1 Message | Discuss it

How to Recognize BAD Poetry [05 Jun 2008|01:46am]

ysabetwordsmith
[ mood | busy ]

ozarque has observed that there is a dearth of critique in modern poetry, followed by low quality throughout much of the field. I quite agree. Most modern poetry is technically flawed and artistically flaccid. Many people have abandoned poetry, saying they don't know what's good and what isn't. Usually they do know -- but they've been shown wretched poetry and told it was great, so they've lost faith in their own judgment.

First, if you think a poem is horrid, it probably is. With practice you can learn to elucidate why it is horrid. This is a useful skill for poets, poetry readers, and editors or teachers of poetry. Here are some common flaws in poetry:


  • Imperfect or erratic rhymes. A good poem, if it rhymes, should either use perfect rhymes throughout or use a clear and appealing pattern of near rhymes. Bad poems try for perfect rhymes and fail.


  • Erratic meter. A good poem, if intended to have meter, has a fluent meter that flows gracefully when read aloud. It need not be perfectly regular, as variations on the meter can add interest; but it must be pronounceable. Some forms demand a specific, exact meter and mistakes there count against quality. Bad poems stagger drunkenly from one word to the next.


  • Topical trouble. The topic should be clear and interesting. Absent, indistinguishable, garbled, or pointless topics cost the poem points. Especially watch out for cases where two poems are tangled together into one, with competing aspects of the same topic.


  • Flawed form. Any poem of a specific form must follow the rules for that form precisely. For poets not skilled in writing to form, there is free verse. Breaking form can be a trivial or catastrophic flaw.


  • Mismatched motifs. The form clashes with the topic, the rhythm jangles against the theme, the metaphors are wildly inappropriate, etc.


  • Misused techniques. Poorly chosen allusions, mixed metaphors, overused similes, awkward alliteration -- these are examples of valid techniques gone wrong.


  • Cliched imagery. Avoid it like the plague! Off with its head!


  • ZOMG-EMO-DRAMA!!! Bad poetry exaggerates, whines, mopes, capers, and generally makes an embarrassing spectacle of itself. Good poetry delivers emotion softly, like snowfall -- or slyly, like a stiletto. If you can see it coming, it's probably not done right.


  • Pronunciation chuckholes. Good poetry demands to be read aloud; it feels good in the mouth. Reading bad poetry is like trying to spit out a mouthful of rocks, one at a time, without swallowing any. Some sounds create tongue-twisters when combined.


  • Cacophanous sound. A good poem sounds delicious in the ear. A bad one makes listeners wince when they hear it. Some sounds don't go well together.


  • Prose flavor. This flaw reveals the content to be prose disguised as poetry, most often found in free verse. Even free verse requires the use of some poetic techniques, and a sense of prosody, to distinguish it from prose; the poet simply has more choice about which ones to use.


  • YAWN. Bad poetry is almost always boring. Go watch grass grow to put some excitement in your day.


When you encounter bad poetry, identify it as such. It's okay for people to write bad poetry; it's not okay for people to obscure good poetry by falsely claiming that bad poetry is good. (Note that I'm referring here to poems with identifiable flaws, rather than to unfounded disputes over personal taste. Not everyone will necessarily like a good poem.) You need not be rude or vulgar, although there are venues that encourage such. You can simply point out the salient flaws. If bad poetry is being hailed as good, it needs to be deflated. In the case of young and/or novice poets, try to be gentle and include praise along with criticism.

The best way of learning how to recognize bad poetry is to practice reading and analyzing it. Some sturdy folks have assembled collections of bad poetry, and related discussions, for public edification:

reallybadpoetry
badpoetry
atrociouspoetry

Bad Poetry Index
http://homepages.wmich.edu/~cooneys/poems/bad/index.html

The Bad Poetry Page
http://www.coffeeshoptimes.com/badpoet.html

Very Bad Poetry
http://www.verybadpoetry.com/

The Bad Poetry Seminar
http://poetry.about.com/library/weekly/aa042297.htm

How to Write Bad Poetry
http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/A577118

And of course, there is the book that got me hooked on deflating bad poetry: The Stuffed Owl: An Anthology of Bad Verse. Special thanks to Prof. U. Milo Kaufmann for introducing me to that book. Like an owl pellet, it is revolting in a fascinating way. This should be required reading for poets, poetry editors, teachers of poetry, and anyone else serious about working in the genre. Consider it a field guide to monstrosities.
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"Appreciating Speculative Poetry" is up! [03 Jun 2008|10:30am]

ysabetwordsmith
[ mood | accomplished ]

My article “Appreciating Speculative Poetry” is up in the June 2008 issue of Internet Review of Science Fiction. It talks about the nature and history of speculative poetry, the roles that poetry plays in the genre, and some famous examples. A sidebar offers recommended resources for further exploration. Feedback and/or discussion of speculative poetry is welcome, either here or on the IROSF forum thread for this article.

IROSF is a sophisticated webzine that specializes in scholarly articles, critical reviews, and other serious explorations of speculative literature. Membership is required to view the issues, but many variations of free and paid subscriptions are available.

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Poetry Fishbowl on My Blog Today [15 May 2008|11:46am]

ysabetwordsmith
[ mood | busy ]

Starting now, the Poetry Fishbowl is open! I will be checking my blog periodically throughout the day. When people make suggestions, I'll pick some and weave them together into a poem ... and then another ... and so on. I'm hoping to get a lot of ideas and a lot of poems.

Feed the Fish!
Now's your chance to participate in the creative process by posting ideas for me to write about. Today's theme is speculative fiction (fantasy, science fiction, horror). I am especially looking for:

  • settings
  • characters
  • alien or phantasmagoric motifs
  • events
  • poetic forms


  • But anything is welcome, really. If you manage to recommend a form that I don't recognize, I will probably pounce on it and ask you for its rules. I do have the first edition of Lewis Turco's The Book of Forms which covers most common and many obscure forms.

    I'll post at least one of the fishbowl poems on my blog so everyone can enjoy it.
    2 Messages | Discuss it

    Poetry Fishbowl on Thursday May 15 [13 May 2008|11:27pm]

    ysabetwordsmith
    [ mood | busy ]

    Writing is usually considered a solitary pursuit. One exception to this is a fascinating exercise called a "fishbowl." This has various forms, but all of them basically involve some kind of writing in public, usually with interaction between author and audience. A famous example is Harlan Ellison's series of "stories under glass" in which he sits in a bookstore window and writes a new story based on an idea that someone gives him. Writing classes sometimes include a version where students watch each other write, often with students calling out suggestions which are chalked up on the blackboard for those writing to use as inspiration.

    I'm going to host a Poetry Fishbowl on my blog on Thursday, May 15. This time the theme will be speculative fiction. I'll be soliciting ideas for characters, settings, alien or phantasmagoric motifs, events, and poetic forms in particular. Chances are I'll spend a good chunk of the day, from afternoon to evening or more, alternating between this site and doing stuff offline so my back doesn't weld itself to the chair. I will post at least one of the resulting fishbowl poems on the blog for everyone to enjoy. The rest will go into my archive for magazine submission.

    If you enjoy my poetry -- or if you just love poetry in general, or want to promote s poetry -- please mark the fishbowl date on your calendar. Drop by and give me some ideas, comment on the posted poetry, encourage people to come look, whatever tickles your fancy. I hope to see you then!

    Discuss it

    Poem Published: "bête noire" [25 Feb 2008|06:14pm]

    ysabetwordsmith
    [ mood | busy ]

    My poem "bête noire" has been published in NVH Magazine. This magazine specializes in classic-flavored horror by up-and-coming writers. They have a bunch of other horror poems posted, too; I'd be interested in hearing what people think.

    3 Messages | Discuss it

    Poetry Fishbowl Open! [19 Feb 2008|12:40pm]

    ysabetwordsmith
    Today I'm hosting a Poetry Fishbowl on my blog. The topic this time is speculative fiction. Please drop by and post some ideas. Later I'll post one of the poems
    Discuss it

    newbie [03 Feb 2008|09:31pm]

    longjohnguitar
    [ mood | chipper ]

    1. Are you a writer of poetry, or principally a reader?
    Both.

    2. Did you ever take courses specifically in the writing or study of poetry in college or high school (as opposed to general literature surveys)?
    No but I was in poetry clubs.

    3. Do you buy/read poetry magazines or chapbooks? Anthologies of past great poets?
    More books than magazines. My favorite anthologies right now are City Lights Pocket Poet Anthology and Love by Nikki Giovanni.

    4. Do you attend poetry readings, either as a reader or audience member?
    I try to go to a slam every other week and read occasionally.

    5. If a writer of poetry, have you ever published your work in hard-copy, such as a magazine or chapbook? Do you publish or post your work on the web?
    Published in an academic magazine and on the web.

    6. Have you ever written any articles, essays, or analyses of poetry? If so, would you be willing to present them to this community to stimulate discussion?
    I have not.

    7. Why exactly do you like poetry? What does it do to you?
    I love the  rhythm and sounds of poetry. I love to hear it read out loud.

    8. Who are your favorite poets? If a writer, do these same poets influence your style, or are there others?
    Ginsberg, Patchen, Burroughs, Kerouac, Giovanni, Bukowski, Waits, Sarah Jones, T.S. Eliot. I'm sure they've each influenced me in some way. I also love Buddhist poetry and koans.

    9. What "schools" or styles of poetry appeal to you most? Why?
    Beat poetry appeals to me most because of the spoken and musical aspect. The influence of jazz, drugs and Buddhism makes a really interesting combo in my eyes.

    10. What distinguishes a good poem? What must be present in a poem to make it "work" or resonate for you?
    I have to be able to "sense" something in the poem. I should be able to see, hear or feel the poem or its topic.

    11. There are some people who fill up notebooks with hundreds of poems, yet could not properly be called poets, and there are others who, no matter how little they write, very clearly deserve the epithet "poet." What makes a poet?
    I think that we are all poets at times. I don't think there are very many rules that govern what constitutes a poem and, for that reason, talking to the mailman can be poetry. It doesn't have to be spoken either. Pouring milk on your cereal can be poetry.

    12. What sort of topics would you like to see discussed in the about_poetry community?
    I'd love to expand the list of poets that I read regularly and would like to see who's reading what.

    1 Message | Discuss it

    Vocabulary [29 Jan 2008|05:13pm]

    ideealisme
    Hi all,

    It has been quiet here for a while, but I have been wondering about vocabulary and how important it is to you.

    A few years back I thought the drive to increase the number of words in one's vocabulary was merely a device to impress people. But more and more now I find myself struggling to say something the way writers I admire say it because I lack the words.

    Then I remember what Robert Nye said about Laura Riding's poems - "they are difficult not because she uses obscure words, but because she doesn't." And indeed I note Laura Riding uses very few abstruse words in her poems (though her method of thinking and writing is so involved and (IMO unnecessarily) ornate that she hardly needs to make her work more complex.

    Do people here tend to prefer simple poems with simple words, or poems that use words like "meniscus"?

    Thanks
    9 Messages | Discuss it

    Poetry Fishbowl on My Blog Today [16 Jan 2008|12:43pm]

    ysabetwordsmith
    [ mood | busy ]

    Starting now, the Poetry Fishbowl is open! I will be checking my blog periodically throughout the day. When people make suggestions, I'll pick some and weave them together into a poem ... and then another ... and so on. I'm hoping to get a lot of ideas and a lot of poems.

    Feed the Fish!
    Now's your chance to participate in the creative process by posting ideas for me to write about. Today's genre is Paganism and other Earth-based belief systems. I am especially looking for:


    • deities

    • holy days

    • sacred sites or objects

    • memorable events

    • poetic forms



    But anything is welcome, really. If you manage to recommend a form that I don't recognize, I will probably pounce on it and ask you for its rules. I do have the first edition of Lewis Turco's The Book of Forms which covers most common and many obscure forms.

    I'll post at least one of the fishbowl poems on my blog so everyone can enjoy it.
    3 Messages | Discuss it

    Introduction: Elizabeth Barrette [05 Jan 2008|12:21pm]

    ysabetwordsmith
    [ mood | busy ]

    I just joined this community, and noticed that you have a very fine intro questionnaire. Here is mine.


    1. Are you a writer of poetry, or principally a reader?

    Both. Last year I wrote over 200 poems. I also read a substantial amount.

    2. Did you ever take courses specifically in the writing or study of poetry in college or high school (as opposed to general literature surveys)?

    Yes. I had one mediocre poetry class and one lousy poetry class in college, plus a one-on-one honors tutorial that involved a lot of me and my teacher huddling over each other's poems. The latter was tremendously useful.

    3. Do you buy/read poetry magazines or chapbooks? Anthologies of past great poets?

    I'm a reviewer, so I don't actually have to pay for much reading material. We do have a bookcase of poetry anthologies and collections, mostly classic with some modern thrown in. I subscribe to Star*Line and have contributed enough to The Mid-America Poetry Review that they keep sending me issues.

    4. Do you attend poetry readings, either as a reader or audience member?

    Occasionally. There aren't a lot of opportunities where I live.

    5. If a writer of poetry, have you ever published your work in hard-copy, such as a magazine or chapbook? Do you publish or post your work on the web?
    Both, constantly. Last year I had 46 poems published. My poetry has appeared in over 100 different markets.

    6. Have you ever written any articles, essays, or analyses of poetry? If so, would you be willing to present them to this community to stimulate discussion?
    Yes. Some of them are still up online.

    "So You Want To Be A Poetry Editor"
    http://ysabetwordsmith.livejournal.com/7869.html#cutid1

    "Anthimeria: Verbing Weirds Language"
    http://pages.prodigy.net/sol.magazine/workshop.htm#Nov03

    7. Why exactly do you like poetry? What does it do to you?

    Everything. It invigorates, relaxes, releases tension. It moves people. It takes me places. It puts money in the bank. It delights the eye and ear and mouth of the beholder. Poetry is also uniquely suited to expressing ideas and emotions for which language has no specific vocabulary or grammar.

    8. Who are your favorite poets? If a writer, do these same poets influence your style, or are there others?

    Favorites and influences overlap. In no particular order, mine include: Robert Hayden, Robert Frost, e.e. cummings, Emily Dickenson, Shel Silverstein, Dr. Seuss, Walt Whitman, Lorna Dee Cervantes, Deborah Kolodji, Marge Simon, and Rudyard Kipling. And of course, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, for whom I was named, my parents being poetry fans also.

    I cherish the description of my poem "One Ship Tall" (which won the 2007 Science Fiction Poetry Association contest): "Heinlein by way of Kipling."

    9. What "schools" or styles of poetry appeal to you most? Why?

    I expect poetry to mean something, so I tend to favor classical styles over the modern murk. I like rhymed, metered poetry but I also like other poetic forms such as syllabic or interlaced poems. The Romantics were fun. Some of the Dadaist and beatnik stuff was interesting.

    10. What distinguishes a good poem? What must be present in a poem to make it "work" or resonate for you?

    All poems should have good impact; they should affect the reader. A poem needs good mouthfeel and earcharm; it should make you want to read it aloud. If not free verse, it must follow the rules of its form precisely. It may be serious or whimsical, but should say something important. It may be mysterious, but should not be unclear, vague, or murky.

    11. There are some people who fill up notebooks with hundreds of poems, yet could not properly be called poets, and there are others who, no matter how little they write, very clearly deserve the epithet "poet." What makes a poet?

    That depends on the language and culture. In English, one who writes poems is a poet. In Irish, you have to have a "chair" -- be accepted as the civic poet of a specific town -- in order to claim the title. I've got a fantasy language that states how one has an ability; so there, I could say that I'm a poet by talent, vocation, and profession.

    To aim at the core of the question, and distinguish the identity of "a poet" from the description of "a person who writes some poetry" ... well, first, you do have to write poetry. You can't be a poet without that. You need to understand what poetry is and how it works, the history of it, the art and science of it. You need the talents and skills and perceptions that let you look at the world a little sideways and share what you sense. Audience recognition is a plus but not essential. It does, however, trump modesty: if other people insist that you're a poet, then you are.

    12. What sort of topics would you like to see discussed in the about_poetry community?

    I'm a forms junkie, always interested in new or unusual forms. I like talking about specific poetic techniques. Activities that people are planning should be shared -- for example, I host Poetry Fishbowls on my blog that you folks might want to join, and I'd be interested in hearing what you're up to as well. Issues affecting the field can be discussed, like the effect of academic poets on the public opinion of poetry. The rise of genre poetry is especially intriguing, as there are places where the interest in poetry is much higher than average, such as science fiction and Paganism. Anything and everything, really.

    I'd like to see this community become more active. It took me a while to find, even though it's exactly the topic range I wanted, because it didn't float to the top of my LJ searches. The high-traffic poetry communities are all poetry posts and no discussion. I want the discussion.

    Oh, and I've written a book: Composing Magic: How to Create Magical Spells, Rituals, Chants, Blessings, and Prayers which contains several chapters on poetic techniques and poetry. It's aimed at a magical/Pagan audience but the examples draw from diverse traditions and the exercises will work just fine for any path.

    4 Messages | Discuss it

    My Introduction [19 Nov 2007|07:19pm]

    satellite
    1. Are you a writer of poetry, or principally a reader?

    I've been a writer since childhood, but gradually shifted to being more of a reader. Through this community, I hope I can find a better balance and satisfy my creative drive.

    2. Did you ever take courses specifically in the writing or study of poetry in college or high school (as opposed to general literature surveys)?

    I was an English major in college and my course load was almost completely poetry; I was especially interested in 19th century, so I took any course that covered Blake, Keats, Robert Browning, and Tennyson. Now I regret not branching out when I had the opporunity.

    3. Do you buy/read poetry magazines or chapbooks? Anthologies of past great poets?

    I held on to all the books I had purchased while in college and pick up anthologies when I see a good deal.

    4. Do you attend poetry readings, either as a reader or audience member?

    Attended just one, but it will be along while before I would ever have the confidence to be a reader. I'm a bit over-sensitive to criticism and praise.

    5. If a writer of poetry, have you ever published your work in hard-copy, such as a magazine or chapbook? Do you publish or post your work on the web?

    I've been posting my poetry on my livejournal since 2000. Yes, I'm an early adopter. My only 'published' work was written when I was seven. My mother submitted a poem I wrote to the metro newspaper and they published it, because it was so gosh dern cute. But obviously, I would like to see a recent work in print.

    6. Have you ever written any articles, essays, or analyses of poetry? If so, would you be willing to present them to this community to stimulate discussion?

    If my college computer did not crash so unexpectedly and without recovery, I would have been glad to share some of my academic work. But I would be happy to contribute where I feel I can add something of worth.

    7. Why exactly do you like poetry? What does it do to you?

    Blame my of poetry on my Libran sense of balance and love of beauty. Even ugly experiences and thoughts can be stunningly beautiful when put in the the words.

    8. Who are your favorite poets? If a writer, do these same poets influence your style, or are there others?

    While I admire the restrained and refined poetry of the past, I tend emulate the raw and personal style of contemporary poetry. Top influences: T. S. Eliot, William Carlos Williams, Anne Sexton, and Adrienne Rich.

    9. What "schools" or styles of poetry appeal to you most? Why?

    British Romantic, Modernist...but you'll probably have guessed that by now.

    10. What distinguishes a good poem? What must be present in a poem to make it "work" or resonate for you?

    A good work makes me face a truth I have always known, yet have avoided or were unable recognize.

    11. There are some people who fill up notebooks with hundreds of poems, yet could not properly be called poets, and there are others who, no matter how little they write, very clearly deserve the epithet "poet." What makes a poet?

    This would be better phrased as what makes a good poet. If there is a timeless and yet singular quality to your work, you can be a good poet.


    12. What sort of topics would you like to see discussed in the about_poetry community?

    Discussing where poetry is headed, what will be the next big breakthrough in this creative sphere...
    1 Message | Discuss it

    The Couriers- Sylvia Plath [25 Jun 2007|05:34pm]

    lilmeangirl
    I started working my way through Sylvia Plath's Ariel and got stuck on the second poem, The Couriers. I have the edition that is as Plath originally intended, not the Hughes arranged and edited version. I sort of hate Plath for putting such a confusing poem as the second one in the book. It opens with Morning Song, which is fairly straightforward. I maybe don't get every last reference and word because Plath is tricky as fuck, but I get the general gist. But The Couriers, I was glad to realize stumps a lot of people. I googled all over the place, combed through line by line and I think I have some semblence of its meaning now. However, I must ask... What the fuck did people do in Plath's day when reading her work? You'd need a decent sets of encyclopedias, a dictionary and perhaps a medical terminology book to get through Ariel and really know what the hell she was talking about. So yeah, I would be curious to see what y'all think of this. Read this and without googling or anything, tell me what you think it means.

    The Couriers
    The word of a snail on the plate of a leaf?
    It is not mine. Do not accept it.

    Acetic acid in a sealed tin?
    Do not accept it. It is not genuine.

    A ring of gold with the sun in it?
    Lies. Lies and a grief.

    Frost on a leaf, the immaculate
    Cauldron, talking and crackling

    All to itself on the top of each
    Of nine black Alps.

    A disturbance in mirrors,
    The sea shattering its grey one ----

    Love, love, my season.
    -Sylvia Plath
    14 Messages | Discuss it

    [01 Mar 2007|07:40am]
    manifiesta03
    Would you say that a good chunk of people who get their work published in literary journals had their pieces critiqued by others? Or do a lot of serious writers never get critiques? How important do you think they are?
    2 Messages | Discuss it

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