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  #21  
Unread 06-08-2021, 01:54 PM
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F.F. Teague F.F. Teague is offline
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Hi Mark and Ann,

#17
Yes, Mark, it was about time you turned up, lol. Let's just say, I have a freakishly good memory. What prompted this discussion was Julie's mentioning M.A. Griffiths on the New Formalism thread, but I did single you out for the freshness. Yes, that had to do with more than fruit, although the strawberries were memorable because of your one tooth too. (I am a foolish thing.)

Larkin was one of the poets studied during my Eng. Lit. A-level. We might even have touched on the extract you provide, because 'myth-kitty' is ringing a bell (how cute). Preservation is chiming on a personal level and I like the mention of horses in the context of Larkin's personal life.

I can understand why the sentiment appealed. But even if you did know the Classics, you wouldn't necessarily lose the worry; it might be with you in a different form.

I like 'freshly created universe' too and I think that's what I was trying to say. Yes, Larkin presents a few problems, but he has been useful to you. Now you can concentrate on being McDonnell. 'Woo-hoo!' :>)


#18
Ann, thanks for another post.

Some write from who they are; others can't, as their voices aren't acceptable. That has a lot to do with the audience, of course, both online and offline.

Larkin's myth-kitty can certainly be expanded into Myth-Kitty, the idea. And yes, any one poet could keep any number of myth-kitties. I have a few myself.

People might like to peep, only to move away, discomfited, disgusted, afraid. (Sorry if I sound a bit melancholy; just experience elsewhere.)

I'll google Darmok :-)

Best wishes,
Fliss

PS: I like 'reaching for one off the peg'. Mark, would you like to join us at Freshtival? Everyone is welcome there :-)
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  #22  
Unread 06-09-2021, 06:10 AM
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Ann Drysdale Ann Drysdale is offline
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Whose voices do you have in mind, Fliss? The ones that aren't acceptable, I mean.
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  #23  
Unread 06-09-2021, 10:54 AM
Julie Steiner Julie Steiner is offline
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The influence of what she called Oriental-inspired forms--and in particular, the "haiku sensibility" of trying to capture an ephemeral moment in a spontaneous way--has a lot to do with the freshness in M.A. Griffith's work.

Below I've quoted her own comments relevant to this.

~~~~~

At WHCvanguard, one of six Yahoo! Groups under the aegis of the World Haiku Club (5 November 2005):

Context: D— had taken umbrage at Griffiths’ statement that, in her opinion, most of the poems then appearing on the WHCvanguard list did not even meet the minimum standards of poetry, let alone the minimum standards of haiku, senryu, and other Oriental-inspired forms.

Quote:
D— wrote: ‘Yes Maz, Can you please tell me, define what is “poetry”?’

Oh, is that all you want?

Actually, D—, people have been trying to define poetry for centuries, and I don’t think anyone has come up with a definitive description yet – but I think we know it when we see it.

Ezra Pound described poetry as ‘charged language’, and I think that’s a very perceptive comment. It captures my sense that poetry is not about what sensitive souls we are, or how deeply we feel or think, but more about the way we try to use language in a special way.

For me, prose cannot be transformed into poetry by line breaks.

Here is something I wrote about poetry, trying to express something serious in a light way:

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Goldilocks’ Poetic Maxim #3

Poetry is that magic stuff
between ‘too much’ and ‘not enough’.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

In my opinion, most of the pieces I see posted here are ‘not enough’ to delight, move and satisfy me as I expect good poetry to do.

I hope that makes my position a little clearer.
Quote:
Dear D—,

You wrote: ‘Thank you for telling loudly, your honest opinion.’

I simply answered the question you asked me, to the best of my poor ability. I was not aware there was anything ‘loud’ in my reply.

I think you are mistaken if you think this is in any way about winning or losing an argument. It is not an argument in a derogatory sense, but a discussion. If the nature of poetry doesn’t matter to anyone, and isn’t worth discussing, why do we have poetry lists which we (presumably) use to share our views?

Of course the subject of what is or is not poetry is very subjective – particularly when we say we don’t consider something is poetry; what we often really mean is that we don’t think it is good poetry.

I write all sorts of poems, free verse and formal, and the thing that struck me about haiku, which perhaps differentiates from other forms, was something about the intensely inspirational and spontaneous nature of the form. Sometimes we find out what a poem is about as we write it – the writing is itself the revelation. But with haiku I have the sense that the revelation comes, then the haiku is written to express best that revelation or insight.

It’s very easy to write a haiku (especially if we abandon the traditional elements, so there are no rules remaining), but to write a GOOD haiku requires great craft and judgment, I feel.
~~~~~

At the Pennine Poetry Works, re: "Butterfly Bawl" (16 April 2003):

Quote:
K—, this was based on my actual reactions to a production of Madama Butterfly on tv a few days ago. At first, I found myself totally put off by the unattractive Pinkerton, and the way they’d dressed Butterfly and given her clown’s make-up. But as soon as the familiar aria began, disbelief was suspended.
[...]
I’m actually putting this forward as a new genre – a haiku-sonnet, as I wrote it off the bat after seeing the opera. It is quite a truthful transcription of my reactions to the opera.
[...]
I hope the sonnet reflects just a bit of the complexity of our response to a piece of great art, which Madama Butterfly definitely is.
~~~~~

At the Pennine Poetry Works, re: "The Exchange" (2 June 2003):

Quote:
P—, this is another ‘haiku sonnet’, which I wrote after a phone call which knocked me for six – as one way of trying to deal with the shock, I think.
~~~~~

At Burgundy, re: "The Biographer" (14 September 2003)

Quote:
By the way, I wrote this after reading a biography and then finding out the biographer had been dying when he wrote it.
At the Gazebo, re: "The Biographer" (14 September 2003)

Quote:
K—, a
s I explained to J—, this was a response to an actual biography, so writing about an imaginary autobiography would have been a very different poem.

I’ve written a few of these sort of quick-reaction sonnets, which I think of as haiku-sonnets, trying to capture a reaction to something.

Last edited by Julie Steiner; 06-09-2021 at 11:01 AM.
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  #24  
Unread 06-09-2021, 02:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ann Drysdale View Post
Whose voices do you have in mind, Fliss? The ones that aren't acceptable, I mean.
Hi Ann; to begin, the poets of Myanmar.

I once received threats of violence, but that was just someone with a poetry blockage on a sort of vent.

I am less melancholy today. 'Hormones,' Word-Bird confides :>)

- - -
Julie, thanks for this post :-)

I think I mentioned to Cameron that I've been reading Maz Griffiths recently, trying to snatch time between work tasks (there's a lot to do at the mo).

I don't write haiku, but I do write 'high coo' with my arthritis group. I'm sure Maz, and you, would think our efforts very poor indeed, but this is in the context of simply making merry.

Best wishes,
Fliss
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  #25  
Unread 06-10-2021, 02:10 PM
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Hi Julie,

I tried writing a haiku sonnet today, just posted on D&A. I'm just not sure I'll ever manage to attain that Oriental sensibility, because I'm part leprechaun according to Irish Granny 🍀

Best wishes,
Fliss
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  #26  
Unread 06-10-2021, 03:41 PM
John Isbell John Isbell is offline
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There should be more Japanese leprechauns. I think there is an ecosystemic niche there waiting to be filled.

Cheers,
John
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  #27  
Unread 06-10-2021, 05:42 PM
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For me a “fresh poem” is one that crowds me into a corner or against a wall, so close I can smell the ambrosia or lotus on her breath, and assures me I’m the only one, at least for tonight.
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  #28  
Unread 06-11-2021, 01:40 PM
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F.F. Teague F.F. Teague is offline
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John, Japanese leprechauns sound intriguing! I can just imagine the cosplay :-)

Ralph, that's interesting. Do you think of every poem as female? I don't tend to allocate gender; I just get the sense of fresh fruit 🍓🍓🍓

Best wishes,
Fliss
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  #29  
Unread 06-12-2021, 08:03 AM
Jim Moonan Jim Moonan is offline
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.
This keeps bubbling up. I’ve made a few goes at responding but have never been satisfied with it, so I’ve stayed sidelined, listening to the others.

But now that it has again bubbled back up I thought it might be somewhat worthwhile to throw my half-baked thoughts on the bonfire — So here's my take (though I like Mark's better):

For something to be fresh implies it will eventually go stale, so there's that to ponder...
I think the term "fresh poetry" is a somewhat tangential, or understated, or sound-bitey way of identifying poetry that achieves a transcendent quality that is widely acknowledged. It is poetry that does not necessarily break new ground, but rather discovers the elusive deep vein that all serious artists are in quest of each time they practice their art. Fresh poetry has drunk from The Well. A crossroads where erudition and arrogance meet. Joyce was fresh. Pound not so much. Eliot vacillated.

-----

David Whyte, a poet and philosopher, tells of the time he was in school and an English Lit. professor walked over to one student, picked him up by the collar and pulled him close, saying, “There will be times when someone doesn’t like you, just because of the cut of your face. And there won’t be a thing you can do about it. “ Then lowered the boy back down into his seat, then said to the class, “Now let’s read Hamlet with that in mind. Because that will happen to you and you’ll be helpless to do anything about it.” (I’m paraphrasing).

But I like Mark's take (Larkin's actually). It is much more thoughtful, thorough.

-----

No one; nobody — no matter how learned, how experienced, how accomplished — even scratches the surface of knowing what the meaning of our existence is. It remains sealed tight, impervious to our probing and questing and stumbling for answers. Things always end unfinished. Interrupted. Oblivion has dominion over us. The best we can do is what Larkin says:

“I write poems to preserve things I have seen / thought / felt (if I may so indicate a composite and complex experience) both for myself and for others, though I feel that my prime responsibility is to the experience itself, which I am trying to keep from oblivion for its own sake. Why I should do this I have no idea, but I think the impulse to preserve lies at the bottom of all art… I believe that every poem must be its own sole freshly created universe...”

I would extend “fresh poetry” to include that the reader must also find that same freshening place the artist has led them to and drink the water.
One of my favorite games of imagination is to try to imagine what the reality of a place is like after I have left it. For example, at this very moment, what is the physical reality of The Spanish Steps in Rome, which I have been to and walked up and sat on and watched the reality of people coming and going, of flowers being sold, of gelato being enjoyed by couples and children and families and people hurrying by on the re way to and from another place, and dogs lying on the cobblestones, and couples kissing for the camera… In other words, as I sit here now in my present reality of home and a laptop and a chair, I try to imagine the actual reality of another place. I never succeed, but it does lead to some fresh thought.

.....

Perhaps there are different versions of “fresh”. There’s rap lyrics (fresh genre?). There’s Rupi Kaur and Amanda Gorman (fresh poets?) There Rummi (enduringly fresh poet?) Is e.e.cummings fresh? Is he still fresh now? Was Dylan Thomas ever fresh?

.....

Personally, I think freshness inevitably, ultimately stales, fades. There will be a time when what is fresh today becomes obscure, the language archaic, the form stiff to the point of petrification. What was once fresh eventually becomes immersed in formaldehyde for all time.

.....

It is not some sort of cruel, on-going joke. It is our cup runneth over. Enjoy it all. It is never-ending.

.....

Don’t judge me! I told you at the beginning these thoughts were half-baked! Ha!

.
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  #30  
Unread 06-12-2021, 08:19 AM
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Duncan Gillies MacLaurin Duncan Gillies MacLaurin is offline
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Bob Dylan has been praised from the off for his ability to deploy clichés with a twist. Just today I was marvelling at this line in "Don’t Fall Apart on Me Tonight": "You were so fine, Clark Gable would have fell at your feet". It's like he makes a virtue out of necessity. He only has one syllable for "fallen" so he just uses the wrong form. I don't quite know how he gets away with it, but he does.

Duncan
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