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November 22, 2012
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Are you sure you're not writing prose?

:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Re: 'poetry is just prose with line breaks'

How the hell do you know what you're writing is poetry, rather than grammatically disastrous prose with line breaks?

In case you were wondering why I never write poetry, this is reason #8: I'm not sure myself.


Dear anyone who feels the need to enter their text in subscript/superscript, I am ignoring your post. It's annoying and I can't afford becoming even more nearsighted.
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Devious Comments

:iconemmyisazebra:
EmmyIsAZebra Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
when it comes to poetry, I tend to just say whatever and do what I want. No matter what, I'll always be doing it wrong in someones eyes so i just like to mess around and have fun with it. If someone gets their tinsle in a tangle about it, it doesnt move me as much as prose... which seems to have more solid rules and boundries.
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I totally see it as the other way around! You do whatever the hell you want in prose as long as it's comprehensible, but poetry = :iconscaredplz:
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:iconemmyisazebra:
EmmyIsAZebra Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Hahaha, I've already been burned real bad by a poetry elitist on here. After that I was like, pssh whatev's. Probably not the best attitude to take but I was more focused on getting down my prose at that point. It's not that I don't want to make my poetry better, but so many people tell you so many different things, I haven't really had the time to buckle down and research poetry techniques. :no:
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
In Soviet Russia, YOU burn poetry elitists!

Oh man, I saw like...the douchiest crit ever on a piece. They made one good, and actually helpful point, that was couched in about eight layers of jerk. I can't tell if this is a lack of Internet skills, an expectation that people will do this back to them, or just being a complete jerkface. But yeah, if you're not doing poetry right now, you don't have to :eager:
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:iconsaintartaud:
saintartaud Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2012  Professional General Artist
I tend to view poetry as being more fixated on the language itself as the object. Poetry usually reads as prosaic when there is no strong sense of the music or form underlying the language. Obviously this sorta thing is easier to catch when the poetry is using a form. But christ, even something as conversational as Bukowski is musical.
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I think this is true, but I have a hard time picking up 'musicality' in free verse. Like Bukowski, didn't see it at all.
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:iconsaintartaud:
saintartaud Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2012  Professional General Artist
My personal opinion of Bukowski is that he's kinda spotty. Been a while since I've read him deeply, but this one is a good example of one of his stronger pieces: [link]
I think often with his work he has a voice he plays to, and it can be very rough and borderline prosaic, but when you see him get more lyrical like this you can realize more of his skill as a poet.

The musicality is still there in free verse, but it's played more loosely. Done well, there's still attention to sound and repetition of sound, but I suppose it's sometimes like comparing a tightly written pop song to a piece by Stockhausen. The latter might not sound like music to some ears, but it works according to a particular logic that can be discerned or simply felt if the listeners goes deeper, or is simply willing to go along for the ride. Bringing it back to poetry, "The Waste Land" looks like kind of a mess at first, but there is an overall sense to it and it is not as free form as it initially appears.

One thing I was going to note in my reply is that a lot of modern and contemporary poetry tends to distill or evoke moments or images within a tight space. But that's more about content, less about form. It does help as a means of understanding what it means to do, though.

I dunno, I never quite got why some prose monkeys never got poetry. Or why free verse should be atrocious as a rule. Most of my favorite poetry is free verse or in an even looser prose poem form. :shrug:
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Okay, that is muuuch more readable (and obviously poetic). Yay!

Oh, now I get Stockhausen. :lol:

I think you have to have some idea of content to truly use a form. You can ask questions like why it was set up that way if you know the original purpose.

I honest to god can't hear meter in a piece. Actually, I can't confirm which syllable is stressed in a word until I go look it up.
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:iconsaintartaud:
saintartaud Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2012  Professional General Artist
Stockhausen is always a good reference, since his compositions are highly structured, yet seem messier to many listeners. I guess I could have referenced free jazz or improvisational noise, which I enjoy some of, but are probably more inclined to formlessness.

Maybe the issue is that we expect there to be a particular point the poem is making, which is certainly true of a lot of poetry, but sometimes form is content. On the other hand, a lot of the bad poetry you're talking about happens because the writer is overly concerned with the content, communicating their feelings or some message.

And yeah, I have issues discerning accents as well. But the truth is, you probably carry those patterns in your speaking and writing without thinking about it. Pretty much all prose has a particular rhythm, it's just less heightened than the sort you get with meter. I find I have an ear but loose it when I try to analyze it. Very weird.
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Ooh.

Yes, definitely! And I love poetry that is just about one image or mood. Not so much when it's a circlejerk trying to make the author's own day seem meaningful, but when it's one outstanding image? Woooooo!

Strange. I can tell when lines are really bad, but I can't tell when they're acceptable+.
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:iconsaintartaud:
saintartaud Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2012  Professional General Artist
Same here. A line will sound "off," but I have a hard time explaining exactly why.
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I pick it apart and eventually get somewhere, but it takes a lot more effort than it did to notice offness. Damn you, experience?
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:iconbeeinthebottle:
beeinthebottle Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2012   Writer
One of the earlier poetry teachers I had told me, "Let the piece be what it wants to be." If a piece wants to be prose, let it be prose. If it wants to be poetry, let it be that. The difference? Poetry has contained language, imagery, metaphor, and such; prose wanders, in comparison, is wordy. And with poetry, line breaks. Most folks who write poetry don't "get" them. A good line break ends on an important word, an emphasis, if you will. A skilled poet will start the next line with a lesser, but also emphasized word.

Poems aren't prose with line breaks, at least not if a poet is a craftsperson. If you're writing prose, give in. Skip the line breaks. Let the piece be prose, if that's what it wants to be.

I was p.o.'d with the teacher, by the way. Until the day I understood, and then I was abashed.
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Haha, that sentence turned me off until I read the rest of this—seriously, yes. Just because you can't find a narrative thread for it doesn't mean it isn't prose.
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:iconle-kaikai:
Le-Kaikai Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2012
My friend and I just had a very insightful argument entirely in poetic verse. She used haikus while I used sonnets.

The experience has left me with this: Poems, or at least structured poems, can serve many purposes. I'm pretty sure the vast majority of structured poems on this site are about love and beauty and depression and all the feels. However, my friend and I have managed to turn verse into a battleground with the sole intent on proving the other "poet" wrong.

I guess unless you have a series of structured poems working together like paragraphs in prose, you could tell a functional story. Homer did it all the time. Shakespeare, too.
But alone, I think poetry simply describes a scene of some sort.

Meanwhile, I reserve judgement on free verse.
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
That sounds completely awesome. Although writing all the sonnets, holy shit :faint:

Yeah, poetry tends to not be narrative.
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:iconsilverinkblot:
SilverInkblot Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
I find that poetry has a certain lyricism to it that prose often lacks. The line breaks aren't there just to make a piece look like a poem, and this applies to free verse as well. Line breaks should be used to provide emphasis. If you're just hitting enter wherever you think it looks good, then you're doing it wrong and might be better off writing prose for a while. Punctuation should have similar effects; one of the things I constantly bring up when I'm critiquing poetry around here is how to use punctuation to create rhythm in a poem. There ARE rules, but they aren't very well known around dA :XD:

Punctuation matters in prose of course, but not for the same reasons. For prose it's just a matter of making sense; for poetry, it's a matter of making sense and creating rhythm. Though I consider myself more of a prose writer, I think my poetry tends to turn out better far more often because poetry is all about craft from step one to the end. It's different with prose because I've been reading it and writing it my whole life, be it for pleasure or in essays and schoolwork, and I don't really have to think about the rules anymore. Maybe if I did I'd write solid prose more often.
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Seriouslydude. :shakefish:

Hm, I never saw creative writing as comparable to what I learned in school (except for when I did creative writing).
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:iconsilverinkblot:
SilverInkblot Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Writing is writing :D Different kinds of writing perhaps, but my school essays have been loads better ever since taking up creative writing as a hobby.
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
This is true :P Okay, learning how to write minimalist essays changed my creative writing (for the better, I think), but still academic writing is its own genre okay I get really annoyed by people who don't get it, okay
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:iconexillior:
Exillior Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I don't think it matters a jot.

Does it matter whether you have a boy haircut or a girl haircut? At the end of the day, it's how you wear it that will rock it.
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Hm...knowing what it is actually does affect my perception of it. I look for very different things in poetry than I do in prose, so it's valuable to know what the author wants me to find.
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:iconexillior:
Exillior Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I guess in that case it does. I'm always looking for the right rhythm, whether it's prose or poetry, so it makes no difference to me.
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Ooh. I don't, and I also expect different things from the content.
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:iconexillior:
Exillior Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Really? :? In what ways would you expect the content of poetry and prose to differ? I've always seen them to pretty much contain whatever the writer chooses to express. :O
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Prose tends to have more of a narrative bent. Of course epic and narrative poetry, as well as vignettes exist, but I think poetry is better (or more commonly used) for describing images and evoking moods, while prose, action. Alternately, I'm more likely to be disappointed by prose that doesn't do the latter and so on.
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:iconexillior:
Exillior Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
That certainly fits with what I've seen on dA, but what about Homer and Virgil? I'm not well-versed in poetry but many of the oldest epics I've heard of were poems.
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Hence the exception!

Here's the thing, though. The only Greek/Roman prose I've seen are histories. I'm not sure fiction as prose even existed at the time, but for some reason I focused my minor on the events instead of the literature. :B
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(1 Reply)
:iconsamuelearl666:
SamuelEarl666 Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2012  Hobbyist
I do agree that some stuff really does not deserve to be called poetry. If they were all classed as poetry then my shopping list would count as poetry as well.
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I saw a 'receipt' that was actually hand embroidery on linen. Modern art is strange ;p
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:iconsamuelearl666:
SamuelEarl666 Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2012  Hobbyist
sure is
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:iconheaven-spawn:
heaven-spawn Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2012
you guys are retarded.

[link]

just read this, bukowski proved with evidence that all writing flows naturally you dont need to think about it it just comes.

that is why not everyone can do art, it takes a special talent that some people have and most dont.
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:iconlytrigian:
Lytrigian Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Sounds like elitist bullshit to me.
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Don't feed the unimpressive troll :(
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:iconlytrigian:
Lytrigian Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
But I'm bored!
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Complaints :stare: I'd say Phil/rel but it's been disappointing lately.
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:iconraspil:
raspil Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2012   Writer
i'm a firm believer in his "writing chooses you, you don't choose it" philosophy but when i see the word flow, i think of tampons.

/yes, i am retarded, too.
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:iconhavetales-willtell:
HaveTales-WillTell Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2012  Professional Writer
"you guys are retarded."

Don't hold back; tell us what you really think.


"just read this, bukowski proved with evidence that all writing flows naturally you dont need to think about it it just comes."

And Michelangelo said that he didn't create his sculptures; they were already in the stone, and all he did was liberate them. I carve and chisel my words the same way.


"that is why not everyone can do art, it takes a special talent that some people have and most dont."

Hmm. No capitalization, several comma splices, and consistent non-use of apostrophes. I think we know in which camp you belong.

But don't fret; Malcolm Gladwell says that with ten thousand hours of dedicated practice, you too can call yourself a master of your craft.
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:iconheaven-spawn:
heaven-spawn Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2012
uhhh i'm not a writer i'm a digital artist. and forum posts arent art anyway so i dont get why that would have anything to do wih my typing.
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:iconhavetales-willtell:
HaveTales-WillTell Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2012  Professional Writer
Point one. This is the Literature forum. If you post here, it can be assumed that you have an interest in writing as a craft. Certainly the bulk of those reading your posts do.

Point two. The tone of your original post is accusatory, if not outright flaming. Assuming you're not just trolling, then you care about what you've posted. From which follows that you should also care about its presentation, not to mention its reception and interpretation.

Point three. All writing has the potential to be art; witness `salshep's spoken-word rebuttal, above. And in a sense, your forum posts should be better-crafted than any written deviations; you can't go back and edit a forum post.

Point four: I've seen what you've chosen to upload to your gallery. If they're representative of your current ability, then get cracking; you still have several thousand hours left to go.
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
(troll)
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:iconhavetales-willtell:
HaveTales-WillTell Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2012  Professional Writer
Correction: troll-in-training. She's not quite there yet. :trollface:
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:iconexillior:
Exillior Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Please, do not offend the trainee trolls.
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:iconraspil:
raspil Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2012   Writer
LOL
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:iconhavetales-willtell:
HaveTales-WillTell Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2012  Professional Writer
:lmao:
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
They get training now? Kids these days. :no:
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:iconheaven-spawn:
heaven-spawn Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2012
Well i was gonna comment on them all but point three just takes the cake as the dumbest thing ever. Seriously just because you can edit writing doesnt mean a deviation should have better writing than a forum post, god damn. i mean one is supposed to be you're freaking story that you really care about, another is just talking with people, it doesnt need to be fancy they just need to know what youre saying.
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:iconhavetales-willtell:
HaveTales-WillTell Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2012  Professional Writer
^neurotype is right. You have a talent for nitpicking the minutiae, as opposed to defending your argument.

If all you're looking for is meaningless conversation, try the Deviants or Complaints fora. If you want to learn and grow as an artist, then go hang out in Digital Art.

But when you walk into a roomful of writers, expect your writing to be noticed. And when you attack a brick wall with a broomstick, don't be surprised at the responses you get.
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Do you know what "evidence" means? I'd strongly recommend paying more attention in science class (unless you're in Texas).
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:iconheaven-spawn:
heaven-spawn Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2012
look i'm not from texas but my friend is so you better not be talkin' no shit about texas. from what i hear . . . . . . . . . YOU DONT MESS WITH TEXAS
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