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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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: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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