I was wondering about rhyme in poetry, is it necessary to get ones point across? Does poetry sound dry if it does not rhyme??
I mean i like reading rhyming poetry and such, it gives much great pleasure, but i also love readin TS elliot! What a great writer!
I mean ...does one have to have a specific tyoe of writing..like a signature or soemthing?? Cant one write a sonnet, and than a limerick...and something like in sonnet form but without rhymes??
I need some input on this...why do people especially on this board stress rhyming so much...why can they just appreciate literature for itself rather than force their opinions on otherZ?
Salma, It seems that everyone has their own opinion on this question. I like the rhymes myself, but can certainly appreciate the prose. Give me a good limerick and I'm a happy man. Most of what I try to write is in rhymes because it is easier for me to judge the piece. We had some people here earlier who did not care for rhymes at all... it is up to you. Why not try both? jhs
I like both- I think it's harder to write unrhymed poetry. Rhyme and meter can give poetry a sense of rhythm. That's something that's difficult to achieve in unrhymed work- the big question, where do you put the line breaks? Poetry should be more than just prose with funny structure.
Yes, you can write all kinds of work- rhymed, unrhymed, things with rules like sonnets, work without rules- it's up to you.
why can they just appreciate literature for itself rather than force their >opinions on otherZ?
In general, users of this board state what they like or dislike- you're free to take advice or ignore it as you choose. If you stick around, you'll learn who has which opinions and take that into account in your own work.
hmm, the fact that this is a forum for classical poetry sort of points to the fact that a lot of the people here prefer classical forms. That doesn't mean we wish to tell others to have the same opinion though. I never try to force my opinion on anyone (well never...), but I do enjoy a good discussion.
As a matter of fact, I like Elliot, but I agree with Pam that you have to be a very good poet to write good free verse.
I think personally I am so flouting my opinion about the importance of rhyme and meter, because there are so many people that write prose, make a couple of random linebreaks and then call it poetry. I think that is an insult really, and I feel very strongly about that.
And of course you don't need to stick to one sort of form! I think if you like writing poetry you have to try different forms to see which one(s) you like best to develop in.
Okay, thanks for all to reply, but theres one thing that i wanted to say about this subject. In rhyme and meter....i think most poets get caught up in the rhyme and meter so much that they write one line with all their heart..you can actually feel what they write, but than the second line is like they forced it. Like the the first three words of the line would flow, and than the last three words of the line would be like....no...he did that just for it to rhyme! BUT WHY??? Poetry is something of the soul..does it matter where the rhyme goes?? it could be at the beginning it could be the first line and than the last line....poetry should be something so emotional and dear that its clear....this is how this person feels...rhyme and meter are just rules as far as im concerned!
A cold thunder breezes
Through a body that captures
A soul breath freezes:
In quivers, feels the night
Of the morning day,
Eyes can glouriously catch
The moon's deception of darkness.
??????????????????????what is wrong with that??????
"poetry should be something so emotional and dear that its clear"
that is your personal opinion of what poetry should be. And that is ok. I, however, have a different opinion. I think it CAN be emotional, but I think the force of poetry is in the perfection of the idea's. It takes a lot more than emotion alone to write a good poem. It is a combination of talent and craftwork. That means, excersizing endlessly, and rewriting endlessly on writing the perfect poem. And if it sounds forced than the poet did obviously not succeed. Of course, there is plenty of BAD (sorry marian for stealing your style here ;-) rhymed poetry around.
But poetry based on emotion alone is often only very meaningful to the one who wrote it, because they can get the feeling back they had when writing it. Your emotional fragment does not succeed in giving me the same feeling. That is where the craftwork comes in. So in my opinion there is nothing wrong with it, but it depends on what your aim is for writing poetry. If it is something you enjoy and don't want to spend too much time on, and has as main purpose a kind of diary. Fine. I have no problem whatsoever with that. I do the same myself.
If your purpose is to write poetry in order to show others your emotions, or your thoughts, with other words, if you want to publish your poetry, then I think it needs a bit more attention, otherwise your message will just not come accros. Or to put it bluntly, you are wasting your readers time, and critics of poetry can be the most relentless unforgiving people ever. So be warned.
By the way, if you have a look at Tennyson for example: his first versions of poems usually only vaguely resemble the last one. Famous poets really worked for years on a poem sometimes!
Desi, i think it is my right to argue this with you and i can not tell you the surge of emotion i just felt while reading your message, to the contrary either you did not get my point or your just being ignorant (dont take that as a insult, im just being "blunt" too)
I would like to start with the statement that got to me the most.."If your purpose is to write poetry in order to show others your emotions, or your thoughts, with other words, if you want to publish your poetry, then I think it needs a bit more attention, otherwise your message will just not come accros. Or to put it bluntly, you are wasting your readers time, and critics of poetry can be the most relentless unforgiving people ever. So be warned. "
Yes i think poetry is about emotion the most, people ideas in emotional ways they express ....peoples philosphical idea they put to the test..I think you might find it interesting to read the birth of philosphy in poetry. [www.janushead.org] i recommend it strongly.
I never said i dont give my writing attention and never said i never rhyme my poetry, or that i never follow the rules of our classical poets ...afterall that was their form of writing but what is yours? wheres the creativity..wheres your form> wheres your style? Where are you ideas? Where is your philosophy of poetry?
"Philosophy is a step through what we might call poetry, a moment in which things spoke in a more primordial, concretized language to when language transformed itself in order to speak in turn. "
When poetry's words do not speak out, than what is the point? If one has to rhyme to get the point across and they are good at than go for it! But one does not have to write in rhyme to make an excellent poem...and i point indirectly to TS Elliot's Wasteland!
Desi, you are right in one thing, which also applaud you for saying "poetry is in the perfection of the idea's. " And that is exactly the point i am wanting to get across, i really think arguing on this topic is superfluous with because i think we argree on the issue at hand.
You also said poetry based on emotion alone is special to only the one who wrote it??? that is a very narrow opinion....say i read Poe's a dream within a dream and alone for the first time...those poems are full of emotion not to mention rhyme and prose....but tis not the rhyme and prose that gets to me ...tis the emotion he wrote it with...the emphasize...the style (which is present in his unrhyming poetry as well)
I believe poetry takes a certain amount of talent, philosophy, romanticism, modernism.....creativity...oooo and it can go on and on..
some words thrown together in rhyme would not catch one has a poem written with emotion....the human mind catch's something that appeals to them and if it appeals a certain amount the brain reciprocates and engrains it forever!
Afterall, emotion is one of the things that separates humans from animals...emotion is something that is extremely hard to write with because it is not spoken but written, one can not see your expression, but one can feel it too by your words!
You seem to be arguing based on what you THINK we're saying, and not what we actually are.
Desi said "But poetry based on emotion alone is often only very meaningful to the one who wrote it, because they can get the feeling back they had when writing it."
In your response, you said "You (Desi) also said poetry based on emotion alone is special to only the one who wrote it???"
You are developing your argument based on a misreading of Desi's actual words.
why (can't) they just appreciate literature for itself
rather than force their opinions on otherZ?
Desi, i think it is my right to argue this with you
Pam.....literally i rephrased what desi said....you seem to be arguing with me based on friendship rather than reason ...thats what it seems to me...what desi and said i rephrased by saying something that i thought desi meant in actual was what he/she meant.
Do you not think it is my right to argue this with anyone because i am not forcing my opinion on anyone but i do indeed have the right to arugue...tis everyones right i suppose..but what did you mean by writing the already written?
I meant that it seemed a contradiction to me.
There is no forced opinion here. You are merely adopting an argumentative position.
Some of the finest work in the language is unrhymed - try the blank verse of Shakespeare, Milton or Coleridge's Conversation Poems.
Eliot, Pound, Whitman, Auden and many many more poets have produced some wonderful work in free verse. That doesn't mean that rhymed verse doesn't also have its place - you seem to be the one excluding and not the denizens of this board.
Rhyme and meter may be just rules but they are good rules and even those writing only in free verse often produce a regular meter. The great poets knew the rules first and then determined when to use them. Do you believe Eliot did not understand meter? Of course not, he knew it well and followed or not according to the result he wanted to achieve.
Philosophy of poetry? I recommend that you read Biographia Literaria by Coleridge. If ever a man thought deeply about poetry, it was STC.
First of all, shoot ahead. I like discussions and have no problem whatsoever that you disagree with me!
"You also said poetry based on emotion alone is special to only the one who wrote it??? that is a very narrow opinion....say i read Poe's a dream within a dream and alone for the first time...those poems are full of emotion not to mention rhyme and prose....but tis not the rhyme and prose that gets to me ...tis the emotion he wrote it with...the emphasize...the style (which is present in his unrhyming poetry as well) "
I think we are sort of talking next to each other. You are actually saying what I could have said. So I think Pam is right in saying you don't really get what I mean. So next try:
only emotion does not equal good poetry
emotion + craftwork does equal good poetry
Poe is a clear example of someone who is a craftman. He perfectionizes the form of his poems and because of that it reads easily, and he gets the message accros.
If you read good free verse, as Chesil pointed out, it reads naturally and you don't get stuck when reading. Believe me, that takes a lot of time/talent and thinking to do.
With a lot of (badly written) free verse (and yes, also with badly written rhymed poetry) I get stuck when I read it. The pauses are on the wrong moments. The rythm isn't natural. If I read that I get annoyed, and you can be sure that the feelings the poet tries to get accross don't get accros. In fact, I would stop reading. That is what I mean by perfectionizing. It doesn't matter whether it is rhymed or not, has a regular metre or not. Both forms need to have quality. And you have to be nearly superhuman to get that quality in one go.
You might find rather interesting Chesil...That i did in fact had already read Coleridge's Biographia Literaria...and like you have just denouced right at the start, probably without even reading the philosophy of poetry (foreign) ..that just again puts me at a greater knowledge than you.
What i am, i guess, trying to say, without anyone interpreting exactly what i mean is what Mr. Coleridge expresses in the first chapter of B.L. which i will quote now:
"the poem which we have read, but that to which we return, with the greatest pleasure, possesses the genuine power, and claims the name of essential poetry. "
"Our faulty elder poets sacrificed the passion and passionate flow of poetry, to the subtleties of intellect, and to the starts of wit; the moderns to the glare and glitter of a perpetual, yet broken and heterogeneous imagery, or rather to an amphibious something, made up, half of image, and half of abstract meaning"
That, my dear, is what my point really is. A poem which the mind grasps at a first read is the one Mr. Coleridge is referring to when he says ..."the poem to which we return to"
Now, I am not objecting to anyone opinion, i am merely, like chesil said, "stating my argumentative position," and when i think someone is trying attack in some sort of rather clever way, than i will reply in such.
Again, I will state what i have already stated that no, i dont think rhyme and meter are wrong or dont hold up to the same capture because once again i will say i love Poe..he still is one of my more preferred poets than milton and even though coleridge is superious in diction, rhyme, and meter....the sense of shall i say togetherness that i feel when reading Poe is not there.
So you see everyone has their own way of writing and everyone has their own tastes....and i guess people also have their own "acquired" tastes as well, so i see no point in arguing about who is better in writing...that is superfluous.
I really dont appreciate someone denoucing literature without even reading it tho...and im sorry if i have offended anyone with my thoughts or provoked this discussion, but it needed to be said that for someone to learn from other poets of moern poetry one has to at least listen and recognize them and their thoughts. Thank you all for replying, and believe me, i argue for the sake of contradiction only! :0)
"that just again puts me at a greater knowledge than you."
It is not a contest.
"i think someone is trying attack" ????
and me thinking we were having a discussion.
"denoucing literature without even reading it"
who has denounced what where???
You are confusing me!
" A poem which the mind grasps at a first read is the one Mr. Coleridge is referring to when he says ..."the poem to which we return to" "
Exactly! He says at a first "read", not at a first draw!
I think everyone here really agrees with you that good poems can have a wide arrange of forms. The personal preferences are just that. Preferences. On the whole I prefer poetry with a fixed rhyme and metre. Why? I don't know. How can you really explain what you like? But I do not denounce free verse straightaway. There are some free verse poems I absolutely love. For example the love song of Alfred Prufrock.
But I think this discussion got on a lot of sidetracks. What exactly is it you think we/I disagree with?
desi ....i was actually referring to chesil in my argument mainly....i think she should understand exactly what i am saying, if not, well...i guess i am one of those people that will remain understood....
I do love to argue for the sake of contradiction but again and again saying the same thing gets a little tiring for me.
Say Michel Foucault writes a book and someone writes a book just arguing against his views on feminism and such...would he or any other person who has just wrote a book on a subject reply back??
Some people would well he should.
WHY SHOULD HE
he doesnt have to and if he does, hes being freakin nice!
well we agree with the general idea that good poetry can be all arrange of styles, forms and such, but we disagree on a whole wide range of ideas. I posted this post on people scrutinizing others on unrhyming poetry, and i think some just got a different understanding.
Anyway whatever the case, this was a good discussion on the forms of poetry! Thanks
You have your opinion and I have mine. Poe is, to my mind, the most manufactured of poets - read his own essay on the production of The Raven - little, if any, emotion in his writing process, in my opinion.
Coleridge superior? I don't know how you would go about assessing superiority in poetry. Do I like him better? Yes. Literary critics probably write more about Coleridge than Poe, as they write more about Coleridge than Byron. That may simply be because Byron was more easily understandable and requires less examination.
Do I have greater knowledge than you? I really don't care.
By the way, I am not your dear and don't patronise me, my wife won't like it.
Finally, did I think the poem you produced had emotional content? No.
Peter, how do you feel about the discussion above?
I love reading epic poetry, from the epic of gilgamesh to the odyssey and the iliad to pound's Cantos and Williams Carlos Williams' Paterson -- none of this poetry ever used simple rhymed metrical verse as its medium and it is great poetry. The world of poetry is not restricted to the lyric and the ballad. I am a great fan of lyrics to musical compositions where regullarity and predictability are important ingredients of the aesthetic experience. Unfortunately, internet poetry tends to be lyric because of the the short attention span engendered by the medium itself. Prose is another story.
for fifteen years I only described my work as my 'writings' -- not distinguishing between what might be called 'poetry' and what might be called 'prose' by other people. I even decided in that period that some 'poets' I had read for a long time did not write 'poetry' at all -- including Lawrence Ferlinghetti -- while I also decided that some so-0called prose pieces, 'novels' -- like Kenneth Patchen's 'Journal of albion Moonlight' were nothing more than long,long poems.
The longest lasting distinction between prose and poetry for me has been the general situation that language itself seems to be what poets focus on all the time, whereas the prose writer often focuses more on the content or subject matter rather than the language itself, no matter how fine the writing is in the prose piece.
So my mind changes from time to time. I try to be flexible. Some of the comments I have read in this thread and others in the forum seem to indicate that their authors are not flexible. I think that is sad and unprooductive. I have worked on these opinions for 41 years 2 months 3 weeks and 4 days, trying to figure our what poetry is, how to write it and how to read it. Some day I may learn.
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/28/2005 03:41AM by drpeternsz.
Contrariwise, one of my favorite long poems is by that master rhymester, Dante Alighieri, La Commedia, popularly known as The Divine Comedy.
NEL mezzo del cammin di nostra vita
Mi ritrovai per una selva oscura,
Che la diritta via era smarrita.
Ah quanta a dir qual era e cosa dura
Questa selva selvaggia ed aspra e forte,
Che nel pensier rinnuova la paura!
Tanto e amara, che poco e piu morte:
Ma per traitor del ben ch' i' vi trovai,
Diro dell' altre cose ch' io v' ho scorte.
I' non so ben ridir com' io v' entrai;
Tant' era pien di sonno in su quel punto,
Che la verace via abbandonai.
Ma poi ch' io fui al pie d' un colle giunto,
La dove terminava quella valle
Che m' avea di paura il cor compunto,
Guardai in alto, e vidi le sue spalle
Vestite gia de' raggi del pianeta
Che mena dritto altrui per ogni calle.
Allor fu la paura un poco queta
Che nel lago del cor m' era durata
La notte ch' i' passai con tanta pieta.
HALFWAY ALONG THE JOURNEY of OUr life,
Having strayed from the right path and lost it, I awoke to find myself in a dark wood, O how hard it is to tell what it was like, That wild and mighty and unfriendly forest, The very thought of which renews my fear! So bitter was it that death could be no worse. But, to reveal what benefit it brought me, I shall tell of the other things I found. . . .
Listen to the glorious music from line to line, leaping from word to word, through the flaming cauldron of his mind in these words and you will hear why poets rhyme. I have read seven different, distinct translations/renditions of this poem in English and what I wouldn’t give to read it in its native tongue! I do not feel I need to ask why poets rhyme and use meter…here it is.
"Some of the comments I have read in this thread and others in the forum seem to indicate that their authors are not flexible. I think that is sad and unprooductive."
I honestly don't see what is wrong with having an opinion on certain matters. I don't need to go through life as a kind of chameleon!
As long as I respect the right of others to their opinion.
And as for Dante, uh, rhyming in italian is easy. Everything ends on an "a" anyway. ;-)
I just knew that someone was going to react as if they was attacked. ugh, when will people stop being so defensive! Pax, Peter
Thanks for your input, Peter. I agree that the "use" of language is probably what distinguishes poetry from prose. Although, one aspect I haven't seen espoused here is the "purpose" of the author. In my mind this poetic purpose is part of the process of writing poetry, it tells the reader to read the passage more closely.
I do not speak of athe author's intentions, Les, since I stopped believing anyone could read minds, which is what we need since they discovered the 'unreliable narrator."
"In the television age, the key distinction is between the candidate who can speak poetry and the one who can only speak prose."
Did Richard Nixon really say that Johnny, or are you mischief-making?
I've never thought of him as having any interest in what distinguishes poetry from prose.
You should read "the Wit and Wisdon of Spiro T. Agnew" sometime.
Ian, as far as I know, it's real
Peter, I did years ago...lots of alliteration as I recall
nattering nabobs of negativity or some such
Here's a one about poetry/prose that was entertaining:
I do not speak of athe author's intentions, Les,
Peter, I didn't mean that the READER should be able to recognize the intentions of a poet. Rather, I meant that the WRITER of poetry, either intends it to be poetic, or he/she doesn't. That intention in the mind of the author is part of what makes poetry what it is, in my opinion.
When I write, usually I just intend to write something. It is only later in the process that I decide if I want to call it poetry or something else. Sorry, Les, I don't mean to be so contrary. It just seems to come out that way sometimes.
If I'm not rhyming, I'm writing Memos
Tsk, you don't rhyme your memos?
To Whom It May Concern:
A memo, you will learn
is best in prose
or you'll compose
RE: where in hell you'll burn
According to Jerome Rothenberg the difference between prose and poetry was the response of the editors when they sent your manuscript back. If they made corrections on it, it must be prose. If they simply accepted it as is or rejected it totally, it was poetry.
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/10/2005 03:20AM by drpeternsz.
And if they accepted it as is, then printed it with lots of mistakes in and no regard to indexing and among lots of others with no similarity of subject, form etc - a vanity publisher is trying to hook you.
Right. So you damn well better proofread every dot and dash of your manuscript before you send it in.
Doesn't help - they introduce the typos!