Great collection of quotations about poems and poetry:
(Search for "Poets" section.)
"Like a piece of ice on a hot stove the poem must ride on its own melting . . . . A poem begins in delight and ends in wisdom." Robert Frost
Uh ... say what, Bob?
I may be way off here, but "to ride on its own melting" means to me that a poem may go off in various directions, depending on the first path taken by the melting ice (poem) when affected by the initial heat (reading). Put the ice on a different spot on the stove and there is a different outcome.. I'm not so sure about the "delight and wisdom"
I think 'ride on its own melting' means provides its own momentum, the poet doesn't decide where the poem s/he writing is going, but once begun it evolves in its own wa. If you are too keen to guide and control it, it won't be as good a poem, perhaps Frost wouldn't consider it a poem at all. There's also an element of the finite, or a natural end in the definition, in that the ice will stop moving (having melted and dried up) and so exhausted itself - so will a poem have a natural length and reach a natural end. As a lover of short poems, rather than books written in rhyme, I'd go with that. The trouble with very long poems and much prose, is that they don't know where to stop.
Strictly speaking, isn't it riding on its boiling on the hot stove?
This question was the theme for my high school lit mag my jr. year. I remember one intelligent statement that was made about poetry....Poetry is an aquired taste.
As someone said of obscenity:
I CAN'T TELL YOU WHAT IT IS, BUT I KNOW IT WHEN I SEE IT.
....Poetry indeed be such a sin
As I think that brings dearth and Spaniards in,
John Donne, Satire II
If "language is a disease from outer space"* then I suppose POETRY is a complication.
*Burroughs, I think, but made popular by Laurie Anderson
OOPS - I believe that should read:
"Language is a VIRUS from outer space."
And yes, it is William S. Burroughs, as recently re-polularized by Laurie Anderson.
Poetry is observation of life with a bitter-sweet flavor that leaves the imagination room to fly either into the past, the future, or the emotions of now.
"Poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquility.”--William Wordsworth (in LYRICAL BALLADS)
Often abbreviated thus:
POETRY IS EMOTION RECOLLECTED IN TRANQUILITY.
I think "recollected in tranquility" is the key difference between POETRY and JOURNALING IN VERSE. Quite a bit of both shows up in these forums. Some of you have heard me refer to the latter as "love-me-love-my-poem" stuff.
Of course, you could also have prose, music, sculpture, or some other created thing that is also "the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings" and which also "takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquility." Or perhaps Wordsworth would call those things POETRY in prose, in song, in stone, etc.
Poetry is LAW - that helps keeps order in the world and in God's words. A unity force - that no (life) subject can seperate!
Tj Baker - Novelist & Poet.
Page fails to load, Tj.
I would say (with Frost), that WHEN YOU'RE LUCKY a poem begins in delight and ends in wisdom.
If you're WRITING THE POEM, it begins when you FEEL something and you decide to write a poem. Then you figure out what you mean when you see what you say.
If you're READING THE POEM, it begins when some words delight you, and the delight (if you're lucky) is great enough that you don't even notice the wisdom you're acquiring.
I'm sure Robert Frost was speaking for himself. For myself I often find a poem begins from pain, or recollections of painful experience which seeps from my soul onto the page.
Good stuff, Marian.