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What’s the difference
Posted by: ink ghost (---.ipt.aol.com)
Date: October 20, 2003 01:21AM

As I read contemporary poetry, I can’t help but wonder “what’s the difference”, what I mean by that is what’s the difference between “creative writing” and “poetry”. Is creative writing part of poetry, is poetry part of creative writing, and is there any difference between the two at all, and if so what?

I.T.


Magna res est vocis et silentii temperamentum


Re: What’s the difference
Posted by: marian2 (---.in-addr.btopenworld.com)
Date: October 20, 2003 03:30AM

To me, poetry is about pattern and choice of words as well as ideas. If you took a piece of creative writing and a thesaurus, and substituted say 10-15% of the words with carefully chosen synonyms, and also changed the line breaks, you'd still have a piece of creative writing, plagiarized but recognisable as essentially the same. If you did it with a poem, you'd have a totally different poem, or no poem at all.


Re: What’s the difference
Posted by: Talia (216.117.99.---)
Date: October 20, 2003 11:26AM

Poetry is a part of creative writing, especially modern poetry, which tends to be more experimental and ignore many of the old-fashioned "rules"...therefore the line between poety and other forms of creative writing are less definitive.


Re: What’s the difference
Posted by: ink ghost (---.ipt.aol.com)
Date: October 20, 2003 05:28PM

Talia, if you ignore the "rules" what makes it poetry? And what makes the "Rules" "old-fashioned"?

I.T.


Magna res est vocis et silentii temperamentum


Re: What’s the difference
Posted by: Talia (216.117.99.---)
Date: October 20, 2003 06:00PM

I am not saying that the rules are right or wrong or necessary or unecessary. I used the term "old-fashioned" and I should have said "tried and true". Please don't take me wrong, I think rules are important, however, bedning and making exceptions in for GOOD PURPOSE are also an important par to of art.


Re: What’s the difference
Posted by: Pam Adams (134.71.192.---)
Date: October 20, 2003 06:42PM

This is an argument that's gone on for a long time- try a search on 'poetry vs. prose', or 'poetry vs. lyrics.'

Essentially, a poem is something that someone claims is a poem- often (but not always) identified by a specified rhythmic structure, rhyme, line breaks, etc.

I don't think that the 'rules' are old-fashioned, but do think that the belief that 'it's only poetry if__________' is.

pam


Re: What’s the difference
Posted by: Marian-NYC (---.nyc1.dsl.speakeasy.net)
Date: October 21, 2003 11:17AM


Talia, I love the two phrases you compared:

"old-fashioned" vs "tried and true"

If for centuries great poets have found that the Haiku structure and the Sonnet structure useful ("rules" within which they can let their creativity run free), then it's still okay to ignore or bend those "rules" but it's not necessary to condemn them as "old fashioned" in the process.


Re: What’s the difference
Posted by: Talia (216.117.99.---)
Date: October 21, 2003 01:40PM

Too much stigma to the phrase "old-fashioned" I guess.


Re: What’s the difference
Posted by: Pam Adams (134.71.192.---)
Date: October 21, 2003 03:57PM

Yes, it's a term generally used in a negative way. (Hey, it's not the 'Old-Fashioned Items Road Show)

pam


Re: What’s the difference
Posted by: Talia (216.117.99.---)
Date: October 21, 2003 04:17PM

How about "classic"; "vintage"; "retro"?


Re: What’s the difference
Posted by: ink ghost (---.ipt.aol.com)
Date: October 21, 2003 05:43PM

I'll take classic but lose the others, no wait I'll lose them and you can keep them. Wile we are talking about terms let's lose the term "Rules" as well, for if a rule is not fallowed it’s broken. I think, "Guide line" should work rather well don’t you? And how about the terms “old-fashioned” and “tried and true” I think we should change them to “have stood the test of time” why because I like that one.

I.T.


Magna res est vocis et silentii temperamentum


Re: What’s the difference
Posted by: Marian-NYC (---.nyc1.dsl.speakeasy.net)
Date: October 21, 2003 06:47PM

Technically, I think haiku and sonnet are "forms."

No value judgement there.

They might be called "traditional forms" or "established forms," if you want to contrast them with new ones, but even "tradition" and "establish" are loaded terms to many people.


Re: What’s the difference
Posted by: Pam Adams (134.71.192.---)
Date: October 21, 2003 07:40PM

I'll settle for classic- I don't think I'm either vintage or retro!

pam


Re: What’s the difference
Posted by: IanB (---.tnt11.mel1.da.uu.net)
Date: October 24, 2003 08:32AM

How about 'seasoned'?


Re: What’s the difference
Posted by: Jean-Paul (---.nt.net)
Date: November 28, 2003 11:21AM

The same relationship as the difference between the terms "vehicles" and "pickup trucks"

Jean-Paul Bonhomme

"I "Love Summer more than I hate Winter"


Re: What’s the difference
Posted by: Hugh Clary (---.phoenix-01rh15-16rt.az.dial-access.att.net)
Date: November 28, 2003 12:10PM


Ergo, creative writing is a vehicle, and poetry is a pickup truck. What's a Maserati, then?


Re: What’s the difference
Posted by: Linda (---.cache.pol.co.uk)
Date: November 28, 2003 02:22PM

Verse is the pick up truck, poetry a Masserati.


Re: What’s the difference
Posted by: ink ghost (---.ipt.aol.com)
Date: November 29, 2003 06:18PM

Verse A pick up?! No no no verse is far more beautiful than that!

I guess my real quandary is where does poetry "pick up" and were does it drop off?

I.T.


Magna res est vocis et silentii temperamentum


Re: What’s the difference
Posted by: Hugh Clary (---.denver-03rh15rt.co.dial-access.att.net)
Date: November 30, 2003 11:03AM


Many would argue that contemporary free verse is not poetry at all, but is prose with a ragged right margin. Others would insist that writing poetry in free verse is much more difficult than using rhyme and meter. I have even heard people say, "At last! A poem that does not rhyme." They enjoy reading them even more, that is.

Your call - whatever floats your boat. Will poetry evolve yet again? Of course. Who knows what the next step will be.


Re: What’s the difference
Posted by: Jules (---.nas5.spokane1.wa.us.da.qwest.net)
Date: December 01, 2003 02:26AM

All I want to know is...

are all of the poems in the archives, free verse poems?? I am trying to teach some junior high kids what free verse poetry is and am having difficulty. Sharing some examples would be helpful so they could compare free verse to non-free verse. Can you help, ASAP???

Thanks


Re: What’s the difference
Posted by: IanB (---.tnt11.mel1.da.uu.net)
Date: December 01, 2003 10:09AM

Not sure what archives you are referring to, Jules, but it sounds unlikely. Have you actually looked?

Robert Frost once said that writing free verse is like playing tennis without a net. The point is that 'free' in 'free verse' means free of some, not necessarily all, of the traditional formal rules of poetry, such as rhymes, rhyme scheme, regular metre, regular line lengths, division into similarly structured stanzas, etc. So verse may be 'free' to a greater or lesser extent. To be distinguishable from prose, in my opinion it still needs to have some poetic characteristics, such as word rhythm, line breaks, and condensed syntax in which strict grammar may be ignored, or left implied rather than shown.

For two well known, but quite different, examples of free verse, see:

‘The Hollow Men’ by T.S.Eliot
[plagiarist.com]

‘Chicago’ by Carl Sandburg
[www.cs.rice.edu]


Re: What’s the difference
Posted by: Jean-Paul (205.233.28.---)
Date: December 01, 2003 08:33PM

A Maserati wwould be Rock'n'Roll

"I "Love Summer more than I hate Winter"


Re: What’s the difference
Posted by: Jean-Paul (205.233.28.---)
Date: December 01, 2003 08:36PM

A vehicle is a general description based largely on function. A pick-up truck is a specific category of vehicle.

"I "Love Summer more than I hate Winter"


Re: What’s the difference
Posted by: Jean-Paul (205.233.28.---)
Date: December 01, 2003 08:37PM

Very punny!!!smiling smiley

"I "Love Summer more than I hate Winter"


Re: What’s the difference
Posted by: Jean-Paul (205.233.28.---)
Date: December 01, 2003 08:39PM

We seem to agree that the term poetry can be applied loosely.
Yes, it will evolve because informed opinion evolves.

"I "Love Summer more than I hate Winter"


Re: What’s the difference
Posted by: AXL (158.94.0.---)
Date: December 02, 2003 08:26AM

Hi everyone, I've got a bit of a problem. I was reading (and enjoying) your discussion on the various forms of poetry and how they compare/contrast to prose writing. I confess that I have always been a bit crap at poetry and so have always stuck to prose. After doing a poetry module at uni I was introduced to the different forms and, at times, I felt that they helped me to write better poetry than ever before-a great achievement for me! As a result I have actually begun to like poetry more and so practise more in my own spare time. I have got some questions I would like help with so I can write a 2000 word essay on my experiences of poetry as a whole (argh!).
Could any of you help me?
Roughly I want to explore the art of poetry in terms of helping or hindering a writer's performance. Some of the more difficult forms I found impossible to complete and so I wondered if this adherence to the conventional forms and 'old fashioned' rules makes poetry writing harder than it has to be? Is it off putting or can it be a challenge to write poetry? Or is it a matter of having the passion and ability to write poetry-the "if your heart's in it" debate.
I would be grateful for any help you all could give me as I quite like poetry now and don't want to give up just as it is getting harder and more interesting! I will email any more questions/problems I have as they arise.
Thank you,
Regards,
Angela.


Re: What’s the difference
Posted by: AXL (158.94.0.---)
Date: December 02, 2003 08:30AM

Hi everyone, I've got a bit of a problem. I was reading (and enjoying) your discussion on the various forms of poetry and how they compare/contrast to prose writing. I confess that I have always been a bit crap at poetry and so have always stuck to prose. After doing a poetry module at uni I was introduced to the different forms and, at times, I felt that they helped me to write better poetry than ever before-a great achievement for me! As a result I have actually begun to like poetry more and so practise more in my own spare time. I have got some questions I would like help with so I can write a 2000 word essay on my experiences of poetry as a whole (argh!).
Could any of you help me?
Roughly I want to explore the art of poetry in terms of helping or hindering a writer's performance. Some of the more difficult forms I found impossible to complete and so I wondered if this adherence to the conventional forms and 'old fashioned' rules makes poetry writing harder than it has to be? Is it off putting or can it be a challenge to write poetry? Or is it a matter of having the passion and ability to write poetry-the "if your heart's in it" debate.
I would be grateful for any help you all could give me as I quite like poetry now and don't want to give up just as it is getting harder and more interesting! I will email any more questions/problems I have as they arise.
Thank you,
Regards,
Angela.


Re: What’s the difference
Posted by: marian2 (---.in-addr.btopenworld.com)
Date: December 03, 2003 08:04AM

Angela - there isn't an answer. Read the R S Thomas poem I've pasted below. A lot of people feel it helps them expand their skills to try and work with lots of different froms, in the same way as doing scales improves your piano performance; they may not achieve anything memorable in that new or difficult form, but it stretches them. Others can only write 'as it comes', or only want to. Most will rise to the challenge of a different and difficult form and then go back to do something simpler better, but there isn't a 'right' way to write poetry, any more than its 'better' to write a biography than a travel book.. I once spoke to someone who knew the artist LS Lowry (who drew the matchstick men) Even when very famous for this type of work, he went to art classes to draw figures in a lifelike fashion, classes held by my friend's father, though Lowry's own work was much more 'primitive' in appearance, it and he still benefitted from honing skills that didn't seem relevant.

Hope this helps

'Listen, now, verse should be as natural
As the small tuber that feeds on muck
And grows slowly from obtuse soil
To the white flower of immortal beauty.'

'Natural, hell! What was it Chaucer
Said once about the long toil
That goes like blood to the poem's making?
Leave it to nature and the verse sprawls,
Limp as bindweed, if it break at all
Life's iron crust. Man, you must sweat
And rhyme your guts taut, if you'd build
Your verse a ladder.'

'You speak as though
No sunlight ever surprised the mind
Groping on its cloudy path.'

'Sunlight's a thing that needs a window
Before it enters a dark room.
Windows don't happen.'

So two old poets,
Hunched at their beer in the low haze
Of an inn parlour, while the talk ran
Noisily by them, glib with prose.

-- R. S. Thomas


Re: What’s the difference
Posted by: Pam Adams (134.71.192.---)
Date: December 03, 2003 07:36PM

I'm like marian2, it depends on the writer. You might think of the 'formal' poetry types- sonnets, villanelles, etc, as being a framework. Some people like working within the frame, others don't. Often the frame helps make some of the meaning.

pam




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