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Poetries in the Anglo-American traditions
Posted by: peternsz (---.client.comcast.net)
Date: July 22, 2004 02:15PM

I am seeking more poems from some Anglo-American traditions.

One poem composed with allegory and alliteration.

One poem composed with metaphor and end rime.

One contemporary poem whch advances composition whch abandons mftaphor, abandons shuns rime, and does not attempt to resusitate the past use of allegory and allireation, an example of a poetry that is open and forward looking instead of "tradition."

The last poems may or may not come from the Imagists, the Objectivists, the Black Mountain poets--Projective poetry--, the Beat Poets. Although I would not mind reading any choices you might make from these five kinds of poetries.

Please omit poems by Early Anon, Chaucer, Spenser, William Shakespere and William Carlos Williams since their colected works are already on the bookshelf devoted to books I couldn't be me without.

I am looking for individual poemsof and length.

Thanks in advance for your help.

P.S. If you would like me to any obscure or unpublished works in the five poetries after 1900, I would be pleased with those suggetions as well.


Peter N. Sherburn-Zimmer


Re: Poetries in the Anglo-American traditions
Posted by: IanB (---.tnt11.mel1.da.uu.net)
Date: July 22, 2004 06:52PM

Peter, you have asked a lot, and some of it isn't clear.

When you say you are seeking 'more poems', do you mean you already have some poems in the categories referred to, and are looking for more? If so, it might help to know what examples you have already selected, to get a better idea of what you are after.

By 'end rime', do you mean just rhyming lines generally, or do you mean the much rarer case of rhyme used as a poem-closing device in the way Shakespeare often used a rhyming couplet to end a scene?

What period do you regard 'Anglo-American traditions' as covering? Your request specifically to omit Chaucer, Spenser and Shakespeare suggests you are looking much further back for that than I would have imagined.

What do you regard as contemporary? Your mention of poems by the Imagists or the Beat Poets as possibly fitting that category also goes surprisingly far back.

What do you mean by ‘the five poetries after 1900’? Do you mean schools or movements in the writing of poetry (in which case I would take issue with the narrow critical mindset implied in any such categorisations) or are you referring to types of poems – lyric, epic, ballad, light verse, etc?

I’m uncomfortable with your apparent assumptions that a poem can ‘abandon metaphor’, ‘shun rhyme’, ‘resuscitate past use of alliteration’, be ‘open and forward looking instead of tradition’. Such descriptions might apply to a poet, or possibly to a poet’s oeuvre, but I query how they can be apt for one poem. A poem is just a poem. For instance, it either has metaphor or it does not. It doesn’t ‘abandon’ metaphor. A poem is not best thought of as a historical actor. It might appear new in style when first published, and might inspire the writing styles of those who read it, but tracing that kind of impact is surely a historical exercise rather than an exercise in literary appreciation. In any event, because of the way readers’ minds work, I doubt whether a poem that lacks all metaphor, rhyme, alliteration and other traditional features of poetry can justly be described as ‘advancing composition’ or be likely to have much impact. Eliot’s ‘Prufrock’ began startling readers with its modernistic language from line 3 onwards, but its enduring power came from its brilliant uses also of metaphor and rhyme.

If these questions and comments seem unscholarly, I admit to being unschooled in critical theories, and to having some old-fashioned prejudices about poetry.

Maybe, rather than refining your requests, the quickest way for you to find some poems of the kind you know you are looking for would be to consult some large anthologies in a library.

Ian



Post Edited (07-22-04 17:58)


Re: Poetries in the Anglo-American traditions
Posted by: Talia (---.ply.kconline.com)
Date: July 22, 2004 10:09PM

Almost all poems I have read and enjoy are anglo-saxon-ish.


Re: Poetries in the Anglo-American traditions
Posted by: Johnny SansCulo (---.nycmny83.covad.net)
Date: July 23, 2004 09:50AM

especially if they use the word "nantucket" in them


Re: Poetries in the Anglo-American traditions
Posted by: Linda (---.cache.pol.co.uk)
Date: July 23, 2004 06:10PM

What's Tucket's grandmother got to do with anything?


Re: Poetries in the Anglo-American traditions
Posted by: JohnnySansCulo (---.dyn.optonline.net)
Date: July 24, 2004 12:13AM

I think it's her bucket they've been using !


Re: Poetries in the Anglo-American traditions
Posted by: peternsz (---.client.comcast.net)
Date: July 24, 2004 07:24AM

IanB

I know it's a difficult order to fill, but I need help from this group to assemble an anthology of sixty to ninety poems chosen on the following , each poem seled show be as like every other poem by that poet as possible. If (s)he woe vastly different poems, like the Early and the Late Yeats, two selection would be appropropriate.

In addition to being representative, the poem shoud be the best of his/her representative poems. For example Pound's
"In a Station of the Metro"

The apparition of these faces in the crowd;
Petals on a wet, black bough.

to show what he when he called the poem's by H.D. Imagist, defining a kind of poetry. However, that poem also turned out to be the best Imagist poem, as far as I can tell. In this case the poem is the best, most respesentive Imagist poem I will submit to this survey because of that. Also, he does write poetries of different kinds as he foes on, as with his move from Imagism later If I were considering section of long or eic poem as represntative of a poet's oeuvre, and I will, I would submit Canto LXXIV beginning with the line, "The enormous tragedy of the dream in the peasant's/bent shoulders." You can tell some of what is am looking for by checking our those two Pound poems.

The organizing and defining principle for the poems I want is neighter genre, period, or stictly movent relate. When I started I had think about how rime replaced alliteration in Enlish language porty. I remember that local dialects, that of the London dialect and the Kent dialect made it so we talk more like Chaucer than like Langland , using rime in our poem more often than ME alitteration or A-S Anon in the Seafarer, the Scyds off A-S Anon's Beowulf. Later the same kind of wrestling matsh occur's over poetic Allegory (Ed. S.)and Metaphor (B.S). Ask yourself how many allegories you wrote this week. How many metaphors. Outside of advertisin, and Johnny SanCulo,have you writtenor read much alliterative verse this month?

Allegory and alliteration have ben pushed into a distant second place in the English language. That is how my meditation on the developement of English poetry often follows the path of our language and visa versa.

Let me give you a couple examples of the poetry from 1948 on uses less and less of the devices of the nineteenth century stipping aawy differeces between common language and poetic language. How can you tell if this is a poem and not a note on the refriigerator door?

None of the old devices is indespensable, live meter, rime , metaphor -- look through William's Paterson for the language of things he seeks. take a look at Williams' long poem, Paterson, "no ideas but in things."
so he includes a geological report filled with tables of depths in the draining of a lake.

Elsewhere, Kenneth Patchen was to paint poems of very bright colors (1), see attachment number one. I guess it is the alterratin of common laguage to take of the task of special language they make these poems in the interest me.

William and Rakosi, (who died last week) and Oppen and Zukofsky use more of the same words and syntax that each other use than they share with Robert Lowell, John Ashbery and Wallace Stevens, and so forth.

The meter of Shakespeare, Spenser and Swinburne can no longer carry the wieght they used to without mangling the sense and sound of modern English, as when Pound says, "break the iamb."

Again look at what Paterson or the Cantos show us, for example. that the new poetris, starting with Pound and Williams might clear away some of the detritus of the ineteenth century that had blocked the use of simple, ordinary language in current poetry.

I think they amke it possible to write a more accessible poetry, despit complaints about the obsurity of Pound's language.

The New American Poetry, edited by Donald M. Hallto embodies changed my life and my reading forever. The trouble here, is I can't get back to poetry of the nineteenth poetry, --like love, you can't get back your virginity. At last, see the attached "The Once Over" and my 'iconic' "run.'

Patchen and Rothberg certainly opened my ears and eyes to not exclude any way to make poems. Nothing else matters. After he read my dissertation on Wallace Stevens, Poetry: Open to Interpretation. He even asked me if I could tansfer the open I got from Stevens poetry to other poetri, such as the L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E poets like Ron Silliman....

Thank you for having been such a close reader of my request for poems. I should have made the following more clea.

I hope to get a sampling of English poems from 950 A.D. to 2024. The last group would be by poets born after 1975. I am also considering asking each member of thing forum to submit one best represntative poem of his/her own corpus.

I am collecting poems for an anthology to illustration the mutual implication of changes in language and changes in poetry. The first part of the anthology will carry the titly of "Broadside free Poetry" and will be made of poems sent to me in the mail, unsolicited over the last thirty years by publishers and friends and stranges for me to critique, coffee house poetry, self published poems, and street poetry. A chronology also forms in relation to the poems because of the way language alters. In the end it is language that is actually in use and poems, not poetris and programs that the poet makes poetry out of.

I chose 30 poems for my book today. If ea h of the members sends me one or two poems, including examples of their best most representative poems, I'll have up to 90 poems to help me pick another 30 poems myself.

In the meantime, I will work on sending in list of 30 poems, first lines, or titles I have, with first lines of those poems I will get copyright permission, Then I'll send my table of contens to Jerry Rothenberg to aask his advice about the feasability of the project. Jerry is the premiere Antholigist of our time, with "Technicians of the Sacred: A Range of Poetries from Africa, America, Asia & Oceania" (1968) to "Poems for The Milleniun, a two volume, 1682 page anthology with Pierre Joris (1995).

The outline table of contents is in the work. I hope everyone who can participate in this project will.

Peter

working title

Three books of poems, 950 to 1024

Broadside free poems
Coming up the Year
Poems made of Language


Re: Poetries in the Anglo-American traditions
Posted by: Chesil (---.clvdoh.adelphia.)
Date: July 24, 2004 02:49PM

Peter,

I have read your post several times and am still not entirely clear as to what you are endeavoring to argue.

The best of any poet is surely just a subjective judgment. You may believe that In a Station of the Metro is the best that Pound produced, but I may believe that Alba is his finest:

As cool as the pale wet leaves
of lily-of-the-valley
She lay beside me in the dawn.

(Though actually I believe that Pound was a better translator than he was a poet)

As for the Cantos, I can hardly think of any that would fulfil your criteria. I find them wordy and wholly unappealling as poetry. I could probably find as many weighty critics to support my position as you could for yours. Is either of us right, wrong? No, we are simply exercising our own judgment as to what is the best in our own opinion and both are equally valid. Similarly, could you truly argue that a single poem from any part of Yeat's life was unquestionably the best?

Moving from what constitutes the best to your argument that rime replaced alliteration, I should be very interested to see your references for this proposition.

As to alliteration, metaphor and allegory having died out in contemporary poetry, I find this a surprising claim. I picked up my July/August American Poetry Review this morning and can find examples of all three therein. For example:

Foam on your hide like flowers
where you fell or fall desire

from the first poem in the review, Centaur's Requiem, written by Adrienne Rich. Sounds pretty alliterative to me.

Like quality, accessibility is in the eye of the beholder. Is The Waste Land really more accessible than The Ancient Mariner? Coleridge at least had the courtesy to provide annotations and not resort to Greek.

There are unquestionably schools or fashions of poetry and that these schools will change from time to time is certain. I would argue that we are presently in the school of the MFA poets currently in the US. On the basis that in poetry, as in so much else, people like to associate with 'people like me', it is unsurprising that much contemporary poetry has a similar feel to it. Eliot was right in one sense, that change in poetry tends to be achieved by a small group who are ready to step outside the current fashion. I consider the beat poets to be a great example.

There really isn't an oral tradition in poetry any more, and this, I believe, is likely to have effected the greatest change in the nature of poetry. I don't think there is any doubt that in traditional stressed English it is easier to remember rhymed metered verse than unrhymed unmetered poetry. As an aside to convince ourselves that rhyme still has ability to attract followers in great numbers, we only have to listen to rap music. If you do, notice how they stress words according to their beat. It may not be iambic pentameter but they know what resonates and stresses feature in large part. To return to my point, if poetry does not have to be written to be remembered, then there is greater freedom of format for the poet.

American English places stresses in different places to British English and Estuary English in the UK seems to be becoming an unstressed language that may return to syllable length as its dominant feature. Naturally, this will change the poetry, although as I argue above, rather less now than it would have done five hundred years ago.

I am also minded to believe that poets contribute to the changing of the language and not just that they reflect changing language conventions, although that is also true.

The above aside, good luck with your anthology.

Chesil


Re: Poetries in the Anglo-American traditions
Posted by: IanB (---.tnt11.mel1.da.uu.net)
Date: July 25, 2004 01:47AM

Peter,

To the extent that I can understand you, it appears that you and I have such different ideas about and preferences in poetry that I doubt I can be of much help in your anthology project. I don’t question your sincerity. I wish you well with your project. You are entitled to your poetic taste. Generally I agree with Chesil’s comments.

Language develops, whether we like it or not, and changes in language influence the way poetry is written and the kinds of poetry that readers relate to. On the other hand, I don’t think that the insertion of a geological table of lake depths into a poem can be attributed to language change. That sort of experimentation surely owes more to the adoption of a particular artistic philosophy. I’m not against experimentation. Much modern poetry writing however is not reader-friendly and I don’t expect more than about 2% of it to avoid eventually being discarded as detritus, despite whatever 15 minutes of fame it may enjoy through publication and promotion in poetry magazines. That low strike rate doesn’t dismay me. It has probably been ever thus (there was an awful lot of now forgotten rubbish written in the 19th century, for example). The perish rate is just as high in the visual arts. General public taste, which is always slow to catch up, will be the ultimate arbiter.

Certainly a poem can succeed without using every available poetic device. That doesn’t mean that such devices are all worthless and outdated. They wouldn’t have persisted for hundreds of years (even thousands if you go back to the ancient Greeks and Romans) if they didn’t serve the muses well.

I hope always to be able to tell the difference between a poem and a note on my fridge. Any philosophy that maintains there should be no difference is just denying the existence of poetry as a special form of writing; - IMO a negative, myopic, mistaken and enervating approach.

Those are some of my prejudices.

An anthology cannot help but reflect the criteria and taste and judgment of the compiler. You have some firm ideas about what you are looking for. If you want to implement them, there really is no escape from the hard yards of reading the source material and making your own selections. There’s a vast corpus of poetry available in libraries and on the Internet. I can’t see how it will help you much if the participants in Emule add slightly to that by sending you some of their own work (which is sure to vary in publishability), or suggest selections of their own, when their taste is unlikely to coincide exactly with yours.

You have obviously spent a lot of time replying to my earlier post, and presumably want your reply to be read not just by me. I suggest you do yourself a favour and spend a relatively small amount of extra time using the ‘Edit My Post’ function to tidy up the many typos and apparent errors. I’m normally content to confine my battle with the typo gremlin to my own posts, and so tolerate him in others’, but on this occasion he has become unnecessarily distracting from what you are trying to say. I’m sure it was not the aim of your post to (in Chesil’s words) ‘contribute to the changing of the language’ in that way !

If your post had attachments, I don’t know where to find them when I log on to Emule

Ian



Post Edited (07-25-04 09:48)


Re: Poetries in the Anglo-American traditions
Posted by: peternsz (---.client.comcast.net)
Date: July 25, 2004 04:46AM

Evidently I don't know what "Edit My Post" refers to.
More importan to me and to the people I write to, maybe I'm speding too much time try to give people a respectable reply when they post poem and when they comment on mine or when they answer my questions in detail and with care.

I've been writing myself blind since the 15th with over 200 page of prose and may ten poems of my own, the first in two months, but I think it all worthwhile.
I came to a poetry forum to read poems by other people and to ask them to read mine..But this medium seems so askew some how. I guress, like my friend in the bronx, I might rather get a poem in a letter or get a phone you where the sound of the voice woulnd not induce so much confusion and misunderstanding.

for now,
shalom


Re: Poetries in the Anglo-American traditions
Posted by: IanB (---.tnt11.mel1.da.uu.net)
Date: July 25, 2004 09:55AM

Peter, if you look at the bottom right corner of any post you have made on Emule, you will see the words 'Edit My Post'. By clicking on those words, you can reopen your post to make corrections or other changes. A very useful function. If you then click on the 'Update Post' button, your post will appear in the thread with the changes incorporated, but with a little note at bottom left recording that it has been edited and the time when that was done.

Re-reading my last post, I realize it may have sounded a bit hard and discouraging. That wasn't my intention. Like you, I care about poetry. Just got a bit carried away expressing some opinions. smiling smiley



Post Edited (07-25-04 09:49)


Re: Poetries in the Anglo-American traditions
Posted by: peternsz (---.client.comcast.net)
Date: July 25, 2004 11:41AM

Thanks for the information.
I am such a neophyte.

I do think the exchanges on this thread have been a little tense.
I will try to lessen it in my future postings.

Thank you for your thoughtful attention to my admittedly not-so-well frame attempt to collect so of the poems that the people I share this forum would recommend. I am not sure if I should just drop the linguistic, rhetorical and theory of poetics frame Ann Berthoff, Christopher Fynsk, Bill Spanos, Bob Creeley and Jerry Rothenberg through with me in conversations I have had with them, while they tutored, taught, edited and encouraged me with their up front criticism and with the warmth of their friendship --Jerry even came to visit me in the hospital with an armful of his books, including the remarkable,"Esther K. Comes to America (1931):--over some twenty five years, so I could write my dissertation, "Poetry: Open to Interpretation," on the poetry of Wallace Stevens, the backdrop for the frame I set up for my search for poems I have not read.


Re: Poetries in the Anglo-American traditions
Posted by: peternsz (---.client.comcast.net)
Date: July 25, 2004 11:45AM

I find my lapses in proofing and editing almost as frustrating as you must. Maybe, I need to address my fatigue before each posting.

Peter


Re: Poetries in the Anglo-American traditions
Posted by: JohnnySansCulo (---.dyn.optonline.net)
Date: July 25, 2004 12:05PM

dressing up like an army man isnt going to help smiling smiley


Re: Poetries in the Anglo-American traditions
Posted by: Chesil (---.clvdoh.adelphia.)
Date: July 25, 2004 01:57PM

Don't be offended, Peter, for no offence was intended. It is so rare that a discussion comes up that allows for such stimulation of argument that I rather leap on them. I have learned more from argument in my life than ever I have learned from agreement. That I disagree with much of what I thought you were saying is evident, that I respect your views despite my disagreement less so. I am sorry for that.I look forward to hearing more from you on your poetic beliefs.


Re: Poetries in the Anglo-American traditions
Posted by: Hugh Clary (---.denver-02rh15-16rt.co.dial-access.att.net)
Date: July 25, 2004 07:28PM

I find Dick Allen's words are useful in such quandries:


The Selfishness of the Poetry Reader

Sometimes I think I'm the only man in America
who reads poems
and who walks at night in the suburbs,
calling the moon names.

And I'm certain I'm the single man who owns
a house with bookshelves,
who drives to work without a CD player,
taking the long way, by the ocean breakers.

No one else, in all America,
Quotes William Meredith verbatim,
cites Lowell over ham and eggs, and Levertov;
keeps Antiworlds and Ariel beside his bed.

Sometimes I think no other man alive
is changed by poetry, has fought
as utterly as I have over "Sunday Morning"
and vowed to love those as difficult as Pound.

No one else has seen a luna moth
flutter over Iowa, or watched
a woman's hand lift rainbow trout from water,
and snow fall onto Minnesota farms.

This country wide, I'm the only man
who spends his money recklessly on thin
volumes unreviewed, enjoys
the long appraising look of check-out girls.

How could another in America know why
the laundry from a window laughs,
and how plums taste, and what an auto wreck
feels like-and craft?

I think I'm the only man who speaks
of fur and limestone in one clotted breath;
for whom Anne Sexton plunged in Grimm; who can't
stop quoting haikus at some weekend guest.

The only man, in all America, who feeds
on something darker than his politics,
who writes in margins and who earmarks pages-
in all America, I am the only man.


Re: Poetries in the Anglo-American traditions
Posted by: peternsz (---.client.comcast.net)
Date: July 26, 2004 12:52AM

II sinceely did not know that Dick Allen wrote a poems about me, Who knows how many me's are lurking by the sill dark; flittering from: "love set you going like a fat gold watch." to "The Argument of Innocence"'s


Re: Poetries in the Anglo-American traditions
Posted by: peternsz (---.client.comcast.net)
Date: July 26, 2004 01:01AM

I sincerely did not know that Dick Allen wrote a poem about me. Who knows how many me's are lurking by the sill dark, flittering from: "love set you going like a fat gold watch" to "The Argument of Innocence"'s She knows it's Raining" to "Fathers, forefathers, we have you to thank.\Wheel of the epoch, keep on turning. . . \But who will pay for me,\who will close the account? (trans. Stanley Kunitz.)


Attachments: She Knows It's Raining Patchen.jpg (110.1KB)   Come Now Child Patchen.jpg (177.1KB)   She Knows It's Raining Patchen.jpg (110.1KB)   Come Now Child Patchen.jpg (517.1KB)   Imagine Seeing You Here Patchen 3.JPG (196.1KB)  
Re: Poetries in the Anglo-American traditions
Posted by: IanB (---.tnt11.mel1.da.uu.net)
Date: July 26, 2004 09:58AM

Nice post, Hugh. Hadn't seen that Dick Allen poem before. Worth keeping and reading from time to time as an ego deflator. Thanks!


Re: Poetries in the Anglo-American traditions
Posted by: IanB (---.tnt11.mel1.da.uu.net)
Date: July 26, 2004 10:45AM

Chesil, that's interesting what you say about Estuary English and its possible implications for metre in future English poetry. Not something we hear about in Australia.

There may be a greater proportion of poems written that derive their rhythm just from syllable count, but I find it hard to imagine that poets will abandon altogether writing poems that rely on the beat created by the way words are stressed as they are spoken.

I first heard the expression Estuary English used only a year ago. How long has it been current to refer to an identifiable regional accent?

You are probably right about the decline of an oral tradition in poetry, sad to say. In Australia it persists mainly in rural communities, where it's not uncommon to find enthusiasts here and there who can recite reams of 'bush verse'. I'm one of those who try to keep a more general poetry recitation tradition alive in the city, but (leaving aside professional theatre) I haven't noticed many young people inclined to do that.


Re: Poetries in the Anglo-American traditions
Posted by: Chesil (---.clvdoh.adelphia.)
Date: July 26, 2004 11:59AM

Ian, some blame Australian soaps for at least part of the accent! The rise at the end of a sentence that is not a question. It is not unstressed but it does sound to me like it is losing stresses. For lots of resources take a look at:

<[www.phon.ucl.ac.uk] /> [www.phon.ucl.ac.uk] />
The term was coined in 1984.

It does seem strange that some bemoan the arrival of Estuary English as I feel sure that some of the grumblers are those that complained that RP (Received Pronunciation) was wiping out regional accents. Regional accents are fine, but the development of a new accent, especially among the young is not.

In case you didn't know, I am English but live now in the US. Here there are plenty of poetry readings going on, but my experience of them is that rarely will a reader recite from memory and even more rarely recite a poem they did not pen.

I have even heard some suggest that stresses are being lost in American English. Certainly, stresses are often placed differently in many words - hardly surprising that American students often have difficulty with the meter of poems of long dead English poets. As I have thought about this, and at the same time assailed with hip hop, I am inclined to believe that stresses will survive. I wonder if this is one of the reasons that little foreign language music makes it into English speaking pop charts. The songs that do well seem to rely on beat stresses.

Conversely, perhaps this is also the reason why it is often difficult to discern whether opera singers are singing in English!

Chesil


Re: Poetries in the Anglo-American traditions
Posted by: peternsz (---.client.comcast.net)
Date: July 26, 2004 07:11PM

Is there a book this is out of?
--Or is it magazine spawned?

Peer


Re: Poetries in the Anglo-American traditions
Posted by: rikki (---.carlnfd1.nsw.optusnet.com.au)
Date: July 26, 2004 09:52PM

Ian, I think the oral tradition in poetry is actually alive and growing here in Sydney. There are regular poetry readings here in several city pubs, and fairly frequent special events run by groups like Poets' Union, Red Room, Fellowship of Australian Writers and NSW Writers' Centre - for example, in the last couple of weeks there have been public poetry readings in the National Maritime Museum, Walsh Bay and the NSW State Library. I even scored a publishing contract a couple of years ago as a result of one of these events.
The first national Australian Poetry Week will be held in September with a Poetry Festival in Balmain Town Hall on Sep 3,4,and 5.
If you're interested, details will be posted on [www.poetsunion.com] />

rikki


Re: Poetries in the Anglo-American traditions
Posted by: marian2 (---.range81-152.btcentralplus.com)
Date: July 27, 2004 06:36AM

I think poetry in the UK has diverged into performance poetry - often lighthearted and read by the poet - like Pam Ayres, the Barrow Poets etc , and poetry written for others to read, in more traditional rhythms of spoken English. I know that if I buy a book of poetry by a performance poet, I'm often disappointed that I can't read it properly, simply because I haven't heard the poet or can't reconstruct his/her way of speaking in my head to apply it to the poem. I have the same problems with dialect poems by Robert Burns - to me they don't scan and so I find them frustrating. The oral tradition is still there, the poetry festivals in Bradford and other places round here are all based on it, but there isn't a good market for it as published work because it is often unreadable unless you come from the right place. So, it has a small, local market. Perhaps CDs are the answer.


Re: Poetries in the Anglo-American traditions
Posted by: Chesil (---.clvdoh.adelphia.)
Date: July 27, 2004 07:14PM

I guess it depends on how we define oral tradition. I really think of oral tradition as the passing on of poems in the way that Beowulf was passed. Repetition to others who then remembered it. I recall learning some poems myself that way as a child.

In terms of public recitals, I think we are as well endowed as we have ever been. These recitals, in my experience, rarely depart from the poet reading his or her own work. Nothing wrong with that, I have seen some quite startling performances this year that I have enjoyed very much.


Re: Poetries in the Anglo-American traditions
Posted by: peternsz (---.client.comcast.net)
Date: July 30, 2004 02:20PM

Is reading in bed to your loved one oral poetry?


Re: Poetries in the Anglo-American traditions
Posted by: Johnny SansCulo (---.nycmny83.covad.net)
Date: July 30, 2004 04:36PM

no but its good karmalingus !


Re: Poetries in the Anglo-American traditions
Posted by: Marian-NYC (---.nyc1.dsl.speakeasy.net)
Date: July 30, 2004 06:22PM


I must come back and read this entire thread... someday.

Meanwhile, here are my first ideas in response to the original request, with apologies if I'm repeating suggestions already made by others:


One poem composed with metaphor and end rime:

"Winken and Blinken and Nod."
"Stopping by Woods..."--Frost (CAN be interpreted as an allegory of death)

Okay, that's two poems. I was an English major, not a math major.

====================

One poem composed with allegory and alliteration:

"Beowulf"
I'm not kidding, and I'm not trying to punish you. Beowulf is writting in "verses" of three short lines apiece, each alliterated. Instead of using what we call "rhyme" to make each verse hang together, the Beowulf Poet chose a PHONEME for each verse. Here is a website that gives the Old Engish lines and a contemporary translation side-by-side, and the translation observes the alliteration rule:
[eir.library.utoronto.ca] />
====================

One contemporary poem whch advances composition which abandons metaphor ... allegory and allireation ... that is open and forward looking instead of "tradition[al]":

My first thought was "Marriage" by Gregory Corso. I don't know exactly what you mean by "advances composition," so you'll have to have a look at it and decide whether Corso's experiment does so.

Corso's "Marriage" is posted on several websites, but I'm suspicious of the typing and formatting... so I recommend that you read it on the page of a published book.


Re: Poetries in the Anglo-American traditions
Posted by: peternsz (---.client.comcast.net)
Date: July 30, 2004 06:33PM

Much thanks for precise, on the topic comments. I'll find Marriage. When I was making piles of poems for this prose I misplace my beowulves, Gawains, and my Pearl, as well as my riddle poems and bestiaries. They must have crawled under the be and hid in feral resistance. Thanks again,

Peter


Re: Poetries in the Anglo-American traditions
Posted by: peternsz (---.client.comcast.net)
Date: July 30, 2004 10:33PM

It's ok, I guess. Arry Stotle honed the teeth of the dragon, dialectic, by the Aegean years ago. Myself, I'd go the Philosphy Department wrestling match, and get them to fall down by asking the one question during the argument that would show them in their best light by getting them to think more into what they'd just debated. By the bye, I have a youngest daughter so thoroughly raised in my sophistry and fine tuned by her debating techniques, that for years I'd have to be careful what topics I'd raise with her, for fear she prove, which she inevitably did, that blanc was black, and white was snow. I haven't won an argument with her since 1984.

But go at it whenever you want. Just do yourself pround.

Peter



******************************************************
"misssing the jack and the ace"


Re: Poetries in the Anglo-American traditions
Posted by: JohnnySansCulo (---.dyn.optonline.net)
Date: July 30, 2004 10:54PM

Marian,I, with my last dying breath
will say Stopping by woods on.... is NOT about Death


Re: Poetries in the Anglo-American traditions
Posted by: Chesil (---.clvdoh.adelphia.)
Date: July 31, 2004 08:42AM

And isn't that just the beauty of some poems. Different readers legitimately find different messages within them.


Re: Poetries in the Anglo-American traditions
Posted by: peternsz (---.client.comcast.net)
Date: July 31, 2004 10:08AM

Amen to that.


Re: Poetries in the Anglo-American traditions
Posted by: peternsz (---.client.comcast.net)
Date: August 03, 2004 05:03PM

Author: peternsz

IanB:

Your questions and comments have been helping me define my project a lot. The underlying purpose of my question about the Anglo-Saxon tradition was to get to know a little bit about the other people in this poetry forum: what your tastes are -- how you approach poetry. Most important to me, how is each person different in his or her ways of reading poetry. I chose the Anglo-Saxon tradition, because I don't read poetry well in other languages than English, and because I hoped to focus the question a little. The distinctions I made, five recent American groupings of poetry, Anglo-Saxon, ME, the relative dominance of different tropes and sound patterns, etc., again were meant as guidelines to help us all focus, as arbitrary as they might be in themselves.

You suggestion that we start from poems rather than from generalizations was precise and fruitful. Still, given copyright restraints, it probably won't be practice able to send whole texts over intie, but we can point to poems with titles, first lines, short stanzas, etc.

So, to begin with, I wonder what we can make of the different modernizations of Beowulf -- what gets preserved, what passed on, what passed over. I don't have a copy of the original right now, but I can attach a verse modernization and a prose modernization of the first 36 lines of the poem.

I wonder if you could tell which you prefer, which reads better, which is 'better' modern English to you personally. I guess I'm asking readers to take some kind of comparative approach to gauging the place of various poems for us. For myself, it would be a useful exercise to collect the texts of suggested poems. I am particularly interested in poems I don't know, that other people find worth their reading, and that I might enjoy. Let me know if the attachment doesn't make its way to you.

Thanks in advance.

Peter

***********************************
Was that a real poem, or did you just make it up? --Bob Creeley


Re: Poetries in the Anglo-American traditions
Posted by: peternsz (---.client.comcast.net)
Date: August 03, 2004 05:17PM

Author: peternsz

IanB:

Your questions and comments have been helping me define my project a lot. The underlying purpose of my question about the Anglo-Saxon tradition was to get to know a little bit about the other people in this poetry forum: what your tastes are -- how you approach poetry. Most important to me, how is each person different in his or her ways of reading poetry. I chose the Anglo-Saxon tradition, because I don't read poetry well in other languages than English, and because I hoped to focus the question a little. The distinctions I made, five recent American groupings of poetry, Anglo-Saxon, ME, the relative dominance of different tropes and sound patterns, etc., again were meant as guidelines to help us all focus, as arbitrary as they might be in themselves.

You suggestion that we start from poems rather than from generalizations was precise and fruitful. Still, given copyright restraints, it probably won't be practice able to send whole texts over intie, but we can point to poems with titles, first lines, short stanzas, etc.

So, to begin with, I wonder what we can make of the different modernizations of Beowulf -- what gets preserved, what passed on, what passed over. I don't have a copy of the original right now, but I can attach a verse modernization and a prose modernization of the first 36 lines of the poem.

I wonder if you could tell which you prefer, which reads better, which is 'better' modern English to you personally. I guess I'm asking readers to take some kind of comparative approach to gauging the place of various poems for us. For myself, it would be a useful exercise to collect the texts of suggested poems. I am particularly interested in poems I don't know, that other people find worth their reading, and that I might enjoy. Let me know if the attachment doesn't make its way to you.

Thanks in advance.

Peter

***********************************
Was that a real poem, or did you just make it up? --Bob Creeley


Re: Poetries in the Anglo-American traditions
Posted by: peternsz (---.client.comcast.net)
Date: August 03, 2004 05:32PM

This is an attempt to get the texts to you which should have gone to you with the last posting.

Peter


Re: Poetries in the Anglo-American traditions
Posted by: Pam Adams (---.bus.csupomona.edu)
Date: August 03, 2004 06:04PM

Perhaps you could paste the text in the body of your message.

pam


Re: Poetries in the Anglo-American traditions
Posted by: peternsz (---.client.comcast.net)
Date: August 03, 2004 07:17PM


Re: Poetries in the Anglo-American traditions
Posted by: IanB (---.tnt11.mel1.da.uu.net)
Date: September 07, 2004 10:58AM

Peter,

A belated response to your request.

By ‘which works better’ for me, I suppose you mean which version most grabs me and makes me want to read more. I have to answer neither. Judged simply as English language prose and poetry respectively, they are both off-putting. I read the poetry version a little longer than the prose version before losing patience. In each it is only too obvious that the second and third sentences owe their clumsiness and bizarre phrasing to being translations. Unless a translation is wanted just to give the literal meaning and structure of the original, I want it to work as literature in its own right, while being reasonably accurate. That is, of course, very difficult to achieve with a work so alien in language and culture as Beowulf. But not impossible. Compare the same passage in Seamus Heaney’s translation published by Faber & Faber about five years ago:

So. The Spear-Danes in days gone by
and the kings who ruled them had courage and greatness.
We have heard of those princes’ heroic campaigns.

There was Shield Sheafson, scourge of many tribes,
a wrecker of mead-benches, rampaging among foes.
This terror of the hall-troops had come far.
A foundling to start with, he would flourish later on
as his powers waxed and his worth was proved.
In the end each clan on the outlying coasts
beyond the whale-road had to yield to him
and begin to pay tribute. That was one good king.

The setting described is still strange, and the writing still reads like a translation (what modern poet would write such stuff otherwise?!) but it flows smoothly as free verse. It also passes the accuracy text, judging by the versions you have quoted (can’t judge directly, as I haven’t studied Beowulf in the original); and I think Heaney has managed, better than Gerould, to reproduce the characteristics of Old English verse described by Gerould.

So, Heaney’s version works for me. The other two don’t.

Ian



Post Edited (09-07-04 18:47)


Re: Poetries in the Anglo-American traditions
Posted by: peternsz (---.client.comcast.net)
Date: September 08, 2004 05:39AM

Ian,

I am very happy with your response, not because I agree with it (I do), but because you lay out a clear standard by which you have made a decision in this case, and it is a poet's standard, not merely a philologist's (although you do tip your hat to the rights of accuracy in translation). You say, 'Unless a translation is wanted just to give the literal meaning and structure of the original, I want it to work as literature in its own right, while being reasonably accurate.'

I think that if a translation works as literature, it will help clear the path for us to make what will be literature later, and at least to that extent, since literature and common language feed into each other in many and mysterious ways, the translation has a chance of affecting our daily speech. Anyone who says that the language of poetry and the language of the common man and woman bear no relation to each other is doing a dis-service to both. When the language of poetry gets too high-falutin it is lost to people. When ordinary language loses its flare, I think, it loses its effectiveness to pursuade and to educate and to entertain.

I think the idea is when you cannot tell any difference between poetic language and common speech. I hope someone will intelligently disagree with what I say here, because it is controversial.

Peter




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