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Is a poem what you can't say in other words?
Posted by: drpeternsz (---.client.comcast.net)
Date: December 31, 2004 11:26AM

Is a poem what you can't say in other words?

Peter


Re: Is a poem what you can't say in other words?
Posted by: joseph r. torelli (---.dyn.optonline.net)
Date: December 31, 2004 11:37AM

Peter:

I don't think so at all. Many poems have Biblical origins (Milton, for example);yet, many treasure the King James version of the Bible for its stunningly beautiful prose.

JoeT


Re: Is a poem what you can't say in other words?
Posted by: LRye (---.brmngh01.mi.comcast.net)
Date: December 31, 2004 01:06PM

Peter---I think as you've pointed out to me here
a few times, a poem is many things to many people,
so how can there be an exact definition?

I guess there is one in dictionaries
but that's the best certain men can do at expressing a lot of things
that can't be pinned down. I guess that's why we have words like
"things."

Happy New Year!!

Lisa


Re: Is a poem what you can't say in other words?
Posted by: drpeternsz (---.client.comcast.net)
Date: December 31, 2004 10:34PM

I like your response, Joe, a whole lot, because it raises the question of translation, since the poetry in the Bible (as well as the rest of the text) is the most translated work of all time. Someone said that poetry was the thing that is lost in translation. Every good translator admits that to him/her-self. But someone else said that that poetry in unvidersal in the sense that if a poem is good it can be brought into a new language by a good translator. Sounds like a contradiction, but I doubt think so.

I asked my question originally because I do not know the answer to it. I am not even sure it has an answer at all, but I think lots of people would have an understanding of the problem of paraphrasing a poem and so can have an informed opinion about the question of saying what it a poem means "in other words."

Thanks for responding,

Peter


Re: Is a poem what you can't say in other words?
Posted by: drpeternsz (---.client.comcast.net)
Date: December 31, 2004 10:37PM

Doesn't poetry pin down the richness and ambiguity of expreience?


Re: Is a poem what you can't say in other words?
Posted by: JohnnySansCulo (---.dyn.optonline.net)
Date: January 01, 2005 12:27AM

"A prose writer gets tired of writing prose, and wants to be a poet. So he begins every line with a capital letter, and keeps on writing prose."

Samuel McChord Crothers


Re: Is a poem what you can't say in other words?
Posted by: JohnnySansCulo (---.dyn.optonline.net)
Date: January 01, 2005 12:29AM


Samuel Taylor Coleridge:

Poetry: the best words in the best order.


Re: Is a poem what you can't say in other words?
Posted by: JohnnySansCulo (---.dyn.optonline.net)
Date: January 01, 2005 12:31AM

Poetry is the journal of the sea animal living on land, wanting to fly in the air. Poetry is a search for syllables to shoot at the barriers of the unknown and the unknowable. Poetry is a phantom script telling how rainbows are made and why they go away. ~Carl Sandburg, Poetry Considered


Re: Is a poem what you can't say in other words?
Posted by: JohnnySansCulo (---.dyn.optonline.net)
Date: January 01, 2005 12:34AM

Poetry is life distilled. ~Gwendolyn Brooks


Re: Is a poem what you can't say in other words?
Posted by: JohnnySansCulo (---.dyn.optonline.net)
Date: January 01, 2005 12:38AM


Re: Is a poem what you can't say in other words?
Posted by: Marty (---.247.72.102.up.mi.chartermi.net)
Date: January 02, 2005 12:16AM

A poet's poem is all his own
Her words upon the sheet,
A garment for the lives they've sewn
If e'er the two shall meet.

With color in the needle's eye
Parade the rainbow clothes,
But when the black and white stroll by,
The poet only...knows.

A poet's poem is his alone
As naked born, she'll die.
His black on white will ne'er be known
Nor pass the needle's eye.


Re: Is a poem what you can't say in other words?
Posted by: drpeternsz (---.client.comcast.net)
Date: January 02, 2005 01:19AM

I like it, Marty.

Peter


Re: Is a poem what you can't say in other words?
Posted by: Marty (---.247.72.102.up.mi.chartermi.net)
Date: January 02, 2005 01:25AM

Thank you, Peter.


Re: Is a poem what you can't say in other words?
Posted by: lg (---.ca.charter.com)
Date: January 02, 2005 01:30AM

Is a poem what you can't say in other words?

No, I don't think so. Paraphrasing a poem, is not necessarily poetry, though it can be. And, conversely, a verse which paraphrases a prose statement is not necessarily poetry either.

Marty, brings an interesting angle to the question. Poetry comes from the poet's mind, heart, and soul. So, each one of us brings life to a poem by pouring our existence into it. There is a bit of our essence in every poem. Perhaps that is the part that can't be translated.


Les



Post Edited (01-02-05 00:32)


Re: Is a poem what you can't say in other words?
Posted by: drpeternsz (67.174.253.---)
Date: January 02, 2005 02:21AM

I. A. Richards said that paraphrase was a heresy.


Re: Is a poem what you can't say in other words?
Posted by: lg (---.ca.charter.com)
Date: January 02, 2005 02:27AM

I. A. Richards said that paraphrase was a heresy.

I don't think it's heresy, but it's not as creative as taking an original topic and writing a poem about it.

Les


Re: Is a poem what you can't say in other words?
Posted by: Marty (---.247.72.102.up.mi.chartermi.net)
Date: January 02, 2005 01:04PM

Les,
In nursing we say, no question is a dumb question. I'm not convinced this is the case with literature, but here goes:

Paraphrasing. Is this when someone takes a poem that is written by someone else ; and rewrites it in different words? If so, then unversed people, such as myself, would not know and assume it is an original piece of work. I can see then, why it might be called heresy as, without citing the original, it is like "copying" or "stealing".

I have seen some poems here, that in discussion that follows, an author might cite one particular line that was taken from another's poem. I have assumed that the other poem lead the author down an entirely different track, but for the one particular line. Is this paraphrasing?

In any event, I thought Peter's question was addressing some people's inability to come right out and say what is in their mind, heart, and soul...because of an inhibition of some sort...fear, shyness, intimidation, pride, lack of confidence....etc. I suppose for some people, poetry is a way to express things they "can't" say. But certainly for others, it is a way to tell a story (be it fiction or nonfiction), tell a joke, give a riddle, write a song in accapella, sketch or paint a picture, or otherwise create.

For some it is purely an art form, some a skill, and others a gift. I find that it doesn't have to contain all these elements to be poetry. It comes down to the attributes of the writer and preference, or"ear", of the reader.

I've rambled.

Marty


Re: Is a poem what you can't say in other words?
Posted by: lg (---.ca.charter.com)
Date: January 02, 2005 01:42PM

Marty, paraphrasing, in the strictest since of the word is just putting something you've read into your own words. Whether or not this is a poem, depends on your intent and your own creative ability.

Les


Re: Is a poem what you can't say in other words?
Posted by: Hugh Clary (---.denver-05rh15-16rt.co.dial-access.att.net)
Date: January 05, 2005 08:15PM

If anything can be said in prose, then poetry should be saved for saying nothing.
-- Pierre Albert-Birot




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