Scraps for thought

Hmmm, just a thought.

Who or what do you think of when someone mentions poetry? Do you see it as a rebellious, blunt and daring younger brother of the grown up, calm and collected bigger brother prose? Or is prose a towering wordy monster and poetry is a smart little pet that can be tamed and lives in your pocket? Is it a bitesized beautiful nugget of gold that you can take everywhere with you?

I’m very curious as to whether people still think of the old classic tomes like Shakespeare, Oscar Wilde and even Roman poets like Catullus when hearing the word, or think about poems as text being downloaded onto iPods and mobile phones for a rehash of the timeless medium. Do you still think the best poems rhyme?

Please leave comments here. I’d be glad to read them.


4 Responses to “Scraps for thought”

  1. I think of an eccentric chap standing in a jazz bar, berret, goatee.

    Candles and all that.

    Short poems read onto iPods is a fab idea!!!

    I live, I eat
    Travel with my feet
    Bambo and shard
    A bear, is hard

  2. I don’t like how people these days think that anything goes. Not everything is “literature” and not everything is “art” – there’s a standard, or people wouldn’t ever say “I can’t draw.” or “I can’t write.” I don’t like it that people string together cliches and cheese and call it poetry, and I don’t like it that people think a poem must be as vague as possible to keep things enigmatic! – they love one-worded- “lines” – and while I don’t deny that it CAN be poetry, too often people are quick to defend its status as a “poem” just because that’s what they’ve chosen to call it and it is a “poem” in their eyes simply because instead of writing full sentences, they’ve broken it down into snippets that put together are barely comprehensible. I know some people find it exciting and interesting that the perception on poetry and literature have shifted over the years and it is exciting and interesting, but I personally truly lament the falling of standards. People no longer want anything deep or beautiful – they just wish to stop thinking and be entertained – and I truly lament the fact that some actually call Dan Brown’s stuff “literature”. In the same way, I lament how anything these days can be “poetry”. There is an undefinable quality in good writing that just captures the essence of what it’s trying to say, in a fresh yet beautiful way, and clever play on words, double meanings and deeper connotations – that – now that, is worth reading, and that is what I’d call poetry.

  3. When I think of poetry I think of printed words carefully placed on a page, in a paperback with a distinctive and comforting scent. I think of the poet’s name placed subtly at the bottom right of the page. Of reading Wordsworth and Keats as a teenager, aloud in my bedroom… not really grasping meanings in their entirety, but delighting in the rhythm and the cadence of the spoken words.

    I think of love and heart ache and angsty nineteenth century bachelors. I think of contemporary poets, in tweed jackets, wandering alone in some European metropolitan and gazing at sea birds.

    I think of a succinctness. An eloquent expression of human thought and feeling. A language of the soul…

    Prose I see as being considerably more realistic, sensible, accepted… less self indulgent, romantic and vain. Prose can earn a living, whereas poetry, its wayward head-in-the-clouds sibling merely earns the suspicions of others.

  4. Poetry, to me, is a short story. Its like overhearing a part of a conversation about one aspect of somebody’s life. You don’t know the full story or even the whole of that part, but you still connect, understand the point and sympathise with the subject and the moment.

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