Poetry! Or not?

Talk about things that are not necessarily related to music or the guitar.
dan5001
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Re: Poetry! Or not?

Post by dan5001 » Sat Jun 15, 2019 4:54 pm

Rognvald wrote:
Sat Jun 15, 2019 1:19 pm
Corman: Pseudo Zen hipster who appealed to the unwashed masses. Go to Lucien Stryk, Gary Snyder and W.S. Merwin for the real deal. Playing again . . . Rognvald P.S. The "poem" cited earlier should be written in a bathroom stall. . . or better yet, a Porti-Potty.
Just read "cherries" by stryk. Dated, crass and pretentious - "hmm, I fink I'll mention that Chekhov feller to make me sound literary. He wrote about cherries too didn't 'e? "

At least the Op' s ditty gave rise to some discussion about what it meant. If I needed help to ascertain what "cherries" meant, I'd just ask the nearest 4 year old.

Glad to see you at least think it should be written in a toilet stall. Surely the highest accolade for a poem... Recognition by the "unwashed masses".

Ps, you might want to "re-read" thus spake Zarathustra to find where your quote is from. Or I could give you a clue. It ain't there. But I can see why you like the pretentious stryk.

Ok, getting back to my 🎸 now.

gitgeezer
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Re: Poetry! Or not?

Post by gitgeezer » Sat Jun 15, 2019 9:22 pm

All this talk about Zen has inspired me to put more Zen into my rewrite.

Original poem:

You are here - just as 
I had imagined - 
Imagining me.

My first rewrite:

I imagined you would be here, 
and you imagined I would come,
so here we are.

My Zen version:

Meditating, I imagined you would be here;
in silent contemplation you imagined I would come;
so, here we are—or are we?

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Amy Gaudia
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Re: Poetry! Or not?

Post by Amy Gaudia » Sun Jun 16, 2019 4:55 am

A few of my favorite Zen authors...
Zen Mind, Beginners Mind, by Shunryo Suzuki
The book on the taboo against knowing who you are, by Alan Watts
Zen Flesh, Zen Bones by Nyogen Senzaki
D.T. Suzuki
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Rognvald
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Re: Poetry! Or not?

Post by Rognvald » Sun Jun 16, 2019 4:16 pm

Amy Gaudia wrote:
Sun Jun 16, 2019 4:55 am
A few of my favorite Zen authors...
Zen Mind, Beginners Mind, by Shunryo Suzuki
The book on the taboo against knowing who you are, by Alan Watts
Zen Flesh, Zen Bones by Nyogen Senzaki
D.T. Suzuki

Hi, Amy,"
For readers of serious poetry, Lucien Stryk's translations of the poetry of Shinkichi Takahashi are some of the finest cross-cultural/linguistic to date. "Afterimages," "Zen Poems of China and Japan: the Crane's Bill," and "Triumph of the Sparrow: Zen Poems of Shinkichi Takahashi" open the world to the profound metaphysics of Zen Poetry. I was privileged to have studied with Lucien Stryk and to have been a friend until his death. He was an unassuming man with prodigious energy as a poet and translator. His presence among serious writers is missed. Playing again . . . Rognvald
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lucien_Stryk
"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music." Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spake Zarathustra

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Amy Gaudia
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Re: Poetry! Or not?

Post by Amy Gaudia » Sun Jun 16, 2019 6:30 pm

Nice! I’ll add that to my summer reading list. Thanks
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Marshall Dixon
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Re: Poetry! Or not?

Post by Marshall Dixon » Mon Jun 17, 2019 3:43 pm

Thorn Hill wrote:
Fri Jun 14, 2019 7:51 pm
Yikes, the conversation continues....and now...to Marshall I say, it is the old matter of form vs. content, perhaps. The poem you cite from Villon is surely reflexive in one sense, but one sense only, in my view...

The poet reflects on the nature of poetry...

The nature of the human beast...
I don't know if I qualify as a hipster, but no doubt a prominant unwashed mass. :D

One of many shortcomings is that I wouldn't pay a university professor to "understand" poetry. Not that I look down my nose at those that do. My budget is strained, especially with the purchase of suds for washing the esophagus.

My university is the public library. I stroll the isles pulling random titles of interest, then open the book and read the stuff. If I like it I'll take it home. If I don't like it that's analysis enough. No more pencils, no more books, no more teacher's dirty looks. Just the freedom to like it or not.

I first heard of Villon from "A Lodging for the Night - a story of Francois Villon" by Robert Louis Stevenson. What an adventure! I didn't even think of Villon as an actual person, until years later, when I came across a 1924 edition of "The Complete Poems of Francois Villon" for $6 in a used bookstore. The book consists of two seperate translations of Villon's works; one by John Heron Lepper and another done 40 years later by John Payne; two scholars of medieval French literature. He is considered by them "as one of the glories of French literature" and "the father of French poetry" and a window into the world of France at the end of the Hundred Years War.

The nature of the human beast is what its all about. And I think that the appeal of "art" from earliest times has in it's essence those atavistic feelings which we share with our earliest ancestors. Think how you feel when looking at a cave painting 40,000 years old, and when you see a mare with a foal in the meadow; a snake in the grass. Why the zoo?

Villon was a thief, a murderer, a pimp and a poet. And fortunately, a scholar too! And so its easy to see the atavistic appeal of his writings on the human beast. His subject matter is with us yet. We can't look away.

One of the things to remember about poetry is that it is a spoken art. The meter, the lilt of the voice, the pregnant pause, the way the words roll off the tongue are as important as their meaning (which seems at times secondary to the overall feeling). I listen to opera sung in Italian and love it. But don't understand a word they're saying.

Poetry as spectator sport? Well, I have attended a "Poetry Slam" on several occasions. Where the modern bards recite their works for an audience and a panel of judges. (Hey, they served cookies and beer, two of life's essentials!) Get to one of these if you want to witness your original quote in action.

The subject matter of poetry is often depressing. Why is it that it lifts the spirit? Misery loves company, but a good host tries to make their guests comfortable.

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Mollbarre
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Re: Poetry! Or not?

Post by Mollbarre » Mon Jun 17, 2019 6:51 pm

The problem, with most of us, regarding self-teaching, is that we "learn" what we like. We skip over/ignore/dismiss what we don't like.

Taking a class makes us confront what we might not like.

Students often (always?) complain about sh*tty teachers and classes they didn't learn anything in, but they don't realize that even if you didn't like the class - you still learned something.

I still remember my Economics class. Hated it. But I still know about supply and demand.
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dofrenzy
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Re: Poetry! Or not?

Post by dofrenzy » Tue Jun 25, 2019 7:43 pm

One of my favorite poems reminds me of my ex:

The more I think about you, the less I think of you.

chiral3
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Re: Poetry! Or not?

Post by chiral3 » Tue Jun 25, 2019 7:55 pm

Corman lived and died in Japan. It is almost haiku, but arranged 5-5-5 even though it reads 3-7-5. It’s a meditation on immortality, or death depending on the perspective. He is gone, and here we are, just as he had imagined. Mono no aware, impermanence, the ephemera of things, or life....
“Every man should be capable of all ideas, and I believe that in the future he will be.” ― Jorge Luis Borges

chiral3
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Re: Poetry! Or not?

Post by chiral3 » Tue Jun 25, 2019 9:46 pm

chiral3 wrote:
Tue Jun 25, 2019 7:55 pm
Corman lived and died in Japan. It is almost haiku, but arranged 5-5-5 even though it reads 3-7-5. It’s a meditation on immortality, or death depending on the perspective. He is gone, and here we are, just as he had imagined. Mono no aware, impermanence, the ephemera of things, or life....
I am replying to myself... I was on an Amtrak when I wrote this first reply and couldn't finish my thoughts. I agree that this poem is a little trite. I am not as negative on it as others. Zen poetry is often like abstract art - it is more about what it stirs in you than what is literally on the canvas, much like the cliched koan. Well regarded abstract art is incredibly deliberate even in its simplicity and so is a good poem.

I recently re-read WH Auden's Age of Anxiety. Nothing remotely simple or brief about that, but it's also not impenetrable writing, like Finnegans Wake, or a good yarn, like Updike or Hemingway. What they all have in common is Frazen's 1st rule for novelists: The reader is a friend, not an adversary, not a spectator, although some may disagree with that regarding Joyce. Music is the same way. Sakura's Cherry Blossoms versus Tarrega's Lagrima versus Bach's Fugues... (I am not looking for virtuosity in the former, but I am certainly thinking about cherry blossoms, and mono no aware).

I am re-reading the Overstory by Richard Powers. The Chinese poet Wang Wie is featured early in the book. He always mentions the lute in his poems. Always simple, beautiful, and a bit less sparse than the Zen poems if anyone is interested.
“Every man should be capable of all ideas, and I believe that in the future he will be.” ― Jorge Luis Borges

Rognvald
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Re: Poetry! Or not?

Post by Rognvald » Wed Jun 26, 2019 11:58 am

"I recently re-read WH Auden's Age of Anxiety. " chiral3

Hi, C,
I remember an interview on national TV years ago by a "talking head" shortly before Auden left the US to return to England after a teaching stint in the USA. The interviewer asked him, "What will you miss most about the US?" expecting a Greyhound Bus tour list of highlights. Auden replied, "Friends . . . just friends." Playing again . . . Rognvald
"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music." Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spake Zarathustra

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Re: Poetry! Or not?

Post by marvluse » Thu Jul 04, 2019 5:14 am

I dunno, poetry, like painting or music is somewhere in the eye or ear or mind of the beholder. The OP's quote, by Corman, is decent by my standards. It is a thoughtful thought, and that is good enough in my book. Very short poems, as haiku for instance, are problematic in that their palette is so constrained that it is difficult to perceive the possibilities: kinda like comparing a simple pencil sketch to a Rembrandt or Gainsborough, for example.

Give me a sonnet any day. Three lines is too terse. Poems such as Paradise Lost are too long. There is a golden mean in all things.

I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz,
or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.
I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
in secret, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that never blooms
but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers;
thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance,
risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;
so I love you because I know no other way

than this: where I does not exist, nor you,
so close that your hand on my chest is my hand,
so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.

-- Pablo Neruda

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