Sunday, September 25, 2005

Some of my best friends are... poets

No Frigate Like a Book
Uploaded on August 25, 2005 by olivander

Those of you who know me for a while, know that I don't "do" poetry. I'm not sure why, but I think that poetry requires the kind of thinking that I'm incapable of. It requires deep thought and understanding of words, their meaning and their interaction and I'm simply not wired that way. My bane in English classes.

I accepted the fact long ago that while I may be able to do math, I won't be able to understand poetry. Fine. And yet, I find poets to be fascinating people. Their views on life and the living is usually very interesting to say the least. So as long as my poets' friends philosophizing isn't too deep, I'm there and listening.

What brought this whole discussion, or more like who?
Ken from Dark Sparks.
Because when I go visit blogs I shy away when I see poetry except if there are also other things that intrigue me in the blog. Except when the blogger is interesting.
So when I visited Ken's blog and explained to him that I don't "do" poetry, he asked me if I have any poet friends.
Mais oui, bien sûr (Hey, what do you want? I am Canadian, we speak French too :)
I realized that in fact I have many among my blogger friends.

So without further ado, but also without commenting on their poetry--I'm not one qualified to do so--here are my favourite bards:
First there is Patry with her Waitress Poems, then there is Lance who also posts his poetry on a regular basis. Now I'm getting to know Erin from Poetic Acceptance and Dana the Southern Gal. Others I visit who are poetically inclined are the muse and Liz. And it just come to my attention that Jennifer too writes poetry occasionally. If I forgot any other poets, I apologize, you're welcome to remind me.

1) I looked at my stats today and it seems people were clicking away at my poets' friends links. That makes me happy.
2) If it wasn't clear, Stranger Ken is also a poet.
3) Ericalso rhymes from time to time
4) I don't know the following blog, but was asked to add Nedful Things it to the list of poets.

Now, without opening a can of worms here, I would like to know how others feel about poetry.

Lyrics I like and even understand at times, although I'm not sure about this one:
From Tool, Album: ænima, Song: Forty-Six & 2

See my shadow changing,
Stretching up and over me.
Soften this old armor.
Hoping I can clear the way
By stepping through my shadow,
Coming out the other side.
Step into the shadow.
Forty six and two are just ahead of me.

Categories: ,


ME Strauss said...

This might surprise you, but when I open a new blog and see poetry, I shy away too. Most of what's on the web is too shallow and too much work to wade through.

I'd love to know more about the like math not poetry thing, because I think of them together. Math is poetry to me.

Poetry is writing in code so are equations. But then I like the elegant simple poetry, I'm not much for the literary poetry

Great post, I particularly love the title.

Stranger Ken said...

Hi Melly,

First of all let me say thanks for picking up on my question so quickly and so interestingly. I've already paid a quick visit to each of the sites you mention and shall be going back later for a more detailed read (At the moment, my wife says that I have to stop to eat!).

As for how I feel about poetry, I guess that my blog will make that pretty clear to anyone who drops in, but, in a few words (and not in rhyming couplets): poetry matters to me because poems are things of beauty and because they tell deep human truths about the complexities of life and the ultimate questions with which we all have to deal. Poetry is also a way of playing, with language, its musicality and many textures.

Notions of patterning, harmony of ideas and elegance of expression are common to mathematics, too, don't you think? Counting, in achieving a metre or a rhythm are, as in music, not unrelated to maths also.

I hope you'll be back to read some more, although I doubt I'll ever be able to do as much with maths. No talent in that department at all!

musophrenia said...

these are great links!!

Lee Carlon said...

I've never been able to understand poetry, and don't really have any desire too.

And if a poem is the first thing I see on a site I haven't visited before, I might do a quick to see if there is anything else, but if every post is poetry I don't hang around.

Stranger Ken makes it sound interesting in his reply, but even after reading that I don't think I'll ever really 'get' poetry.

ME Strauss said...

Dear Melly,

I was inspired by your piece to write a post that has a linkback to your site and this post.

It's called Melly Doesn’t Do Poetry


Stranger Ken said...

Shame on you, Lee Carlon. Why not give it a try? You never know, it might change your life!

Erin said...

Well, considering I'm one of the above linked blogs (thanks much for that by the way!) I guess you know how I feel about poetry, but I have to admit that many times poetry blogs ARE a turn off at times.

I find that a lot of poetry blogs are shallow and juvenile, or are authored by folks who really don't understand the concept of poetry as a craft, which is why, when I find a quality poetry blog, I link to it, or bookmark it.

I love Waitress Poems by the way, and now I have to go read all the rest you've linked!

Melly said...

Liz, the title was the first thing that came to my mind when Ken asked me that question.

I didn't hear that about poetry, but I heard it about grammar (that if one is good at math they would be good at grammar), but I'm afraid that personally both notions don't work for me as both grammar and poetry are mysterious code to me.

Melly said...

Ken, what was for lunch? ;)

Maybe my misunderstanding of poetry stems from me not seeing all of these life complexities you mention. I think that perhaps once when I was 17 I asked why I was here, but not much since. And maybe here lies the answer to my difficulty with poetry.

Melly said...

Glad you liked the links musophrenia, and thanks for dropping by.

Melly said...

Lee, it's pretty much what I do, but the difference is that if I really like the blogger I might try occasionally to read a poem or two.
The 'cute' ones that I can understand - fine, but it has yet to change my life Ken.

Actually, one exception. The Road Not Taken by Frost. The one poem I always liked and could relate to, maybe because choices is something I understand.

Melly said...

Liz, I'll be right there as soon as I'm all caught up here :)

Hey, Erin, I'm not responsible for the quality of the poetry, I just know these bloggers post poetry as well.

Eric Mutta said...

Aaah poetry, poetry, poetry. So much has been flaunted under the banner, that it is difficult to say just what is or isn't poetry.

In the alien world that is my mind, poetry is anything that is difficult to write because it requires careful manipulation of both syntax and semantics. In my view, if it ain't hard to write, it's merely splodges of ink on paper - not poetry.

There's a strange phenomenon (for which I still have no term) where poetry and more generally, art has taken on a kind of mysticism. Quite bizarrely, incomprehensibility (especially of lyrics) now denotes deep hidden meanings that can only be understood by sitting under a tree and meditating for 300 hundred years.

If you are important enough, you could say there is meaning in a faded check-out reciept and many will search diligently for that meaning, concluding that you are wiser than they, when they fail to find any. In a world where, given enough coffee everything becomes art, I'd say we are right on cue.

Jennifer said...

Awww. Thanks Melly. Though I definitely don't call myself a poet. Random spurts of creativity will occassionaly hit me in the form of a poem...those spurts are few and far between :)

Eric Mutta said...

Btw Melly, ever wondered how many words rhyme with your name?

Melly said...

"Quite bizarrely, incomprehensibility (especially of lyrics) now denotes deep hidden meanings that can only be understood by sitting under a tree and meditating for 300 hundred years."

LOL Eric. Well, you said it all very well.
I'm coming over right now to check it out.

Melly said...

Then I'm taking you off the list right now, Jennifer ;)

Those creativity spurts never hit me that way, so you're still a poet. The occasional poet :)

Gone Away said...

It's not surprising that so many poetry blogs should be filled with doggerel and sentimentalism. How many real poets are born in any any generation? Very few. Here's one you left off your list - the best of all:

Pat Kirby said...

Music is my inspiration, and lyrics are very important to me. But, in the absence of melody and harmony, lyrics become poetry, which isn't my cup of tea.

I respect any art form (except maybe freaky modern art where a guy puts a toilet seat in a corner and calls it Man's Frustration or something equally un-pithy). But I don't read or write poetry. I guess my troglodite brain just can't appreciate it.

All those songs in novels like Lord of the Rings? I skip right over 'em. Boing!

But I admire the ability to write poetry.

Melly said...

I don't know Ned, but I will visit his blog now that you mentioned it. Thanks, Gone.

Melly said...

My feelings exactly Pat, my feelings exactly.
Yes, lyrics become poems unless you know the tune and can hum it along. That's the only way I know how to read them. And I skipped all the poems in LOTR too. Ha ha.

Gotta ask you though, that toilet seat thing, is that for real or did you invent it? 'Cause I howled.
(It's probably some famous art thing and I'm showing my ignorant now...)

Shirazi said...

You are touching the softer cords here. Thanks.

Lee Carlon said...

Ken, I have tried it from time to time, but it's just not for me is all. Occassionally I'll come across a piece of fiction that is written in poetic language and I sometimes enjoy that.

ED said...

Hey, thanks for the links. I've been looking for other poetry blogs, and now I've found some. Thanks again. Oh, and that lyric has something to do with chromosomes; normal man has 46, a super man would have 48 (or 46 & 2)

Melly said...

Shirazi, thanks.

Lee - "and I sometimes enjoy that" - I must admit I chuckled :)

And Ed - thanks. I would never have guessed. A Tool fan perhaps?

Pat Kirby said...

I think I saw the toilet seat thing, looong ago, in Newsweek article about an art exhibition. I think art is the manipulation of one thing into...I dunno, something else. The idea that someone can "artfully" (ha) array toilets or other furnishings, affix some philosophical significance to the arrangement and call it art...offends me.

Melly said...

I often wondered about the same thing, Pat. It seems that today art is anything anyone wants to call it art.
My problem is - I know when something isn't art, but who am I to decide? Who is anyone to decide that?
And for me it's even more encompassing. I would take some of the abstract crap and say it's crap and not art. I'm sorry, I just don't see the artistic value of a triangle or a square.
Maybe it's that simple mind of mine again that fails to understand abstract complexities, but then again, maybe it's just crap.

(You sure got me going, I think I'm going to have to post about it some day :)

Eric Mutta said...

Melly:>Maybe it's that simple mind of mine again that fails to understand abstract complexities, but then again, maybe it's just crap.

...and then you have 250 cups of coffee, chant a little, then lo and behold! A.R.T :)

rdl said...

Nice post. I think poetry is a love/hate think, either you love it or hate it. I think stranger Ken's description of it is right on.

Lee Carlon said...

Melly, I was being serious, though I can see why you might chuckle

As for the art thing, it's how you arrange the triangle and the square in relation to each other that counts.

Done right, and with the correct understanding of colour, light, shading and compostition, a simple triangle and a square could represent man's continuing struggle to dominate his environment and attempts to come to terms with his own human-ness, coupled with the...

No I'm sorry, you're right. It's nonsense.

Melly said...

Eric, somehow you keep confusing coffee and alcohol ;)

rdl - thank you.
Yes, stranger Ken is a wise man.

Lee, boy, you got me going there for a while. LOL.
I know exactly what you mean, and it's this kind of talk exactly that I have a problem with. Now I'm chuckling again.

SilverMoon said...

Interesting and informative post and ensuing comment thread. I breezed in here via Liz's site, although I had already made a note from Garnet's (muse's) site to read here. I blogmarked you though it may take me awhile. I've found a plethora of interesting blogs since joining the blogging world.

Melly said...

Why thank you, silvermoon :)

Dana said...

Thanks for the plug! I am not a poetry pro, but I enjoy writing it.

I was just checking out my blog stats and saw that your blog had referred people to mine. I was so excited! heee!

Melly said...

Oh, this post is from a while back, you only just now saw it???

I was told that many of the poets I mentioned found each other here and I was quite happy to see that and to connect people.