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Express Yourself! Please. *eye roll*

DaisyGrace
DaisyGrace
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So I'm working my way through Stephen Fry's book The Ode Less Travelled and finding it to be incredibly fun, but also incredibly frustrating. And funny. The exercises provided have been hilarious to work through and has made me REALLY start paying attention to meter and how I choose to put words on the page. I'm a free verse loving gal and while I know the 'rules' I don't always (very rarely) follow them. But I wanted a challenge, so I dug in.

And now I want to share some quotes from the book with you and see what you think. Read them, think about them, and then lay it on me!

  * "Talent is inborn but technique is learned."

  * "Even if some secret part of you might have been privately moved and engaged, you probably went through a stage of loathing those bores Shakespeare, Keats, Owen, Eliot, Larkin and all who came before and after them. You may love them now, you may still hate them or perhaps you feel entirely indifferent to the whole pack of them. But, however well or badly we were taught English literature, how many of us have ever been shown how to write our own poems.

   Donít worry, it doesnít have to rhyme. Donít bother with meter and verses. Just express yourself. Pour out your feelings.

   Suppose you had never played the piano in your life.

   Donít worry, just lift the lid and express yourself. Pour out your feelings.

   We have all heard children do just that and we have all wanted to treat them with great violence as a result. Yet this is the only instruction we are ever likely to get in the art of writing poetry."

  * "Personally, I find writing without form, meter or rhyme not Ďlaughably easyí but fantastically difficult. If you can do it, good luck to you and farewell, this book is not for you: but a word of warning from W.H. Auden before you go.

   The poet who writes Ďfreeí verse is like Robinson Crusoe on his desert island: he must do all his cooking, laundry, and darning for himself. In a few exceptional cases, this manly independence produces something original and impressive, but more often the result is squalor Ė dirty sheets on the unmade bed and empty bottles on the unswept floor."

  * "Owen was a poet, who like Shakespeare, really knew what he was doing. The effects are not accidental, the substitutions do not come about by change or through some carefree inability to adhere to the form and hoping for the best. Owen studied meter and form constantly and obsessively, as did Keats, his hero, as indeed did all the great poets. They would no more be unaware of what they were doing than Rubens could be unaware of what he was doing when he applied an impasto dot of white to give shine to an eye, or than Beethoven could be unaware of what happened when he diminished a seventh or syncopated a beat. The freedom and the ease with which a master can do these things belies immense skill derived from practice."


Did you make it through all that? What say you, Deep Underground? Agree? Disagree? Discuss....

poet Anonymous

Hello there, lovely. A few thoughts.

... take Grayson Perry as an example for a moment. Heís an accomplished artist and sculptor, and a little bit out there.

Why is he great?

Yes ó he studied the greats. Honoured them even. But he made it his own. And thatís the gift of art, poetry being a part of that. We donít have to be like everybody else.

Yes of course, study the greats. By all means get fucked up on the exquisite sorrow of Rilke. Drown yourself in Nerudaís exquisite lines. Burn with the razor sharp precision of Sexton. But rules are made to be broken.

If we didnít push the boundaries, there would be no artistry in the first place. I think we put too much emphasis on trying to box and define ourselves, when the truth is, we canít be defined. Because nobody else like us exists.

With all due respect, my dear... itís not for me. 😂

DaisyGrace
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Northern_Soul said:Hello there, lovely. A few thoughts.

... take Grayson Perry as an example for a moment. Heís an accomplished artist and sculptor, and a little bit out there.

Why is he great?

Yes ó he studied the greats. Honoured them even. But he made it his own. And thatís the gift of art, poetry being a part of that. We donít have to be like everybody else.

Yes of course, study the greats. By all means get fucked up on the exquisite sorrow of Rilke. Drown yourself in Nerudaís exquisite lines. Burn with the razor sharp precision of Sexton. But rules are made to be broken.

If we didnít push the boundaries, there would be no artistry in the first place. I think we put too much emphasis on trying to box and define ourselves, when the truth is, we canít be defined. Because nobody else like us exists.

With all due respect, my dear... itís not for me. 😂


what you've said about Grayson is exactly what Fry said about Beethoven and Rubens in one of the quotes from above. they studied form and the rules, honored them, and then pushed the heck out of them. so....it is for you? ha!

the thing about art (and when I say art, I mean visual art, music, writing, etc) is that there are rules for a reason. in music theory, we know that minor chords are going to cause the majority of people to feel sad when they hear them. it just happens. it's a physical response in our brains. When you add in the 7th , jiminy fuck! it makes it even sadder. especially if you use it as the fifth chord pushing to the sixth and leave yourself hanging on a 'deceptive cadence.' but if you didn't know that, if you were just 'expressing yourself' and playing around, you may never happen upon how to do it. but if you know the rules, you can sit down to write a piece of music and say "i want to make people feel sad and leave them hanging. so. i'm going to use minor chords, diminish them, throw in some augmented fifths to make them cringe, and then resolve on the sixth instead instead of the one so it leaves them hanging. AND OH! OH! I can possibly throw in a major seventh instead of a minor seventh to offer them a glimmer of hope."

the same as if i sat down beside my best friend (an amazing watercolor artist) and we both had the same set of finger paints and paper. at the end of the session, you would have VASTLY different paintings. Did I have fun with said finger paints? Probably. But you would OBVIOUSLY know who painted which. Because she's studied the rules, worked on the technique, and can actually apply it. i'm just dipping fingers into chaos.

I think those things apply across the board in the arts.

DaisyGrace
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also....i just want to add in that i'm not EXACTLY sure how i feel about all this. i'm working through my logical brain at the moment. ha!

poet Anonymous

Just as well Iíve done graded music theory and knew what you were talking about. Thank Buddha.

The trouble I have from a personal point of view... is the way that youíve explained that there... kinda puts less value on the chaos. And thatís simply not the case.

Some of the best work comes from the chaos. But, each to their own. Itís down to personal preference at the end of the day.

No answer is wrong. 🙂

DaisyGrace
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Northern_Soul said:Just as well Iíve done graded music theory and knew what you were talking about. Thank Buddha.

The trouble I have from a personal point of view... is the way that youíve explained that there... kinda puts less value on the chaos. And thatís simply not the case.

Some of the best work comes from the chaos. But, each to their own. Itís down to personal preference at the end of the day.

No answer is wrong. 🙂


after I posted that I was like....well, I hope someone understands all the music theory! hahaha! I used those rules as and example because I know those rules. I guess I was jus trying to say, that I worked hard to learn all the rules so that I would know what I was doing when I broke them.

and I agree that some of the best work comes from the chaos. but....I wonder....it's NOT the chaos. does that make sense? I had a writing friend once tell me to 'write from the scar. not the wound.' she said when you're still bleeding and have an infection, it's very hard to be objective. you get overly emotional and it turns into something that is more fit for a private journal entry instead of something that is consumable for the public. that makes sense to me. sure! write/paint/create in the middle of the pain. but then refine it.

also...agree that there is no wrong answer. I mainly wanted a space to think through it myself and thought you people might have some valuable opinions on the topic.

Ahavati
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Daisy, I love the part about lifting the piano lid and just expressing yourself without any formal training nor understanding of the tones ( the latter I am assuming ). It really resonated.

A former painting mentor who was prolific in abstract realism taught me that one must know the rules in order to break them properly. Piggybacking on your piano reference:

Go head, just throw some color on something; express yo'self.

Unfortunately, that expression probably won't last the test of time unless you gessoed the canvas, cardboard, whatever first. Then there's the issue of quality paint that withstands the elements twice longer than cheap brands. Then there's the rule of thirds, mixing, preserving, color theory and and so on .. .and so forth.

Instruction is priceless and born from mistakes that former artists of all forms wished they had known. Just look at Rothko's fading works. I can't imagine why anyone wouldn't want such value added to their own application vs learning the hard way.

JohnnyBlaze
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 * "Personally, I find writing without form, meter or rhyme not Ďlaughably easyí but fantastically difficult. If you can do it, good luck to you and farewell, this book is not for you: but a word of warning from W.H. Auden before you go.

  The poet who writes Ďfreeí verse is like Robinson Crusoe on his desert island: he must do all his cooking, laundry, and darning for himself. In a few exceptional cases, this manly independence produces something original and impressive, but more often the result is squalor Ė dirty sheets on the unmade bed and empty bottles on the unswept floor."


"free verse" or "formed", if people are reading what you wrote more than once because they enjoyed it, then you are doing something well.

If it's because the majority of them don't understand what you are saying and multiple readings are required to make sense of your poem, then you are doing something poorly.

Cerberus_Moon
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JohnnyBlaze said:

"free verse" or "formed", if people are reading what you wrote more than once because they enjoyed it, then you are doing something well.

If it's because the majority of them don't understand what you are saying and multiple readings are required to make sense of your poem, then you are doing something poorly.


Would it always be something 'poorly' though if it takes multiple reads? Sometimes I re-read things to get different perspective before I comment. I try not to be so close minded. Although, your theory also makes sense. I say this not to be rude, but from personal experiences.

Cerberus_Moon
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DaisyGrace said:

So I'm working my way through Stephen Fry's book The Ode Less Travelled and finding it to be incredibly fun, but also incredibly frustrating. And funny. The exercises provided have been hilarious to work through and has made me REALLY start paying attention to meter and how I choose to put words on the page. I'm a free verse loving gal and while I know the 'rules' I don't always (very rarely) follow them. But I wanted a challenge, so I dug in.

And now I want to share some quotes from the book with you and see what you think. Read them, think about them, and then lay it on me!

  * "Talent is inborn but technique is learned."

 

Did you make it through all that? What say you, Deep Underground? Agree? Disagree? Discuss....


I'm not sure how I feel about this one, just because I took up writing at the age of thirteen and never really looked back. I read about forms and meter and rhyme and all the other tools of the trade, buuuut I rarely follow the capitalization rule when writing. it's just my personal style and I have no idea why or where it came from.

BUT! I picked up writing to cope with a lot of bad things going on in my life, like my parents separating, my mom turning to alcohol after that and the over-all feeling of 'alone' and 'being judged' as every teenager does but, also feeling like I couldn't open up. So I wrote.

Some of my family was supportive and told me to work on getting published because "I had talent". Others didn't agree. So can someone tell me how we define "talent"?

Weak4hissmile
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She Cries In The Corner
Alone & Afraid .
She Needs Acceptance More Than The Desert Needs Rain .
Noone Understand Her
And Noone Ever Will ..
She Use To Be Happy & Free
But Somehow She Fell , And Has No Company .
She Tries To Stand For Herself
But People Take It As A Joke.
She Dreamed Everything Was Fine ,
But Then She Awoke.
This Nightmare She Lives In Is Too much To Bare .
So She Cuts Herself , Hoping That Would Make It Fair .
She Cant Tell Her Family how their hate cause I'm trans started this.
She Doesnt Know How To Express .
This Feelings To Them Are Just A Matter Of Stress .
So She Sits In The Corner ..
Crying & Cutting .
So She Cries Alone ..
In The Dark Cold Room .
Now She Feels As Cold As Stone
And truly

robert43041
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Actually, i don't have much to tell at the moment.  In a bit of a slump.  I do not have any specific poetry style, I just go with the flow. I don't even think about writing in rhymes or specific forms. I go the easy way with what comes to mind.  True, even ''free style'' must be worked, it's not just blah blah blah with no meaning. But if i even tried to thinks like those lofty intellectuals who are impossible to understand i would not go very far.  Write what you want, write what you know about, express whatever you want to get out of your system.  iI suppose that  such is my motto

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