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Poetry from the heart or poetry from the brain? Options
man in black
Posted: Thursday, February 25, 2010 8:40:02 AM

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Poets should silence their pains until the hour, when the sculpted verse beckons for an exit, tearing one’s entrails, so as o give solace to men’s sorrows with the poetry itself that grief has inspired. To suffer is a duty, and, perhaps, a need for poets. In order to write beautiful poetry, there’s nothing like beholding nature and looking within one’s souls. Poetry is a piece of our entrails, its aroma, and the recoiled spirit, like in a flowery chalice, tended by delicate and kind hands.

To feel is what really matters in poetry, whether the experience is similar to what others have previously felt; and what one feels anew, it is indeed new. Life loses its veils, gradually, and when one gets to know it, and avoids its uselessness and superfluity, one returns humbly to the heart, which is reflected in sensible and suffered persons, late in their years, in the frankness of their poems. Verses are the offspring of emotion; therefore they should be pure and profound, like the notes of a harp. Poets should not versify strange things, but the strange instant of noble and gracious emotions.


look into my eyeballs, there thy beauty lies, then why not lips on lips since eyes on eyes? William Shakespeare
peterhewett
Posted: Thursday, February 25, 2010 9:02:02 AM

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In answer to the posts question… I think that both brain and heart need to be engaged, they are not, i think, mutually exclusive, but rather mutually inclusive when writing poetry… one without the other results in poor poetry.

It is also a fact is it not that not all poetry arises from pain of heart. There are many and varied motivations for poetry. Joy... loves... happiness... a flash of insight... a feeling of appreciation for nature... a desire to praise... a reflective mood... a distant memory fueled by a passing comment or visual experience, etc; the list goes on.


The idea that poets are tortured souls is,in the main,untrue.

He that increases in knowledge increases in pain.
addngkr
Posted: Thursday, February 25, 2010 9:08:53 AM

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I think Poetry is all about inspiration.
The little things, the very small joys coalesce to add to the collage of life. Without these things the life would become so insipid and colorless. And it is by these things that the spark of poetry is ignited in a poet and he/she is propelled to pen-down lines.

At least this is what I think is right as that's the case with me!

You cannot fathom the depth of the ocean by swimming on it's surface.
chetanrocks
Posted: Thursday, February 25, 2010 9:10:59 AM

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If u ask me.. I started poetry when I was dejected in Love.. Brick wall
But once I started doing poems on Love{Please don't ask for them now} I was a bit comfortable playing with words on other topics too.
This is my case..

Don't Just Be A Lover..!!
Be Loving..!!
Rabeeta Warsi
Posted: Thursday, February 25, 2010 9:59:55 AM

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The spontaneous words that cOmes from hEart is the tRue esSence of pOetry and thats the onLy pOetry that tOuches hEart bEcause it cOmes frOm a hEart♥

~R@!n oF sPr!ng~
man in black
Posted: Thursday, February 25, 2010 11:06:52 AM

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Peterhewett wrote: The idea that poets are tortured souls is,in the main,untrue. [/quote]

Those poets who have not truly suffered are mediocre one. Rabindranath Tagore, wrote his most beautiful poems after losing most of his dear ones. Edgar Allan Poe, losing his Virginia and enduring hard times. Rainier Maria Rilke, awaiting for his muse. Just to name a few. Pain is the heart of art. A work of art has seldom eing created while one is enjoyin the bliss of life.



look into my eyeballs, there thy beauty lies, then why not lips on lips since eyes on eyes? William Shakespeare
peterhewett
Posted: Thursday, February 25, 2010 12:06:17 PM

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Man in black opined

Those poets who have not truly suffered are mediocre one.

Peter replied.

That, I think, does not at all alter the point I made and is in my opinion a sweeping statement which cannot be proven. I am a poet and have some grounds for expression on this subject.

You might say that in your opinion they are mediocre... and that is what it is an opinion.

Of course it goes without saying one has to be sensitive to what goes on around them and at times suffering does give insight... no one would deny that.

Pain, I think is not at the heart of art... that is a cliche. It can be but is not of necessity.
Sweeping statements are pointless and have no meaning or substance in reality.

I have written poems about my love of nature that do not spring from pain but from joy, love and attatchment. Here is one and there are many.


ONE WINTERS DAY
by Peter Hewett 2002

The wind whistles o’er the headland hedge and travels down the valleys
She moans and groans and whines and whips; abates then quickly rallies.
The frost lies thick upon the sod in every plough-line furrow.
It covers with a blanket white, keeps rabbit in her burrow.

The church bells peal their mournful toll and echo through the vale
The silent mourners wend their way telling death’s familiar tale.
Cock pheasants plumage brightly shines against Jack Frost’s arrangement
Low yellow evening sun casts shafts of light, and catches beauteous moment.

The partridge covey stands stark and clear in feathers warmly dressed
Their enemy falcon now appears swooping o’er the crest.
To late the danger spotted now, as swift and sudden he enters dive
A group of feathers blows in the wind, a witness there’s one less alive.

The rooks drift lazily back to their roosts then silence settles down
The sun sinks slowly in the west and changes nature’s gown.
The night draws in the skies are clear, the moon is in full sway
Jack Frost extends his vice like grip to yet another day.

And another.



EARLY MORNING WINDS
By Peter Hewett


Worrying winds scurrying winds, hurrying, greet the morn
Heralding in the break of dawn.
Pleasing winds easing winds, coming from the west
Clattering winds shattering winds putting all to test.

Biting winds, fighting winds, lifting up dried leaves
Twirling furling, hurling round the oak and ash
Buffeting winds huffeting winds, sallying up the cottage eaves
Bustling winds hustling winds, loud and brash.

Whistling winds bristling winds, sweeping o’er the boughs
Playing like the breeze, swaying in the trees
Carrying winds harrying winds, troubling the cows
Dancing winds prancing winds, delighting so to tease.

Meddling winds peddling winds bringing all their litter
Broody winds moody winds threatening a gale
Tarrying winds, parrying winds fiddling with the sitter
Distrusting winds mistrusting winds shilly-shallying up the vale.


I have also written sad poems which do indeed spring from pain and hurt. I say again, not all poetry arises from a tortured soul.



He that increases in knowledge increases in pain.
sunshine
Posted: Thursday, February 25, 2010 12:22:47 PM

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Peterhewett wrote: The idea that poets are tortured souls is,in the main,untrue. [/quote]

Man in Black wrote: Those poets who have not truly suffered are mediocre one.

I think both of you are partly right. Good poetry does not necessarily have to accrue from a tortured soul, there are many other scources of inspiration like happiness, gratitude, happy love, joy, high spirit,to name the positive ones. But without having ever suffered in one's life you are not able to express deep and moving thoughts. I even dare to say that if you lack the essential experiences of life you are unable to add any zest to your words, to illuminate them with that unmatchable charm and the heart-warming sound that makes good poems, no matter if they are happy or tragical ones.
nooblet
Posted: Thursday, February 25, 2010 12:41:57 PM

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A good poet is someone who has experienced the feelings they are putting onto paper and can do so artistically.
peterhewett
Posted: Thursday, February 25, 2010 12:46:48 PM

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But every one has suffered in their life...that is the nature of life that we all go through bad experiences. We all lose loved ones and have experiences that are not wanted or welcomed. So that negates the point completely. We are not all poets are we?

I am not saying that severe hardships and tradgedies cannot bring something to poetry but they are not essential to it. Much poetry does not arise from a tortured soul as artisic as that may seem. It is a very arty statement to say that all good poetry arises from a totured soul. It is the kind of platitude that teachers use ... and I used to teach.

Here is a poem inspired by boyhood memories of spending long dark winter evenings in front of a log fire.


THE FIRESIDE COMFORTER
By Peter Hewett
Written in Bangkok 2006


The fire burns brightly and the candles are dimmed,
As the flickering flames cast fluttering shadows
Upon the walls of the small cottage room.
While the old woman sits in the light of the flames,
Bending and working at her old treadle loom.

Clack clack goes the sound of the loom,
Spit splat spits the logs, piercing the gloom.
Bang bang goes the shutter, loose in its frames.
As a boy sits reposed watching the fire,
While the shadows dance to the tune of the flames.

Puff puff blows the wind above the rooftop pot.
Billow billow rolls smoke beneath the chimneybreast.
Yelp yelp cries the dog deep from within its dream.
But the boy sits silent lost in his own reverie,
And not a sound does he hear, nor a presence see.

Yes the flames light his face in that lowly room,
But his mind has fled into the depths of the fire
And he has ridden away on the crest of a flame.
Past the dog and the woman the hearth and the loom,
To muse on his past, and to know of his name.

To conjure his future from the midst of the fire,
And to bathe every day, and to walk in smart dress.
To dream of great things that lighten his day
And to lift his tired body from out of the mire
To laugh in his heart and to run and to play.

The flames dance away, with their talent displayed
In the sway of their movement like a wind-blown cape.
Their tips and their sides are to colour assigned,
As they twist and they turn and alter their shape.
Until they twist and they turn to the tune of the mind.

See there in the green are the fields and the stream,
By the side of his home in the lee of the wood.
And there in the blue he wanders and roams
Unshackled and free, only now understood.
And his sense of his loss would fill many tomes.

And there by the stead, there living right in the red
Are his brother and sister and loyal old dog.
And deep in the yellow, there just ahead
Are mother and father from out of the fog.
And on the flames dance as they bring back his dead

See there he is riding with the wind in his face,
And not a care in the world to darken his mind.
Look-see there is a feast on a cloth made of lace,
Ah, and here are his friends all pleasant and kind
But of hardship and sadness, there exists not a trace.

Tomorrow he labors twelve hours of the day
He will toil and he will sweat for a pittance of pay.
Then trudge home to the room the woman and the loom,
To the dog and the smoke, and the warm glowing fire.
Then once more on the flames, he will ride and aspire.






He that increases in knowledge increases in pain.
nooblet
Posted: Thursday, February 25, 2010 1:00:58 PM

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I will agree that everyone has suffered in their life, however there are drastically different levels of suffering. While some people experience tremendous emotional pain early in their lives, others go on without knowing such a thing until they are much older. In other cases, still, some children experience loss so early on that they become numb to its effects.

What makes a good poet is someone who is able to grab hold of the emotions that they feel, and manipulate them into cohesive and artistic ideas that can allow others to feel the emotions that they are feeling. This is in no way simply limited to suffering, it changes with each subject.

Now, to say that poetry is only meant to convey emotions would be narrow-minded. There are simple forms of poetry which are just as valid, you can convey concepts or ideas, as well. But the most powerful poetry is typically something which reaches out and pulls at the heartstrings of its readers, and I think that this is what man in black is referring to. Still, I think that in order for emotional poetry to have a profound effect on the reader, they must know how to feel the emotion that the poet writes about. To have known the feeling of overwhelming love allows you that emotion to reawaken inside of you, if only for a moment, when you read an evocative poem about the subject. To have known the feeling of your heart being ripped in two will allow you to feel the suffering of the speaker in a tragic poem. Poetry emphasizes the human ability to empathize, and empathizing is best done by relating others' experiences to your own and being able to put yourself in their shoes.

It really all comes down to life experience, both good and bad, in my humble opinion.
peterhewett
Posted: Thursday, February 25, 2010 1:06:00 PM

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Man in black made the statement that all good poetry stems from a tortured soul... not a soul that has suffered. There is a difference and frankly his statement is not true. I stick to my guns on this. His definition is far to narrow and arty.

Of course one has to have sensitivity and awareness and many other qualities... that is a given.

He that increases in knowledge increases in pain.
nooblet
Posted: Thursday, February 25, 2010 1:08:42 PM

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I will agree with you, peter. You do not need to be a tortured soul in order to write good, powerful poetry. I agree that MIB's definition is probably taking things a bit into the romantic realm and no longer fully attached in reality.
man in black
Posted: Thursday, February 25, 2010 1:55:34 PM

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peterhewett, I wonder where did you get the word torture from my posts. I never mentioned it, so are you putting words into my mouth that I have not spoken of? Théophile Gautier, one of France´s foremost poets, once said that the only book a poet needs is a dictionary, and that is most true, just such a book so that you can attempt to render into emotions the feelings within. Only the truly great poems have been written after the soul of the writer has descended into the Hades of suffering. Name some great poems that have been written having as its source pure joy and happiness as their motives.

look into my eyeballs, there thy beauty lies, then why not lips on lips since eyes on eyes? William Shakespeare
.wichitarick
Posted: Thursday, February 25, 2010 2:59:42 PM

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Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, right? Boo hoo! OR Dancing

It is just another outlet for our emotions and often the only way the author may reveal them.
A great example is childrens poetry,even without all of the words in the world they will still reveal feelings never shown to others.
There are just to many examples in music and art of all kinds including poetry. Rick



Read to your kid they will read with you,re neighbors kid
It is not the crazy people you worry about ....It is the one,s that don,t know it!
peterhewett
Posted: Thursday, February 25, 2010 11:30:23 PM

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man in black said

peterhewett, I wonder where did you get the word torture from my posts. I never mentioned it, so are you putting words into my mouth that I have not spoken of? Théophile Gautier, one of France´s foremost poets, once said that the only book a poet needs is a dictionary, and that is most true, just such a book so that you can attempt to render into emotions the feelings within. Only the truly great poems have been written after the soul of the writer has descended into the Hades of suffering. Name some great poems that have been written having as its source pure joy and happiness as their motives.

peter said These are my words which are not limited to pure joy and happiness are they?

Joy... loves... happiness... a flash of insight... a feeling of appreciation for nature... a desire to praise... a reflective mood... a distant memory fueled by a passing comment or visual experience, etc; the list goes on.



Have you been editing? Incidentally I seldom use a dictionary when composing verse.

Frankly I think your above comments are arty, and with out real meaning. Is not entering into 'the hades of suffering'( your words) torture, acccording to recieved wisdom as to the nature of that place? Percieved wisdom that I do not embrace. (Hades is a place of non-existence, not torture...it is the common grave of all mankind)

Who is the person that will decide what is great poetry?

A Rose-Bud By My Early Morning Walk... Robbie Burns
A Poet's Welcome To His Love-Begotten Daughter... Robbie Burns
Shakespeare’s Sonnets …. Love poems (154 of them)... Shakespeare
The Brook ... ...Alfred Lord Tennyson
A Sunset ... Victor Hugo
Sea Fever... ...John Masefield
The Daffodils ... William Wordsworth


I could go on and on and on and on…. Nearly all ‘great poets’ wrote some verse emanating from the joy of life. The statement by you that ‘Those poets who have not truly suffered are mediocre one.’ and ‘only the truly great poems have been written after the soul of the writer has descended into the Hades of suffering’ ( your words)is sweeping and erroneous. It consigns long recognized beautiful verse to the dustbin.

You are entitled to your subjective view of course. Here is a poem of rejoicing.

SPRING
by Peter Hewett
Started while waiting for a bus in Stafford Road, Ipswich 2001



The folds of winter now unfurl to give birth to beauteous spring.
The sun shines down the flowers uncurl, and feathered friends begin to sing
The heart leaps up when life renews and seasons ring the changes.
Then joy and peace my heart imbues as new clothing spring arranges.

The blossom blooms, the bittern booms. The air is sweet and pleasant.
The rooks are nesting, Jack Frost is resting. Loud shouts the courting pheasant.
The cuckoo comes from distant lands to seek a parent foster.
The tree gives forth the early buds according to their roster.

The pussy willows with coats of ermine, bedeck the riverbanks.
The swallows line the hanging wire in deference to their ranks.
The snowdrops clad the woodland floor before their cousin hyacinth.
The lark in skies above does soar, The hawk he settles on his plinth.

The frog he would a wooing go his offspring so to spawn.
The grass we now have cause to mow to keep it as a lawn.
The toad his plaintive call does croak, a siren for his mate.
The Blackthorn white is covered like a cloak, the Hawthorn has to wait.

The carrion crow nests in her tree in solitary confinement
The fox gives birth beside woodland lea. The sycamore spreads like a tent.
The march winds whistle o’er the meadow. The April showers are warm and wet.
The duck her young she has in tow. The spider mends her silky net.

Ma hedgehog finds a shady place beneath a crumbling wall
She there gives birth to save her race as the watcher makes his daily call.
The woodpecker shouts his laughing cries. The partridge settles on her eggs.
Fluffy clouds adorn light blue skies, as the new -born lamb finds its legs.

Butterflies flit from flower to flower their stamens to caress.
The harvest mouse makes her grassy bower. The cowslip dons its dress.
Life flourishes in every corner with vibrancy and zest
Variety of flower and fauna living at their best.

The never -ending tale of spring mere words cannot encompass
Were I to tell of gossamer and of pretty courting lass
Were I to tell of new spring growth, of fragrance and of scent
Were I to tell of glorious blossom and of changes to earth’s tent.

Were I to fill a library full of all that spring does yield.
Of badger deer and gamboling bull. Of hedgerow meadow lane and field.
I could not e’en with all my power to my reader just impart
The beauty wonder and sheer delight, that spring engenders in my heart.

A cheer for spring and its marvelous gifts, praise for our great maker.
Thanks for spring as our spirits it lifts. A prayer to God our Grand Creator


NB.The above poem is was written from my personal observation of, and love for, nature in all its forms. It has naught to do with a 'tortured' soul or one down in the depths of Hades.



He that increases in knowledge increases in pain.
man in black
Posted: Friday, February 26, 2010 8:34:59 AM

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Well, that´s your opinion Peterhewett, I´ll abide by my own criteria. Stick to yours, but i won´t be convinced. The Prisoner of Chillon is an example of a superb poem. Happy poets are mere versifiers of words.

look into my eyeballs, there thy beauty lies, then why not lips on lips since eyes on eyes? William Shakespeare
peterhewett
Posted: Friday, February 26, 2010 9:25:39 AM

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Yes man in black it is my opinion, but based on reason and logic. You fly in the face of reason and appear to know little of what poetry is about. You are in love with words as your verbosity shows but are not skilled at conveying sense.

You said 'Happy poets are mere versifiers of words' that, frankly is a stupid thing to say and derisive of some great poets whose company would dwarf you. You live in a dream world divorced from the real world.

You make no sense... let us leave it there.

He that increases in knowledge increases in pain.
Cass
Posted: Friday, February 26, 2010 10:08:15 AM

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MIB reminds me of a passage in Jane Austin's "Persuasion" when Ann is speaking of poetry with a naval captain who is suffering from the death of his fiance. He has become so morose that she advises him to read more prose to lighten his soul. My point is there is poetry and there is POETRY- and you don't necessarily have to be a "drama queen" to write it. You just have to be inspired and one can be inspired by anything.


To see what is in front of one's nose needs a constant struggle. - George Orwell
man in black
Posted: Friday, February 26, 2010 10:12:45 AM

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OK Cass, I´ve never denied other sources of inspiration to write poetry, but poetry needs to be written with the soul so it can reach the soul of others, and not just cooked like a kitchen recipe with the microwave of one´s brain.

look into my eyeballs, there thy beauty lies, then why not lips on lips since eyes on eyes? William Shakespeare
grammargeek
Posted: Saturday, February 27, 2010 3:49:31 PM

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I wonder if Admin would mind moving this topic to the newly created Literature section.

per GoldmanM:

From now on, you can post your thoughts about poetry in the new Literature section. Enjoy!
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