What is poetry?

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marjoram_blues
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Re: What is poetry?

Post by marjoram_blues » Mon May 09, 2016 8:08 pm

Harbal wrote:
marjoram_blues wrote:
Interesting.I'm a bit hesitant to ask.
What do you think of John Miles and 'Music was my first love'?
I think it's a bit over the top but, otherwise, it's just a run of the mill pop song. Why were you hesitant to ask?
Hesitant question due to sudden onset of out-of-depth panic ?
I immediately thought of that song as combining poetry and instrumental music; reflecting a way someone deals with times of trouble.

I found 'Music' most stirring, and poignant.
Hesitant to put it out there as an example when there could be better ones with poetry you could accept.

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Harbal
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Re: What is poetry?

Post by Harbal » Mon May 09, 2016 10:03 pm

marjoram_blues wrote: I found 'Music' most stirring, and poignant.
Hesitant to put it out there as an example when there could be better ones with poetry you could accept.
Now it's my turn to be hesitant but if I had to give an example of effective song lyrics, the first person to come to mind might be Billy Joel. I remember having a cassette of his hits, years ago, and being struck by the fact that his lyrics gave me the feeling of knowing what he meant. They quite often seemed to be able to create an image in the mind. That doesn't happen to me very often.

marjoram_blues
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Re: What is poetry?

Post by marjoram_blues » Mon May 09, 2016 10:34 pm

Harbal wrote:
marjoram_blues wrote: I found 'Music' most stirring, and poignant.
Hesitant to put it out there as an example when there could be better ones with poetry you could accept.
Now it's my turn to be hesitant but if I had to give an example of effective song lyrics, the first person to come to mind might be Billy Joel. I remember having a cassette of his hits, years ago, and being struck by the fact that his lyrics gave me the feeling of knowing what he meant. They quite often seemed to be able to create an image in the mind. That doesn't happen to me very often.
We should sing 'Happy birthday' to him !
8)

I wonder what it was about the lyrics that spoke to you and produced the picture...

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Harbal
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Re: What is poetry?

Post by Harbal » Mon May 09, 2016 11:58 pm

marjoram_blues wrote: I wonder what it was about the lyrics that spoke to you and produced the picture...
Now that I think about it, there was one particular track, it was called Goodnight Saigon. It was about the Vietnam war and it seemed to me to give some insight into what it felt like to be there. It must have had something about it to get my attention because I don't usually take any notice of song lyrics.

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Re: What is poetry?

Post by marjoram_blues » Tue May 10, 2016 12:24 am

Harbal wrote:
marjoram_blues wrote: I wonder what it was about the lyrics that spoke to you and produced the picture...
Now that I think about it, there was one particular track, it was called Goodnight Saigon. It was about the Vietnam war and it seemed to me to give some insight into what it felt like to be there. It must have had something about it to get my attention because I don't usually take any notice of song lyrics.
Yes, that would do it. Very powerful. As is another war poem by Wilfred Owen - Dulce et Decorum Est. Try it out on poemhunter.com.

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Harbal
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Re: What is poetry?

Post by Harbal » Tue May 10, 2016 6:27 am

marjoram_blues wrote: Yes, that would do it. Very powerful. As is another war poem by Wilfred Owen - Dulce et Decorum Est. Try it out on poemhunter.com.
This poem doesn't seem very different to the way a conversational account of the same situation might sound and, for me, is no more evocative. At least I can understand what the poem is saying but the fact that it is a poem, rather than prose, doen't give it any extra power. I wonder what Wilfred Owen's version of Uptown Girl would have been like. :wink:

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Re: What is poetry?

Post by marjoram_blues » Tue May 10, 2016 9:38 am

Harbal wrote:
marjoram_blues wrote: Yes, that would do it. Very powerful. As is another war poem by Wilfred Owen - Dulce et Decorum Est. Try it out on poemhunter.com.
This poem doesn't seem very different to the way a conversational account of the same situation might sound and, for me, is no more evocative. At least I can understand what the poem is saying but the fact that it is a poem, rather than prose, doen't give it any extra power. I wonder what Wilfred Owen's version of Uptown Girl would have been like. :wink:
OK then, I challenge you to find a real-life conversation piece written at that time by serving soldiers which not only powerfully describes the horror but challenges pro-war sentiment.

This poem is a strong philosophical argument against the idea that war is glorious and patriotic. He rejects accepted social attitude and shows the brutal waste of young men. And so, a short piece full of shocking imagery would have provided both a release for the author and a move in society's perspective.

I think a poem needs a reader who enjoys the different structures, the sound of alliteration, a willingness to make sense and speculate about meaning. And yes, you can do that with some poetic prose too. Ordinary prose not so much.

I loved uptown girl - I think Owen's would be downtown boy ?

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HexHammer
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Re: What is poetry?

Post by HexHammer » Tue May 10, 2016 2:00 pm

marjoram_blues wrote:
HexHammer wrote:This thread is a good example of why philosophers are so utterly useless!!! Ask sub basic questions, because they are too lazy themselves to look it up, and needs others to do basic thinking for them, any such person would get fired instantly from any serious business.
Aw diddums, I hear your pained refrain. Now give it some beat.
..but I'm right..

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HexHammer
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Re: What is poetry?

Post by HexHammer » Tue May 10, 2016 2:01 pm

Harbal wrote:
HexHammer wrote:This thread is a good example of why philosophers are so utterly useless!!! .
If that's how you feel about philosophers why spend any time on a philosophy forum? You're as bad as me, participating in a thread about poetry when I don't actually like poetry. I think people like us just like to spoil it for everyone else.
No, contrary you I try to enlighten people, make them see their own folly.

marjoram_blues
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Re: What is poetry?

Post by marjoram_blues » Tue May 10, 2016 2:54 pm

HexHammer wrote:
marjoram_blues wrote:
HexHammer wrote:This thread is a good example of why philosophers are so utterly useless!!! Ask sub basic questions, because they are too lazy themselves to look it up, and needs others to do basic thinking for them, any such person would get fired instantly from any serious business.
Aw diddums, I hear your pained refrain. Now give it some beat.
..but I'm right..
You've had this hop-in hop-out panto-style script for so long and it has been responded to so many times, any remaining audience simply roll their eyes.

Doncha know we're only here for the beer. The beer business would lap us up. The unexamined beer isn't worth drinking.

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Harbal
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Re: What is poetry?

Post by Harbal » Tue May 10, 2016 5:34 pm

HexHammer wrote:No, contrary you I try to enlighten people, make them see their own folly.
It's lucky for you, then, that I'm here to enlighten you about your own folly.

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Re: What is poetry?

Post by Walker » Wed May 11, 2016 2:00 pm


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Harbal
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Re: What is poetry?

Post by Harbal » Wed May 11, 2016 7:21 pm

marjoram_blues wrote: OK then, I challenge you to find a real-life conversation piece written at that time by serving soldiers which not only powerfully describes the horror but challenges pro-war sentiment.
I already have a perception of the horror and futility of WWI, which have been formed by reading and listening to numerous accounts of the event. The impression I have been left with corresponds to the Wilfred Owen poem but has not been altered in any way by it. Reading the poem didn't increase my emotional understanding of anything. I'm not trying to denigrate poetry in any way, I'm just saying that it doesn't work for me. The last series of Blackadder said more to me about the stupidity and pointlessness of that war than any poem ever could.

marjoram_blues
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Re: What is poetry?

Post by marjoram_blues » Wed May 11, 2016 8:50 pm

Harbal wrote:
marjoram_blues wrote: OK then, I challenge you to find a real-life conversation piece written at that time by serving soldiers which not only powerfully describes the horror but challenges pro-war sentiment.
I already have a perception of the horror and futility of WWI, which have been formed by reading and listening to numerous accounts of the event. The impression I have been left with corresponds to the Wilfred Owen poem but has not been altered in any way by it. Reading the poem didn't increase my emotional understanding of anything. I'm not trying to denigrate poetry in any way, I'm just saying that it doesn't work for me. The last series of Blackadder said more to me about the stupidity and pointlessness of that war than any poem ever could.
OK, I get the picture.

I would like to read these firsthand conversational accounts written by serving soldiers whilst undergoing this trauma. My impression was that the guys didn't like to talk about the horrors and dare not suggest any antiwar feeling for fear of being branded a traitor.

My intention was not to alter any of your previous perceptions or increase your emotional understanding.
My original hope was simply to show/discuss some of the objectives and potential effects of reading/writing poetry.
In general to anyone interested in how it could relate to philosophical issues. Thanks for introducing a specific subject.

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Harbal
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Re: What is poetry?

Post by Harbal » Wed May 11, 2016 10:38 pm

marjoram_blues wrote: I would like to read these firsthand conversational accounts written by serving soldiers whilst undergoing this trauma. My impression was that the guys didn't like to talk about the horrors and dare not suggest any antiwar feeling for fear of being branded a traitor..
Is it my imagination or is there a touch of scepticism in there? The point is that, over time, I have accumulated a certain amount of knowledge about the war which has given me a particular set of impressions about it. I would say that the poem is just another source of the same information.
. My intention was not to alter any of your previous perceptions or increase your emotional understanding.
I'm not saying that was your intention. What I am saying is that, for me, whatever can be conveyed through poetry can be conveyed in other ways more effectively.
. My original hope was simply to show/discuss some of the objectives and potential effects of reading/writing poetry.
In general to anyone interested in how it could relate to philosophical issues.
I don't think I can make a useful contribution to that.
. Thanks for introducing a specific subject
What specific subject?

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