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Can Poetry Matter? Read It!

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  • Can Poetry Matter? Read It!

    TO POETS ON THE ZONE: A PERSONAL STATEMENT FROM TANNER


    Remember what the RZ encourages us to do:

    Poets and songwriters, share your work here for others to evaluate and discuss!

    *

    I have been sharing poems on the Zone since 2017 (albeit on
    an intermittent basis at times) and have met many talented poets
    who have inspired me.

    Yet even though I have become more prolific and am writing
    far more poems than ever; this should be encouraging,
    however, many of them are in my opinion, for the most part,
    contain lines of mediocrity.


    It's not that they are inherently very bad. It's just that they
    are repetitious at times and lack the level of creativity
    I crave. I am often lazy and copy my own style without
    much malice of forethought.

    I think there is far too much praise and not enough positive,
    yet critical attention, paid to poems on the ZONE.

    I regret that Grant Hayes has disappeared
    from our landscape. He was my sharpest critic
    at times, and I learned a lot from him.

    If we are all to become better poets, we need to work at
    and frequently edit our offerings and try to make them better.

    I have read far far too many poems on the Zone
    that cry out for improvement.

    They may contain some brilliant lines at times,
    but brilliance and banality should not sleep
    in the same poetic bed!


    IN CLOSING, What I want to say to all poets of the RZ, you should read
    Can Poetry Matter? which was an online article from THE ATLANTIC,
    May 1991.

    I have come to share the sentiment contained in the following statement
    from Robert Bly

    In his new book, American Poetry: Wildness and Domesticity, Robert Bly has accurately described the corrosive effect of this critical boosterism:
    We have an odd situation: although more bad poetry is being published now than ever before in American history, most of the reviews are positive.
    Critics say, "I never attack what is bad, all that will take care of itself," . . . but the country is full of young poets and readers who are confused
    by seeing mediocre poetry praised, or never attacked, and who end up doubting their own critical perceptions.

    *
    Just a few thoughts from Tanner
    on a cold winter afternoon in Canada

  • #2
    Canada now is it?
    Can you lambast
    Trump from there
    When the Mid
    Terms come?
    Unfortunately poetry
    Is a young person's game
    I almost said young man.
    But caught myself in time.
    It requires an unblunted
    Sensitivity, blood that
    Runs hot, not ennui.
    World weariness
    Wears away
    A stone.
    Keep on
    Writing
    Old friend.
    La Jamais Contente
    ...Yet even though I have become more prolific and am writing
    far more poems than ever; this should be encouraging,
    however, many of them are in my opinion, for the most part,
    contain lines of mediocrity.

    Last edited by Johntee; 02-23-2022, 03:12 PM.

    Comment


    • #3
      Yes, so please criticize. I myself do not like "prose", and the sad poems (lost love) which are too easy to write. I quit writing sad poems. From my poems I try to learn how to remove words from all my writing. I am not a writer my any means. I cannot criticize I can only tell you what I do not like. I have read the giants, and if you read all the poems written by any one of them, I find very few that I actually like.

      Yes if no one criticizes then no one gets better. Write four line poems, not four pages. Also widen your vocabulary. Flowery is not better.

      Clif from Houston, dang it's hot here today.

      Comment


      • #4
        you are the hammer i am the nail but glue is the new fastener. its hard to smart in a box full of rocks

        Comment


        • #5
          I agree that constructive criticism can help poets fine tune their craft, but it is just as important to praise and like if the poem resonates with you.

          Comment


          • #6
            I invite everyone to criticize me, please... I want to get better

            Clif

            Comment


            • #7
              I urge everyone here to tske Tanners challrenge and show our poettry mattrers.

              Comment


              • #8
                We've had this conversation before. I find it a valid point.

                I know poets come to the Zone for different things.

                I suggest that when we post our work, we identify that we are looking for honest literary criticism, as some of you already have in the response to Tanner's plea.

                I tend toward offering non-critical comments because I have much to learn about poetry still. I will work on strengthening that weakness to be a better contributor.

                That said - I am open to constructive critiques of my work and look forward to hearing from you!

                Comment


                • #9
                  To all who have read and commented, I give thanks. I especially want to thank RhymeLovingWriter, AlexandratheLate, and Parkinsonpoet for their support of my writing over the past few years. Poetry has been a vibrant part of my life and consciousness since adolescence. I have used it as a vehicle to confront my own mental health difficulties and forge ahead. I will take the liberty of quoting myself from my poem, Simplicity Speaks:

                  Enter yourself
                  Often
                  With a hymnal of flame
                  Be forged anew on the smithy’s anvil

                  Extend great kindness
                  Toward people
                  For the dark burden on their backs
                  May not be visible at first

                  Abandon the need
                  For adoration and praise from others
                  All words fray in the wind

                  I have just discovered an American poet (Joy Ladin) with whose work I was not familiar with. Her poem "Time passes" is exceptional and can be found at poets.org. I am going to explore her writings to help me grow as a poet.
                  Last edited by Tanner; 02-24-2022, 11:18 AM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Dear All
                    We have different objectives to be here and Tanners mediocrity might be something that some of us would love to aspire to. Personally the Haiku I find a slippery beast yet Tanner frequently traps its nuance. I see myself as a storyteller as much as poet. A problem I have had in the past is my brain moves on rather than honing word choices I have other ideas I want to get out. I found it easier to challenge Grant Hayes because of the ability he had to analyse or clarify his own work. I am more restricted than Grant in my analysis, and work on how I feel. Sometimes I connect to poetry that has an emotional link that I can relate to, from a poet with few word tricks. Somebodies bad poetry maybe anothers shared connection. If anyone wants to analsye my poems please go ahead. Opinions welcome.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Pp, I fully endorse these lines: Sometimes I connect to poetry that has an emotional link that I can relate to, from a poet with few word tricks. Somebodies bad poetry maybe anothers shared connection. Spot on and succinct!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Tanner View Post
                        [B]
                        I think there is far too much praise and not enough positive,
                        yet critical attention, paid to poems on the ZONE.

                        you raise a number of good points. however, what have you done about it?
                        you flood the forum with your own work in order to combat the problem?
                        you have not once acknowledged me, but expect me to acknowledge you?
                        are you unwilling to make this first move? or is it all about you?
                        as much as people go ( such is life sadly) do not more appear?

                        i initially did want to not respond to this, or even read it (mostly because you told me to)

                        but i am glad i did.. it was worth reading.. and i did not want to be what (i think) is the problem here.

                        we should ALL support each other, whether through constructive criticism or praise
                        even a simple like or view can make it feel like you did better... no?

                        do not lie about your feelings.. but everyone wants to be acknowledged or they would not share their work.

                        i see many people making attempts to make it better.. but none moreso than RhymeLovingWriter
                        - [disagree at will, but] -- she is keeping us afloat by commenting and liking our work, making us feel like it was worth sharing
                        i may have stopped caring about putting forth work long ago if not for people like her
                        special thank you to you (in particular) for making us ALL feel like our poetry matters.

                        we would all be better, in following her example.

                        (i would also like to say that if you acknowledge me, i will return the gesture more frequently)
                        ( a like only ... means no advice, well done.. if it can be better.. only you know how it can be improved)
                        Last edited by FixXxer; 02-26-2022, 12:02 AM.

                        Comment


                        • AlexandratheLate
                          AlexandratheLate commented
                          Editing a comment
                          Genuine praise inspires and I have made it my goal to read, to like and/or comment on poetry that resonates with me because even constructive criticism is an opinion, so I do not feel the need to critique other poets work. This is just my opinion.
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