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Postby 220chrisTian » Jan 15, 2010 1:54 pm

After I suggested a special feature topic on metaphysical poetry, the NarniaWeb mods graciously allowed me to start a general poetry thread. So here goes!

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines poetry as...
1a. metrical writing: verse
1b. the productions of a poet: poems
2. writing that formulates a concentrated imaginative awareness of experience in language chosen and arranged to create a specific emotional response through meaning, sound, and rhythm

And here's the Oxford English Dictionary [OED]...
1. Imaginative or creative literature in general; fable, fiction
2. The art or work of a poet
a. Composition in verse or some comparable patterned arrangement of language in which the expression of feelings and ideas is given intensity by the use of distinctive style and rhythm; the art of such a composition. [Traditionally associated with explicit formal departure from the patterns of ordinary speech or prose, e.g. in the use of elevated diction, figurative language, and syntactical reordering]
b. The product of this art as a form of literature; the writings of a poet or poets; poems collectively or generally.
d. The expression or embodiment of thought or feeling in a manner regarded as characteristic of a poem; (also) the products of this expression. Freq. opposed to verse, prose, etc.

Poetry has many elements, forms [click here, here, and here for lists and examples], and genres. Click here and here for overviews on the history and nature of poetry. Finally, click here for a list of famous poems, and here for a list of famous poets.

So what do you love [or hate] about poetry? What are your favorite elements, forms, and genres? Who are your favorite poets? Do you have any favorite poetry websites? And have you written any poetry? If so, has any of it been published? Please share your poetry with us.

Discuss away! :)

EDIT: Websites
1. "The Poetry Archive" ... "The Poetry Archive is a treasure-trove of English-language poets reading their own work. Some are historic recordings, some have been made specially for the Archive - which means its range is the widest possible: from Tennyson at the end of the c19, through poets such as Allen Ginsberg and Langston Hughes in the middle of the c20, to contemporary poets including Seamus Heaney, Ruth Padel and Kathleen Jamie."
2. Academy of American Poets
3. The Poets' Corner ... "The collection covers roughly 7,000 works by about 800 poets."
4. Poetry Magazine, published by the Poetry Foundation

EDIT 1/21
If you want to post a poem or a portion of it, whether yours or someone else's, there is now a poetry limit = 25 lines. If the poem in question is longer than this, use ellipses [...] or hyperlink the poem title. Thanks. :)

Re: Poetry

Postby Shadowlander » Jan 15, 2010 4:34 pm

I have to admit that I really don't much care for poetry. When I'm in a position to read some I can't help but think that the author should stop beating around the bush and just say what they need to say rather than churching it up. ;))

But I will say I was always partial to Tennyson's Charge of the Light Brigade. Its martial account of valor and heroism in the face of certain death always struck a chord in me. It's a poetical telling of the titular charge of the Light Brigade at the Battle of Balaclava. The order to advance the Light Brigade (600 cavalry) was believed to have been a miscommuncation of some sort and so the whole group went forward without any support and made what amounted to a suicide run down a valley loaded with cannon on all sides, which wounded the unit grievously. Their charge became the stuff of legend, even though the effect they had on the Russians on the far end of the valley was rather minimal overall.

Half a league, half a league,
Half a league onward,
All in the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.
‘Forward, the Light Brigade!
Charge for the guns!’ he said:
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.

‘Forward, the Light Brigade!’
Was there a man dismay’d?
Not tho’ the soldier knew
Some one had blunder’d:
Their’s not to make reply,
Their’s not to reason why,
Their’s but to do and die:
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.

Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon in front of them
Volley’d and thunder’d;
Storm’d at with shot and shell,
Boldly they rode and well,
Into the jaws of Death,
Into the mouth of Hell
Rode the six hundred.

Flash’d all their sabres bare,
Flash'd as they turn’d in air
Sabring the gunners there,
Charging an army, while
All the world wonder’d:
Plunged in the battery-smoke
Right thro’ the line they broke;
Cossack and Russian
Reel’d from the sabre-stroke
Shatter’d and sunder’d.
Then they rode back, but not
Not the six hundred.

Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon behind them
Volley’d and thunder’d;
Storm’d at with shot and shell,
While horse and hero fell,
They that had fought so well
Came thro’ the jaws of Death,
Back from the mouth of Hell,
All that was left of them,
Left of six hundred.

When can their glory fade?
O the wild charge they made!
All the world wonder’d.
Honour the charge they made!
Honour the Light Brigade,
Noble six hundred!

Good, stirring stuff!
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Re: Poetry

Postby Aslanisthebest » Jan 15, 2010 6:03 pm

Poetry is my true love. :D I previously didn't enjoy reading it as much as I fancied writing it, but I've been letting that diminish...slowly.
As I mentioned, I really, really love to write poetry. It comes more naturally to me than writing a lengthy short story does, and the rhyming words excite me. ;)
Sadly, I haven't read enough of poetry to determine my favourite poet, but that will be fixed. ;))
Just recently, this poem of mine got chosen by my writing program exclusively for their Winter card: I was pretty excited and surprised, since I quickly penned it on a few minutes freewrite we had.
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Re: Poetry

Postby Shantih » Jan 16, 2010 10:00 am

I could never really appreciate poetry until I got in the habit of reading it aloud (even if it's just under my breath). It made the rhythm and feel of each piece so much clearer!

My favourite poets are probably Anne Sexton, Mahmoud Darwish, Siegfried Sassoon Sylvia Plath and Edna St Vincent Millay.

I used to enjoy writing poetry when I was younger, but now I'm definitely more of a consumer than a producer :p
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Re: Poetry

Postby 220chrisTian » Jan 19, 2010 8:56 pm

Shantih: interesting choices! There's one Millay poem I like, called "Renascence." :) The only poetry I wrote was for a creative writing class. Some of it was okay. I may eventually share one poem I wrote, an English sonnet. :p But like you I'm definitely more of a consumer. :)

Aslan: thanks for sharing your beautiful poem. :ymhug:

Shadowlander: thanks for being the first responder, even though you don't like poetry that much! :D So you like battle poetry, or at least Tennyson's "Charge of the Light Brigade"? I admit, I never cared much for it. :ymblushing: I prefer Tennyson's "In Memoriam." My favorite lines from it are these: "One God, one law, one element, And one far-off divine event, / To which the whole creation moves." :)

I never cared much for poetry until my senior year of high school. That's when I first read [and heard] John Donne's Holy Sonnet XIV, i.e. "Batter my heart Three-Personed God." I can still recite it from memory. :) My favorite poetry periods are the English Renaissance [which according to C. S. Lewis doesn’t exist :-\ ] – Sir Walter Raleigh, William Shakespeare, John Donne, George Herbert [the latter two being metaphysical poets]; and the English Romantics – William Wordsworth, William Blake, Samuel Coleridge, John Keats. Who’s my favorite poet? George Herbert. I own his collection The Temple. Check out Herbert's "The Altar," "The Sacrifice," "Redemption," and "Easter Wings." :)

If you like any poetry at all, please share your thoughts and favorites in this thread! If you don't like poetry, say why! If you've ever written a poem you think is half-decent, share it! Let's get the conversation going! :)

Re: Poetry

Postby wild rose » Jan 20, 2010 12:23 pm

I love poetry, I simply go crazy from it, I think it is a beautiful way of expressing your feelings.
My favorite poets are Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, William Shakespeare and Alexander Pushkin (he's a Russian 19th century poet.) I also love Fanny Crosby 's poems.
I dabble poetry myself every so often, though I am far from being a poet
Here is one of my poems, I hope you like it

To the Friends I Haven't Met Yet
Though we have never met face to face
To you this poem I dedicate
I know how strange it may seem
To love a friend you've never seen
Much less one you've never met
But it's just I haven't met you yet
I know that you are waiting for me
Just like I am waiting for thee
The world is full of those like you
Those of whom I never knew
Those that one day I will meet
Those who I will warmly greet
There is a special corner in my heart
That I have gently set apart
There is a place for each and everyone
For all the friends that are yet to come
In the world no strangers to me there are
They are simply friends I haven't met thus far

*Side note: do we have some sort of limit to how long our poems should be, because I have a poem that 'critics' have said is my best but it is rather long*
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Re: Poetry

Postby 220chrisTian » Jan 20, 2010 12:58 pm

wild rose: thanks for the post! :ymhug: I love the poem. I have many good friends I've never seen, although I've "met" them online. I love your insight on relationships. :)

No, there's no limit to posting poetry, yours or someone else's, since Shadowlander posted all of Tennyson's "Light Brigade." ;) Well, on second thought, let's say no more than 50 lines per poem. Maybe you can post it in pieces, after someone else has posted something in this thread. :)

And how did I forget Pushkin and Crosby and other hymnwriters? :-o Favorite Pushkin: "The Bronze Horseman." Favorite Shakespeare: sonnet 18, "Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?" Favorite Longfellow: "A Song of Life." I also like parts of Evangeline. I've been to a few Evangeline statues in Lousiana. :D

Re: Poetry

Postby kotwcs » Jan 20, 2010 5:25 pm

Hm, poetry! I don't know much about it except for what I like and I what I dislike. I like Dickenson mostly, "The Old Stoic" is probably my favorite of hers. I also like E.E. Cummings, Omar Khayyam, Rumi, Rudyard Kipling, and others I can't name at the moment. I can't believe I've never read any Pushkin poems! He gets quoted enough in all the Russian lit I read. Unless that poem that begins, "Lived a knight once, poor and simple..." is his, I think it is. Anyway I also love traditional Japanese poetry, like haiku:

Don't worry spiders:
I keep house
Casually. --Issa, 18th cent.

And this poem is a religious one in a different form:

I have locked the gate on a thousand peaks
To live here with the clouds and birds.
All day I watch the hills
As clear wind fills the bamboo door.
A supper of pine flowers,
Monks' robes of chestnut dye--
What dream does the world hold
To lure me from these dark slopes?

--Zekkai, 14th cent.

I can just smell that clear wind and see all those mountain peaks gating me in! I love it. Oh! And I like some poems by Boris Pasternak. My favorite of his is "Gethsemane," which I like to read around Easter. It's long though, so I will post a shorter one of his I like:


I have died, but you are still among the living.
And the wind, keening and complaining,
Makes the country house and the forest rock -
Not each pine by itself
But all the trees as one,
Together with the illimitable distance;
It makes them rock as the hulls of sailboats
Rock on the mirrorous waters of a boat-basin.
And this the wind does not out of bravado
Or in a senseless rage,
But so that in its desolation
It may find words to fashion a lullaby for you.
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Re: Poetry

Postby Alyosha » Jan 21, 2010 1:55 am

Hehe, I am not a big fan of haiku but that one is pretty great, kotwcs. :P

"Batter my heart Three-Personed God" is one of my favourite poems too, 220chrisTian. Have you read anything else by Donne?

A while ago I discovered the villanelle and decided I liked it. It has such a weird and flowing rhyme scheme. i.e. One Art by Elizabeth Bishop.

Other favourites:
As the Ruin Falls, C.S. Lewis
And death shall have no dominion, Dylan Thomas
At the Theatre: To the Lady Behind Me, A.P. Herbert
We Don't Need to Leave Yet, Do We? Or, Yes We Do and a stack of other poems by Ogden Nash
Redemption, George Herbert
Song by John Donne
Much Madness is Divinest Sense, Emily Dickinson
Journey's End, Tolkien

...and then the ones everyone seems to have read--The Road Not Taken, Acquainted With the Night, He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven, Ozymandias, Jabberwocky...
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Re: Poetry

Postby ForeverFan » Jan 21, 2010 9:24 am

I'm not a super huge fan of reading poetry, but every now and then I come across one that I really like. My favourites currently are Lines by Emily Bronte, For the Fallen-I think it's a shame only one of the stanzas is always read on November 11th when the rest of the poem is such a good one, and In Flander's Fields and generally speaking any other WWI poetry related to the War.
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Re: Poetry

Postby Phosphorus » Jan 21, 2010 2:39 pm

I know something of poetry, being a Creative Writing minor. I've written some myself and am actually taking a class on it this semester. The general response at my university to my poetic works is "I have no idea what he's talking about" ;) . My real difficulty is communicating with the reader, which is too bad, because I am strong (though immature) in other areas. My instructor once told me he could go to sleep (in a good way) listening to me read my poetry because of the beautiful sounds, though he had no clue what it meant.

As far as other poets, I enjoy Fitzgerald's translation of the Rubaiyat, as well as Milton, Virgil, Dante, Lucan, Aneirin, and Chesterton. I often look at non-Western poetry, especially Middle eastern/Asian. Chinese poetry can be really good but also very "watery," if you know what I mean. One of the best (which I saw of course in translation) compared the falling of snow to two great white dragons tearing at one another above the world, so that their scales drifted down on the earth.
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Re: Poetry

Postby 220chrisTian » Jan 21, 2010 4:46 pm

Phosphorus: interesting... Maybe you wanna share a poem, see what us NarniaWebbers think? ;) Milton, Virgil, and Dante: what are your favs? I've read rather a lot of Milton: Paradise Lost, Samson Agonistes, "Nativity," "Lycidas." I liked the first two the best. I want to read Paradise Regained, but I haven't gotten around to it. :p Virgil: parts of the Aeneid, of course, although I didn't care for it that much. :ymblushing: Dante: I've read most of the Inferno. I liked the story of Paolo and Francesca the best, although it was tragically selfish. /:) I don't remember his shorter stuff. And except for Chesterton, I'm not familiar with the other writers you named. :p

FF: "In Flanders' Fields"! My favorite WW1 poem is "IV the dead," by Rupert Brooke. :)

Alyosha: I've read Donne's Holy sonnet 10 [Death be not proud], "The sun rising," "The canonization," and "A Valediction: forbidding mourning" ... the result of a graduate course in Renaissance poetry. ;) Favorite Donne prose: Meditation XVII, "Ask not for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee." :) Thanks for posting a link to Herbert's "Redemption"! He's my favorite poet! 2nd favorite: Christina Rossetti. I like Tolkien's "Journey's End" and Carroll's "Jabberwocky" too. :)

kotwcs: Kipling, eh? So what do you like? He was the subject of my graduate thesis, and one subject of my dissertation. Admittedly, I won't analyze much of his poetry, just his fiction. :p

Re: Poetry

Postby TheGeneral » Jan 21, 2010 7:08 pm

I like poetry when it's easy to understand :) .
I've had to read so much of it just from taking required english courses, and a lot of them very hard to figure out :-o .

My favorite poet is Robert Frost. I really like "Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening" and "The Road Not Taken".
I like others too, mostly about nature.
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Re: Poetry

Postby wild rose » Jan 22, 2010 12:11 pm

I am posting another of my poems i think it is 50 lines I couldn't separate it cause it all goes together (I hope that is OK)
Oh and criticism is welcomed (I'm no poet so don't expect anything special)
Faith Hope Love

What is Faith?
Faith is looking into darkness and seeing light
Faith finds day when it is night
Faith looks beyond today and into tomorrow
Faith finds joy in times of sorrow
Faith looks into God's eyes and not the waves
Faith doesn't live by hours or days
Faith doesn't search, Faith trusts to all that comes
Faith doesn't say maybe, Faith says done
And when reason seems to have gone
Faith will go on and on and on
Faith believes not having seen
To Faith sight is a foreign thing
Faith looks straight into the impossible
And says with God all things are possible
What is Hope?
Hope is the knowledge that it's not the end
When you are lonely Hope is your friend
Hope says even though the sky is black
Someday the sun will come back
Where there's no path, Hope finds the trail
Hope is comfort when you fail
That even though the tears may flow
Someday they will stop and go
Hope is courage when all seems lost
Hope will go on at any cost
Hope is the moon in the darkened sky
Hope is the last thing to die
That when all seems gone you'll have the grace
And with God's help you'll win the race
What is Love?
Love is a promise to always be true
Love is a commitment to stand by you
Love is when your own you will not seek
Love is mild and gentle and meek
Love sees all your wrongs and loves you all the more
The faults that people will point out, Love chooses to ignore
To all that may not be perfect Love will remain blind
Yet all the while Love sees with an extra eye
Love finds the good were others will not find
Love suffers long, and is kind
Love will always bear, Love will always believe
Love will never look, yet love will always see
Love is something wonderful and odd
EDIT:New Line :D In truth to say love comes from God

Now abideth Faith, Hope, Love these three but the greatest of these is Love (I Corinthians 13:13)[/i]
The ends must never justify the means, the means must justify themselves--Ravi Zacharias
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Re: Poetry

Postby Light In The Dark » Jan 22, 2010 1:06 pm

Hmm, I would have to say my favorite poem of all time is The Raven. However, my favorite poet of all time would have to be J.R.R. Tolkien, saying his poems have... much relevance to them, and to me seem much more beautifully constructed, even though, Edgar Allen Poe is also a poetic genius.

I think it might take up a bit too much space to post The Raven. ;)

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Re: Poetry

Postby 220chrisTian » Jan 22, 2010 4:20 pm

Beautiful poem, wild rose. Thanks for sharing. :ymhug: I especially like how you define faith, hope, and love. They make you think. But I've been warned lately that "God is love" can't be reversed, i.e. "love is God." It isn't.

Light: so you like "The Raven," eh? Why? I prefer "Annabel Lee" myself. :p

TheGeneral: Frost wrote some great poems. I like what you chose. Nature poems are calming for me, I think. Probably Frost is the best example. I had to memorize "Stopping by woods" to the tune of something with "ole" at the end. :-\


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