Dead Poets : Forum : Linguistic Musing


Linguistic Musing

14 Years Ago


From some of the experiments I've been conducting, I'd like to share some thoughts on Modern poetry, as in today, right now, you and me, poetry. I think it should sound immediate. Our culture of MTV, microwave dinners and Podcasts has given us a strong desire for that which is brilliantly alive but only in short bursts. To capture the atmosphere of our times in poetry I think we should strive to express that pace. One thing I've been looking at recently is suffixes like -ing. Let me give you an example:

She was walking then dancing then running.

This phrase has ten syllables, it's slow and the soft tones of the -ing's make it bland. Most will probably see the faster way to word this is:

She walked then danced then ran.

The phrase is reduced to six syllables and feels much more �right now�. In this format the subject and the action are all that matters. In the first sentence there is a �la-la-la� feel. In the second, it gets right to it.

These are pretty simple examples. What I�m trying to express is the usefulness of writing a phrase multiple ways without necessarily changing the words. Instead we change the way they are conjugated. The tone of a poem which doesn't quite catch the pace or mood required by the content can be modified by simple tweaks. I fear we overlook this sometimes and start pulling out the thesaurus too soon. On the flip side, these ideas can be used in converse. Like a throttle controlling the pace of a poem.

This is, admittedly, some really simplified linguistic musing. Hell, it might not even make any sense. I wonder though, does it bring up any theories for you in regards to your use of language as your artistic medium?

[no subject]

14 Years Ago


Personally, I think there is room for all styles and paces of poetry and somehow I have managed to escape most of the urgency and instant gratification of these modern times.

How can beauty be appreciated in three second intervals gimme,gimme,gimme...
What do you really get from it? Over stimulation and and an addiction for more? It erodes the soul and denys the spirit...mine, anyway...Don't get me wrong, I like short succint verse...but there is also room for a little more developed poetry.

I do agree, there are way too many "ing's"(gerunds) in a lot of the poetry I read on this site and others, I'm sure I am as guilty as the rest...I think I'll do a contest where there are no gerunds allowed, lol

[no subject]

14 Years Ago


Awesome! look at you pull out the terminology! Good vocabulary is so exciting.

Your contest idea is a good one. Add to it the removal of That, This and These and make it really interesting!

I think you may have misjudged me on the breadth of my post. This is about a distillation of an experiment. I certainly don't mean that ALL poetry should be reduced to 8 line 64 syllable crap. A poet should learn as many styles as they can cram into their head. It's like a toolbox to match the tone needed for a poem. I find a poet who writes in just one form gets pretty dull after a few reads. Besides that, a modern experimentalist should be building upon the foundation of past poets, taking their discoveries and going further, combining disparate techniques and birthing new variations of form. (er, sorry, let me get off my soapbox...)

What I was getting at was the perception of movement in a poem which attempts to evoke the sensation of NOW. There are elements of classical poetry which simply cannot capture it. They are designed to slow a reader down to ponder the topic. Which is good in the right place, but if you want to express 7 A.M., Monday, Gate D14 at Hartsfield Airport in such a way as to capture its urgency and frantic pace and blur of faces, iambic pentameter (for example) would never cut it beyond a description. Nor would most standard dreamy contemporary free-verse. It requires compression and pace to touch the reader any deeper than the words they read.

(Now, as far as Beauty goes, don't forget that is only one of the three things poetry should be written about. The other two are Truth and Love and both of those have some remarkably ugly sides that have spawned really good poetry.)

[no subject]

14 Years Ago


Yeah, now that I read this, I think maybe I did misinterpret...I agree with what you are saying...Definitely the style, rhythm,meter should match the subject and support the mood, or action, unless of course there is deliberate misdirection.

I have to admit I'm toying with the idea of writing a sonnet that coveys urgency...
lol...I do love a challenge.

I like your addition to the contest rules...lol, and think perhaps to add a rule prohibiting over use of "he, she, I, we, they"...do you think we'd have any takers?

[no subject]

14 Years Ago


Jack is unbelievable how similar we think... I have spent alot of time thinking about making my writing sound more in the 'present'... and I certainly play around with my lines to make them have the best impact...
your first example.. 'She was walking running dancing'.. this sounds past tense.. mostly because of 'she WAS'... This is how it would appear in a story..
now.. 'she runs, dances and walks..' is more present tense ..
I have found this is a difficult thing to do... especially in abstract poetry!.. My main influence in writing are the band 'the mars volta'.. they are masters at doing this.

below is an example... Its soo obscure.. so in your face.. but feels 'now' it's from one of their songs called ...
'Roulette Dares' {The Haunt Of}

Transient jet lag ecto mimed bison
This is the haunt of roulette dares
Ruse of metacarpi
Caveat emptor....to all that enter here
Open wrist talks back again
In the wounds of its skin
They'll pinprick the witness
In ritual contrition
The A.M. trinity fell upon asphyxia-derailed
In the rattles of...
Made its way through the tracks
Of a snail slouching whisper
A half mass comute through umbilical blisters
Spector will lurk
Radar has gathered
Midnight neuces from boxcar cadavears
Exoskeletal junction at the railroad delayed
Exoskeletal junction at the railroad delayed