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You are currently reading a thread in /lit/ - Literature

Thread replies: 44
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What are your favourite poems, /lit/? And why?
Image is my favourite poem.
teen love
needy texts
empty sex
>And why?
The Raven because it's the most perfectly constructed poem in the English language

.. you're joking, right?

> Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,

> weak and weary

two words that don't expand upon the other, filler for rhythm

> once upon a midnight dreary

putting the adjective second to fit the shitty jingly trochaic meter

in fact I'll just go and say it now: the trochaic meter is just awful. it's an uplifting sort of meter, and Poe didn't know anything about style, in fact he didn't know anything about music. I'd say he didn't know anything about life and was obsessed with romantic ideals beyond fault, but that's not really needed if I'm going to just say why The Raven is garbage.

> Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore—

... come on. Read this out loud. This is awful. It's jarring. It fits the metrical pattern of a TV Advertisement for Rectal Bleaching:

> Once upon a midnight dreary, while I bleached it, bright and cheery,
> Over many a taint and pussy of a forgotten whore—

It works as children's poetry, and that's the mentality of the piece -- it's a bit of fantasy, contrived emotions, and a lack of personal experience that works with children (and the criminally under/unread adult populace) but doesn't fly for anyone seeking any depth, intellectual or emotional, of any kind. And to top it off, the form is beyond sloppy. It's one of the worst poems in the English language of the period.
Notes toward a Supreme Fiction

Something in me feels that it's not fair to choose a poem that takes poetry as its ostensible subject. Then everything it says is mystified and enhanced by a reflexive rose-colored lens. but I love the poem most of all (for the moment)
John Berryman's Dream Songs. A must-read.
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Oh look, its the TL;DR version of Gravity's Rainbow
something something fallacy of imitative form

I'll limit myself to poems I've read in the past week. I read some of Shakespeare's lesser sonnets and other than some fabulous compression that didn't feel contrived, they felt really aphoristic and some of the worst kind of unexperienced poetry -- some sort of moral argument about how beauty should procreate (Sonnet 1) etc. -- not my type of Shakespeare sonnet. Was worth rereading them for his mastery of language however. Plus he's still one of the best sonnet writers of all time. Though I would certainly put Sidney head and heels ahead of him, and possibly Donne's holy sonnets -- that is, to Shakes' weaker sonnets. I think he and Sidney are tied when you compare the better sonnets. Donne's longer philosophical lyrics smash Shakes' middling philosophical sonnets to pieces but that's not a fair comparison.

From the past few days, I liked Three Poems by John Ashbery, though I'll need to spend more time with them. Especially because it's about 80+ pages of prose poetry that's denser than the third chapter of Ulysses. And probably not as aesthetically pleasant. 80+ pages of unadultered Ashbery can really put you in a trance, I suppose. It's not his better work, but it was from when he was still writing good poetry.

Mercian Hymns by Geoffrey Hill is my favorite of the week collection. Something very endearing by his Offa poems that doesn't come across in his fire-and-brimstone-but-not-really earlier and later poems. There's a forced seriousness to it, but the levity leaks out anyways. Great.

Some of Jay Wright's poems. Reminds me a lot of Robert Hayden, though much more accomplished. I take a little offence at how loose his verse is but the man has a very intelligent eye for myth and personal experience and he reads like a jazz solo, playing variations over and over on his basic experience. Sketch for an Aesthetic Project is a good one.

I reread some Stevens too and I like him less and less with every reread. The Stevens I loved when I was first reading poetry succumbed to my realization of his kitsch. The later in his career, the better his poems. His early works in Harmonium are cute but too many of them are banal philosophical observations or theses that he just wrapped into nice rhetoric. Very impersonal. Witty, sure, but he is at his best when he's witty and a human being. Autumn Refrain remains my favorite of his. Second is Auroras of Autumn. Can't stand his most popular works, like Anecdote of the Jar. It's just shallow.
I can't tell if I should take this post seriously or not

you definitely should. The only people who worship Poe are the ones who don't actually read any poetry beyond High School 11th grade curriculum.

No, The Raven is a piece of garbage and every single poet of his time, and of our time, and every time inbetween, would and probably HAS said it. It's a poem for the retards who don't read. Well, and kids, for whom I would definitely recommend it.
the raven clearly sacrifices meaning and power for euphony, and way too much euphony at that. it is a poem that has not aged well at all. you ever try listening to the instrumental beats from late 80s / early 90s gangsta rap? Poe is like that, x10
It's also for the French.
Astrophil and Stella, no. 34
Dallas, TX
I mean these are valid criticism but isn't that his whole point. That fantasy is better than reality and that we shouldn't think and analyze things. His whole deal is that literature should appeal to people and get their point across on a primal level. Almost everything in his work is about the conflict of the ideal and imaginary over the stark and real (Raven and Tell-tale heart are where that's most obvious). And this isn't even just drily stated in the text with dictionary words and old allusions, though that's there for people who want it, it's dyed in the meter, verse, and cadence of his work so that even people who don't understand exactly what he means can feel his meaning. That's probably why it appeals to children and young adults so much. So I think you can criticize it but you also have to realize that this was his entire point.
intentional fallacy
just because an author achieves his goal doesn't mean the goal was worthy or worthwhile in itself (and I'm not even sure he achieves his goal)
>I'm a huge faggot who hasn't read Baudelaire's or Poe's analysis of this work.

You suck dick and your work is probably trite prose shit
Sure but it didn't look like you even understood what he was doing or why. I think once you realize those things you have a deeper appreciation of the work. If you want to argue the merits of his goal then you can read Poe's own extensive writing on why he felt his goal was laudable.
I'm not the guy who posted that long critique. I may or may not better appreciate the work after reading criticism, but there's something fishy about reading an author's explication of his own work, and taking this as a justification for it.

Do I understand "what he was doing or why?" No. Do I want to understand? No. Do I like his poetry? No. You can try to change my opinion but I doubt you'll be successful.

>implying unimplied implications
>I don't begin to understand the poem
>therefore it's bad
I didn't say it was bad, I said I didn't like it. Can you read? Or does this not register in your brain as a distinction?
What does your taste have to do with its worth?
Did I comment on its worth? Rhetorical question, answer is no.
>it's an uplifting sort of meter,
No it isn't, think of the weyard sisters in Macbeth. They speak in trochaic tetrameter. The the effect suits the raven, that is one of the few things the poem does have going for it.
When suddenly, at midnight, you hear
an invisible procession going by
with exquisite music, voices,
don’t mourn your luck that’s failing now,
work gone wrong, your plans
all proving deceptive—don’t mourn them uselessly.
As one long prepared, and graced with courage,
say goodbye to her, the Alexandria that is leaving.
Above all, don’t fool yourself, don’t say
it was a dream, your ears deceived you:
don’t degrade yourself with empty hopes like these.
As one long prepared, and graced with courage,
as is right for you who proved worthy of this kind of city,
go firmly to the window
and listen with deep emotion, but not
with the whining, the pleas of a coward;
listen—your final delectation—to the voices,
to the exquisite music of that strange procession,
and say goodbye to her, to the Alexandria you are losing.
He's write though
That poem is the poetic equivalent of an acid trip. Thank you OP.
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I like solitude by Ella Wheeler Wilcox.

Truly wholly purely captures the meaning of solitude.
I like you
What's the best way to learn about meter?
I was taking it seriously until the "anal bleaching" comment. How does your being able to insert some crude imagery and have it still fit the metre make it a bad poem? It seems ironic that you go on to deride it on the basis that it's "children's poetry" after that (as if that has any bearing on the poem's quality in the first place).
Your other points are perfectly valid, I just don't see what you think is inherently bad about those aspects of the work.

>the raven clearly sacrifices meaning and power for euphony
It's fucking poetry. How is this a complaint?
You think a poem about anal bleaching
isn't artistically overreaching?
jk I don't know who's arguing what I just wanted to rhyme that
Jack-in-the-Box by Elder Olson

Devil sprang from box,
Frightening the children, who would not be quieted.
In vain they were wooed with all the other toys;
Expecting new terror, they would not look or listen; like an angry demon
Their fear ran around the house, from room to room.
At last their mother bore them off to bed.

Blakely lit his pipe,
Let it go out again with thinking: something more had been released
Than long-necked Punch, nodding and leering still.
As in the ancient casuistry of Eden,
Falsehood, accepted, falsified all truth;
All the old pleasant truths now fell away,
Flimsy as Christmas papers; there was the house, now,
Pretty with snows, with candy roofs and sills,
Sparkling and false as the house in the fairy tale;
As if in a haunted forest shone the tree
With fruits - pear, apple, plum - all poison-bright.
Outside, the wind swept away the Christmas illusion, raising a white fog
Where toys like Martians stalked, destroying all.

He thought: how simply terror can enter a house;
The angel, treed, was trembling, that had promised peace.
Not bad. Did you write it?
one thing

Why is that your favourite poem? I think it's shite.

The Book of Job is my favourite poem. It's about the character of God therefore more ambitious then almost all other poetry. What it reveals about the nature of God is in the proper sense of the word awesome. The content is divine but even the aesthetic experience of the work is incredible. It's ancient.

For a long while though, this was my favourite, by Dylan Thomas:

The force that through the green fuse drives the flower
Drives my green age; that blasts the roots of trees
Is my destroyer.
And I am dumb to tell the crooked rose
My youth is bent by the same wintry fever.

The force that drives the water through the rocks
Drives my red blood; that dries the mouthing streams
Turns mine to wax.
And I am dumb to mouth unto my veins
How at the mountain spring the same mouth sucks.

The hand that whirls the water in the pool
Stirs the quicksand; that ropes the blowing wind
Hauls my shroud sail.
And I am dumb to tell the hanging man
How of my clay is made the hangman’s lime.

The lips of time leech to the fountain head;
Love drips and gathers, but the fallen blood
Shall calm her sores.
And I am dumb to tell a weather’s wind
How time has ticked a heaven round the stars.

And I am dumb to tell the lover’s tomb
How at my sheet goes the same crooked worm.

To me it's just the perfect poem, constructed with the right amount of richness and depth without veering too far into obscurity. Musical in the way it builds to a crescendo then ends almost quietly with the last two lines. The sentiment it carries couldn't be better articulated.
Its my favourite poem just because of how much sentiment I've personally applied to it. On its own, even, its so extremely powerful. There's so much meaning in such a short amount of words.
Not sure if anyone here will understand spanish.

I re-read it again from time to time, it just gives me the chills. I think it's beacause I can relate to the situation in these recent years in Spain, 102 years, yet you get the same feeling of discomfort and defenslessness


A una España joven

... Fue un tiempo de mentira, de infamia. A España toda,
la malherida España, de Carnaval vestida
nos la pusieron, pobre y escuálida y beoda,
para que no acertara la mano con la herida.

Fue ayer; éramos casi adolescentes; era
con tiempo malo, encinta de lúgubres presagios,
cuando montar quisimos en pelo una quimera,
mientras la mar dormía ahíta de naufragios.

Dejamos en el puerto la sórdida galera,
y en una nave de oro nos plugo navegar
hacia los altos mares, sin aguardar ribera,
lanzando velas y anclas y gobernalle al mar.

Ya entonces, por el fondo de nuestro sueño —herencia
de un siglo que vencido sin gloria se alejaba—
un alba entrar quería; con nuestra turbulencia
la luz de las divinas ideas batallaba.

Mas cada cual el rumbo siguió de su locura;
agilitó su brazo, acreditó su brío;
dejó como un espejo bruñida su armadura
y dijo: “El hoy es malo, pero el mañana... es mío”.

Y es hoy aquel mañana de ayer... Y España toda,
con sucios oropeles de Carnaval vestida
aún la tenemos: pobre y escuálida y beoda;
mas hoy de un vino malo: la sangre de su herida.

Tú, juventud más joven, si de más alta cumbre
la voluntad te llega, irás a tu aventura
despierta y transparente a la divina lumbre:
como el diamante clara, como el diamante pura.
Thanks for this
>come on. Read this out loud. This is awful. It's jarring. It fits the metrical pattern of a TV Advertisement for Rectal Bleaching:

Learn to find meter you scrublord, holy shit. No wonder your taste is so shitty.
do you know what meaning and power are in poetry? do you know there's such a thing as nonsense poetry and gibberish and singsong? do you realize that Shakespeare is a greater poet than Milton precisely because he does not make that sacrifice, but retains all three elements?

a perfect poem is perfectly euphonious, powerful and meangingful--pleases the ear, the heart, and the mind
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