What Makes Good Poetry

Discussion of any bush poetry topic.
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Bob Pacey
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Re: What Makes Good Poetry

Post by Bob Pacey » Sun May 01, 2016 1:44 pm

Here Here Maureen


You know that soundcloud site that you put me onto, well I checked yesterday and one poem has been viewed over 2000 times.


You never think the people will like what you write but stick it out there and see what happens.

Oh Good Poetry IMO if you like it then it is good.


Bob
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Neville Briggs
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Re: What Makes Good Poetry

Post by Neville Briggs » Sun May 01, 2016 1:56 pm

If good poetry is merely subjective or opinion, then bush poetry doesn't have any good poetry, only opinions.
Why should winners of bush poetry competitions be considered for publishing in anthologies if their acclaim is only the product of opinions.
Why should bush poetry be taught in schools if it is only based on subjectivity, in that case there is nothing to teach.

The post that started this thread set out Lehmann and Gray's take on what makes good poetry.

marks of poetry
imagery
rhythm
musical texture
aphoristic phrasing
mastery of form
original tone of voice.

All of those things ( except perhaps the last ) are objective, they are not subjective. They are not simply opinion but clearly discernible elements of creative writing.

Sorry folks but all this talk about art being just a matter of taste or opinion, is itself just opinion, and really an uninformed opinion.
Neville
Singleton Bush Poets.

Bob Pacey
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Re: What Makes Good Poetry

Post by Bob Pacey » Sun May 01, 2016 4:11 pm

Ya reckon Nev , so who said they were right ?

Oops that's just a matter of opinion or was it written on a block of stone way back in the dark ages ?


Bob
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Neville Briggs
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Re: What Makes Good Poetry

Post by Neville Briggs » Sun May 01, 2016 6:21 pm

That would be too hard for my brain Bob, to trace the long history of the arts and the establishment of our common aesthetic sense.

I just kind of hope that those in our little poets association who get awards or who are congratulated or celebrated for their efforts are not just the recipients of fluctuating opinions or just happen to get lucky on the day but they are considered good practitioners because they really are good practitioners and we can know why.
Neville
Singleton Bush Poets.

manfredvijars

Re: What Makes Good Poetry

Post by manfredvijars » Sun May 01, 2016 9:28 pm

Well done Mausie - good show ... :D

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Gary Harding
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Re: What Makes Good Poetry

Post by Gary Harding » Mon May 02, 2016 8:04 am

Yes Maureen, your interesting example of a poem appearing to be a load of old codswallop and then when published it attracts much favourable comment is maybe something like the Bulletin example of 100 years ago.
The work of Joe Tishler (referenced by Vic) was so "strikingly bad" that it earned a poetic niche of sorts.
People perhaps became so used to, and maybe even tired of, very Good poetry (and in those days clearly the standard was high) that strikingly bad poetry stood out.. and he was eventually published in book form.

The story of Ern Malley is well known, and perhaps the situation you describe might also earn itself a place in poetic discussion as .. The Tishler Syndrome. Particularly when looking at Contemporary poetry. ("Ah, it is is just the Tishler Syndome again.." or in other words.. so bad it is considered good)

What a crazy world.

I do not want to start a rush on poets dragging out all their bad material in search of fame or notoriety though.. like Joe.

He was apparently subjected to affectionate ridicule by The Bulletin and the public... but nevertheless he achieved a special place in Australia's poetic history where many, many supposedly better poets faded to obscurity.

Which all goes to prove.... something.. I am not sure what.

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Re: What Makes Good Poetry

Post by Bob Pacey » Mon May 02, 2016 9:19 am

Here is a tip everyone. have a look at the schedule for the year and note the big events all the usual eg Christmas Easter labotr day ect and send in topical poems. They love it and makes it easier to slot in the paper.


Then if you are really keen look at local events like replay for life and local festivals and do a poem giving them a plug and not only send them to your local paper but post it on their facebook page if they have one.


Like Maureen said just a matter of sticking it out there and seeing what comes back.


I have had many contacts from poems that I post in the local press and you do not know how many people read them until someone says oh now I can put a face to the name "I collect all your poems your know " Humbling.

Bob
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After you grasp that everything else seems insignificant !!!

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Re: What Makes Good Poetry

Post by Vic Jefferies » Mon May 02, 2016 3:59 pm

Seems as though I have at least created interest.
Gary, I think it is time that we accepted there is good and bad poetry just as there is good and bad most things. Unfortunately the prevailing school (excuse the pun)of thought seems to be that anything can be excused on the basis of no one has the right to criticise or venture an opinion other than the prevailing politically correct one. Our society and our standards have suffered immeasurably under this teaching. Generally speaking what is foisted onto the young as entertainment, music, art or literature today is in the main, appalling and in many cases pornographic, so much so that the young have no reference point to measure anything against. They only know the trash that has been hailed as "great" by imbecilic reviewers or trendy critics and they know nothing else.
There is great poetry that will live forever as there is great art, great music and great literature. Whether it appeals to us personally or not is beside the point. There are numerous poems that I like and will always like, but I know they are not great or even good poetry. They appeal to me for whatever reason and I enjoy them, but I know what they are because I have read widely and understand the difference, unfortunately our young are not being taught or given this resource.

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Re: What Makes Good Poetry

Post by Gary Harding » Mon May 02, 2016 6:51 pm

Yes I agree 200% Vic.
Precisely. You summed it up.

In wrapping up on the subject, I might present a humerous anecdote if possible.

In researching people associated with Federal Government $$-grants and all the large lumps of cash slipped to so-called modern "poets" (presumably in exchange for votes and not their literary talent) I came across a web-page celebrating the launching of a contemporary poetry book.

Photos of people with the obligatory scarves around their necks and even some berets (as opposed to the bush-hats of bush poets I guess) sipping drinks and standing around chatting and by implication presumably saying what a great book it was. Nice comments posted.

Then on the same page a Critic (of some high regard apparently as nobody dared take him to task) took the remarkable step of posting a savage comment about the book that said that it was "The very definition of Meaningless" WOW! harsh words and embarrassing.

I was staggered.

Could Ern Malley have risen from the dead??

My theory of a Contemporary Poetry "Club" existing where everyone agreed to mutually support each other and gush over each other's work regardless of sensibility was instantly debunked.
A group of cocktail-drinking syncophants on one hand saying it was Good and a critic saying it was Meaningless rubbish on the other!!?? Where lies the truth?

So what is good poetry?? who decides? each individual decides for himself.. and can people be bribed with a few drinks to say what is clearly Meaningless is actually Good? I don't know.. but if the drink is champagne and free I could be tempted.

I guess it all comes back to saying no strict definition can get one out of bother and it's all about personal taste, which thankfully is diverse or poetry might be dull! One thing this discussion has reminded me is that no matter how BAD I think a poem is, there is always someone somewhere who reckons it is GOOD.. so watch out!. cheers.

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Re: What Makes Good Poetry

Post by Neville Briggs » Mon May 02, 2016 11:21 pm

Gary, if it is true that each individual decides for himself the merit of poetry then there is no justification for anybody to sneer at others as sycophants gushing over something meaningless. They make their choices as is their right.
Neville
Singleton Bush Poets.

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