Why bother with free verse on a bush poetry site?

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Shelley
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Re: Why bother with free verse on a bush poetry site?

Post by Shelley » Mon May 09, 2016 1:03 am

Excellent reasoning, David - and likewise to all of you in your responding comments.

Like Heather, I find one of the great joys of writing poetry is finding the perfect word fit. Sometimes it comes easily, sometimes not. Also like Heather, I have genuinely mourned lines I have discarded because I simply couldn't find the best rhyme, or the most effective way to make my point while fitting the rhythm and metre. Maureen knows only too well how often I tweak the homework prompts because their rhythm is not always easy to insert into a poem (hence the challenge) :)

David, I also read free verse as an aid to improving my traditional poetry writing. As you say, the imagery found in good free verse is often lacking in its rhyming cousin - but why should it be so (I ask myself)?

Free verse is often dismissed as incomprehensible by traditional poetry devotees. But it doesn't have to be abstract. In fact, if it is incomprehensible, then it completely misses the point - for surely the objective of any poet is to make the reader see the world through the poet's eye. If the reader is left scratching a puzzled head - then why did the poet waste time and ink? Might as well have cleaned the oven!

My first love is traditional poetry, and I make no apology for that. But the day we let ourselves be blinkered into a tunnel-vision view of the poetic world is the day we stop learning. Then we might as well book our 6 foot plot!

By the way Neville, some of us do write sonnets, villanelles, cinquains, rubaiyats, English sextets, acrostics, concrete poems and even the odd limerick! We just don't admit to it very often :lol: As I've mentioned before in the forum, my Kyrielle sonnet which began as one of Maureen's homework exercises, ended up placed in the top 10 of an international written competition and led to the publication of my poetry book! And if you watch closely, I might just get up the courage to post my villanelle on the forum. But where does it belong? It's not bush poetry, nor is it from the dark side (where no rhyming is allowed)!!! Perhaps Maureen needs to set us a villanelle as homework, then I can post it there :?

Cheers
Shelley
Shelley Hansen
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http://www.shelleyhansen.com

"Look fer yer profits in the 'earts o' friends,
fer 'atin' never paid no dividends."
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Neville Briggs
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Re: Why bother with free verse on a bush poetry site?

Post by Neville Briggs » Mon May 09, 2016 6:02 am

Just a passing thought Shelley. Why should we have it that a villanelle is not bush poetry. My information is that villanelle means a little village song or a country song if you like, aren't country songs bush poetry.
The contemporary Australian poet, Suzanne Edgar has written a villanelle called After the Drought, the subject and mood of that poem is perfectly suited as "bush" poetry.

Don't be shy, let's hear your country song. :)
Neville
Singleton Bush Poets.

Terry
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Re: Why bother with free verse on a bush poetry site?

Post by Terry » Mon May 09, 2016 11:07 pm

Getting back to what David was saying about Free Verse helping us to strive to find the best word available, certainly rings a bell with me. I must admit I'm pretty slack in this, belonging to the lazy brigade of "That's near enough mate - she'll be right" when many a poem I've written could be much improved by a better choice of words. Mind you after my first effort - free verse seems a B----y hard way of learning.

Cheers Terry

manfredvijars

Re: Why bother with free verse on a bush poetry site?

Post by manfredvijars » Wed May 11, 2016 12:26 am

Yes David, I also agree. We "Poets of Australian Rhymed Verse" have a broad palette to work with. That palette happens to be the most comprehensive Dictionary and Thesaurus we may have access too. Sadly many tend to work with ever diminishing palettes. Adopting a too narrow view excludes much of what could (and sometimes should) be said. We are Poets first and foremost, who happen to prefer writing in rhymed verse. Excluding other forms of writing AND poetry all the poorer in our expression.

As an amateur photographer, I find that sometimes 'colour' gets in the way of the picture, where the best presentation of that particular subject is rendered in black & white. No less where cobbled metre or forced rhyme gets in the way of a good piece of writing where intent and expression are watered down as a slave to form - and subsequently lost.

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Re: Why bother with free verse on a bush poetry site?

Post by mummsie » Wed May 11, 2016 9:35 am

Mannie said
As an amateur photographer, I find that sometimes 'colour' gets in the way of the picture, where the best presentation of that particular subject is rendered in black & white. No less where cobbled metre or forced rhyme gets in the way of a good piece of writing where intent and expression are watered down as a slave to form - and subsequently lost.
and that pretty well sums it up Mannie-well defined in my opinion.


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Sue
the door is always open, the kettles always on, my shoulders here to cry on, i'll not judge who's right or wrong.

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Wendy Seddon
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Re: Why bother with free verse on a bush poetry site?

Post by Wendy Seddon » Wed May 11, 2016 11:21 am

Conversely people, some lines and versus I have started and then had to 'tweak' to get rhyme and meter sorted have forced me to delve further into my vocabulary and turned out much better than my original scribble.
"All appears to change when we change." - Henri-Frederic Amiel

manfredvijars

Re: Why bother with free verse on a bush poetry site?

Post by manfredvijars » Wed May 11, 2016 4:43 pm

Delving further into your Broad Palette will do that too Owly ... The other thing to remember is to, not let the voice of your ego drown out the whisperings of your Muse ...

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David Campbell
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Re: Why bother with free verse on a bush poetry site?

Post by David Campbell » Thu May 12, 2016 12:40 pm

Thanks for your comments everyone…lots of food for thought.

The frustration mentioned by Heather and Shelley at sometimes not being able to find the most effective way of saying something within the constraints of metre and rhyme has implications. It seems that poetry in schools, if taught at all, is most likely to be non-rhyming verse, and the suggestion has been made that this happens because teachers find rhyming verse too difficult. That could be true, but it could also be the case that they and their students simply find free verse more suited to what they want to say.

Poetic language was generally much more formal 100 years ago, which is one reason why Dennis’s use of the vernacular was such a spectacular success. He wrote in terms that “the people” could recognise, but since that time, in all sorts of ways, our use of language has evolved to the point where things like the abbreviations and symbols of Twitter etc. have become commonplace.

So, when young people write poetry, non-rhyming verse gives them the freedom to use their own voices without having to worry about the manipulation that is often necessary with the more traditional form. (If they want metre and rhyme they turn to music which, if you look at rap, is very, very liberal with both!) That freedom could be why, to take up another point of Shelley’s, free verse tends to be stronger in imagery…because it is more immediate and has a broader vocabulary as well as a more flexible range of formats. You’ve only got to read some of the winning entries in the student sections of the Ipswich Poetry Feast to see how well those young people understand the power of the written word. But they’re much less likely to wield that power using the traditional form.

It’s also possible to generalise and say that bush poetry tends to focus more on the story than imagery. Narrative and subject-matter dominate, followed by metre and rhyme, with imagery trailing behind. I emphasise that that’s a generalisation, but long experience suggests it holds pretty true. On one of my recent result sheets a judge wrote that my entry was a “good poem — so much better than many poems in the competition. However, many of the poems in the competition better meet the conditions of the competition.” He also said that it “rhymes beautifully and the metre is sound”, so I can only conclude that it wasn’t “bushy” enough because he went on to encourage me to “keep writing on this theme if it helps you”. Clearly, the subject-matter (personal loss) didn’t satisfy his limited requirements. So maybe, as with an increasing number of poems, I’ll try an open competition.

In that context, Manfred's comment is relevant: "Adopting a too narrow view excludes much of what could (and sometimes should) be said."

Cheers
David

Neville Briggs
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Re: Why bother with free verse on a bush poetry site?

Post by Neville Briggs » Thu May 12, 2016 12:55 pm

I read your post with interest David. It is very perceptive and helpful.

I am just throwing this in to see if you wish to comment :)

Wordsworth apparently said that "souls who have felt too much liberty welcome form, in truth the prison into which we doom ourselves, no prison is."
Neville
Singleton Bush Poets.

manfredvijars

Re: Why bother with free verse on a bush poetry site?

Post by manfredvijars » Thu May 12, 2016 3:14 pm

.... " in truth the prison into which we doom ourselves, no prison is."

That is an inversion and would NEVER do for competition ... :evil: :evil: :evil:

Wordsworth should know better ...

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