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where are the poets?

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In reply to an earlier post on May 22, 2012 2:08:53 PM PDT
Suzanne says:
[[[Due to its freedom freeform seems to have immeasurably more possibilities than strick conformity.]]]

I have no idea how one would enumerate them, but I don't think I can agree. Eliot famously said that free-verse wasn't free, and I think he was trying to reflect the fact that by abandoning form, free-versers were tasked with recreating it, and the best of them did that, in various ways. The best of Eliot, Pound, and WC Williams is as formal as the most classically formal verse, meaning that it's obeying principles of expressiveness. The difference is that the great poems by the free-versers are all nonce forms, rather than working off what already exists, and it's always a risk when inventing a new form as to whether or not it will actually be effective. The reason the sonnet, eg, endures is that it's proven effective (not for arbitrary reasons either), and continues to be so in the hands of masters.

In reply to an earlier post on May 22, 2012 3:22:05 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on May 22, 2012 3:31:10 PM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on May 22, 2012 3:37:18 PM PDT
Lou Jones says:
Wow! I guess we were not giving Rick the proper reverential fawning he deserves.

In reply to an earlier post on May 22, 2012 4:09:56 PM PDT
I am a poet and found out in college how often poetry is only considered good if it is not understood. If this is true it is no wonder that poetry has a bad name. I would be happy to get involved in some program that would bring poetry back to the forefront.

Poetry is in everything, from slogans on coffee mugs, greeting cards, rap music, music in general. The problem seems to be that it isn't recognized as being all around us.

Posted on May 22, 2012 10:07:55 PM PDT
Did that person just say 'I didn't get picked so I'm taking my ball and going home'?

It is absolutely okay, if not expected, for poets to have different opinions. That's the whole point of the thing we enjoy. If it were all the same, it wouldn't draw just a diverse crowd to it.
The best definition I have for poetry:

Poetry is.

In reply to an earlier post on May 22, 2012 11:45:02 PM PDT
Suzanne says:
[[[poetry is only considered good if it is not understood.]]]

I think that's an over-simplification. Jericho Brown had a great quote about "understanding poetry" in a recent issue of Poetry Magazine that I think was an illuminating example:

"Poems ask us not to understand in the same way that we often find ourselves not comprehending the possibility of a God in this world. One of the first poets I loved was Essex Hemphill. There's a young man with whom I had a short affair, who is a jazz pianist studying at the Berklee College of Music, and once I showed him some poems by Hemphill. He read one and said, "I don't get it," and I said, "You don't get it because you're trying to get it. Stop doing that."

Then I said something I actually felt smart saying: "The first time you heard Thelonious Monk you didn't get it, but you liked it. It felt good, and you were ok with that and you moved on. Then the next time you heard it, you were like, `Oh, and there's this.' Then the next time you heard it you were like, `Oh, my God, there's this too!'" I said, "Just read the poem. Just enjoy the poem." So he sat there and he read the same poem and he said, "Oh, wow, that is a lot better!""

What most people mean by "understanding poetry" is simply understanding the basic semantics, the significance of one thing being compared with another, or what an image symbolically refers to, but I don't think that's ever what understanding poetry is really about. Whether or not you can understand something, you can always feel it. To borrow from the Brown's example, the first time you fell in love, you didn't understand it, but you felt it. Great art should be like that. You may not understand it, but you feel it, and, in a strange way, you understand it without being able to paraphrase it. I don't "understand" William Blake, but I understand him in another way that's probably deeper than just knowing what he's talking about.

In reply to an earlier post on May 22, 2012 11:59:19 PM PDT
I agree. Most poems I have loved at first site took quite some time to understand what was being said. The oddest part; when you get done with a piece, realize you are crying, and don't know why.
Then re-reading the piece, there are several AH HA's.

"I don't believe poetry has reason, and needn't have it. Poetry isn't a string of words, brush strokes, or even notes. A poem, no matter how perfect, is a mere shadow of the poetry influencing and inspiring the words on the lips and page. Poetry is what we feel when we are full of the moment; the ones that steel your breath, and steal your heart. Moments that drown your eyes, and flood your very soul; these are poetry. Poetry is a ride; a poem, an interpretation of that ride. As any poem is a shadow to poetry, it is, as such, a lightning flash into the author's shadow, our reaction, the thunder. It is what is hidden in secret places, as well as what is left to bask in the light. True freedom can only exist within poetry, for no rules are needed to govern the brush strokes of the heart."

Posted on May 23, 2012 12:39:23 AM PDT
Katy Brodsky says:
Check out Sheetstone Memoir For a Lover by Susan Blanshard
Fragments of The Human Heart by Susan Blanshard

About Susan Blanshard

She was born in Hampshire, England. But later moved to New Zealand where she spent most of her early childhood. She is the daughter of a Canadian born Diplomat and consequently experienced a nomadic existence as a young woman. Her literary work is coloured by her multicultural past and present.

Susan is author of Sheetstone: Memoir for a Lover (Published by Spuyten Duyvil, 2006), a book length poem. `Sleeping With the Artist'', poetic prose. Selected poetry from `Evidence of Obsession' and `Perfume River' are published in The World's Literary Magazine, Projected Letters, Six Bricks Press and Arabesque Magazine. Her essays published in Lotus International Women's Magazine, ICORN International Cities of Refuge. P.E.N International Women Writers' Magazine. And PEN International Writers Committee The Fourth Anthology, Our Voice, Nuestra Voz, Notre Voix, Biblioteca De Textos Universitarios, Argentina. Her collection of poetry and essays 2000-2007, Fragments of the Human Heart. Her essays The Pillow Book, Four Recipes, The Traveler, Orientation, published in Arts And Culture, Lotus International Magazine, Hanoi. She is author of six non fiction books including Boot Camp for Lovers, the Survival Course for Relationships. And recently VAANI Anthology for London Olympics.

Susan was an invited International guest of The First Asia Pacific Poetry Festival held in Halong Bay, Vietnam, February 1-7th, 2012 and International participant Xth Vietnamese Poetry Day, held at The Temple of Literature, Hanoi, February 4th- 5th, 2012. Susan is a Committee Member for International PEN Women Writers.

Susan Blanshard is married with two children. She currently lives in Hanoi with her husband, a visual artist. She runs a series of Cafe Writer's Workshops. There is a flood of writing coming from this expatriate community. Most are women. There is an overall sense of adaptation to environment and a strong spirit needed to counter loss of place and familiar patterns.

In reply to an earlier post on May 23, 2012 4:42:53 AM PDT
Toni says:
If you are still out there I want you to know that I didn't disparage your little poem. From many of your remarks I sensed you are a very dispirited and unhappy person, feeling that life is more or less a rotten experience. So in my final comments to you the other day, I was simply trying to say that I don't approach the life experience from your perspective. I believe it is up to each of us to give our lives meaning and worth, no outside agency can do that for us. I do hope you will be able to find some measure of contentment for yourself.

Posted on May 23, 2012 7:07:43 AM PDT
#TimeOutofMind a short story by Keshown Cassell
"Death is a life worth living"
Time Out of Mind

Posted on May 24, 2012 1:10:46 AM PDT
Patti says:
I found one but its not just poetry. I found it really compelling that it was prose driven by the interjection of poems. It's called "The Final Verse". I couldn't find anything else from that author but this one piece was really intriguing. It's short and cheap and I would recommend it. It has stayed with me since I read it a few days ago.

In reply to an earlier post on May 24, 2012 8:16:18 AM PDT
[Deleted by the author on May 24, 2012 10:51:35 AM PDT]

Posted on May 24, 2012 8:50:30 AM PDT
locsblonde says:
I have truly enjoyed the comments and discussion on Poetry. I am called a poet but see myself also as a story teller. I also know the trials and tribulations that face poets when publishing poetry. I am also a publisher that does publish poetry.( and

I also am in the process of working to get poetry mainstream. I am currently shopping a reality show called "Words". Its a competition between poets, singer-songwriters, and comedians that write original material on a given topic and perform. They are mainly judged on the content of their words. No music is used as this is about the words.. We have this show on the road while my executive producer J. Anthony Brown, comedian and morning co-host of "The Tom Joyner Morning Show", shops the show to networks.

Hopefully this show and other like it will bring poetry and other arts to the forefront. So much talents goes unseen..

I ask myself what is live or just a figment of your imagination...
I saw firsthand what can be...
what will be ...
and at the very least thy will be done...
my words is all I have and I never walk away....
I give and take but give so much more...
only asking for what is just...
can you stand the test...
or can you simply walk away....
giving minimal excuses...
for what should have been...
we stand by the test of time...
the heart that is given into the battle of it all...
those who yield the words of battle...
if you do not...
will not...
and choose not....
to stand by them...
please walk away...
don't ask why...
or hesitate to think that you have...
never to be forsaken...
the battle of words...
our passion...
my stand to take us to the promise land...
believe in the words we say...
and spew...
our words...
our reality conveyed to you....
the battle that every poet fights...
as they share a part of who...
they really are...deep rivers

"Without Words We All Live in Silence"

Deep Rivers

Posted on May 24, 2012 9:34:05 AM PDT
don't follow

you show your love with bruises to my face
Don't know what causes you to anger with such haste
Happy and laughing in the moment
Then screaming, swinging full of torment

Decked to the floor
Cause I tried walking out the door
You squeeze my neck with your love
I say the slightest thing wrong and out come the gloves

Broken ribs, broken pride
Like jerking in a noose, along for the ride
Spiral down with your fists
The urge to leave I resist

Bloody lips and black eyes
with every swing a piece of me dies
I know you're just stressed
I know you're just hard pressed

Stressed from your life's demands
So you release it on me with your hands
Choking so hard I can't even cry
Squeezing so long I feel myself start to die

knees to the face and jaw
Forearm to the throat, back to the wall
Knees come into my abs
Face swollen from incessant jabs

My body goes limp, I slide to the floor
Why did I resist walking out that door?
You said you loved me -- well, you lied
Because I believed, here, on the floor, I die


No More Tears
Tears roll and puddle with blood
I stand again; spit out the mud
Face met the earth yet again
It happens every now and then

I grit my teeth and relieve the swelling
Can't see; can still hear the yelling
Screamed at like a cur
Standing from strength conjured

To the kitchen my feet carry me away
I take a moment, stop, pray.
'Let it end today, let this day be the last'
Try to remain calm though my heart beats fast

Back down the hall to the living room
Still hear screams, the monotonous boom
I use this to guide my path
I can't see; I use it to guide my wrath

Charging headlong full of rage, full of fear
Mouth tasting blood mixed with tears
Plunging deep through flesh and bone
I only wish you'd left mommy alone

Sirens fill my ears
Blurred people in blue begin to come near
They hold me tight and bind my wrists
Can't get free, no matter how I twist

As I have time to reflect on what was done
I realize my new life has begun
Free from the fists, free from the fear
From my eyes, down my face, I shed one, last, tear.

In reply to an earlier post on May 24, 2012 1:59:52 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 24, 2012 2:16:23 PM PDT
Lou Jones says:

You might want to Google "Overuse of the ellipsis ( . . . )." Just a suggestion.

In reply to an earlier post on May 24, 2012 9:41:33 PM PDT
check out my book, Little Bags of Milk. see what you think.

In reply to an earlier post on May 25, 2012 3:50:56 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on May 25, 2012 6:52:58 PM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on May 25, 2012 5:27:58 PM PDT
from my new book, Little Bags of Milk: A Collection of Poetry-

the closet.

when i can't sleep
he talks to me
the little boy
trapped in the wall
he died here
this little boy
hung himself in the closet
you can hear him sometimes, when you run the faucet
he sings to me
it makes me move in a way i wish i didn't
he scares me, sometimes, when he is there when i open my eyes
i can hear him calling my name
sometimes, he is not so nice to me
he wants me to play with him
i can feel him nudge me
when i don't pay him with attention
sometimes, he does not ask me
sometimes, he makes me watch him
he locks himself in the closet
and i can hear him hang himself
and he is laughing.
laughing at me
he can hear me
listening for him
listening for the scrape of his bare feet against the cold floor
i can see him
when there is no dark
sometimes, he is not dead at all
and sometimes, in the middle of the night, i wake up in the closet
and i wake up laughing.

1 october 2007

In reply to an earlier post on May 30, 2012 1:46:49 PM PDT
Toni says:
Rick (Richard Atwood),

If you are still out there I want you to know I just finished reading your collection of poems, "Death and Morning." It is wonderful. I feel I know you, more aptly stated, I've had a peek at your soul. Oh, if we all could express ourselves with such beauty and grace! I hope all who visit this site will choose to give Rick's poetry a look. Rick, I'm going to order your other books, "You,My Love" and "How Deep The Pain Goes Quiet, After," as soon as I complete these comments. I wish you all the best Rick. As I told you before, I hope you find contentment. You deserve it.

For others who may read these remarks, I only know Rick through this poetry forum. We exchanged some comments and he evaluated a couple of my husband's poems for me. (My husband and are elderly). That is our only connection. Now I know him through his poetry. It is problematic to recommend poetry based on one's personal taste, but with Rick's poetry I have no reservations about doing so.

In reply to an earlier post on May 30, 2012 7:23:39 PM PDT
[Deleted by Amazon on Jun 9, 2012 5:26:37 PM PDT]

Posted on May 31, 2012 5:27:43 AM PDT
Corpse365: Vol. 1
hey guys check out my poetry book corpse365 vol. 1

In reply to an earlier post on May 31, 2012 7:47:08 AM PDT
I self-published a book of poems entitled: Foretopgallant Flight. It's available on I have no idea how to market it. Please check it out. See what you think. Cheers!

Paul Cavanaugh

Posted on May 31, 2012 7:59:06 AM PDT
I don't think Amazon allows me to state that I am a poet in these forums. I will submit that Julia Vinograd is an excellent poet... Award winning and all that.

Julia Vinograd Group

Posted on May 31, 2012 6:30:27 PM PDT
Dana S. Coe says:
Inspiration And Motivation (I Am)
Inspiration And Motivation (I Am)

Posted on May 31, 2012 10:36:33 PM PDT
I ask everyone to check out my newly published book of poetry called Timeless Clock. Its raw uncut n poetry like you've never read before. Leave a review. If u have a book let me know i love poetry n love reading
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