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How To Greet a Poem

 
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Alan Edward Roberts



Joined: 26 Nov 2008
Posts: 188
Location: Twickenham, London, UK

PostPosted: Thu Oct 29, 2015 2:43 pm    Post subject: How To Greet a Poem Reply with quote

How To Greet a Poem (on a page)

Meeting a poem is a challenge
Meeting a poem is a challenge to us as readers
Meeting a poem is a challenge to the poem as a completed human artifact
Every time we meet a poem we are new
Every time we meet a poem the poem is new
Listen to the music
Be aware of our music
Listen to the story
Be aware of our story
Engage with the structure, the architecture of the poem
Be aware of our own architecture, our own structure
Forget all the “shoulds” guiding us on how to read a poem
Enjoy ourselves
Enjoy the human artifact
Allow something to change - something to be new
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David A Taylor



Joined: 20 Aug 2015
Posts: 54
Location: Penang, Malaysia

PostPosted: Fri Oct 30, 2015 1:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear Alan, thank you so much for that.

If this describes a readers duty then what is a poet's responsibility?

Here is one poets view:

Poet's Obligation
Pablo Neruda

To whoever is not listening to the sea
this Friday morning, to whoever is cooped up
in house or office, factory or woman
or street or mine or harsh prison cell;
to him I come, and, without speaking or looking,
I arrive and open the door of his prison,
and a vibration starts up, vague and insistent,
a great fragment of thunder sets in motion
the rumble of the planet and the foam,
the raucous rivers of the ocean flood,
the star vibrates swiftly in its corona,
and the sea is beating, dying and continuing.

So, drawn on by my destiny,
I ceaselessly must listen to and keep
the sea's lamenting in my awareness,
I must feel the crash of the hard water
and gather it up in a perpetual cup
so that, wherever those in prison may be,
wherever they suffer the autumn's castigation,
I may be there with an errant wave,
I may move, passing through windows,
and hearing me, eyes will glance upward
saying 'How can I reach the sea?'
And I shall broadcast, saying nothing,
the starry echoes of the wave,
a breaking up of foam and quicksand,
a rustling of salt withdrawing,
the grey cry of the sea-birds on the coast.


So, through me, freedom and the sea
will make their answer to the shuttered heart.

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David
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David A Taylor



Joined: 20 Aug 2015
Posts: 54
Location: Penang, Malaysia

PostPosted: Fri Oct 30, 2015 2:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear Alan

a radical poet's view (for advanced readers?)

How to read a poem

Firstly it is best to prepare:
Take the poem with you and
go up into your attic,
throw out everything.
After all you put it there
because you did not need it now.
Then go into your house
and throw out everything you own
onto the lawn
(except the books with poetry of course).
Then take off the roof of your house
so that nothing obstructs your view
of the firmament above.
Now that was not so difficult, right?
But now you must knock
down all the walls
that protect us from anything outside.
(This task may take some time).
And now you are just sitting
with the poem and nothing else.
But you don't need it anymore;
it has already done its job.

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David
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Alan Edward Roberts



Joined: 26 Nov 2008
Posts: 188
Location: Twickenham, London, UK

PostPosted: Fri Oct 30, 2015 2:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks David ... for those responses, and particularly for the second ... I take it that in reading / greeting “How to read a poem” I am reading / greeting your own poem. This could be the start of a dialogue among poets and readers! (I have set both “How To Be a Poet” and “How To Meet (or Greet) a Poem” as 10-minute exercises for our Saturday morning class in London - and been reassured by the shared poetic sense that is made manifest by the varied responses of students / fellow-poets).

Thanks ... also for bringing Pablo Neruda into the dialogue - Although, in my “moderator” role, I am unsure how to respond to the posting of “Poet’s Obligation”. On the basis that the Forum is a public space I have always challenged the re-posting of any previously published copyrighted poetry (ie which I understand as poetry published by any author who has died less than 70 years ago). Pablo Neruda’s poetry falls into the category, his dates being 1904-1973 ... Although I am aware that “Poet’s Obligation” has been posted numerous times on the net. Until I can obtain further clarification, David - can you under the Obligation of a Forum member avoid any other re-posting of published in-copyright poetry!

And thanks again ... for rejoining the Forum and for bringing your lively voice to our poetry writing and poetry reading community (... and thanks for bringing an international dimension to Forum postings).

Best wishes, Alan
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David A Taylor



Joined: 20 Aug 2015
Posts: 54
Location: Penang, Malaysia

PostPosted: Mon Nov 02, 2015 12:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear Alan, very nice to hear from you.

Are you trying to trick me? Of course you know I am not the source of the second poem "How to read a poem" but since my muse has niether fingers nor an internet password I gave her the use of my facilities, as I do from time to time, and sometimes she can be rather insistent.

Re Pablo Neruda's poem I must have thrown out the book on copyright law
or have put it in the attic. Apologies for this misdemeanor.

Those Saturday morning classes must have students attending? Would they like to say Hai on the forum, maybe they even have a Ku or two?

Mountains sit silent
Babbling streams flowing earthwards
All waiting to drink

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David
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Alan Edward Roberts



Joined: 26 Nov 2008
Posts: 188
Location: Twickenham, London, UK

PostPosted: Tue Nov 03, 2015 1:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear David

In the potentially tricksy world of poetic dialogue I only became sure that in at least one sense I had been greeting your own poem once you deflected the responsibility (“Of course you know I am not the source”) elsewhere!

One of the Saturday morning poets (Joydev Nandi) has posted on this site an appreciation of poetry and of poetic appreciation that I think you might enjoy ...

http://schooleconomicscience.org/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=766

For other poets / students, Wendell Berry’s advice to poets actual and potential to 1. “shun electric wire” and 2. “stay away from screens” is sound advice that they intend to continue to follow (although I do within that setting at times give the Forum a plug, so to speak) ...

http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/poem/30299

In case “the book on copyright law” is still in your attic and waiting to be found ... I may need it! In the meantime I have found the U.S. based guide to the “Code of Best Practices In Fair Use of Poetry” useful in seeking to understand some of the issues involved ...

http://www.poetryfoundation.org/downloads/FairUsePoetryBooklet_singlepg_2.pdf

The third part of Wendell Berry’s poem expresses for me something of the refreshment to be found in poetry, and of the resolution of a paradox between silent mountain and babbling stream, through his phrase “like prayers / prayed back to the one who prays”.

Alan
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David A Taylor



Joined: 20 Aug 2015
Posts: 54
Location: Penang, Malaysia

PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 2015 12:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear Alan

Now I must strongly disagree with the undoubtedly honorable Mr Berry
and would recommend some adjustments to his advice.

Sit or stand or dance if you like
But reside in that quiet place
Found deep in the heart.

You must entirely depend
On what’s there in that place
So very much more than
Affection, reading, knowledge,
Or any skill, or your taste.

Work, growing older,
Patience and fear
All set to one side
From the now and the here.
The past just like an illusion,
Must have no intrusion.

Breathe with complete
Freedom of breath,
But at the same time having
Not any, conception of death.

Communicate spontaneously.
Shun nothing because,
All that may come
Is always a gift
From the wondrous Sun.

Accept the beautiful music
That comes from the heart
And the words as they fall;
Then make nothing of it at all.

Let the words that pour forth,
Give a poem that speaks
Of the place whence it came
And not from the person
Who appended their name.

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David
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Pol Paul
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2016 4:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How read a poem?
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