Friday, October 20, 2017

Poetry

Poetry can be loud, it can be quiet, it can be musical, it can be classic, it can be modern, it can be freestyle, it can be metered, it can be anything you want it to be.

Poetry is not all old-fashioned and stodgy - and it isn't limited to sonnets and haikus, either. Poetry comes in all different forms and touches on a wide variety of topics and genres. There are verses and vows and limericks and lyrics. There's epic poetry, lyric poetry, speculative poetry (yep, sci-fi/fantasy/horror themes can creep into poems, too!) Poems pop up in greeting cards and commercials. They are shared in verse novels and at poetry slams.

Like plays, many poems are meant to be heard. Read a poem out loud, or listen to it being read by the author or another brilliant performer, and you might find yourself transfixed and transformed.

Think of a song with lyrics that you really like. Those lyrics just might be poetry, set to music. Check out some performance poetry. Consider Lin-Manuel Miranda's mind-blowing award-winning musical Hamilton. See what I mean? Rhythm and rhymes.

I had a lovely conversation with someone who translates poetry. She is fluent in multiple languages and loves melodic, meaningful words. She spoke of the challenge of keeping the original intention of the poem and being aware of both the connotations and the denotations of words used. When poems have a certain meter, feeling, or flavor,  it can be more important to use words that capture those feelings and rhythms than having a perfectly exact word-for-word translation, she said. Some words don't translate so precisely, she added, especially if it's a colloquialism or a turn of phrase.

Why am I posting about poetry today? Every Friday, bloggers around the world participate in Poetry Friday. This weekly event has roots in the world of academic blogs. I learned of it nearly ten years ago through the book blogging community and have been participating at my blog, Bildungsroman, every week since. Anyone may participate, and different blogs host the roundup each week.

Do you have any poets or poems you really enjoy? Feel free to leave them in the comments below!

If you're so inclined, donate some poetry collections and verse novels for the Ballou Book Fair!
http://tinyurl.com/BookFairBallouHS



5 comments :

Mitchell Linda said...

Great post! And, now I can comment.....all of a sudden. Not sure why. Oh, my choosing a favorite poem is not at all easy. I can tell you the name of the poem that brought me out of poetry childhood to poetry maturity. It's Ithaka by James Cavafy. I love it.

Ithaka
by James Cavafy

As you set out for Ithaka
hope your road is a long one,
full of adventure, full of discovery.
Laistrygonians, Cyclops,
angry Poseidon—don’t be afraid of them:
you’ll never find things like that on your way
as long as you keep your thoughts raised high,
as long as a rare excitement
stirs your spirit and your body.
Laistrygonians, Cyclops,
wild Poseidon—you won’t encounter them
unless you bring them along inside your soul,
unless your soul sets them up in front of you.

Hope your road is a long one.
May there be many summer mornings when,
with what pleasure, what joy,
you enter harbors you’re seeing for the first time;
may you stop at Phoenician trading stations
to buy fine things,
mother of pearl and coral, amber and ebony,
sensual perfume of every kind—
as many sensual perfumes as you can; and may you visit many Egyptian cities
to learn and go on learning from their scholars.

Keep Ithaka always in your mind.
Arriving there is what you’re destined for.
But don’t hurry the journey at all.
Better if it lasts for years,
so you’re old by the time you reach the island,
wealthy with all you’ve gained on the way,
not expecting Ithaka to make you rich.

Ithaka gave you the marvelous journey.
Without her you wouldn’t have set out.
She has nothing left to give you now.

And if you find her poor, Ithaka won’t have fooled you.
Wise as you will have become, so full of experience,
you’ll have understood by then what these Ithakas mean.

Mary Lee said...

Here's a book to watch for in early 2018 that will get you wanting to write, write, WRITE your own poetry: Jabber-Walking by US Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera.

Kay said...

What a great tribute to poetry! One of my current favorite poem (my favorite frequently changes) is "Defining the Magic" by Charles Bukowski. You can read it here: http://www.slimcoincidence.com/blog/?p=1642

Tabatha said...

There are so many poems and poets that I love ... it's impossible to choose a favorite, but here's one that always gets me:

The Illiterate by William Meredith

Touching your goodness, I am like a man
Who turns a letter over in his hand
And you might think this was because the hand
Was unfamiliar but, truth is, the man
Has never had a letter from anyone;
And now he is both afraid of what it means
And ashamed because he has no other means
To find out what it says than to ask someone.

His uncle could have left the farm to him,
Or his parents died before he sent them word,
Or the dark girl changed and want him for beloved.
Afraid and letter-proud, he keeps it with him.
What would you call his feeling for the words
That keep him rich and orphaned and beloved?

Little Willow said...

Thanks to everyone who has commented so far! Keep those poems and recommendations coming!