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Related: concrete poetry - epic poetry - Lettrism - literary technique - modernist poetry - poetics - prose poetry - literature

Poets: François Villon - John Wilmot - Charles Baudelaire - les poètes maudits - Stéphane Mallarmé - Arthur Rimbaud - Hugo Ball - T. S. Eliot - Paul Van Ostaijen

Titles: Les Fleurs du mal (1857)

One often hears complaints that nobody writes poetry anymore, let alone buys it. But what are music lyrics if not poems set to sound? So aren't we listening to poetry all day? In Dutch we have a verb toondichten (En: tone poetry), which means setting lyrics to music. By this token I declare Neil Young the best poet in contemporary English. [Jun 2006]

Les dents, la bouche.
Les dents la bouchent,
l'aidant la bouche.
L'aide en la bouche.
Laides en la bouche.
Laid dans la bouche.
Lait dans la bouche.
L'est dam le à bouche.
Les dents-là bouche.
--Jean-Pierre Brisset (1837 - 1919)


Poetry is an art form in which language is used for its aesthetic qualities in addition to, or instead of, notional and semantic content. Poetry has a long history, and early attempts to define poetry, such as Aristotle's Poetics, focused on the various uses of speech in rhetoric, drama, song and comedy.[1] Later attempts focused on the deliberate use of features such as repetition and rhyme and the emphasis on aesthetics to distinguish poetry from prose.[2] Contemporary poets, such as Dylan Thomas, often identify poetry not as a literary genre within a set of genres, but as a fundamental creative act using language.[3]

Poetry often uses condensed forms and conventions to reinforce or expand the meaning of the underlying words or to invoke emotional or sensual experiences in the reader, as well as using devices such as assonance, alliteration and rhythm to achieve musical or incantatory effects. Poetry's use of ambiguity, symbolism, irony and other stylistic elements of poetic diction often leaves a poem open to multiple interpretations.

Specific forms of poetry have become traditional within and across different cultures and genres, and often respond to underlying characteristics of the language in which poetry is created. Each language's richness in rhyme and method of creating timing and tonal differences provides distinct opportunities for poets writing in that language. While those accustomed to identifying poetry with Shakespeare, Dante and Goethe may understand poetry by reference primarily to rhyming lines and regular accentual meter, other traditions, such as those of Du Fu and Beowulf, use other methods to achieve rhythm and euphony. In today's globalized world, poets often borrow styles, techniques and forms from different cultures and languages. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poetry [Jul 2006]


In search of anti-art.

Hugo Ball (1886-1926) invented a form of anti-poetry in 1916:

"I have invented a new genre of poems, Verse ohne Worte, (poems without words) or Lautgedichte (sound poems), in which the balance of the vowels is weighed and distributed solely according to the values of the beginning sequence. I gave a reading of the first one of these poems this evening. I had made myself a special costume for it. My legs were in a cylinder of shiny blue cardboard, which came up to my hips so that I looked like an obelisk... I also wore a high, blue-and-white-striped witch doctor's hat."

--Hugo Ball, Flight Out of Time, edited by John Elderfield, translated by Ann Raimes (New York: The Viking Press, The Documents of the 20th Century Art, 1974 [1924]), p. 70.

via http://cotati.sjsu.edu/spoetry/folder6/ng65.html [Jul 2006]

See also: anti-art - poetry - sound art - Hugo Ball

Spoken word

Spoken word is a form of music or artistic performance in which lyrics, poetry, or stories are spoken rather than sung. Spoken-word is often done with a musical background, but emphasis is kept on the speaker.

One of the most common sorts of spoken word performances is performance poetry, where a poet either reads previously-published poems, or reads poems specifically written to be performed aloud. Another kind that has gained popularity in recent years is political and social commentary, done in such a way that it is, while still prose, somewhat more artistic than a typical speech. Spoken word artists are often poets and musicians. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spoken_word [Aug 2005]

Automatic poetry

Automatic poetry is poetry written using the automatic method. It has probably been the chief surrealist method from the founding of surrealism to the present day. One of the oddest uses of automatic writing by a great writer was that of W. B. Yeats. His wife, a spiritualist, practised it, and Yeats put large chunks of it into his prose work, A Vision and much of his later poetry. Yeats, however, was not a surrealist.--http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surrealist_techniques [Jul 2004]

Porphyria's Lover (1834) - Robert Browning

... I found
A thing to do, and all her hair
In one long yellow string I wound
Three times her little throat around,
And strangled her.

Porphyria's Lover is a much anthologized 1834 poem by the English poet Robert Browning. "Porphyria's Lover" is Robert Browning's first dramatic monologue.

It is told by a madman in the process of murdering his lover by strangling her with her own hair, which he does so that Porphyria can be his forever and will be in an eternal state of love. The mirrored effect upon Porphyria's modeling of the narrator in the first half, and the narrator's reciprocal modeling of her after strangulation is indicative of a unusual artistc style called Tableaux Vivant in which humans were used as art in order to recreate actual paintings. This is indicative of the allegorical content within "Porphyria's Lover" in which they both imitate the process of artistic creation: when art is created or published, it is dead and forever unchanging. In the last few lines of the poem Porphyria is manipulated in much the same was as the voice was in the first few lines of the poem. Tennyson shares similar ideas in his "Lady of Shallot" as with other Victorian authors who contribute to the popular conversation about artistic process. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Porphyria%27s_Lover [Sept 2006]

See also: 1834 - poetry

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