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ADVICE - QUESTION FOR YA! > Do Poets read other Poets work?

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message 1: by ofwoodsandbone (new)

ofwoodsandbone | 7 comments I'm Curious , do you read other Poets work? I've noticed a trend (I don't know if it happens with this group as I've only been a member for a day) that people love to write poetry, promote their own, but rarely read other poets work

Do you read poetry or just like to write your own?


message 2: by Ruth (new)

Ruth | 5061 comments Of course I read poetry.

1. Because I love to read poetry. I can't conceive of writing it if I didn't love to read it.

2. Because I want to improve my own work.


message 3: by Elora (new)

Elora Shore (EloreShore) | 180 comments I read poetry too. I like a range of styles, and although I'm not a meticulous follower, I try to read several on here as well.


message 4: by Richard (new)

Richard | 285 comments One of the chfirst reasons I stopped attending workshops is because over and over I found exactly the same thing: People who read no more than one poet if they read any at all. I think this happens because way too many people think poetry is self-expression, so why should they bother to read anyone else. The epitome of this was a youngman who told me he would never read another poet's work because poetry was too personal and thus private.


message 5: by Caitlan (new)

Caitlan (psych-enthusiast) I read poetry almost as much as I write it. Maybe even more.


message 6: by Joan (new)

Joan Colby (joancolby) | 789 comments My only fear is that mainly poets are the only ones reading poetry.


message 7: by ofwoodsandbone (new)

ofwoodsandbone | 7 comments Richard wrote: "One of the chfirst reasons I stopped attending workshops is because over and over I found exactly the same thing: People who read no more than one poet if they read any at all. I think this happens..."

your experience seems to mirror mine Richard :/ Or I would attend poetry launches and or workshops and really it was just about ego and friends promoting friends books. To break in to the industry as all about who you know.

Personally I love reading poetry and am just starting to get back into finding authors after a rather long break ignoring poetry


message 8: by ofwoodsandbone (new)

ofwoodsandbone | 7 comments Joan wrote: "My only fear is that mainly poets are the only ones reading poetry."

I just assumed the only people that read poetry were other poets or school children who were made to read it ;)


message 9: by Sally Boots (new)

Sally Boots (Sally-boots) | 760 comments I read it every day, but only a few poems at a time, because if I read too much I can't absorb it.


message 10: by Ruth (new)

Ruth | 5061 comments Sarah wrote: "I read it every day, but only a few poems at a time, because if I read too much I can't absorb it."

I read it slowly, too, Sarah. I always have dozens of poetry books scattered around the house, and pick them up to read a few poems at a time.


message 11: by Ruth (new)

Ruth | 5061 comments Joan wrote: "My only fear is that mainly poets are the only ones reading poetry."

It's even worse than that, I fear. Too many people who consider themselves poets never read it, either.


message 12: by Richard (new)

Richard | 285 comments I do know people who are not poets but who do read a lot poetry. A lot. Some of them are in my book group which reads four poetry books a year as well as the poetry we all read on our own. And many of my friends outside the group read poetry. But again, in workshops, most people do not seem to read much poetry at all, and if they do, to go one step farther, they do not read anything before the 20th century. I don't particularly care if poetry has a huge audience. I do care if people who want to write poetry don't read it. That's oneof the reasons I believe poetry may be the most misunderstood art.


message 13: by Rose (new)

Rose Boehm (rosemaryboehm) | 2668 comments Let's hope there are more poetry readers out there than there are poets writing. I read poetry. To enjoy and to improve my writing.


message 14: by Kerry (new)

Kerry Taylor (KerryT2012) | 18 comments I read it to improve my work, learn about other types of poetry out there. Had an insight lately. And it amazed me. Huge learning curve.


message 15: by S.E. (new)

S.E. Ingraham (seingraham) | 108 comments I write a lot of poetry but read even more. I belong to several groups where we all write, read and comment or provide feedback to each other - it's part of the process of learning to become better poets. I take part in the occasional workshop to improve my craft and it's usually to have poetry I've written or am about to write critiqued; sometimes this will be with and by other poets, sometimes it will involve editors and/or publishers ... it depends what I'm looking for as an end result. I also read my work aloud regularly and the audience is usually made up of about 75% poets and 25% guests ... I notice at book launches however, more non-poets are likely to attend, especially if the poet is fairly well-known (still, a good many poets do turn out; they know it's good for everyone to attend as many launches as possible, and to purchase as many books as possible as well). I'm not sure what workshops previous commenters are referring to where most people don't seem to read poetry ... that's usually a prerequisite for any I attend.


message 16: by Thomas (new)

Thomas Martin | 33 comments "Most people ignore most poetry because most poetry ignores most people." Adrian Mitchell.


message 17: by Nina (new)

Nina | 1348 comments I absolutely read other poets.


message 18: by Kyle (new)

Kyle (I_am_Kyle) | 16 comments I read about three times the amount that I write, I'd guess.

The writing scene where I live isn't so great.
It seems like the only people reading new poetry are poets, and all these people seem to compliment each other more than give advice / critique. It's nice to have people say you write well, but it doesn't help one grow as a writer as much, I think.

I'm be being over critical though, really I'm just mad that I don't look good in a fedora and flannel button up.


message 19: by Richard (new)

Richard | 285 comments There is an idea also that poetry, all poetry, is a conversation that moves both ways in time. I agree with that idea. Without a knowledge of what has gone before, a poet cannot be part of that conversation which is another way of saying poetry is about so much more than the poet or self-expression (my favorite bugaboo in contemporary poetry).

Also, as others have mentioned here other people's poems can show us other ways to write poetry. But in addition to that, there are some poets that "give permission". These poets would include Whitman and Dickenson, Eliot and Lowell, Catullus (going way back) and O'Hara who I often think of as the modern Catullus. All of them showed us poetry could not only be written in new ways but also showed us poetry could include subject matter not encountered in earlier poetry.


message 20: by Mark (new)

Mark | 69 comments Yes I try to read as my poetry as possible along with anything else that catches my attention.


message 21: by Philippa (new)

Philippa (Philippa-poet) | 19 comments I loved this observation by Richard. I entirely agree with the permissability of poets to use poetic language to express more than the egoistic, the personal/trivial and to condense observation and point to paradox. Most contemporary poetry (the sort that win prizes and get published) are self reflective and of limited ultimate value, except to the poet I read them but end up saying 'and?'Richard wrote: "There is an idea also that poetry, all poetry, is a conversation that moves both ways in time. I agree with that idea. Without a knowledge of what has gone before, a poet cannot be part of that con..."


message 22: by M (last edited Oct 19, 2012 01:15PM) (new)

M | 1656 comments I read poetry occasionally but not very often. I write lots of verse and sometimes accidentally a line of poetry.


message 23: by ofwoodsandbone (new)

ofwoodsandbone | 7 comments Most contemporary poetry (the sort that win prizes and get published) are self reflective and of limited ultimate value, except to the poet I read them but end up saying 'and?'

Oh god this, a thousand times this! I find myself reading some (not all) modern poetry and I'm like 'really?', for me its to wordy, intellectual/academic or been edited to much. I find myself loving poetry that is raw, almost lyrical, in fact I wish to find poetry that was more like lyrics and moves off the page, makes me want to dance.

It sounds incrediably critical, but as someone who reads poetry, sometimes I am really left disappointed


message 24: by Richard (new)

Richard | 285 comments I think Frederick Seidel is probably the greatest living American poet. He's plenty rough while at the same time completely in control. Does anyone else here read him?


message 25: by Tara (new)

Tara Brown | 1 comments I love to read poetry, but I like writing poetry more! my goal is letting people know how I feel in my poetry, or try to relate!


message 26: by Shelley (new)

Shelley | 65 comments I never tire of Frost and Dickinson.

Shelley
Rain: A Dust Bowl Story, http://dustbowlpoetry.wordpress.com


message 27: by Jenny (new)

Jenny (aldersoj40hotmailcom) | 59 comments I have a confession, pixiep. Although I have always been a big reader (my favorite writer is Dickens), it is only as an adult that I read much poetry. Maybe I needed to grow to be able to read it. One of my favorite books of poetry was a used book I found "Romantic Period Verse." I also have a four book set I've just begun of American verse. But compared to the many novels I've read, my reading of poetry is still in the novice stage... which is ironic; I am working on a book of poetry. I feel like the poetry I wrote in that book has more akin to the Book of Psalms than more modern poetry... perhaps because I've actually read it!


message 28: by Jenny (new)

Jenny (aldersoj40hotmailcom) | 59 comments Ruth wrote: "Joan wrote: "My only fear is that mainly poets are the only ones reading poetry."

It's even worse than that, I fear. Too many people who consider themselves poets never read it, either."


Without meaning to sound negative, it is baffling to me that there could be somebody who does not read and yet who wants to write... but then I confessed to not reading much verse until adulthood. I have always read tons of novels (and history) but it s really as an adult I started reading verse--whether Coleridge or Eliot or Collins.


message 29: by Alyce (new)

Alyce Wilson (shantipoet) | 25 comments I make it a regular habit to read poetry and have since I was a very young reader. In part, it came from advice that Maya Angelou gave me at a book signing. When I told her I also wrote poetry, she told me, "Read everything."

It's also important, I believe, for a poet to make a place for poetry in the world. The way to do that is, in part, by reading and supporting other poets and publishers!


message 30: by Jenny (new)

Jenny (aldersoj40hotmailcom) | 59 comments I remember there were some poems I liked as a child, "Moon Song" and "Wynken, Blynken and Nod" or "The Owl and the Pussy Cat." But these are children's verses... there was a large gap between reading them and reading "The Waste Land" and "Romantic Period Verse." I've always read a great deal--but mostly novels and history. Now that I am older I find myself reading poetry more...


message 31: by M (new)

M | 1656 comments Freud or Jung remarked something to the effect that modern art is an outward sign of the neurosis of modern society, of the fragmenting of the psyche. The Modern period is dead and gone, but quite a bit of the verse I see posted reminds of the notion that the modern psyche is fragmented, neurotic, mired in self-absorption or in the unreflecting values of the times, its attempts at verse little more than exercises in deliberate obscurity, in making word salad, or the pronouncements of an ego helpless to question itself. I’ve heard that, generations ago, it was common for people to enjoy reading poetry. For me, it’s a strange thing to consider, sort of like considering that at one time there were farms on Manhattan Island.


message 32: by Richard (new)

Richard | 285 comments M wrote: "Freud or Jung remarked something to the effect that modern art is an outward sign of the neurosis of modern society, of the fragmenting of the psyche. The Modern period is dead and gone, but quite ..."

Too many thoughts about this boiling in my head right now to actually comment except to say I sometimes think the Language poetry movement was one of the most cynical of this sort of thing. At the very least, it left human beings behind in essential ways.


message 33: by Donald (new)

Donald (DonF) | 608 comments M: Ouch! That hurt, that REALLY hurt!! As an antidote for the grime you mention, each Christmas Holiday I re-read Whittier's "Snowbound" and join those people
"generations ago, (when) it was common for people to enjoy reading poetry."


message 34: by M (new)

M | 1656 comments Donald, I should be ashamed of myself, and in this instance I am. So first, let me offer an apology. That the best poetry of the past is what’s readily available for us to read makes it easy to forget that it’s the cream skimmed from a vast pool of writing. It seems just as likely that the verse of our time, distilled by the future to fifty pages in an anthology, will seem extraordinary--if only because the best of it is!

I had a friend who used to say sometimes that he was just “firing for effect.” Unfortunately for me, I occasionally find myself in the mood to do that, as well, and at such times I’m not good at resisting the temptation to post something vague and unsupported and guaranteed to make me look foolish.


message 35: by Donald (new)

Donald (DonF) | 608 comments M: No need to apologize to anyone for stating the true
nature of much current poetry. I enjoyed both posts!


message 36: by Margaret (new)

Margaret Fieland | 43 comments Pixiep wrote: "I'm Curious , do you read other Poets work? I've noticed a trend (I don't know if it happens with this group as I've only been a member for a day) that people love to write poetry, promote their o..."

I read tons of poetry. I read other people's poems, and comment on them, too, though my participation in this particular group is spotty. I'm opinionated and I enjoy "speaking" up.

IMO it's impossible to become a good poet without reading (and hopefully commenting on) other people's poems.

At one point I went on a poetry-reading binge, bought a couple of anthologies of American and English poetry, and read my way through them.Then I went to the library and checked out poetry books by anyone who'd struck my fancy and read those. And so on, and so on.


message 37: by Margaret (new)

Margaret Fieland | 43 comments Richard wrote: "One of the chfirst reasons I stopped attending workshops is because over and over I found exactly the same thing: People who read no more than one poet if they read any at all. I think this happens..."

I sympathize -- but here's hoping you find a better class of poetry workshop. They are out thee.


message 38: by Fern (new)

Fern (FernRL) Mostly, what I read is my email. Most of the poetry, or intended poetry, is what I read on this site. Sometimes I go beyond this site on the recommendation of someone on this site. Since reading the comments on this thread, I went off-site to read "A Beautiful Day Outside" by Frederick Seidel, and "Snow-Bound: A Winter Idyl" by Whittier. I didn't read either of them more than the top few stanzas or lines before skipping down to the end. I wasn't enjoying either of them. I am rather bored. Maybe I am having an off-day, but I wouldn't think so.

I like Robert Frost's "Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening, but I haven't read anything else of his that I really like.

I like e e cummings' "if everything happens that can't be done" but I haven't seen anything else of his that I liked.

I like some lyrical poetry, but I would really like to alter the words of some hymns to be more meaningful to me.

I hardly even read novels anymore. I was so spoiled by Harry Potter that I wouldn't read any other book for a long time. Finally I got engrossed in The Hunger Games, only to be gradually less interested as they went along, and intensely disappointed and disgusted toward the end of the third book.

There are only a few classical works that I have enjoyed very much: Les Miserables, Tale of Two Cities, and Robinson Crusoe, are the first ones that come to mind.


message 39: by Richard (new)

Richard | 285 comments Margaret wrote: "Richard wrote: "One of the chfirst reasons I stopped attending workshops is because over and over I found exactly the same thing: People who read no more than one poet if they read any at all. I th..."

Actually started my own with three other poets who were also looking for something more suited to us. It has worked very well. We meet once a month to read and talk about our poems.


message 40: by Richard (new)

Richard | 285 comments Thomas wrote: ""Most people ignore most poetry because most poetry ignores most people." Adrian Mitchell."

I just noticed this post. I think there is some truth to that. It would in part explain why the most popular poets (it seems) are people like Kooser, Collins, Oliver, Olds, et al.


message 41: by Bill (new)

Bill Tarlin | 49 comments This has been an great discussion. I think when you encounter a poet who is in a silo of their own narrow experience you should toss some poetry down their hole. Say "Have you read this?" Bringing a poem to share has been a mandatory part of the best workshops I've attended.
My 2¢: Poetry is not a monolith. There are poets for whom poetry is a lifestyle, or a craft, or an ornament, or a sledgehammer. You can fling pooh (bear) over their walls if you want, but you will find voracious readers in every camp. Except among the ignorant. Why are there ignorant poets? Possibly a teacher who pulled the sheet off of a monolith --Ta Dah!-- and said this is canon. It's just a big paper weight then. Not a two-way conversation in time. To have that conversation you have to be conferenced in.
A lot of people want to write. They don't write well, but they get praise from friends for writing anything at all. More power to them. If they are in a forum as open as Goodreads is, then they have a chance to look behind the monolith and find a clique with a ready reading list. If the problem is your workshop doesn't read what resonates with you, then keep looking. If your local writers don't read much at all, maybe its your chance to be the guru iconoclast.
(oh and my book Unstressed does not ignore most people, thank you)


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