fiction files redux discussion

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fiction by poets/poetry by fictors

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message 1: by Patty, free birdeaucrat (new)

Patty | 896 comments Mod
I usually prefer fiction by poets over poetry by fiction writers, but I'm not sure why that would be. I'm also not really sure how I decide that a writer is primarily one or the other, but I do. Are there other FFers that are interested in this at all? Maybe I only care because I have so much personal investment in the lives of several poets.

Anyway, I felt like starting a thread about it, so I did.

(I'm sorry if fictors isn't a word, or perhaps means something else, but I needed parallel construction, so I used it.)


message 2: by Patty, free birdeaucrat (last edited Oct 23, 2012 07:54AM) (new)

Patty | 896 comments Mod
Poets who write/wrote fiction:



Kenneth Koch
William Carlos Williams
Randall Jarrell
Robert Creeley
Wendell Berry
James Dickey
Charles Bukowksi
Guillerme Apollinaire
Blaise Cendrars (or do you think he was a fictor who wrote poems?)
Amiri Baraka
Gertrude Stein (although arguments could be made that she only wrote poetry, or didn't write either...)
James Schuyler

That's all I can think of at the moment, I'm sure I'm forgetting a bunch. Do you have others to add?


message 3: by Patty, free birdeaucrat (new)

Patty | 896 comments Mod
Fiction writers who write/wrote poetry:

Coming back to this later, there are so many of them!

And I just found this blog on the subject. Which I am going to read now. :)


message 4: by Les (new)

Les  (LTHMPLS) | 116 comments Patty, this topic is interesting. Can you give some parameters for how you decide who the poets are who write fiction and vice versa? If not, that's cool. I am just not sure how to make a distinction because, as an example, I think of Wendell Berry as a fiction writer first. I do love his poetry, but think of his novels first and believe he has written more novels than poetry. I may be wrong.

The blog looks excellent and I will be reading that soon.


message 5: by Patty, free birdeaucrat (new)

Patty | 896 comments Mod
I honestly don't know why I attribute one as primary over the other. I think maybe it's what they are best known for? And sometimes I'm probably wrong, and it's just what they are best known to me for. Wendell Berry, I think, used to be primarily known as a poet, but maybe he has switched over. People usually establish themselves as one or the other fairly early in their careers, but not always. Or maybe it's their publishers or publicists who "establish" them as one or the other. I honestly don't know if Berry even writes poetry anymore (do you)?

I think I vaguely remember that DH Lawrence wrote poetry first?

I actually found that blog while I was cheating and googling, trying to find a list of fiction writers who also write poetry, because I was too lazy to try to think of them all, and the names that come readily to mind are too weird an assortment for me to post together.


message 6: by Elizabeth, bubbles (new)

Elizabeth (RedBrick) | 221 comments Mod
Patty wrote: "I honestly don't know why I attribute one as primary over the other. I think maybe it's what they are best known for? And sometimes I'm probably wrong, and it's just what they are best known to me ..."

I would love to read fiction by Robert Creeley. I always appreciated his poetry, but it certainly doesn't give you the kind of access he'd have to allow for a work of fiction.

Regarding DHL, his poetry was published first in 1909, but he was writing "The White Peacock" in 1906. Poetry, fiction, psychoanalysis... He had several 'ambitions' on his mind, didn't he? ;)


message 7: by Les (new)

Les  (LTHMPLS) | 116 comments Berry is still writing poetry. He has had a couple of collections since 2000 and one just a few years ago. My exposure to him is mostly through his novels. He does certainly write like a poet-novelist. It is telling that most things you read about WB list him as a Poet-essayist. He also seems to hold William Carlos Williams as his model/mentor. Berry's book about WCW connects the two as poets. I concede this one and should go find some more of Berry's poetry.


message 8: by Matt, e-monk (last edited Oct 25, 2012 11:22AM) (new)

Matt Comito | 386 comments Mod
a thesis in response to the first sentence in the OP: word for word poetry is harder and requires more craft to achieve therefore an accomplished poet is in an advantageous position when she turns to write fiction whereas a fictor (I like it, consider it grounded) is sort of fighting up in class when he attempts a poem

now of course there are a lot of differences in strategy and approach in the two forms (or is it 3? some poets write novels, while others attempt short stories) and I find that on the macro level of plotting and story telling poets often fall short - I couldnt get through The Enormous Room for instance - so in other words while a poet can put a fine sentence together he may fall well short of crafting a bunch of sentences together into something entirely compelling


message 9: by Patty, free birdeaucrat (new)

Patty | 896 comments Mod
I think it's debatable, whether poetry is harder per se. Although, as someone who writes neither, I guess I'm not in a position to say.

I think writers in either genre would be able to learn the tools of the other, but I guess I'm inclined to think that skills the fiction writer brings (prosaity, narrative, storytelling, etc) might get in the way of writing poetry, whereas it's hard to see how the skills a poet brings (facility with syntax, ability to concisely conjur images, etc) would get in the way of writing fiction.

As readers, I think we are also (or at least I assume that I am) more forgiving with fiction. In poems, there is so little space, something that doesn't work really stands out. In fiction, there is so much space that a few flaws might not stand out that much.


message 10: by Matt, e-monk (last edited Oct 26, 2012 02:11PM) (new)

Matt Comito | 386 comments Mod
I guess what needs to be defined is whether we're talking a dibble here, a dabble there or whether we're talking about someone who is programmatically approaching and pursuing excellence in both forms

if the prior then, yeah, if I see some writer throw a couple of stanzas of doggerel into the middle of one of his chapters I am quickly inclined to hit the skip button but if the latter you really start getting into the whole notional nominal territory of how we identify the individual in question and whether such distinctions are even meaningful

as for being more forgiving of fiction, probably true - reading poetry requires a certain level of heightened attention which isnt really appropriate to bring to bear upon a work of fiction and in fact might make enjoying the work of fiction more difficult

in fact when fiction becomes more 'poetic' at least in terms of prose stylistics I am amongst the first to start rolling my eyes (and Im not thinking of thees and thous here but rather the kind of show-offy pyrotechics you see with a Cormac McCarthy in his more purple modes)


message 11: by Patty, free birdeaucrat (new)

Patty | 896 comments Mod
I like the way you put it, yeah, for some reason, I really am interested in "the whole notional nominal territory of how we identify the individual in question and whether such distinctions are even meaningful."

Where would we put Alice Walker, for instance? Does it matter? Her subject matter and style are very similar in her prose and poetry. Her poems are confessional, and her prose is purple, and those two qualities seem very close to one another, in terms of the response they elicit from their readership. I think that the fact that she writes poetry also tends to give her, as an author, an aura of literary high-mindedness that perhaps she would not have garnered had she never written poetry.

I just learned that Ben Lerner is a poet. Personally, I would consider him a poet who writes fiction, because he had apparently been writing poetry for years before he wrote/published the novel, and he is well-known in the poetry world. I haven't read either his fiction or his poetry, have you guys?

I also think I might need to consider other arts and whether it makes a difference there, like music (thinking of Steve Earle) or painting (thinking of Blake).


message 12: by Robert (new)

Robert Corbett (robcrowe00) | 169 comments Ben Lerner is the 1st example of a somewhat languagey, less connective (Patty, the Poet would phrase this better if he were to categorize) younger poet writing a novel. It appeared fairly straight, too, although the point is rather postmodern. In any case with Lerner, I'd read "Atocha Station" before the poetry, which is also sciencey. Are there other young poet/novelists anyone knows of in English?


message 13: by Jim (new)

Jim Patty wrote: "(I'm sorry if fictors isn't a word, or perhaps means something else, but I needed parallel construction, so I used it.)..."

Maybe it could be 'fictet' to rhyme with poet...

You raise some really good questions to ponder here. I tend to avoid poetry for some reason. I keep trying to break that tendency, but not entirely successfully. I am attracted to Rilke's Duino Elegies and some of Maya Angelou, but not too much else. I read the first few chapters of this book earlier this year, but need to go back into it. How Poetry Works


message 14: by Elizabeth, bubbles (new)

Elizabeth (RedBrick) | 221 comments Mod
Jim wrote: "Patty wrote: "(I'm sorry if fictors isn't a word, or perhaps means something else, but I needed parallel construction, so I used it.)..."

Maybe it could be 'fictet' to rhyme with poet...

You rais..."


Jim, the rhyming idea is very fun... It wouldn't be glamorous, but what about 'poet' and 'proset' ? :)


message 15: by Jim (last edited Nov 02, 2012 09:07AM) (new)

Jim Elizabeth wrote: " but what about 'poet' and 'proset' ? :) ..."

I could support that. Would also open the door for poetry and prosetry and with a cocktail or two, I'm sure we could come up with a whole range of possibilities, like "prosetry slams" and so on.

But back to Patty's original idea about what came first, the poem or the prose, I think what matters most is how well is the poet/fictor communicating with the reader? I find Rilke's poetry and prose to be equally engaging, for example. Unfortuntely, I have no other examples because I just don't pursue poetry unless it's forced on me in some way.


message 16: by Matt, e-monk (last edited Nov 06, 2012 05:01AM) (new)

Matt Comito | 386 comments Mod
Patty wrote: "I like the way you put it, yeah, for some reason, I really am interested in "the whole notional nominal territory of how we identify the individual in question and whether such distinctions are eve...

Where would we put Alice Walker, for instance? Does it matter? Her subject matter and style are very similar in her prose and poetry. Her poems are confessional, and her prose is purple, and those two qualities seem very close to one another, in terms of the response they elicit from their readership. I think that the fact that she writes poetry also tends to give her, as an author, an aura of literary high-mindedness that perhaps she would not have garnered had she never written poetry."


So, my first response to the question of Alice Walker would be sort of pedestrian, how did I first encounter her? novelist. In the wider sphere, what is she best known for, what has she been lauded for doing (pulitzer, nba et al)? fiction.

But does that mean she has been dilettantish in her pursuit of poetic excellence? Or can you serve more than one master so to speak? Though writing poetry and writing fiction are in essence manipulations of language the pursuits are different in many ways and require different strategies and skills (or do they?).


message 17: by David (new)

David Lafferty (DanteExplorer) Interesting topic. Some writers (F. Scott Fitzgerald, Evelyn Waugh) use such gorgeous prose I would argue it borders on poetry. Where would Shakespeare fall in this continuum?


message 18: by Matt, e-monk (new)

Matt Comito | 386 comments Mod
is there a category for overrated hack?


message 19: by Jim (new)

Jim Matt wrote: "is there a category for overrated hack?"

Yes. In the industry they're called "Best-Selling Authors"


message 20: by Matt, e-monk (new)

Matt Comito | 386 comments Mod
so you mean like Shakespeare?


message 21: by Elizabeth, bubbles (last edited Dec 13, 2012 04:13AM) (new)

Elizabeth (RedBrick) | 221 comments Mod
Matt wrote: "so you mean like Shakespeare?"

Is there a background story here, Matt? Let's hear it. :)


message 22: by Jim (new)

Jim Matt wrote: "so you mean like Shakespeare?"

Total hack who re-wrote other people's stories and took the credit for himself...


message 23: by Matt, e-monk (last edited Dec 13, 2012 06:18PM) (new)

Matt Comito | 386 comments Mod
he was some kind of upstart crow motherf-er


message 24: by Matt, e-monk (new)

Matt Comito | 386 comments Mod
and he'd probably be writing for tv these days as goes the old saw


message 25: by Jim (new)

Jim Matt wrote: "and he'd probably be writing for tv these days as goes the old saw"

Good one!

The man really knew his times and how to create on-stage magic. I spent a few semesters studying his work and what always struck me is that he found a way to hit on universals in a way that humans respond to - not Elizabethans or men or women or any specific group - but humanity as a whole. Wherever his work is performed, people respond positively no matter what their demographic group. While studying his sonnets, one woman in class said "Shakespeare was a black woman!" She was so moved moved by his writing she couldn't imagine the sonnets being written by anyone but a black woman because she felt the work came directly from her own life experience. Pretty amazing, his universal appeal - - the Hack!!


message 26: by João (new)

João Camilo (JCamilo) | 258 comments Well, there is actually a good list. Borges, Wilde, Bronte Sisters, Poe, Melville, Chesterton, Bioy Casares, Machado de Assis, Drummond, Guimarães Rosa, Ruben Dario, Pessoa, Dorothy Parker... they all moved from one side to another.


message 27: by Michael, the Olddad (new)

Michael (olddad) | 255 comments Mod
Good to see Poe make this list.


message 28: by Matt, e-monk (new)

Matt Comito | 386 comments Mod
Poe and Wilde are the most cross-overy of the second list - most of the others have an established field and dabble on the other side of the fence

that said there once upon a time this idea of being a man (or woman) of letters, in other words a professional dabbler playing in any and all fields as fancy takes him (or her)


message 29: by João (new)

João Camilo (JCamilo) | 258 comments All depends a little,

Borges is seen as a short stories writer, but all his first books and texts were poems books. His essays even, born from the fact he was a modernist poet.

The Sisters started with poems. And they were very good and kind off, the same way Emily seems a little above Charlotte and Anne is reflected on the poems. Of course, Charlotte stabilished herself as novelist, but Emily and Anne just got unable to wrote either.

Machado is more well-know as movelist and short story write today, but alive, he was a well-know poet, writting and translating as much as writting novels. Kind off, one gave money to allow the other.

Drummond also, always a bit mixed, mostly because his prose was the way to make money.

Dario (as Gustavo Adolfo Becquer) didn't worked as if both are different. Pessoa kept prose for some of the heteronimous and poetry for others.


message 30: by Matt, e-monk (last edited Feb 07, 2013 08:40AM) (new)

Matt Comito | 386 comments Mod
first is not necessarilly best nor doing a thing the same as being good at it - many of those you name were most well known for a specific practice with only the merest liminal nod towards 'oh you do that other thing too, how nice for you'

as far as Borges goes while he most definitely fits that antique model of 'man of letters' and was first known as a poet and essayist his accomplishment in short fiction far overshadows his work in either of the other fields - so on the one hand Borges might be considered a something of equal parts (at least seen from the POV of Borges (and of course, Borges)) in what I take is the spirit of Patty's OP he is a fictor

but that's just me


message 31: by João (new)

João Camilo (JCamilo) | 258 comments Borges is reckognized as a very good poet. He was a 'poet' rival to Neruda before being an essaist. His fame as short stories writer is a reflex of how europe and usa discovered him, but there is not a single anthology of verse in spanish without a poem by Borges.

Emily Bronte poems are reckognied due their high quality. The Prisioner for exemple,is often selected for the best english poems of XIX century.

Dario prose/poetry are mixed for the same reason rimbaud and all other were, they are writting under baudelaire prose-poems fiction.

Pessoa book of disquiet is probally his more acclaimed work, and it is in prose. Despite his fame as poet.

Machado was a poet with imense fame. It is the sloppery translations of him to enlgish that focus on his prose. Drummond prose is published everyyear, every school boy know it.

You are certainly confuding "well-know".I know well they are poets/prose writers, 1000 people know badly they are just one of the trades. PLus,Patty does not really starts much worried if the fame of the author is big or not in one of the areas. After all William Carlos Williams fame is as poet.

And none would receive a pat on the back for the "efforts" on the other area. They all have notable and regognized works on those areas. For godsake, Borges and Machado work in the same mode as Poe.Like Chesterton, which Ballad of Suicide is an acclaimed poem. What is next, Emerson is not a poetry/prose writer because his fame as essayist is bigger albeit he was an excellent poet?


message 32: by Matt, e-monk (last edited Feb 07, 2013 02:24PM) (new)

Matt Comito | 386 comments Mod
to me the interesting question in the OP isnt about the quality of the work but the perception of the audience(so we are both right - you have your perceptions and I have mine - no wrong answers! how about that?)

there is no question that any of the people you mention worked in the various forms you say, nor that some accomplished something lasting in those forms but how are they perceived in the world?

because the question 'did so and so write a poem and a novel' is uninteresting and the answer brief and obvious - either yes or no - we can make lists

but when we want to become taxinomic and start saying this one is this and that one that well then you have to drill down to define what the terms mean

is a poet someone who writes a poem? ok and a novelist? same thing? and in any case ultimately is this a meaningless pursuit? sure, but fun for thinking about I suppose

(I'm reminded of the bit in Zoolander where Fabio wins the slashie award and tells the audience that he is so grateful because they have recognized him as
'the best actor slash model and not the other way around')

now as to some particulars

as far as Borges goes perhaps it's the quality of the translation (i'm almost certain of this) but his prose in english is much superior to his verse - and afterall when one thinks of him what comes to mind? Garden of Forking Paths or The Moment?

Similarly is there any poem or book of poems by Emily Bronte that comes as readily to mind as Wuthering Heights? And I think that might be her only novel but even so that's the work that has captured the popular imagination

and PS vis Dario et al prose poems are still poems, that's a wholly different conversation


message 33: by João (new)

João Camilo (JCamilo) | 258 comments Well, the thing is those are authors which the line are blurred in someway. It is not like when Jane Austen wrote her poems.

I could have bring Voltaire. He was famous as playwriter then as poet. His philosophical texts and short stories (many he just denied the authorship)came afterwards. Of course, today, the reception is turned over. Voltaire's poem while some positive praise, the obvious control of language and metric perfection, lack the explosive talent and humor of his novels. Yet, saying he was no poet because most people would likely read Candine and not Henriade, is just wrong.

See Emily, she was foremost a poetress. It was her intimate work, developed from Grandia storytelling with Anne. Today, her poems are high acclaimed. To be honest, many times the lines "No Coward Soul is mine" came to my mind before any line from Wuthering Height. Under Charlotte influence, she started Wuthering height and that is her only prose work. She could have pursued to both, abandoned, who knows? But it was worth, it was talented, she is firmly ranked as one of the good poets of england in XIX century, not in the rank of Wordsworth, Tennyson, Keats, etc. but certainly in the second line.

Of course most people will think of Wuthering Heights first, but wouldn't them think of Miserables first? And yet, Victor Hugo is the major poet of XIX century in france, his national power is not due to his novels, it is due his poetry.

As Borges, I will recall many things. But the point, if you read his poems, essays, short stories you will see he repeats himself in all of those. They complete each other. But the first author that came to my mind when Patty talked was borges, because of that, his prose is poetic. He does work in the boundary, because he was a poet, wanted to be just a poet, lack of money made him accept a job in a magazine, where he wrote essays and the essays developed his short stories. His blindness and of course, economic stability, brought him back to poetry. He is a poet "chainned" by prose.

Then, he is inside the Poe's tradition. The influence of Poe over Baudelaire, the prose poems, Ruben Dario, Machado and Wilde is there. Because prose poems still prose, they are not really "poems", it is more prose-poetry, the idea that no matter the form you still can work the language with rythim, style... to chose the best word at the best time. Patty also bring modernist poets, they are working without this limit.

Pessoa is another matter. Not a prose-poet, he wrote prose, more like in psychological style, like the tradition from XX century. Book of Disquiet is more close to Dostoievisky than Rimbaud. Mosly because the formalism is important for Pessoa to determine the personality traits of each heteroynymous. There is all kind of proses, for example, The Baron of Treve is a diary, with his thoughts on the last days, nothing alike the modernist poetry of Alvaro de Campos.

Mostly, in all those guys i mention, Melville included, a novelist trying to re-invent himself as poet, you have worth contributions. His poetry is better than lovecraft (not bad) Little tiger

Little Tiger, burning bright
With a subtle Blakeish light,
Tell what visions have their home
In those eyes of flame and chrome!
Children vex thee - thoughtless, gay -
Holding when thou wouldst away:
What dark lore is that which thou,
Spitting, mixest with thy meow?


message 34: by Robert (new)

Robert Corbett (robcrowe00) | 169 comments Jim wrote: "Matt wrote: "so you mean like Shakespeare?"

Total hack who re-wrote other people's stories and took the credit for himself..."


Uh, everybody did that during the Elizabethan age. originality was invented around 1750.


message 35: by Matt, e-monk (last edited Feb 11, 2013 08:39PM) (new)

Matt Comito | 386 comments Mod
Robert wrote: "Jim wrote: "Matt wrote: "so you mean like Shakespeare?"

Total hack who re-wrote other people's stories and took the credit for himself..."

Uh, everybody did that during the Elizabethan age. orig..."


uh... I hesitate here to decide whether it is worth the effort... no, it is not...


message 36: by Jim (new)

Jim Robert wrote: "Uh, everybody did that during the Elizabethan age. originality was invented around 1750..."


"Define 'sex' 'originality'" - Bill Clinton


you realize that Matt and I were just goofing around, right?


message 37: by Christopher, Swanny (new)

Christopher Swann (christopherswann) | 188 comments Mod
Poetry and narrative are not mutually exclusive, by any means, but writing lyrical poetry and writing narrative require somewhat different skill sets.

Look at Michael Ondaatje and The English Patient. That has some beautiful lines (such as "the heart is an organ of fire") and even some moving scenes, but as a narrative it didn't seem to quite gel for me. Part of that is the narrative structure--it's non-linear and jumps all around--but I've wondered how much of that could be attributed to a poet's view of the world? Poetry often seems to be about capturing truths of human experience in fleeting moments. Long-form narrative seems to be about capturing those same truths in a broader sweep, a series of events against which we measure character and plot development.

This was made even clearer by the film version of The English Patient--it looked beautiful and was moving in parts, but in its narrative form, particularly as a film (which requires a different kind of sustained concentration than a novel), it tended to bore many viewers who were expecting a story.


message 38: by Robert (new)

Robert Corbett (robcrowe00) | 169 comments Matt wrote: "Robert wrote: "Jim wrote: "Matt wrote: "so you mean like Shakespeare?"

Total hack who re-wrote other people's stories and took the credit for himself..."

Uh, everybody did that during the Elizabe..."


not really, but it is hard to tell with you guys! j/k

smaller point is that this discussion says something what assumptions we bring to reading -- fiction should have a plot, a poem should have lyricism and elevated or intricate language -- as it does about the writers. which was the point i was not making well about ShackSpear. bring one set of assumptions to a work, and it fails. bring another and it succceeds. stupid analogy, but don't go blame the microwave for not allowing you to make a phone call. and as Shakespur said, this is perhaps more honored in the breach than the observance ...


message 39: by Christopher, Swanny (new)

Christopher Swann (christopherswann) | 188 comments Mod
Well, we do bring assumptions to reading. It's why we pick up what we pick up to read. Now, you shouldn't be too narrow in your assumptions, I don't think--I mean, you can be, but I like reading all kinds of things. I'll read The Story of Edgar Sawtelle and then I'll read a genre thriller. Genres aren't brightly marked off from one another, of course, but when you are talking poetry and fiction, well, we do expect different things from them. Forms aren't interchangeable like Legos. And yet you can get creative with them and challenge them, but at their core each form has a purpose. Shakespeare, for all his brilliant genius at language, harnesses his language in the service of telling a story, and he tells very good stories. When he wrote his sonnets, however, he wasn't concerned with telling a narrative--he was explaining or exploring an emotional state.


message 40: by Matt, e-monk (last edited Feb 12, 2013 03:23PM) (new)

Matt Comito | 386 comments Mod
Chris wrote: "Poetry and narrative are not mutually exclusive, by any means, but writing lyrical poetry and writing narrative require somewhat different skill sets.

Look at Michael Ondaatje and The English Pa..."


it's like a cartesian graph situation where one axis represents language manipulation and the other represents structural engineering such that a stephen king might rate a median score on the language axis and a high score on the structural axis

(whereas Shakespeare would score low on both axial ranges... all those O!s and Lo!s and Thees and Thous? pfft, that mess is tired)


message 41: by Jim (new)

Jim Matt wrote: "it's like a cartesian graph situation where one axis represents language manipulation and the other represents structural engineering such that a stephen king might rate a median score on the language axis and a high score on the structural axis

(whereas Shakespeare would score low on both axial ranges... all those O!s and Lo!s and Thees and Thous? pfft, that mess is tired) ..."



Excrement!!!

Be gone J. Evans Pritchard, PhD!!!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lkpWk...


message 42: by Kerry, flame-haired janeite (new)

Kerry (kerryanndunn) | 883 comments Mod
Jim wrote: "Excrement!!!

Be gone J. Evans Pritchard, PhD!!!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lkpWk..."


AAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH! Dead Poet's Society!!!! Love it!


message 43: by João (new)

João Camilo (JCamilo) | 258 comments Chris wrote: "Poetry and narrative are not mutually exclusive, by any means, but writing lyrical poetry and writing narrative require somewhat different skill sets.

Look at Michael Ondaatje and The English Pa..."


Well, the whole prose-poetry seems to have tricked us to believe those things are so apart that needed a new genre to join both things.

Considering Poems worked with the idea of orality, the fiction that it was sung while we read silently, we can safely assume orality always tried to be "Poetic". And this goes for all original narratives. It had to be the proper timing for both, rhytim of action, rhytim of discuss. The printed book in XIX make us forget a little of it until guys like Joyce or Guimarães Rosa just "invented it again".


message 44: by Maren (new)

Maren | 7 comments Patty wrote: "Poets who write/wrote fiction:



Kenneth Koch
William Carlos Williams
Randall Jarrell
Robert Creeley
Wendell Berry
James Dickey
Charles Bukowksi
Guillerme Apollinaire
Blaise Cendrars (or do you th..."


Whilst I'd love to jump in on the debate of whether someone is a poet first and novelist second and the extent to which there is a real distinction etc, I am in stead just going to mention a poet, who first and foremost was a poet and is known to the world mainly as a poet, who wrote two wonderful novels that I simply adore: Philip Larkin.


message 45: by Danielle (new)

Danielle | 9 comments Hey, Patty!
I have a blog no one reads with a few pieces I've written, some poetry and short essays and reviews. Do you have a poetry-in-general thread to discuss poets and poetry and/or share one another's work? Or to discuss the meaning of poetry in our present society (or the lack thereof)? Is there a poetry section?

As far as the oral history of poetic forms, I've always understood it that one of the reasons for the delivery of stories in verse was to make it easier to remember hundreds and even thousands of lines, establishing rhythm and meter and rhyme, especially considering that many such poems were sung and performed to music.

I read a great book some years ago called Proust and the Squid, about how our brains and memories changed in response to learning how to both read and write, which in turn affected the composition and language used in poetry...and everything else for that mater. Not to mention the current contexts and conditions of culture throughout history affecting its artistic output.

I will now STFU before steering even further off topic. :)


message 46: by Patty, free birdeaucrat (last edited Jul 29, 2014 06:44PM) (new)

Patty | 896 comments Mod
Danielle! It's so great to see you here!

Your post resonated so much with my thinking today. This morning on the subway I read a little book called "The Albertine Workout" by Anne Carson. Its starting point/person is the character in Proust's novel. I think you would like it. Apropos of my morning's thoughts about this book, you mention a book with Proust in the title, and also memory. It's almost like you could hear me thinking!

We haven't had a poetry section or even thread, but I will start one now. If you don't mind, I'll just use your description "a poetry-in-general thread to discuss poets and poetry and/or share one another's work? Or to discuss the meaning of poetry in our present society (or the lack thereof)" to start it off.

I am now officially "following" your blog, but haven't had time to read any of it yet, so your blog name is still accurate. :)

Please don't STFU, I don't think it's all that imperative that anyone stays on topic these days.


message 48: by Patty, free birdeaucrat (new)

Patty | 896 comments Mod
Very cool, thanks ELLEN!


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