Friday, 9 October 2015

Tweets on poetry, poems and poets (collected)

Yesterday on twitter through the day, I put up some thoughts about what poets, poetry and poems can do, sometimes do, often do....

It starts with the last one on this list and finishes with the first, so there is a kind of train of thought. But you don't have to read them that way. (I rather like Marx's Theses on Feuerbach so they've ended up being a bit like some 'Theses'....but they were actually tweets. Maybe Marx invented the tweet.

Anyway, here's Rosen's tweets on poetry. Finishing (starting) with a tweet poem about war, inspired by 'Dulce et Decorum est'

War:when governments convince enough people who don't want to kill, to kill people who don't want to kill but who've been convinced to kill

Poems can capture simultaneous opposites and contradictions when the sound runs counter to the most customary meaning of the words

.'Dulce et Decorum est' must be a perfect poem because no Prime Minister so far has recited it at a war memorial. So far.

Think of political poems as if they are political speeches. Only if they are dull, do they not work. Not because they are political.

Beware when the poet says 'I'. It is not the poet. The 'I' is made of words the poet has chosen. The poet is a person.

Most poems repeat something: words, sounds, images,rhythms, meanings.Even opposites are a kind of repetition.

For poets there are no such thing as wow words. For poets all words are wow words. Especially 'the' and 'a'.

Some poems can be mimed.

Poets often walk about looking for ways to begin poems.

Try bringing together two things that don't belong together.

Poems like psychic reality. It's where the feelings are believable even if it's demons or giants or...

There are no right and wrong answers on what poems mean but it does no harm to read or listen to what others say.

Some poems cheat time: they freeze the moment. But they can't cheat the reader's time.

Studying poetry shouldn't be a humiliation.

In science the truth has to be proven. In poetry the truth can be suggested.

If you don't know what a poem means, ask yourself and the person nearest you what it reminds you of. Then ask why or how.

A poem is a poem if the writer and the reader agree it's a poem. If they don't agree, it's under discussion.

Everytime you say that something is like another you get a new angle on those two things. Poems often do that.

Many poems don't solve anything.They may start conversations that help you though.

Poets don't know all the meanings of their poems. All the meanings of the poems are made by the poet and the readers.

Poems aren't made of words. They're made of sequences of words.

A lot of poems start in a poet's mind with a query.

When children say how do you start to write a poem, I say 'by daydreaming'.

In rhythmic poems the rhythm is made by the 'foot'. In free verse, the rhythm is usually the line.

Some poems can say thing about feelings but only talk about things we can see. ‪#‎imagism‬

One way to write poems is to talk with your pen.


Poetry can change the usual patterns of language.

Poetry begs borrows and steals from all other uses of language and recycles it as poems.

Poetry can celebrate. Poetry can mourn. We choose who to celebrate who to mourn.

Poetry can say things through its sounds without telling you that this is what it’s doing.

Poetry can dream. It can analyse. It can do both at the same time.

Poetry can glorify our rulers or it can dissect them. You choose.

Poetry can stick up for the weak. Poetry can mock the mighty.

Poetry can say I Believe. Poetry can say We Believe.

Poetry can say I Am. Poetry can say We Are.

Poetry can tell stories but it doesn't have to. It can talk about the moment or the thing.

Poetry makes the familiar unfamiliar. And the unfamiliar familiar.

The poet suggests. We interpret. That's freedom.

Poetry is for everyone. In private or for sharing, we find ourselves in it.