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September 26, 2007

Purpose

There was much talk in class on monday about how the writer of a poem must write, and of the writer's responsibility. For me, this must be looked at from several perspectives. Everyone writes poetry for different reasons. The most simple reason to write poetry is for one's self, and in that case the only responsibility the writer has is to them self. As such, this may be the most liberating type of poetry to write, because the writer is able to freely express whatever it is they are feeling at the time, with no obligation to help others understand. But since this poetry is just for the individual, it is the kind that we see the least of. Most poetry is made by an individual for someone else. With this being the case, it is usually in the best interest of the writer to make the poetry appealing to the outside audience. That being said, I feel that the writer in no way has an obligation to appease the audience.

Engage

Poetry can be successful in more than one way. The poetry that we all look to as the standard and model for all the rest is of course the norm for 'good' poetry. But there are also poets who can attract attention to their poetry by getting it criticized. From my perspective, successful poetry is anything that engages the reader, whether it be because the read is love with the writing or absolutely abhors it. Either way, it illicits a response that encourages the poem to be talked about. That is successful poetry. The difference between the good and bad poetry is that the good poetry is remembered, while the bad poetry will be quickly forgotten?

The example of Danielle Steel's poetry was brought up. To say that her works, while unique in their own right, are any less intriguing than any other poetry is to have blinders on when reading. While other poets' works may show us the right thing to do when writing, hers showing the wrong way helps us learn. Even unsuccessful poetry can be looked at in a positive light, as long as knowing what the ultimate purpose behind writing is, and in my opinion, that is to engage the reader.

Posted by ndjames at 09:10 PM | Comments (0)

September 24, 2007

What is a metaphor?

When first trying to understand the meaning behind 'the sun is an apple blossom' I first wanted to get back to the root of what a metaphor was. Originally, the word metaphor was a greek word meaning "transfer." Many times this is exactly what a metaphor does, transfers the meaning of one word onto another and like it was mentioned in the limited fork blog, makes the meaning of something that is ungraspable more tangible. This is where the understand of the words becomes tricky. Even though a metaphor makes something ungraspable more tangible, the metaphor can still be valid and make sense when switched around. We could say that 'an apple blossom is the sun,' still helps us understand the sun, something that may be out of our range of understanding.

The translation of the phrase presents an interesting situation. Because online translaters generically translate whatever you tell them to, when you translate back and forth there can be problems that are encountered with putting together sentences that will not make sense in one language or the other. An interesting adventure into understand how different languages relate the same meaning would unfortunately require more than a basic understanding of several languages. It does present a unique situation though to see what the online translaters provide us with when we ask them to translate things back and forth.

Posted by ndjames at 05:36 PM | Comments (0)