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Who is a poet?

PostPosted: Thu Aug 05, 2004 9:50 pm
by MonroeDoctrine
What is the definition of a poet? Should society accept all forms of formal structures of words as poetry? Or perhaps only certain people have the authority to be called poets?

There is a reason why Shelly mentioned specific people! And I assert boldly that only certain people can be considered poets!

Who is a poet?

PostPosted: Thu Aug 05, 2004 10:10 pm
by Saturn
What a contentious issue!!!

This is a very difficult one as many artists have been described as creating "poetic" work. Shelley even said that Plato was a poet, even though he wrote in prose. Virginia Woolf's novels have been described as poetic.

The issue should more properly be what is poetry? Do we mean by poetry a narrow textbook dictionary definition or a heightened impulse which is employed by artists working in various media, not exclusively the written (or oral) art of poetry.

I'd love to read other comments on this - way to go MonroeDoctrine for putting a bit a life in the forum - it's been dead as a doornail recently!!

Shelley on Poetry

PostPosted: Sun Aug 08, 2004 9:35 pm
by Saturn
The best description and defence of poetry I can find is this by Shelley:

“Poetry turns all things to loveliness; it exalts the beauty of that which is most beautiful, and it adds beauty to that which is most deformed; it marries exultation and horror, grief and pleasure, eternity and change; it subdues to union under its light yoke, all irreconcilable things…it strips the veil of familiarity from the world, and lays bare the naked and sleeping beauty, which is the spirit of its forms.”
From A Defence of Poetry

I must say

PostPosted: Tue Sep 14, 2004 6:02 pm
by MonroeDoctrine
I must say not many posted their thoughts but, I would argue that the greatest poet always improves his society. A good mirror that demonstrates where society has gone wrong and why it must change is the prosidy that is essencial for our society.

This is why I consider Keats, and Shelly some of the last great poets because they set a standard for where human beings should be mentally. I almost cry after reading Keats and Shelly not because of the beauty of their poetry per se but because of the great loss to human civilization that these scops passed away.

A sign of a good poet, is the mourning of their absence. I hope someone takes up the themes these young men wrote about again, and eliminate the tragic state of most modern poets that couldn't even approximate Keats and Shelly.

Who is a poet?

PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2004 11:40 pm
by DreamingofKeats
I am a poet.

PostPosted: Wed Nov 10, 2004 11:23 am
by Saturn
Prove it - show us some work!!!

PostPosted: Sat Nov 13, 2004 11:57 am
by Junkets
I agree with you Stephen, this is a great subject, and the Selley quote you kindly provided I haven't read in years and had altogether forgot about its existence; but I agree with it. I think Monroe is quite right with the mention of the mirror (how terribly lacanian :wink: ), but not sure if I agree with the improving of society or that poetry demonstrates where society has gone wrong. I think there is poetry that does just that, but I don't believe that all poetry does. The mirror idea I like and think that poetry can be viewed as a mirror for society to view its own beauty or blanch at its own disgusting horror. Ultimately what makes a poet is a subjective question devoid of a single answer; poetry is a very personal thing and what touches one person could be seen to be utter drivel by the next.

PostPosted: Sat Nov 13, 2004 9:28 pm
by Saturn
:) Absoultely right - anyone can claim to be a poet and that is a personal belief - everyone else might hate their work, but the person is still a poet in their own imagination.

I would say I am a poet, not because I've ever had anything published and reviewed or anything, just due to the fact that I have an impulse to express my thoughts in verse, and that's enough of a sufficient explaination for me.

Others will doubtless disagree and say that unless you have been published and recognised publically as a poet you are not one.

However, Homer was perhaps never written down certainly never 'published' in any modern sense in his lifetime and he's still a poet; one of the greatest - not that I am comparing myself by any means to the sublime genius of Homer, just pointing out that one doesn't have to be well known and celebrated to be a poet.

PostPosted: Sat Nov 13, 2004 10:36 pm
by Matt
I like you're theory Stephen. It comforts me!

PostPosted: Mon Nov 15, 2004 9:34 am
by Saturn
You're definitely a poet - more so than me and you have been, or wil be published - I am right in saying that aren't I???

Example of a Good Poet

PostPosted: Mon Nov 15, 2004 7:33 pm
by MonroeDoctrine
Here's a Poet that wants to improve society i.e. a definition of a poet!:


Paul Laurence Dunbar

PostPosted: Tue Nov 16, 2004 10:45 am
by Saturn
Who he????

PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2005 4:11 pm
by ObsceneMinstrel
I think being elitist about terminology does more harm than good. Remember: How can something grow if it's being restricted? How can poetry thrive and evolve if there's a lock on the door to get in?

I think quite simply a poet is anyone who writes something and subsequently calls it poetry! Call them anything else and you're thinking too hard. ;)

Why there must be a standard!

PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2005 5:50 pm
by MonroeDoctrine
There must be a standard for poetry or the opposite underlying philosophical outlook shall destroy mankind's ability to communicate an idea.

Poetry contains within it an ability to transmit ideas to future generations of human beings, now if that poetry collapses generally speaking it is a reflection of the collapse of the society! If that collapse occurs one of the most tragic things that can happen is loosing a beautiful idea. Wouldn't it be tragic if John Keats was lost in our civilization because the impotent spoken word, HIp-Hop and Rock and Roll culture couldn't transmit John Keats? Thank God for people like me keeping real poets alive!

PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2005 10:17 pm
by Saturn
You have a very high opinion of yourself don't you? :wink:

Everyone that reads poetry is carrying on a tradition of thousands of years and I believe thee will always be a place for poetry in our civilization - poetry was preserved by the Greeks and the Romans to the very end of their civilization and consequently transmitted to our time for us to enjoy and I hope this trend will continue.