Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Slashdot videos: Now with more Slashdot!

  • View

  • Discuss

  • Share

We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).

×
User Journal

Chacham's Journal: Verbiage: Life Lesson: Compliment not to be main, free verse 11

Journal by Chacham

Life's lessons are learned in strange ways, many times tailor-made to the person receiving it. Repeating the lessons can leave listeners in admiration and awe. Mention *how* those lessons were learned can often extract a chuckle, however. I learned a lesson from noodle soup.

I used to eat Goodman's Noodle soup, chicken flavor. The box has two foil packets, each filled with a salty powder and dried noodles. About eight minutes of cooking, and a nice bowl of soup is ready. There's even the added treat of licking the leftover powder from the foil package. Mmmmm... salty powder granules.

For me, the noodles did it. When i finished the noodles, the soup was at best mediocre. And, the more noodles on the spoon, the better. As such, i got into the habit of eating less noodles at first to enjoy a greater amount of noodles at the end (typical J activity: work now, play later). I got better at this, depending on my mood, and my willingness to sacrifice the first spoonfuls to have that perceived enjoyment at the end. And it paid off. Those hearty spoonfuls at the end were fantastic.

That was when i had the Great Idea. I decided to have *all* the soup alone, a bitter task, and then dive into the dilection of straight noodle. I did it. I drank the bland soup, and the lack of noodles only heightened my awareness of the pleasure soon to come. Finally finishing from frantically feeding. And then before me lay the reward. Half a cup of noodles.

I went in for the first spoonful, a heaping full share of noodles. I tried to eat it, and spit it out. It was disgusting. The noodles were more flavorless than the soup. Yuck! So much for that. It was then that i realized that the noodles complimented the soup. The more noodles the better, as long as it remained a compliment. One it became the main part. Well, it became a tasteless compound.

I find a parallel in art and verse. Art, especially paintings, can construe reality in an odd way to evoke emotional response. Paint a face but make part of it green, or build a beautiful scene but over-blur the background, or even the foreground. The added color or non-realism adds to the affect. However, if the color becomes the main part, it is simply tasteless. It's a pretty wrapper with empty insides. Kind of like a Democrat. As such, modern art seems overwhelmingly stupid to me. Like the completely unclad, one must train themselves to enjoy it. Sure, once trained the ingrained response is had, but ultimately it is false.

Verse has similar reactions. There is a structure to verse and poetry. Whether it be rhymes or syllabic count, it is there. Use it as the main thing, and the other effects such as spacing, the occasional break, or a sentence out of the order, can heighten the pleasure. However, make it the main part, and it's silly. It's worthless. It's thought with no form, like the slashdot user that posts some knee-jerk response exposing either the socialistic or the conservative view, whichever just then satisfies his self-centered Weltanschauung.

I was speaking about this with a friend. I believe that in poems, free verse must be earned through rigid cooperation with the barriers or rhyme. Otherwise all is nothing. Kind of like this JE.

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Verbiage: Life Lesson: Compliment not to be main, free verse

Comments Filter:
  • i can tell you somthing that frequently gets overlooked.

    i don't think about it.

    Seriously. I pay no bloody attention to the syllables in a line, it just happens. shards and shards of stolen sleep has a rhythm to it that's different from and jagged bits of dream and i don't count. i don't strive for rhymes. i don't even reach for them- they show up and leap into the verse.

    Many artists i know work this way- painting not because 'it needs a touch of surreality," but because, "GREEN. i need GREEN..."

    Ar

    • Very good point. It does reflect your experience with the tools of poetry, however. A novice painter needs to learn the tools. An advanced painter may be an expert with oils and brush. But to an artist, the tools are transparent (which is exactly the point that you are making). This transparency is typically the result of a lot of practice. Meter, rhyme, and syllabic structure are still things that the less-experienced must regard when writing a poem.

      Looking at this, I think that I just agree with
    • Well, i actually consider verse to be something else. A short succinct sentence, that has more meaning than it would seem. That, though, is a different pleasure than a poem. A poem's pleasure comes from the soothing rhyme and meter, whereas verse comes from the apparent contradiction in how little can say so much.

      Verse has the added effect that the reader accepts it more readily for two reasons. One, it is not blocked. Two, he wants to enjoy it. It is not blocked because it is not said outright, and as suc
  • I know I tend to write verse as it flows, without thinking about it, as Solemn said above.

    Rhyming poetry has never worked for me, though--it ALWAYS comes out forced, and until I shifted to free verse, I could never improve past a certain point in my writing ability. (is my difficulty with rhyme possibly related to my dyslexia?)

    That having been said, while I don't explictly COUNT syllables and plan out rhymes, I write according to a VERY strict rule--if it doesn't sound good, if it doesn't fit the rhythm I
    • (is my difficulty with rhyme possibly related to my dyslexia?)

      Probably not. Though, being i don't understand dyslexia very well, i cannot answer that properly.

      if it doesn't sound good, if it doesn't fit the rhythm I'm trying to march to, it gets tossed.

      Just a few minutes ago i read what Jolande Jacobi said to explain (what Jung meant when he explained) the difference between thinking and feeling. Thinking is true/false. Feeling is pleasant/unpleaant. (Don't mix this up with the MBTI's F preference, wh
      • As for personality type, I can't remember the letter designations but I recall tending to float in the vicinity of Mastermind/Architect, depending on the specific questions asked (I want to say that's the boundary between INTJ and INTP), although I do feel that poetry is an escape from my usual self.

        As for my poem, I actually went a bit out of my way to make it have a form, albiet not one readily described in terms you'd associate with form. Each of the stanzas accelerated, and I was trying (it felt a bit
        • Mastermind/Architect

          The major difference between INTP and INTJ, is that in the INTP the T is dominant, and in the J the N is dominant. Thus, the INTP has a more artisan side, whereas the INTJ jumps to the idealist.

          From your writing style, i'd assume P though. Js really want order, and probably would appreciate the more rigid poem.

          whereas if I focus on syllables and meter and such, I lose all power of emotion and have nothing to work with in subsequent revisions.

          For the beginner, the poem should be wr
          • If not, do you have any appreciation for haiku?

            Nope.

            I think this is the fundamental breakdown of our disagreement, personally. The problem, of course (IMHO) is the silly insistence of English-speaking teachers to teach haiku as JUST 5-7-5 syllable patterns when that's really the LEAST important part...

            Of course, the important parts of haiku are sublte seasonal references and the idea (lacking in English) of a "cutting" word or phrase, where the poem shifts direction abruptly at some point--Haiku trad
            • the important parts of haiku are sublte seasonal references and the idea (lacking in English) of a "cutting" word or phrase, where the poem shifts direction abruptly at some point--Haiku traditionally being closely associated with Zen.

              Interesting, thanx.

              Anyway, agree to disagree?

              Nope. I think "agreeing to disagree" is a cop out. Do i agree that you are entiled to your own opinion, and that i will respect your right to have that opinion--no matter how incorrect it may be--simply because it is something
              • Nope. I think "agreeing to disagree" is a cop out. Do i agree that you are entiled to your own opinion, and that i will respect your right to have that opinion--no matter how incorrect it may be--simply because it is something that you believe? Yes.

                In that case, I shall continue to believe you lack artistic sense as well. =)

"Be *excellent* to each other." -- Bill, or Ted, in Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure

Working...