Thursday, October 22, 2009


  1. Those who can't teach, do

    If you don't enjoy riddles, you probably won't like poetry.

    Some poems are guitars, chords nested deep and sparse within the strings and no matter how many times your dad tries to explain it to you the notes just seem to pop up here and there, just willy-nilly wherever they like.

    Insight like Kingston Road: you're never quite sure where you're going to come across it.

    I write poetry like I play music, just sounding out the notes and practicing over and over, building up muscle memory. I don't know what I'm playing, but people tell me it sounds pretty.

  2. Andrew writes me a poem

    Roses are red
    Violets are blue
    Something something
    Something poo

  3. A six year old reads Tolstoy

    I may never be the person who can
    look at one shade of paint on a canvas
    (left untitled, the height of laziness!)
    or poems in thin, glossy books that read:
    sky telephone lace purple miracle
    and claim to feel something.

    I cry to the poem, "I don't understand you!"
    and the poem answers, "Then hear me.

    That is how it begins."

Black Square by Kazimir Malevich

        How do you feel about abstract poetry and art? What criteria, if any, does something need to meet in order to be called poetry or art?


Dorkmaster Flek said...

Art is pretty, and thought provoking, and inspiring. It's also bullshit. :) The definition of what constitutes art is so vague. I've heard art defined as anything that elicits an emotional response from the viewer. In that case, a one line poem of seemingly random words is art because it elicits an angry response from you, trying to understand and analyze it. Remember my bit of trivia about Lennon and I Am The Walrus being nonsense lyrics because he wanted to fuck with the students whose teachers were making them analyze Beatles lyrics? :)

Claudia said...

I think the definition of what constitutes art is highly subjective. What evokes feeling or emotion in one person will not do the same for another. I do not, will not appreciate the same things that yet another person will appreciate.

I think though, that the greatest artists have the ability to evoke feeling or emotion in a great number of people (thus increasing popularity, fame, etc).

What I do believe is that whatever we believe to be true art, or a definitive piece of art, is whatever we believe rings true with our own values in a manner of authenticity. (something a music prof of mine once said).

Shannon Teresa said...

I like Andrew's poem lol!

I don't like poetry, I find it to pretentious and most poets are sophists. I like things that make sense and that people can talk about b/c it's universally understood.

I usually find poetry pretty juvenile, especially rhyming poetry. It's hard enough to find the right words and now they have to rhyme to?!? F THAT!

Shayla real talk yours is the only poetry I genuinely adore. Though in your humble defense I don't seek out poetry, so whatever I'm naturally exposed to tends not to be anywhere near as awesome as yours

Mary said...

Like Claudia said art is all subjective pretty much. Some people will like it, others won't... whatever. For me, I really hate the pretentiousness of the art world. People in skinny jeans, dirty hair, thick rimmed glasses and wearing mostly black who walk around like their shit don't stank. "Oh I stuck a melted fork in a piece of cement... it symbolizes how I'm bent and alone in this cold harsh world". Like everything no matter how stupid has to have a meaning... Ugh. When I went to show my portfolio at OCAD, the profs were like "what are you trying to say with these photos"....... and I'm there like "Ummm, I have no idea. They're nice and they evoke feelings, but I'm not trying to say anything with them". I knew right then and there I would not be accepting their invite to come study there.

So bottom line, for me art doesn't have to mean anything in particular. It can simply be awesome and or pretty or evoke some sort of feeling and that's why people like it.

Jerry said...

Raymond Barone writes you a poem:

Little Jack Horner
Sits in a corner
Something Something
Poop and Pee

Really, that came from Everybody Loves Raymond. Not sure if you've ever watched that show.

As for art, surely there is a subjectivity to the enjoyment of it since each person has an opinion. But art is not justified by what the recipient makes of it.
It comes down to something as fundamental as our views of good and bad. It troubles me that we live in a period where there is little or no distinction between the two. And I think we see this play itself out in the areas of art, too. A guy bangs his fists on the piano for 3 minutes, calls it an expression of his feelings. Then some people are either incapable or unwilling to make a judgment call on which is better: a work of frustration like that, or a Beethoven sonata. Common sense should allow us to see clearly, but I fear that isn't the age in which we are living.

Jerry said...

Just for a little clarification of my previous comment...

I enjoy a Jackson Pollock painting now and then. And being a classical music enthusiast, I get something out of listening to the serial and atonal works of the twentieth century. They do evoke certain feelings from the mind. Abstract music, poetry and art have their place in the world. But I think that we are gradually coming full circle back to a desire for meaning. Chaos is emptiness (which is a feeling), but structure gives security. Many composers have realized this. Lowell Liebermann and John Adams are two of my favorite living composers. They have created great modern works that are still accessible to the average listener, not just scholars. And so it will be with poetry, I think. Billy Collins is the best example I can give.

BPOTW said...

I agree that 'art' in subjective, but if the point isn't made, then it wastes everybody's time. Good post.

Katie said...

I feel like abstract art reaches me on a level, but abstract poetry does not. Visually, I can see the joy or the confusion or the rage. It doesn't have to be difficult to be meaningful. Poetry, if I don't get it, I just don't get it.

Maybe because I've made that type of art before and I know my intentions. Any poetry I've made is a lot more to the point.

Katie said...

Second thought: Why do we need to define poetry or art? If I say I'm making art, and it's a spoon stuck in cement, the congrats to me, I made art. No one else likes it or is moved, but I know I've made art.
Just art no one is ever going to buy.