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Poetry without direction - Albert Ahearn's Blog

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Poetry without direction

Blog Posted:10/13/2010 10:39:00 AM

I’ll not read further than one line

of poetry if the poet

does not employ punctuation.

Think of punctuation

in terms of driving your auto:

It provides the necessary

direction to follow and heed.

Without it the sentences run

Into each other and become

unclear and your writing will go

nowhere. The purpose is to make

your meaning clear by telling the

reader when to pause, when to stop,

when to take notice, and so on.

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  1. Date: 10/15/2010 7:34:00 PM
    poets are sort of like musicians, they are all different, if every musician did the same, the music would become so boring, there were many people who thought yohanne sebastion bach was a horrible musician in his day and some now cannot stand his music,,,OK then don't listen to it some don't like country music,,Ok don't listten to it don't say it is not music,,I remember when rock and roll started,,my parents and their parents said it was not music at all,,,,,,Ok rock and roll musicians are making a lot of money and a lot of people happy,,so I gues they were wrong,,,again i say poetry is like music it is wrote differently for different people to say any of the classic poets were not writers of poetry is just right down wrong,,,Blessings..Cecil

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  1. Date: 10/14/2010 5:34:00 PM
    I don't know if i over-punctuate or not, no one has ever said, but i am a fan of punctuation in poetry.

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  1. Date: 10/14/2010 11:21:00 AM
    Well, I could be too dense to explain how punctuation can be a deterrent. But maybe you can figure it out? It is about having TOO MUCH punctuation, and not punctuation itself that is the problem in some poems. If punctuation is seen as 'road signs' to help direct the reader along the journey of the poem....too much punctuation can become a distraction and break apart the flow too much. Punctuation is great in that it allows the reader to 'breathe' and have breaks; but if the reader breathes too much/quickly, they can tend to hyperventilate and become dizzy.

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  1. Date: 10/14/2010 10:52:00 AM
    Constance, I said I wasn’t going to bandy words and here I am doing just that. In Cummings poem “I carry your heart with me” he doesn’t use brackets, he uses parentheses. The six times he uses them within the poem are in compliance with punctuation laws. (They interrupt to explain additional information that the reader should know.) Parentheses can hold explanations, illustrations, or clarifications. Moreover, the poem is punctuated using semicolons and commas. Remember what I said in my blog, that I wouldn’t read beyond the first line if it wasn’t punctuated. If this blog is to be debated, we must remain focused on what I said. No one yet has explained to me how punctuation can be a deterrent since it's the poet who wants you to go in a specific direction via punctuation.

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  1. Date: 10/14/2010 10:08:00 AM
    Not "poetry without direction" - just poetry headed in a direction you don't care to go - which is fine. Some of us like to take our autos off road, or drive in a demolition derby where running into each other is part of the fun. I don't want to tell the reader where to pause, if the pause is not intuitively reached by the words - then I don't have the right words. Having said that, I do sometimes punctuate and sometimes I prefer not to. For those who decide to pass on after reading one line without punctuation, I am fine with that. If the words alone don't intice you to read more, then please, don't waste your time with me and go read a poem you like - and leave them a note saying you enjoyed it. Joe

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  1. Date: 10/14/2010 10:06:00 AM
    @Albert--of course ee cummings had his weird poetry. But he also had some amazing poetry. And you really cannot see how far too many comas, semi-colons, periods in a poem could be a deterrent? Anyway, you have your own tastes which is great. I mentioned before how I most enjoy punctuation in poery, but I will definitely read poetry that doesn't have punctuation. If you are a rocket scientist, you shouldn't have any trouble figuring out the breaks.

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  1. Date: 10/14/2010 9:54:00 AM
    Albert, I pleade the 5th 6th and 7th coma much love, james

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  1. Date: 10/14/2010 7:07:00 AM
    You need to read ee cummings poem, I carry your heart with me, it is the most beautiful poem I have ever read... I actually love the use of brackets in poetry and have written many poems in the style of ee cummings using brackets and lower case letters, it sort of suits my gendre of writing, my style, and I think that is what is important, each one of us has a style of writing, and we should embrace each poets individuality and not whetherer they are punctuating or not, it is the words, to me that are important.. having said that, over punctuation, can be distracting..

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  1. Date: 10/14/2010 5:27:00 AM
    For the life of me, I cannot see how a simple mark like a (,), or (.) be labeled a deterrent. As for ee cummings: the sky was the sky was can dy lu minous edible spry pinks shy lemons greens coo l choc olate s. un der, a lo co mo tive s pout ing vi o lets If this is poetry, then I'm a rocket scientist.

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  1. Date: 10/14/2010 4:55:00 AM
    I totally agree with you, Albert.

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  1. Date: 10/13/2010 8:15:00 PM
    I can understand where you are coming from, in that you have your own personal tastes. I find punctuation a wonderful asset in well as a possible deterent. ee cummings, Basho and Ezra Pound are examples of master poets who easily got away without using punctuation in their work. I will always enjoy reading their superb poetry~Chris

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  1. Date: 10/13/2010 5:04:00 PM
    LOL Guess you won't be reading any eecummings, eh, Albert. Just read what you like and enjoy.

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  1. Date: 10/13/2010 2:58:00 PM
    with proper line-breaks....and thought conclusions....sometimes punctuation can be obtrusive! if purity can be achieved without over-dotting! art can be revealed! the reader must decide if this is true! but, yes, when needed to conclude a thought, as in a narrative, I agree! jimbo

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  1. Date: 10/13/2010 1:13:00 PM
    I’ll not bandy words. Those who write poetry without punctuation has one less person to read their work.

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  1. Date: 10/13/2010 12:31:00 PM
    Now, I am a poet who tends to over punctuate, I have a comma obsession it is said, I am working on it, but I totally agree with you, I like to see and use pauses ..

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  1. Date: 10/13/2010 11:23:00 AM
    Albert, a lot of famous poets don't use punctuation. I want to see quotes, apostrophes, hyphens and semicolons where needed, but some people overdo the use of commas. It can get just as distracting when punctuation is overdone! I don't see many popular poets using periods and some poetry websites suggest they should not be used. Guess we're all entitled to read what appeals to us. Love, Carolyn

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