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About Roy Jerden
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I starting writing poetry again in 2012 after a 50 year hiatus.

Born and raised in West Texas, I lived all over the area as a child until my mother remarried, as my father was in the oil drilling business, which required constant moving. I grew up in San Angelo, home of Fort Concho and the Buffalo Soldiers, but spent quite a few summers working on my grandpa's farm in the Texas Hill Country.

I met my wife Toni while I was stationed at Aviano AFB, Italy. I learned to speak Italian fluently and we still speak it at home interchangeably with English. My three sons, all born in Italy after I got out of the USAF, also speak Italian.

We moved back to the USA in 1972 and settled in Missouri, where I went back to school.

We moved to Atlanta in 1988, when Toni relocated here with AT&T. I got a job with McKesson (then HBOC) working with medical information systems, which started my career in this field. I had a natural talent for application design and parlayed this talent into a great R&D management position with an internet startup.

We are now retired. We spend time traveling the world and visiting our grandchildren in CA and NC. We also spend some time in Italy almost every year visiting and traveling with friends in Europe as we have a small apartment there in Sacile near Aviano, not far from Venice.

My other passions are mushroom hunting (the edible kind), gourmet cooking and bread baking.


To Footnote or Not to Footnote?


Blog Posted:7/3/2014 8:47:00 PM

I once read a statement that a poet  should not explain or interpret his/her work. That in doing so, it breaks the contract between writer and reader. The work should stand on its own, hence no exegesis is or should be required. That has been my practice in the past, the exception being some notes in the "About this poem" section, which in a few cases, I have used to deconstruct the poem, explaining the references and metaphors used.

Normally, this suits me fine, but on multiple occasions, when I enter a poem in a contest, I have found that the poem places very low, even though well constructed, has interesting metaphors and references, multi-level meanings and good content. At least on two or three occasions, I can only conclude that the poem must have been beyond the comprehension level of the judge. Nothing else makes any sense.

Recently, some comments suggested that I add a footnote to a poem. Several comments following that one said that the footnotes really helped.Some said that they learned a lot by reading the footnotes. I have decided to do this for a while to see how it works out. I am not being patronizing. I know several of the regulars are well-grounded in literature and other fields and have no such need.

What do you think?

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  1. Date: 7/5/2014 2:15:00 AM
    I do it when I write on Indian culture , history or traditions otherwise I agree with you that it should be left to interpret by the readers in whichever he mind stirs.

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  1. Date: 7/4/2014 8:37:00 AM
    I do it on those occasions when it would not otherwise be understood. Like why did I write 3 different poetry forms for the suite

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  1. Date: 7/4/2014 7:35:00 AM
    If there's a word or name that is very unusual a brief footnote is fine by me, we are all learning, but a footnote which explains the poem is not OK for me since I too believe the reader should be encouraged to interpret & the writer should be able to present what they intended or rewrite it. Many footnotes are longer than the verses, these I don't like at all.

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    Jerden Avatar Roy Jerden Date: 7/4/2014 11:56:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    In the old days, defining an unusual word was helpful, I'm sure as one might not have a dictionary ready. But today, using a modern browser like Chrome, it's unnecessary. You can highlight a word or phrase with the mouse, right click and search Google from the context menu. Not doing so is just laziness, IMHO.
  1. Date: 7/3/2014 10:03:00 PM
    Some writes require footnotes simply because the topic/subject/write is either so complex or so personal. Myself, I see it as a personal call to be made by the poet. Several times comments by members having stated my footnotes have helped them greatly in understanding a particular line ,phrase or stanza

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  1. Date: 7/3/2014 9:55:00 PM
    Roy, I am a bit addled sometimes and so any little extra footnote can sometimes help me appreciate a poem better. (in the event that the topic was a difficult one for me OR when the poet used a style or jargon very difficult for me). you should see if it helps or not!!!

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My Past Blog Posts

 
Foodies - Part 1
Date Posted: 12/20/2014 2:01:00 PM
How kids perceive their grandparents
Date Posted: 12/19/2014 5:55:00 AM
Got Writer's Block?
Date Posted: 12/6/2014 8:10:00 AM
Clean and Clever Limerick Contest Update
Date Posted: 11/17/2014 7:51:00 AM
My First Short Story - Accepted for publication
Date Posted: 11/2/2014 6:46:00 PM
Happy Halloween
Date Posted: 10/31/2014 7:18:00 AM
Non-Christian Poetry Contest Update
Date Posted: 10/19/2014 9:05:00 AM
New Contest - Religious Poetry: Non-Christian
Date Posted: 10/5/2014 6:40:00 AM
"AT SEVENTEEN"
Date Posted: 9/30/2014 10:57:00 AM
The Pedicure Virgin
Date Posted: 9/11/2014 8:19:00 PM
How to make an image out of a long poem
Date Posted: 9/3/2014 12:58:00 PM
How to do a scansion of your poem to verify the meter
Date Posted: 8/19/2014 6:03:00 PM
Too Subtle?
Date Posted: 8/15/2014 1:39:00 PM
New Feature -Poet's Notes About the Poem
Date Posted: 8/2/2014 12:31:00 PM
Free Verse: Start here or finish here
Date Posted: 7/21/2014 7:04:00 PM
Bogus Entries in Contests
Date Posted: 7/19/2014 6:46:00 AM
Punctuation and Capitalization in Poetry
Date Posted: 7/18/2014 6:35:00 PM
About Poem/Poem Notes/Inspiration, etc.
Date Posted: 7/18/2014 8:17:00 AM
Bawdy Limericks II Judged
Date Posted: 7/6/2014 2:48:00 PM
To Footnote or Not to Footnote?
Date Posted: 7/3/2014 8:47:00 PM
User trying to set a password
Date Posted: 6/24/2014 10:01:00 PM
Centering, Bolding, and Italicizing in a Poem
Date Posted: 6/9/2014 9:51:00 PM
Bawdy Limerick Contest Complete
Date Posted: 6/7/2014 4:38:00 PM
Limerick Contest Update - Last chance
Date Posted: 5/27/2014 5:31:00 PM
Bonnie Parker's Poetry
Date Posted: 5/24/2014 2:48:00 PM

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