Saturday, July 02, 2005

An Addendum to On Marriage

I excavated this poem, from a time long forgotten, after I put up my last post. I wrote it at nineteen... when I was thinking similarly.

This is for you.

The memory of whom...
Is the lucidly landscaped whisper of a dream.
The presence of whom...
Is the sound of a child's laughter.
The reality of whom...
Is a negative.
Over-exposed.

Who are you?

10 comments:

tabs said...

beautiful poem

Anonymous said...

At 19??? Very impressive. At 19 I was carving limricks into class benches.

memory, presence, sound... all this so different from reality?

"Who are you?"
Someone who you had an exercise, no, wait, a workout in delusion with. Probably themost common relationship at that age.

I may be wrong about the above, and what's to follow... but it seems to be a case of someone "oh chooo chweee n nice" on theoutsde... but when you get down to brasstacks... is something else. But gettin down to brasstacks is something most folks don't do when they're 19... that's the age for plain and unadulterated championship.

Extempore said...

I am curious, what is an workout in delusion?! I wrote the poem because I wondered what sort of man I would finally get together with. To my mind, both then and now, "he" would bring together dreams and laughter. These are my brasstacks. What I meant by "Who are you?" was that because his image was like an over-exposed negative - something I could not see.

Thanks for the new perspective. The wonderful thing about poetry is the openness to interpretation, don't you agree?

Anonymous said...

I thought you wrote it with someone in mind, with whom it didn't work out or soemthing.

"The wonderful thing about poetry is the openness to interpretation, don't you agree?"

Not for me, not by a long shot.No way. For me, the wonderful thing about poetry is the way teh words are chosen and how the whole thing sounds. A poet writes it based on his knowledge and experiences about some aspect of lfe... he/she just expresses something in a beautiful way. Then you have a thousand so called intellectuals debating on what he or she possibly meant.

Haven't you ever wondered why the greatest poets just wrote poetry, and why their poetry was never accompanied by a wrieup of what they meant and in what context they meant it??????

It's because they just wrote something to express some form of feeling, and left it at that.

Theories based on math, science etc can be debated, discussed, and interpreted...because they lead to something. Poetry is just something beautiful whetehr it means something or not. I wish more people could just read one, appreciate it, and leave it at that.

Extempore said...

Why is being open to different perspectives such a problem? I believe that when an writer writes, he writes primarily for himself and for to express whatever - emotion, experience, sharin knowledge - what have you. And mind you, this is an ideal situation. We will assume that all writers write for art and their own sake

But I also firmly believe that a very conscious part of a writer publishes for different perspective and to see what people will make of his writing. It may surprise you but a lot of so-called intellectuals and their theories can truly enhance your experience of the poem. They cannot become your experience of it - you have not really read the poem or gained anything from it if criticism is your only opinion.

Having said that, criticism still has its place and definitely one to consider.

Anonymous said...

You missed the point.

"Why is being open to different perspectives such a problem?"

Being open to different viewpoints is a very positive thing to have AS A PERSONAL TRAIT.

"It may surprise you but a lot of so-called intellectuals and their theories can truly enhance your experience of the poem."

Will you also tell me that they can enhance my experience when i hike to the top of a scenic hill and enjoy the breathtaking view of the horizon by day, or the starry sky at night?

For poetry, what do they do? Explain it? Tell you what the poet meant when they wrote it? They can enhance my knowledge of what it means, but my experience?

"you have not really read the poem or gained anything from it if criticism is your only opinion."

Read the 1st line of my 1st comment.

I don't dispute the poem, a poem can't be disputed. I dispute your theory on what the wonderful part of poetry is. For you, it's the fact that it's open to interpretation. For me... it's how beautiful the poem is, in terms of the way it's written.

It's the way I treat art.

If I see a piece of art, whether poetry, paintings, or even a scenic landscape... i like to read/look and then keep it as a nice memory, something that I'm glad i read/saw. What I do not like to do, is discuss it to death, discussions based on "assumptions" of what the writer meant. If you want to know, if the writer is alive...ask him/her. If not... just appreciate it for what it is and leave it there. You can not treat ART like a SCIENCE.

Words Worth said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Words Worth said...

Actually yes. If I’m looking at a starry sky at night and all I see are bright twinkling dots, I think how beautiful it all is. But if I know that those bright twinkling dots are massive balls of burning hydrogen and helium millions of years old and millions of light years away in a universe that is too big to comprehend, and that one of those stars has made it possible for us to be alive and marvel at it all, then yes, my “experience” has been enhanced, because now there’s more awe.

Similarly, poetry or other art is not really about what the author meant. The poet relinquishes any claim to control of its meaning once the poem is in public domain. The poem is what other people comprehend. There could also be a million things in a poem that a poet did not consciously put in it. What makes a poem a poem is that it lends itself to a million interpretations. Some of those interpretations can come only through knowledge, which is essentially analysis. And analysis can enhance experience, like the knowledge of those fireballs in the sky.

Sorry Extempore. I got carried away. :-D

Anonymous said...

"But if I know that those bright twinkling dots ... then yes, my “experience” has been enhanced, because now there’s more awe."

For me, that's a "different" experience, not an "enhanced" one. The "wonder" has been replaced by knowledge, and some other "wonder".

Besides, when I say "a beautiful starry sky" I'm talking about how beautiful it appears, not delving into what they are. I'm focussing on the beauty of that sight, not the chemical composition and dynamics of the stars. What you say would imply that a person without knowledge can't appreciate something that's beautiful to the senses, compared to someone who knows a lot about it.

"Similarly, poetry or other art is not really about what the author meant."

I'm not big on poetry, but I feel that it's an art, and like any art, it's about expression. And expression is just a feeling that has been given some form (graphic, text, voice, or sound). At the core of it, there's meaning, something that the artist wanted to express.

What you say, may hold true if the poet was doodling and ended up with a poem. There too, if you delve into the dynamics of the subconscious mind, there's a pattern to it.

I'm not too sure where the "control" bit comes in. There is nothing that can be directly controlled once it's out of your hands.

I'm making an assumption here. that the poet has something in mind when he/she writes poetry...something that they want to express. That "something" is set. Saying otherwise may be like me talking about something, and you coming up to me n saying "here's what you actually meant to say".

Now, as I said earlier, experiences differ. But the one the poet had in mind, is the "correct" one if you want to get analytical about it.

Isis said...

@extempore: I would also have to say that this is less of a "I wonder who you are" than someone who turned out to be unexpectedly ghastly.
The words "reality", "negative" and "over-exposed" did that for me. This is a lovely poem, self-conntained, whole.