Resurrecting Poetry

Discussion in 'Religion & Philosophy' started by ibshambat, Dec 5, 2018.

  1. ibshambat

    ibshambat Well-Known Member

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    There are many people who have no value for poetry, even some who see it as pathological. Someone wrote on the Internet that poetry is not a cure-all for low self-esteem. In my case it has nothing to do with my self-esteem at all. I started writing poetry when I was 10 and was recognized for it. And I did this in Russia, where poetry was a big thing.

    There are many who claim that poetry is useless or impractical. I see three very useful and highly practical applications for poetry.

    One is that it can allow people to express what they feel or think about someone they care about, and as such can help to improve families, relationships and friendships.

    Another is that it can allow people to articulate and work through their feelings and their thoughts.

    And probably the most important one is that it can communicate one's understanding and realizations to other people and thus help all sorts of people in all sorts of ways.

    Finally, in case of a good poem, you have produced something beautiful – something as such that adds to the civilization and the world.

    In my life poetry has been far from useless. In my life poetry has been the saving grace. It is the reason that I was admitted on a full scholarship to an elite private school in Virginia. It is the reason I have most of my friends. It is the reason I've been with women who were extremely attractive both physically and personally when I am neither. There have been any number of people who have attacked me, frequently very viciously; but there are any number of others who love my poetry and my translations.

    Another common slander against poetry is that it is reflection of mental illness. Of this there are two claims: Either that it comes from personality disorders (such as “sociopathic” or “narcissistic”) and that it comes from chemical disorders such as bipolar or schizophrenia.

    The first is not hard at all to refute. In many places such as France, Russia and Italy, poetry is widely read and highly regarded by normal people, which would not be the case if it was limited to people with personality disorders. Poetry was highly respected in World War II generation, which unlike baby boomers has never been accused of any disorders at all. If someone is a sociopath and does not have emotions, he would not be attracted to a pursuit that extols feelings; he would be much more likely to become a businessman or a lawyer. As for narcissistic disorder, it would pathologize everyone from Gates and Rockefeller in business to Trump and Clinton in politics. There may be narcissists in poetry; but I do not see why there would be more narcissists in poetry than in business, politics, media, academia or law.

    In case of disorders such as epilepsy, bipolar and schizophrenia, poetry may actually be a way to make something good out of a bad situation. In epilepsy there is heightened contact between right brain and left brain, which makes available for verbal expression intuitive understanding. That can be very useful for creative pursuits, and Dostoyevsky, who was an epileptic, produced some of the greatest literature in history, writing his greatest work during his epileptic fits. In bipolar and schizophrenia, there are available for conscious use the parts of the brain that are not normally accessed. This can likewise be very useful for creativity; and people with these disorders can achieve naturally the kinds of states that people in 1960s attempted to achieve with LSD.

    Another claim that I've heard – this time from an editor in DC – is that the reason that poetry has become big in Russia is long winters. I have news for this person. Poetry is big in place like Lebanon and Greece that do not have long winters. There have been excellent poets coming from warm zones such as Iran, Mexico and Chile. Many of the better poets in America are black.

    Then there is the claim that poetry is unrealistic. The response to that is that human world is what people make it, and something becomes realistic when people make it so. If there is greater demand for poetry and for arts in general, then more people who are willing to supply such things will be able to make ends meet. The solution is to stimulate the demand by getting more people to value these things. There is nothing unrealistic about this; it has taken place in the past even in the American history, and there is no reason why it cannot happen now.


    I want poetry to become as big a thing in the English-speaking world as it is in Russia. There have been any number of excellent English-speaking poets in the past. Probably the biggest problem has been that poetry self-destructed. It was turned into cold cynical abominations called post-modernism and avant-garde. When I took a magnificent visual artist named Julia to attend an avant-garde poetry reading in DC, she said, “This is not poetry.” On the Internet group rec.arts.poems, I found the least poetic mentality of anywhere I have been. These people not only produced absolute rubbish, but they were absolutely vicious toward people whose poetry actually was poetry.

    The best way to make poetry a big thing in the English-speaking world is to produce real poetry. Poetry that aims for – and achieves – things such as beauty and passion. It is to leave in the dust the post-modern and avant-garde gibberish and to produce something beautiful. People in Russia read poetry that is being produced in Russia. Using similar styles to produce poetry in English should create poetry in English that people actually want to read.

    I can do the contemporary styles as well. For the most part, I choose not to. Julia told me also after the reading, “I hope you never write this way.” She was able to do excellent abstract art, but she preferred for her work to reflect classical sensibilities. I took the themes in her art and turned it into poetry. The result was a book (https://www.amazon.com/Poems-Julia-Mr-Ilya-Shambat/dp/150234369X) that made me – and her – the talk of DC poetry scene.

    I want to resurrect poetry. And that means clearing away both the misconceptions about poetry and the post-modern and avant-garde nonsense and producing poetry that aims for – and achieves – beauty and passion.

    Things that poetry is meant to be about, and things that have been present in poetry that people actually want to read.
     
  2. Spooky

    Spooky Well-Known Member Donor

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    I think poetry is stupid.

    If you have something to say then just say it.

    I've no desire to try and figure out what you want to tell me in riddles or puzzles.
     
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  3. ibshambat

    ibshambat Well-Known Member

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    You just have been reading wrong poetry. You are talking here about the avant garde poetry, which I have nothing to do with. My poetry has no riddles or puzzles, and it aims for something that you don't get just by saying things: Beauty and passion. I invite you to take a look at my site at https://sites.google.com/site/ibshambatpoetry, you may change your mind.
     
  4. Spooky

    Spooky Well-Known Member Donor

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    I did the courtesy of reading a few of them and I still think its stupid.

    Not to say that I cannot recognize your skill at your craft, which is obviously very good, but I don't appreciate it.

    In my opinion it is a pointless endeavor.

    At least a novel tells a story, poetry does not.

    Its just a more complicated way to say obvious things.
     
  5. ibshambat

    ibshambat Well-Known Member

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    Some of these things are not so obvious, check the ones in the Philosophy section.

    Speaking of novels, I have written an autobiographical one as well. https://sites.google.com/site/ilyashambatbiography. You might like it.
     
  6. kazenatsu

    kazenatsu Well-Known Member Donor

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    Poetry was from an age before they had TVs or computers. Nowadays with so many people typing out quick replies on Twitter or Facebook with their smart phones, not many seem to have the slower pace and patience it takes for poetry.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2018
  7. ibshambat

    ibshambat Well-Known Member

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    It doesn't take too much patience. Rhyming poetry for one is very easy to read and remember.
     
  8. kazenatsu

    kazenatsu Well-Known Member Donor

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    It's kind of off-topic, but something I've noticed is that for high culture to develop in society (the development of things like poetry), there has got to be a class of people who have both surplus time and surplus money, as well as a large class with relatively lower wealth than the first class, which serve as the skilled artisans, writers and entertainers.

    The always-busy middle class today, where all the wealthy are very preoccupied with work in their prime, is not exactly conducive to that.

    Also, urbanization combined with low cost of living (something that now does not exist in our society) is conducive to culture.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2018
  9. ibshambat

    ibshambat Well-Known Member

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    Well Kasenatsu, the Russians and the French very much do have the time for poetry, but most of them are not wealthy. It is not a matter of wealth, it is a matter of priorities. The middle class values do not have to be against culture or poetry; there are many people in middle class who have value for both. It is a matter of priorities, and it is a matter of choice.
     
  10. kazenatsu

    kazenatsu Well-Known Member Donor

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    It could have to do with relative wealth, compared to cost of living, and amount of surplus time.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2018
  11. ibshambat

    ibshambat Well-Known Member

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    The Russians drink to get smashed.
    The Italians drink to have fun.
    The Irish drink to have bar fights.
     
  12. James Knapp

    James Knapp Newly Registered

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    I read a few of your poems my friend and I really enjoyed them. Men who write poetry are rare and I personally think it shows that you have love and passion in your heart.
     
  13. cerberus

    cerberus Well-Known Member Donor

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    Call me a philistine but if it don't rhyme it ain't poetry to yours truly! :no: And even if it does rhyme I still cant stand it; why must they always be so er, intense?
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2018
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  14. scarlet witch

    scarlet witch Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    I don't like all poetry... the poetry I like is the deep and heavy stuff.... not so much about love, but struggle and bravery, overcoming hardship, even death...I like it raw and intense. I also prefer poets who dig really deep, lay it all bare but manage to weave beauty & light through all the darkness and intensity... therefore obvious favourites Kipling, Henley... but also like Maya Angelou's Still I Rise and Phenomenal Woman, she manage to write about serious topics but with so much beauty. There are poetry in another language I also like and actually prefer to read due to the guttural sounds in this language... gives the poetry so much more depth and heart... difficult to explain.
     

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