oh yes!

Oh yes! Fourth corollary, which Mom reminds me to ask:

Do you like poetry? If so, what kind of poetry? Do you read it for pleasure? If you’re an imaging reader, does poetry work for you? Tell me, tell me! (I’m really enjoying this discussion. Heehee.)

7 thoughts on “oh yes!

  1. I love poetry, and do read it for pleasure, although in very small doses because I’m quickly overwhelmed by good (or even not-so-good) poetry.

  2. I’m not a gung-ho poetry person, and I’ve been thinking about this whole imaging thing since we talked about it this weekend.

    I think I mentioned that it depended on the writing style, but /usually/ I do the camera play-by-play. Lyrical, beautiful writers I don’t image, I savor the words. So-so, average writers, or stories that are very action-driven, I go by images. I tend to read the latter kinds of books very quickly, and I suspect I actually skim, reading just enough to complete the images in my head without being too concerned with /how/ the author is writing about it.

  3. I love poetry. Words rich with themselves. *grin*

    My favorites are TS Eliot, ee cummings, and the Tao Te Ching.


  4. I like poetry, although I don’t really actively seek it out. What I love, generally, are really good phrases. Some of those actually can call up images for me, but they’re no more defined than anything else–still, I love good imagery in a poem (god knows why)–i.e:

    How I love to fly alone in the rain
    How I love to see the jellyfish pulsing on the cold borders of the universe

    That’s a line from Robert Bly that I always liked. I don’t get a sharp, crisp image of jellyfish, by any means, but I have a sort of sense of translucent white pulsing near darkness. (The darkness is definitely on the right!) But I don’t see it. I couldn’t tell you how many tentacles the jellyfish has, or how they fan out or if the top is round or pointy or whether you could see through the membrane at all, or how far back the dark bits go. I just know it’s there.

    That makes no damn sense at all, I realize, but that’s about all I’d have if I were starting a painting–dark, some translucent white. Anything else, I’d have to learn/make up while painting.

    Because of this, I like short, crisp poems, like Rumi. One hazy image per customer, no waiting.

    Another corollary might be “Can you put faces with names?” ‘Cos I’ve always wondered if my near-total lack of mental pictures is the reason I can’t put faces to names to save my life–or even remember faces very well. It usually takes three or four exposures before I can remember someone, unless they’ve got something really visually distinctive about them I can pin down–god help you if you’re non-descript!–and even then, it’ll take awhile before I can get the name to go reliably with the face. I’m hopeless at parties. “You’re who? We’ve met before? On several occasions? You once pulled me from a burning building? Really? Cool!”

  5. Hmm. Sometimes, I like poetry. Sometimes I abhor it. I got an insanely expensive book of poems through some book-club recently, from somebody deemed very skillful and important who wrote angsty little mini-poems about the holocaust or something. Just about cured me of ever wanting to read another poem.

    Then again, there’s the occasional poem that I stumble across that I really like. I was surprised and pleased to find childrens poems by Robert L. Stevenson that I really liked. Or odd things like The Bells of Heaven:

    ‘TWOULD ring the bells of Heaven
    The wildest peal for years,
    If Parson lost his senses
    And people came to theirs,
    And he and they together
    Knelt down with angry prayers
    For tamed and shabby tigers
    And dancing dogs and bears,
    And wretched, blind pit ponies,
    And little hunted hares.

    …and to actually get back to answering the question: Nope, no images with poems. Poems are all rhythm and shape and patterns, and don’t invoke images any more than a good piece of math or an abstract painting. Or maybe code — good poem are a bit like a really good bit of programming. All surplus removed until you are left with the essence.

    (Okay, kid is pulling on my arm, must run. I’m doomed to not ocmplete a single LJ entry properly during the holidays..)

  6. I like poetry – but most of it was written when poetry was what you used to write fiction. :) I even have favorite poems. I believe that the point of poetry is to conjure an image of a moment or series of them – some of the finest images from reading come from poems. I’ve a prejudice against modern poetry (unless it’s for children, then there is some fine poetry there.) Poetry is also extremely subjective and personal; poetry should also be spoken outloud which is not done enough and perhaps is the reason behind some of my self-proclaimed prejudice towards it.

    Uhm. What was the question again? ;)

  7. ShaWn does see pictures, most of the time, but also has dyslexia and thinks that when he is not able to make pictures is related to that. He does not get poetry.

    Glenda does not see pictures. What she gets is emotion. I’ll have to grill her more about that. I also forgot to ask her about poetry.

    My mother does see pictures, reads slowly, and, despite writing poetry all over the place, says that she does not like reading poetry. (Surprised the heck out of me with that one, she did.)

    Oh, and Dave, the random hostel-person at the computer next to me, does see pictures, reads reasonably quickly, and doesn’t particularly like poetry. He doesn’t hate it, either.

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