Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Poetry,...and I can't think of a snappy title title!

Poetry is always approached with a bit of levity for me. I know that I already explained this in class, but I just really feel lead to reiterate this idea. Don't get me wrong, I really do like poetry, but every time a student gives me a stack of "their poems" or a parent tells me at back to school night that their son/daughter is a "poetic genius" I inwardly freak out a little. It's not that I doubt their ability or that I don't believe the sincerity with which a parent will support and love their children, I just feel a bit aloof when it comes to making the inevitable judgement on if their work, usually bound in a special binder or other precious covering, is "good". Their is no worse place to be.
On one hand I feel an artists obligation to take a critical eye over their work, to consider all that I have come to learn about the forms and design, to really give them feedback on whether or not the work is, in fact, "good". If I do that I know that I am going to hurt feelings and alienate people who might really respect my opinion. Its the dilemma that is so frustrating. I want to ask them, sometimes, "Why me and my opinion? Isn't the act of creation enough and powerful that you don't require my approval? You didn't ask me if you could make the poem therefore it doesn't require my approval." And yet, I know how they are feeling. It is the sheer delight of having made a phrase that sinks into your skin, the idea that in spite of everything, my words ring true to my own ears and I identify, like a beacon, momentary truth in a very confusing and crazy world. I guess that secretly, poetry is a personal hurdle for me to leap. Clearly the power of the word is undeniable. After having vented all of that (sorry...) I really want you to know, that your work does not require my "approval" of good, bad, or indifferent. What matters is that you made it, love it, and will continue doing so. Be excited, share them with your friends and family. Represent!...
(I can't guarantee that the rest of my entrees for the Poetry unit will be any less weird, maybe that is good, I'm not really sure, but I will try to keep them both interesting and sincere.)
Haiku, Tanka, Cinquain Forms

Sonnet Form/Meter and Rhythm

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