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  #11  
Old 09-10-2017, 07:56 PM
Andrew Mandelbaum's Avatar
Andrew Mandelbaum Andrew Mandelbaum is offline
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Haven't seen Nunn. Already said that Ward was plagiarism pretty clearly. Not sure what Mack was doing. Not good poetic practice in any case. But I am talking about Lightman, at least as the article presents his "skills". Something seems off. My two cents. Many will differ.
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  #12  
Old 09-10-2017, 08:43 PM
Matt Q Matt Q is offline
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Sure, but if you're talking about Lightman, then what are you saying in the post I quoted? In the context of your previous comment it seemed like you might have been saying that Lightman's methods were suspect, that he might be finding plagiarism where there was none -- false positives where people created similar works independently. But so far, that's the only defence I've not seen made by people who've been outed as serial repurposers -- or whatever they see themselves doing. All that seems to have been debated is whether it was a legitimate act as part of their creative process, or an accidental regurgitation of the original, or actual theft/plagiarism and so on. Maybe there are exceptions I've not seen. That said, I think the probability of one person independently producing multiple poems that are very similar to others' poems (including identical lines and phrases) is vanishingly small. And it seems to be finding multiple examples by the same poet that Lightman's method rests on. Quite possibly the article bigged up the "skills" part for dramatic effect. All he really said was that the looked for places where there seemed to be "joins". A lot of is googling though, I imagine.

If you're dubious of Lightman's motives, rather than his methods, then fair enough. In the article he seems to recognise that they haven't always been the healthiest; he says that he enjoyed the power, the recognition. I quite liked his honesty there though, to be honest.

Anyway, here's a brief article on Nunn.

Last edited by Matt Q; 09-10-2017 at 08:54 PM.
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  #13  
Old 09-11-2017, 09:02 AM
Andrew Szilvasy Andrew Szilvasy is offline
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Wow. This is egregious
Philosopherís Stone by Don McKay

-- and when, after Iíve wasted a lifetime looking,
picking over eskers, browsing beaches, rock shops, slag,
when after Iíve up and quit, you suddenly
adopt me, winking from the gravel of the roadside
[Ö]
when you renounce your wilderness and move in,
living in my pocket as its sage, as my third,
uncanny testicle, the wise one,
the one who will teach me to desire
only whatever happens;
[Ö]
when you come
inscribed by glaciers, lichened, mossed,
packed with former lives inside you like a dense
mass grave;
when you cleave,
when you fold,
when you gather sense as omphalos, inukshut,
cromlech, when you rift in the stress
of intolerable time;
when you find me as the moon
found Li Po in his drunken boat,
whe you speak to my heart of its heaviness, of the soft
facts of erosion, when you whisper in that
tongueless tongue it turns out,
though it canít be,
we both know--
Fortune "by" Graham Nunn

and when, after Iíve wasted a lifetime looking
picking over poets, browsing beaches, shopping malls
when, after Iíve up and quit, you suddenly
adopt me, smiling from the carpet of the Royal George
when you renounce your wilderness and move in
living in the back room as its sage, my other
the one who will teach me to desire
only what happens
when you come, inscribed by solitude
dog-eared, faded, packed with former lives
inside you like a matryoshka doll
when you gather
when you fold
when you find me as the moon
found Li Po in his drunken boat
when you speak to my heart of its heaviness
the soft facts of erosion
when you whisper in that
infinite tongue all that the world allows
all one could wish for
though it canít be
we both know
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  #14  
Old 09-11-2017, 09:17 AM
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Aaron Novick Aaron Novick is online now
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And every single change is for the worse. Every last one.
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  #15  
Old 09-11-2017, 02:22 PM
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Andrew Mandelbaum Andrew Mandelbaum is offline
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I think I am not being clear.

Some of these folks are just poets desperate to get published and clearly plagiarizing.

Not sure if Mack fits that. I think her explanation is plausible.

The French fellow's book seems strange. Going by Lightman's words: It isn't in his normal style. He has a body of work that is excellent without evidence of plagiarism. He dies a couple years after. He was older and already accomplished when he put it out. Maybe he died of dementia or maybe he was having a bit of a bucket list laugh. I don't know, but, like I said, something seems odd there. And in general, it just doesn't seem like A) all these cases are the same thing
B) poetry is any more infested with plagiarism than it ever has been C) Lightman's method of scanning poems for patterns really applies to many of these pieces. They are almost all entire pieces that because of the amount they borrow seem internally consistent to me.

Like I said I don't know what bothers me about the fellows claims. Something just seems off. The cool thing is, no one has to agree with me. My main point was, that if take his "look for pattern and aberant lines" as some template you will find all sorts of similarities in the poetry world. Many of them won't be intentional or even from contact. My opinion. It is free. And maybe fairly priced.

I am prolly just being grouchy for who knows what reason. Don't know any of these folks. Prolly should have kept quiet. Apologies.

Last edited by Andrew Mandelbaum; 09-11-2017 at 04:40 PM.
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  #16  
Old 09-11-2017, 04:40 PM
Kyle Norwood Kyle Norwood is offline
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I'm glad Lightman is on the case. With so many poets and so small an audience for poetry, it's easy for plagiarism to go undetected. If "intertextuality" has come to mean stealing other writers' words without attribution, then I'm glad Lightman is calling it by its true name. The same advice we routinely give to students writing term papers should apply to poetry: if you use someone else's words, unless those words are so familiar that most well-educated readers will recognize them, you should acknowledge who you're borrowing from.
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  #17  
Old 09-11-2017, 10:27 PM
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Quincy Lehr Quincy Lehr is offline
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As I said to at least one academic administrator over the years, "Is there really anything hard to grasp about 'stealing is wrong'?"
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  #18  
Old 09-12-2017, 05:06 AM
Andrew Szilvasy Andrew Szilvasy is offline
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Intertextuality only works when the interwoven material is readily recognizable. Otherwise, it needs something to mark it off.

These examples are just straight theft.
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  #19  
Old 09-12-2017, 07:09 AM
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Douglas G. Brown Douglas G. Brown is offline
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Well, at least Mr. Nunn realized that eskers and glaciers weren't things that an Australian poet should be writing about.
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  #20  
Old 09-12-2017, 03:22 PM
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AZ Foreman AZ Foreman is offline
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Cao Cao, the Chinese near-Emperor, wrote a great poem, one stanza of which was nothing but a rearranged passage from a history. Which made people like the poem more, not less. But then, Classical Chinese poets were required to plagiarize.

Pre-Islamic Arabic poets often quote entire hemistichs verbatim from someone else. Persian poets often rearrange someone else's passage to insert it in their work, and it is not always intended as overt quotation.

Even Russian poets of the 18th and 19th centuries made relatively free use of others' material adapted to suit their needs. Particularly if the material being lifted was in another language and thus could be rebranded in plagiary translation. But even a few of Pushkin's best poems are basically conglomerative half-palimpsests of other (much more obscure) Russian poets. 19th century Russians also evidently felt not a whit of embarrassment that even the imperial Russian anthem "God Save the Tsar" was lightly adapted from the British anthem.

Since Romanticism, and especially since western thinking about literature began to be infected by Romanticism, which is to say since we have come to value literary creation to the extent that it is what we call "original", the idea of literary plagiarism has gotten rather weird.

One other lamentable effect of this Romantoxification is that we have not really known how to appreciate literature (be it Renaissance Latin, Medieval Arabic, Medieval Persian, French Neoclassicism, or Modern Classical Chinese Regulated Verse) created according to principles of creative imitation. Perhaps this accounts for some of the paradoxical modern dislike for literary translations of poetry that in various ways make the reader unsure of whether to admire the translator or the "original" poet or both. We are not equipped to handle or appreciate creativity when it takes the form of adaptation or appropriation of others' work.

Last edited by AZ Foreman; 09-12-2017 at 03:33 PM.
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